Self Care and Nurturing ~ What is Your Self Talk Like?

Emotional Recovery
Poster by Judy Baxter

How do you talk to yourself? Are you loving and patient with yourself or are you the evil boss in your own life? Are you understanding and nurturing towards yourself or are you constantly nagging and reprimanding?

When you think about re-parenting yourself, do you think about the kind of parent that you would have loved to have or the most loving perfect parent that ever walked the earth and then BE that parent to yourself, or do you treat yourself the same “not good enough way” that you were treated somewhere along the line in the past?

What role do you play in your own life?

Paying attention to my “self talk” has been and continues to be a huge part of my process.  And self talk is sneaky; if I don’t stop the spin long enough to get quiet and LISTEN to what is going on “back there” in the depths of my own mind, I don’t even notice when I am being hard on myself.

I have been suffering from a little “burn out”.  I knew that I was working too hard and that I needed a vacation and I bargained with myself that I could take two weeks off but when I came home from my totally nurturing holiday and found that I still needed more time for myself I started to reprimand myself . I got impatient with myself. I told myself to shape up and get with it.  Read the following “self talk list” with the totally inappropriate and impatient voice infliction laced with a big dose of exasperation.

Myself to myself: “WHAT?? You need MORE time off? Jeeze.. What is wrong with you? What are you so tired all the time? You just had a vacation!” How much time off do you NEED?”

What the heck is in your way now?? Why do you always have to be ‘processing’ something? Why can’t you just be normal?

“When are you going to finish that book? I bet you are not EVER going to finish it. What the hell kind of ‘example’ are you being to your readers? Why don’t you just give this up?”  

“What?? You are hungry again!?”

“OH OKAY fine then take more time off… jeeze…frick… you just…. grrrrr”

This kind of self talk is not rooted in love. This kind of talk is invalidating. There is no acknowledgement in for how hard I work or how much I have accomplished these past few years and when I feel this way towards myself I DON’T acknowledge any of my progress because it isn’t enough anymore. This kind of self talk reinforces the exact same beliefs that I have worked so hard to overcome; the belief that whatever I do is “not enough” and “not good enough” and it invalidates my needs by actually questioning them and even questioning my right to have needs. This talk has its roots in the way that I was taught to consider myself and my needs and it still rears its ugly head when I am tired or not paying attention because that kind of treatment and self disregard was with me for so long. It isn’t my default mode anymore, but it was for so long that it still comes up.

This kind of self reprimanding and discounting self talk/self-thought is not beneficial to the formation of freedom and wholeness and does not produce the desired results leading to self love and self care which are the path ways to self esteem recovery and emotional healing.

I still have to take a step back and listen to what is going on “back there”. Telling the voices to “shut up” is still abusive towards ME. I find it works much better if I listen closely to what is going on with me and find out what I am actually saying to myself. Then I can find out where it is coming from and usually it has its roots in the past. In this case I had decided that a two week break would be “long enough” and I was impatient with myself for needing more time to rejuvenate. The root of this however is found in my childhood history. The way that I was regarding myself had actually been taught to me. It was the same way that I had to accept being regarded as a child from teachers, adults, aunts and uncles. I learned to treat myself that way and unlearning it has been a huge task. Once in a while I still have to “cement” the new belief system I have been forming for the last 7 years by continuing to acknowledge and override the old belief system.

What is your self talk like? Do you speak to yourself with a loving attitude or do you constantly ask yourself for more, never measuring up to your own expectations? Where do those expectations come from? Do you regard yourself with patience, accepting yourself for where you are at, or do you reprimand yourself with thoughts filled with impatient frustration? 

The way you regard yourself is what you will communicate about the way you want to be regarded.

Darlene Ouimet

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129 response to "Self Care and Nurturing ~ What is Your Self Talk Like?"

  1. By: Caden Posted: 18th June


    Thank you so much for that. You’re right, people want to censor us and turn their heads away so they won’t have to see ours or their own truth. But these experiences of ours are reality and we do have a right to talk about them.

    I love what you said about the animals you share your life with–that they deserve your love, care, protection, and sustenance just for being there. Most people wouldn’t imagine for instance denying a dog dinner because you’re upset with them, but this is done to children all the time. I didn’t grow up with any guarantees myself, I always had to be nervous wondering if I would still get my needs (food, clothing, school supplies, even just communication) met depending on my parents moods. That isn’t how life should be for anyone. Reading your intense story, I remembered that my abusive parents once left a caged canary outside on their deck in a severe lightning storm without a second thought; it died. They treated me the same way; but I would do anything to protect the amazing creatures that live on our property with us.

    take care,

  2. By: Elaina Posted: 18th June

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Mimi, Sonia, Diane, Karen, and Darlene! (I hope I’m not leaving anyone out.) I really appreciate your comments.

    That supercell storm was truly intense. The storm chasers’ video of our storm is on youtube, it’s called “DESTRUCTIVE HAIL! Baseball to softball size hail stones, near Portales, NM” and it was posted by The young woman driving the chase vehicle is an annoying distraction, however, with her nonstop giddy screams and squeals. After the first time, I had to watch it with the sound off. But they were definitely in our town, near the grain elevators, when their vehicle was damaged in the video, I kept pausing the video and taking screenshots of various scenes, and there is no doubt.

    Joy, I wanted to tell you that your poem, “The Broken Child,” touched my heart.

    Caden, I read your blog after reading your last comment. Pure horror, what you went through. I’m so sorry you went through such terrible abuse. What a testament it is to your inner strength that you are surviving, and telling your story.

    We have the right to tell the truth about our own lives. The abusers want to shut us up, and so do a lot of other people, people like Caden’s sister, who doesn’t want to have to believe that the horrors are true, or that they were really so horrible. People don’t like to think about, or hear about, the worst that happens in this world. We change the channel when a commercial comes on that shows starving children in third world countries, or abused and neglected animals languishing in rescue shelters. We don’t want to think about, hear about, read about, or see, babies and young children whose little bodies have been ravaged by cancer. We don’t want to remember or believe in the Holocaust, which happened only a few years before I was born. And, we don’t want to believe that a mother would ever sexually abuse her children.

    But I believe it, Caden. I’ve been through too many unbelievable-but-true horrors of my own, not to believe it. What happened to you was evil. Contrary to what your sister and others have told you, there was nothing “normal” about it.

    You can be proud of yourself for surviving, and for having the courage to face the truth, and tell your story.


  3. By: Mimi Posted: 17th June

    SMD and Elaina,
    I felt the same way. Like I was there. It was very vivid in my mind’s eye!! Such a sweet story!! Thanks for sharing again Elaina!
    Love and Peace,

  4. By: SMD Posted: 17th June

    I love your story about the bird in the storm. You have a gift for writing. The words you use to describe the scene, made me feel like I was there watching it play out. The empathy you had for the bird was incredible. I enjoyed reading this story!…So heartfelt & symbolic of the struggle to survive against the storm! Thanks for sharing!

  5. By: Caden Posted: 17th June


    Thanks. I agree, I spent twenty years living under constant hypercriticism from my family, and it really has colored my perception of other people. Sometimes I have only listened to those old voices and not really those of the people in my life (i.e. not blood relatives, but the people I choose to be around who are really nice and sensitive) who were giving out a much kinder message. But you’re right, not everyone is so judgmental like that, I’ve had many conversations with my partner to that effect. I’ve never been fond of the whole ‘thought combating’ process for myself though, I think I agree with Darlene and Christina above that we need to try and listen and understand where this is coming from to break it’s hold. I don’t think that being harsh with ourselves can be truly very healing. For a long time, I’ve had many of the horrible things they said to me replayed over and over again in my mind, but maybe that was because my body was in a confused way trying to tell me something was buried deep down. Like the fact that I had no idea that my mother sexually abused me before last week.

    take care,

  6. By: diane Posted: 17th June

    Elaina….I was deeply moved by your story about the little bird…and how you felt and what you did…and your thoughts. Sometimes I hear or read stories that touch my heart and I find myself being drawn into what it must have been like for you …or others…as a little child, and it makes me want to do the protecting and comforting! As a mother and as a person who has lived through abuse, trauma and neglect, it strikes a chord in me, and makes me sad for all of the many many people who never were able to know and feel secure in their parents love….or with any adult! Elaina…I love your heart! Very loving and gentle! I wish that you had been a child who had known that someone would risk ANYTHING to save you…to care for you…to protect you…to comfort you….to speak loving words in honesty and truth. Just like the little animals. I realized recently that my parents had loved and cared for their cats more than they did for my older brother and myself! It is rather shocking to come to that realization, isnt it? I think what you wrote here is a very valuable story and I thank you for sharing it!

  7. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 17th June

    Elaina! Such an amazing story. Thank you for your kind thoughts to me.
    I loved what you said about caring for you child within like your beloved
    animals. I have a difficult time imagining myself as someone to be
    loved. What you said about earning love was our family dynamic. But I
    was never able to achieve that. At least I have stopped trying now which
    I consider to be progress. Gosh abusive parents really mess you up!
    Its amazing to me to find out that that abuse was the cause of life long disfunction.
    It was drummed into me that I was the problem. And their treatment
    of me was the result of dealing with screwed up, emotional for no reason me .
    Thank you so much for sharing! Karen

  8. By: Mimi Posted: 17th June

    I love the story you just wrote. I’m sorry for the property damage you sustained, but your story was awesome.
    Thanks for sharing that!!
    With love,
    ps – I love my dog too, and my cat, and my brand new kitten.

  9. By: Mimi Posted: 17th June

    I have been guilty of the same. I think it’s easy to fall into that because we’re used to being constantly judged. We assume everyone is doing it. I have observed this in myself as well.

    Another thing that just recently was an “aha” moment for me was the realization that not everyone bashes on people, their family specifically. That was a foreign idea to me. I thought every one always did it. Because my mother does. I was raised hearing it.

    I remember about a year ago I heard my mom’s voice so clearly when I was driving. She judged me about something and it was like she was sitting in the passenger seat… the words were so clear in my head it was almost like she was actually THERE with me. I just told her to shut up because she’s an idiot and doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I said those words aloud too. And, guess what….. she shut up! My mind stopped those imaginary words, when I used strong words to combat it. It was a sort of strange experience, and I’ve only had it once. Maybe, I should be training myself to do this more often. It’s not like hearing her voice belittling me has ever really stopped.

    Good observations Caden, and thanks for sharing them.

  10. By: Elaina Posted: 17th June

    Hello Everyone,
    It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve just finished reading this post, and ALL of the 87 comments. I also read the inspiring poem in the newer post, and the comments following that.

    I love the gentle nurturing spirit that is coming through in these posts and comments. This is what we who have been so badly broken, need more than anything, I believe: the healing balm of kindness, compassion, caring, and empathetic understanding — those very things that we needed, and did not get, when we were growing up.

    Karen Ranes, when I read what your mother said to you when your son died so tragically, I could feel my heart breaking. I also felt angry that any mother, any human, could be so cold and inhumane.

    I see that I am not the only one here who is nearing 60. It amazes me how long and how deeply we are affected by the events of our early childhood days. More than 15 years ago I regularly attended a weekly 12-step meeting, where a woman who was then in her mid-to-late 70s also regularly attended. At almost every meeting, this woman would bemoan her belief that her mother had never loved her, and cry about how horribly her mother had treated her throughout her childhood.

    It was all I could do not to roll my eyes when this senior citizen would open her mouth. I know I did a mental eyeroll. I was determined never be so ridiculous as she. I was certainly not ever going to make a fool out of myself by talking about my poor pitiful childhood and my mean abusive parents when I was several decades away from my childhood days.

    But now I understand that we cannot effectively face and deal with our early, deeply soul-wounding traumas, until we are in a safe and enlightened place. Until these past couple of years, I was not ready to face and deal with the devastating pain of my severe childhood traumas. Now that I am finally dealing with my ancient painful history, I am healing and growing by leaps and bounds. My mental and emotional growth was stunted by my childhood trauamas, and the lies that my traumas made me believe about myself. Today, at the age of 59, I am finally being set free.

    Thank you, Karenina, for pointing out that those of us who are in our late 50s may very well live for another 30 or more years!

    One way that I have found to nurture myself, is in caring for animals. When I am feeding and cuddling and caring for our fur-baby, our Cattle Dog Lady, I see in her sweet dependent innocence a reflection of the little girl I used to be. While my abusive parents, my narcissistic mother especially, taught me that I had to EARN the right to be loved and cared for — and I could never do enough, and never be good enough, to earn my keep, no matter how hard I tried — I realize from caring for our little dog, and in feeding the wild birds in our backyard every day, that these small creatures don’t have to DO anything special, to DESERVE food and water and protection and care.

    It’s enough that these animal creatures EXIST. It’s enough that they require food and water and safety, to continue to exist. It’s enough for them to simply BE. I love our dog, not because she is perfect or very obedient or the most gorgeous or talented animal around — she is none of these things! — but I love her simply because SHE IS, and she is OURS.

    This is how children ought to be loved and cared for. This is how my inner child should have been loved and cared for.

    It gives me great joy to feed and nurture our dog, and to provide food and water for the wild birds who come to our feeder every day. I take pleasure out of providing for these innocent, dependent creatures. The joy I feel when I am caring for our dog or putting seed out for the birds, is part of what I call Love.

    When I am nurturing and loving these little animals, I am also nurturing and loving the little girl I used to be.

    On the 12th of June we had a supercell storm. I’ve looked it up on wikipedia, and learned that the supercell is the rarest, and most dangerous, of all the types of thunderstorms. When I later did a search for news or pictures of our uncommonly violent storm, I discovered that a crew of professional storm chasers, who travel all over North America looking for supercells and other violent weather, were right here in our town taking videos and photographs of our the storm. They uploaded part of their photostream on Youtube. I can tell from the video that when the windshield of their vechicle was suddenly shattered in two places by baseball-to-softball sized hail, they were less than 1/2 mile from our house.

    I grew up in what is called “tornado alley,” so rough weather triggers a lot of unhappy childhood memories. When I first noticed a strange light, just before sunset, coming in through our blinds, I ran outside, looked up at the sky, and what I saw directly above me almost stopped my heart. It was nothing like anything I have ever seen before!

    Directly above me was a huge, black, round storm cloud, so enormous that it stretched out in every direction, almost as far as I could see. Lightning was flashing randomly inside the dense dark towering cloud, flickering back and forth, and from side to side. Most astonishing of all: the entire massive cloud was rotating, slowly, in a clock-wise rotation. I have learned from wikipedia that THIS is what distinguishes the supercell from all other storm systems, the fact that the entire massive storm cell rotates. 30% of these supercells produce tornadoes.

    I almost felt like I was looking straight up at a gigantic UFO, that’s how huge and other-worldly the lightning-flashing, rotating, massive storm cloud looked. As I stared up at the supercell, with my mouth gaping wide open, I heard what sounded like a large rock come out of the cloud, crashing down on our RV 5th wheel travel trailer that was parked a few feet away from where I was standing.

    Suddenly, hail stones the size of my fist — no, I am not exaggerating! — were crashing down all around me. I have seen hail the size of marbles, many times in my lifetime. I have also seen hail the size of golf balls. But this hail was the size of baseballs and softballs. I’m talking, REALLY BIG.

    I ran inside the house, and it sounded like boulders were crashing down all over our roof. My husband and I went out and stood on the covered front porch, staring in shock at the big round balls of rock-hard ice that was pounding everything in sight. Windows of vehicles parked along both sides of our street were being broken out, sounding like small hand-grenade explosions.

    When the hail began falling faster and harder, it started ricochetting off the ground, up onto the porch, striking my husband and me on our arms and legs and shoulders. So we scurried back inside our house, and listened as the ice-rocks continued to pummel our roof. The hail storm lasted for an incredibly long time. (Our previously like-new 24 ft travel trailer was totalled. We have yet to hear from the insurance company about our other property damage.)

    While I was looking out the window at the storm, I saw one of our wild birds, struggling to get back up to her nest from where she must have been knocked down by the storm. She kept trying to fly back up into the tree, but the falling hail kept knocking her down on the ground.

    Our Chinese Elm is approximately 100 years old, and probably the tallest thing in our small town. I knew that going out into the lightning and running through the big balls of hail to the base of the tallest tree around, in order to save a little bird, was a dangerous thing to do. I knew that my life is more important than the life of a little bird. I wasn’t in a suicidal mood, either; on the contrary, I had been trying to figure out where was the safest place to be in such a wild storm, when I saw the poor bird being battered by the hail.

    Maybe it was a crazy thing to do, but I covered my head with my arms, and ran out to the base of the huge tree to save the struggling bird…. but the bird, more frightened by my appearance than by the storm, suddenly found the ability to fly back up to her nest!

    I still don’t know if that was a crazy thing I did…. but I do know that I would do it again, if presented with the exact same situation. That tree has survived 100 years of wild storms on these high plains without a lightning strike, so I thought it reasonable to assume that the odds of lighting striking that tree at the precise moment I ran under it, were probably not too high. But the poor little bird, in her unguarded situation, being battered by the hail, had almost no chance of survival. That is why I ran out to try to help her, and would do so again. She was little and weak and innocent, and she was suffering. I couldn’t NOT try to help her.

    I know that as I ran out to try to help the little bird, with the fist-sized hailstones bruising my arms, my shoulders, and my back… I was running to help, not just a wild bird, but also the little, weak, and innocent child I once was, who needed love, nurturing, and protection, and did not get it.

    With BIG HUGS and LOVE to everyone’s inner child,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th June

      Hi Elaina
      I love your story, thank you so much for sharing it here! I have two fav lines and one of them is when you said “This is how children ought to be loved and cared for. This is how my inner child should have been loved and cared for”. Yes, this IS how we should have been loved and cared for and we can do this for ourselves now.
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Caden Posted: 16th June

    When I first read this post, I thought “I don’t have any self-talk.” But then I just realized that the self-talk I have is just projected onto other people; like ‘I bet they think this,’ and the internalized judgment is so strong that it influences what I do. For instance recently I’ve thought that certain long-term acquaintances in my life must be thinking ‘You were working on these abuse issues when you were 20, aren’t you over them yet after 8 years?”

    Of course these statements have nothing to do with the people currently in my life, they’re all patterns of emotional abuse I experienced at the hands of primarily my estranged sister and mother. I guess inside me, there is still this other person, this abuser looking over at me and doing what they have always done. But it’s twisted around from a strange angle. I fill silences from other people with all these old things my abusive family said and taught me.

    Reading this discussion has been very valuable for me, thanks!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th June

      Hi Caden
      Excellent comments! Very good processing and I thank you for sharing it with us!
      Hugs, Darlene

  12. By: joy Posted: 14th June

    HI Darlene..guess we all are so different in our recovery .I cannot ever guess when I will slide backwards but I know I have cptsd which means certain things flash me back to a place where I relive things as though am going through them again.. I would put myself down but i had no say over what happened when I was little or over how much damage happened to my brain through trauma but i am grateful that now am healing going forward and some times falling back ward. .now i have someone to throw out a line pull me back to my present when i get caught up in the moment of yesterday 🙂



    HI Karen,

    Thank you for you very kind words. poetry just comes out . i never think much when I write .. just comes out like music playing inside.



  13. By: SMD Posted: 14th June

    I agree with you on trying to engage him in other ways. My husband & I had a good & open talk today. It shows he is capable of listening & engaging with me. I’m realizing my triggers more now & I’m able to turn my self talk around. It takes me less time now to pull out of the spin. It feels good to talk & get along. Thanks for your support. P.S. Beating ourselves up isn’t the answer & it certainly doesn’t work! Being honest & taking responsibility for our own behavior is where it’s at.
    Thanks Karen,

  14. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 14th June

    Thank you for your poem. You speak so from the heart. You have a special gift for poetry!!

    Sometimes I don’t even get to ask the question. When I am speaking, he gets impatient (as if I am talking too slowly, I’m not) and as soon
    as he gets the gist of what I’m saying, its OK I don’t need to hear more. Or he’ll speak in a very abstract way or uses the wrong word or name for something and gets impatient when I don’t know what he means.
    He uses the silent treatment to punish. Thats his default. I look at him now with new eyes now when he
    tries to punish me. I don’t take it to heart like I use to (cause its not about me) and try to engage him in some other way. Sure makes me feel less upset. Doesn’t work 100% but its better than beating myself up.

  15. By: joy Posted: 14th June

    Hi Darlene

    Sorry for late response..homework is now done.. moving on the way.. but I know how much it is that my mind and thoughts have been formed by what was told.. It’s hard to get myself to believe against everything my head says inside since my mind is still leaning to everything bad that was said to, about and of me.

    I have been working hard though..I have a long long way to go . I get to running and thinking its all done and something happens and knocks me right back to square one and feel helpless wondering will i ever get over all this stuff.

    love ,


    Am sharing a poem below if okay?

    The Broken Child

    Mommy I love you
    Oh don’t you love me too
    Tell me dear Mommy
    why do the things you do
    I only needed loving
    from you my mommy dear
    Why oh why my mommy
    are bad words all I hear?

    Mommy I love you
    I drew a picture today
    Can’t you love me also
    they’re simple words to say
    You never hug me mommy,
    is it because I am so bad
    Didnt you want me mommy
    did you ever know my dad?

    I’m sorry my mommy
    that I’m not good in your eyes
    That you hate me so badly
    that you had so many guys
    I wish i wasn’t different
    and we all had one dad
    But I still love you my mommy
    I dont want to seee you sad

    (c) joy

    have a blessed day

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 14th June

      Hi Joy
      One thing I realized looking back is that I never went all the way back to square one! And as I progressed, I began to have those back slides less and less!
      Thank you so much for sharing your poem here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  16. By: SMD Posted: 13th June

    Wow! Karen, your husband sounds very similar to mine. Those NPD traits are not easy to cope with! My husband certainly has those traits, I have no doubt. Whether he fits the dx or not, he does lack empathy. Your right when you said, “narcissistic rage”. I really doubt my husband was taught any healthy coping skills or good communication for that matter. His father was an alcoholic, had rages, was physically abusive towards my husband, used the silent treatment & was hypercritical. He was good to me, except he did make some snide comments about my weight, after having my babies. Anyway, he was a walking bean pole LOL. He has been deceased for about 5 years now. I did grieve his loss.
    You’re right on, when you said, “He still can trigger me when its not me doing anything wrong usually just asking a question.” OMG!…He hates when I asked him “stupid questions” in his opinion. I will ask questions to understand where he is coming from. He doesn’t like me asking questions but gets worked up, if I misunderstand what he is saying. I’m still going to ask them though. My dad would get annoyed too. I’m not to blame for their reactions or behaviors. I certainly don’t deserve to be yelled at or demeaned. Unfortunately, I’ve been unemployed for a year & a half and I’m home with him. He works second shift though, so I have a break & can usually calm down, when he’s not in my face. I’ve learned to walk away too & not explain myself. It takes skill to deal with their behavior! I try very hard too not to take it personally either.
    Thanks for sharing about your husband!

  17. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 13th June

    Yes Sonia! I have actually read that book. I too have racing thoughts! Always have had.
    I think Darlene explained in one of her blogs that what you are trained to accept in childhood is what you already know to accept in a relationship in your adult life. Its so true. After much reading, I have discovered my Dad had many of the NPD traits. I found out in counseling that my husbands odd behavior is also that of NPD. I was stunned. Speechless. 38 years and I never knew. But it fit. But he is not violent like my Dad or demeaning. No empathy though. Now I understand him much better. When he has his narcissistic “rage” over some small disagreement (kind of in your face yelling) I used to take it that I was “bad” again, but now I think “its got nothing to do with me”, nothing and TRY VERY HARD not to take it personally and guide him away from it. And he listens. He needs some parenting too in a good way.
    (I can understand being afraid of a man with a temper. I was very afraid of my Dad.)
    No one ever explained life or coping or anything to my husband. Just lots of abuse in his childhood. I see his wounds are different than mine and his coping is different.
    He still can trigger me when its not me doing anything wrong usually just asking a question, and boy I want to blame me and beat me up. I was taught no asking, no questions, strict obedience, so a bad response to me asking a question is a trigger for me. I have recently figured that out.
    Now i sit for about 10 mins and get away all the time saying its not me, its not me and mostly I calm down now where before my whole day was ruined. Did I mention he’s retired. For six months he was home every day. Now he has a part time job and we both feel much better. 😀

  18. By: SMD Posted: 13th June

    Hi Karen!
    Thanks for your reply. It’s reassuring to know I’m not alone with a husband that doesn’t talk through things. There is truth in what they say, Men are from Mars & Woman are from Venus. The communication style is so different, in that I want & need to talk through problems & issues and he just wants the basic info. I agree too much info at once, would have him spinning. My thoughts were racing last night in regards to my nagging doubts about his controlling behavior. I can’t stand his negative traits!…He has similar traits as my dysfunctional parents. We’ve been together 16 years now. We’ve had a lot of ups & downs in our marriage, but it works. Since I’ve changed, he does respond to me differently too. He does listens better & will back down to let me talk. In the past, he got so angry with any disagreement. The argument we had yesterday, just triggered my anxiety over how scared I get, when he is angry. His temper has been an ongoing issue. There is no easy answer, but the more work I do on myself, the more clearly I see the problems. It’s painful but I don’t want to live in denial either. I’m feeling like I’ve slipped back yesterday because of my racing thoughts, which put me in a spin. I kept telling myself that I’ll be OK. The important thing is to believe in ME.

  19. By: Karenina Posted: 13th June

    LeAnne, women often live to 80’s, 90’s. So 57 is to 87 as 20 is to 50. In other words, the amount of years of your entire adult life. That might still be ahead of you! So refuse to be thinking “ripe old age of 57” and such. You are still in the strength of life!

    I am sorry for what you have gone through, and for what you are going through. Starting over is so very hard to do.
    But, as you move forward through this transitioning time, you might finally find freedom in being yourself for yourself, rather than being what others want, or need, or insist that you be. You might find time on your hands now, and wondering what to do with it, you may discover or rediscover passions for arts, crafts, photography, blogging, visiting historic places, travel, courses of study, volunteerism…well, you name it, as only you can.

  20. By: Karenina Posted: 13th June

    hi back Diane!
    I don’t mean to come across as “healed.” i still have a lot of angst to work through, and birth family sorrows that keep coming up, whether in my life or in my mind. I try to be mostly positive, sharing what helps me get through the troubles, although I have unburdened here and there since I came to this site.

    I am very glad that what I shared here resonated with you!

    About 10 years ago, I began to see some of these things more clearly. At the same time, my daughter who didn’t know about my realizations, shared some of her favorite music with me, saying she thought I would like Sarah MacLaughlin’s music. I did.

    Art often speaks differently to different people, and Sarah’s early music and lyrics really resonated with the things I was going through, and though it might not for some others, it speaks to my soul. You might be most familiar with “in the arms of the angels” although that might be the first line rather than the title, lol. I sang that song and “Hold on” all the way back home after my dad died, it was a 12 hour drive.

    Whether Sarah’s early or later music would work this way for others, I don’t know. But it helped me, a lot.

    They say music soothes the savage beast…well this music both soothed and tamed, for me.
    I tend to shape the lyrics a bit, for example, where she seems to be speaking of romantic love, the lyrics could be understood as family relationships too with a mental tweak of lyrics here and there, lol.

  21. By: diane Posted: 13th June

    Karenina…Hi there! I loved what you wrote :” The first line is my mother’s voice in my head. The second is my own.” I love hearing how you have healed and are able to distinguish between the two! It is wonderful that your self talk is encouragement…and not the scolding voice from your past. I think it is encouraging to read that…and how far you have come!

  22. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 13th June

    SMD Hi!
    My husband has major issues too but as I discuss what I am going thru (tactfully and not too much at one time) he is listening.
    In helping me I think he is applying the messages to himself. He is not one to talk things out but
    he is a sensitive guy and is listening. I think its rubbing off. He is very special and we are together 38 years.
    But amazingly we are learning new things about ourselves. As I change, he is responding to me differently.
    Its subtle, but there. Too cool!

  23. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 13th June

    Thank you Diane. It is very comforting to speak about the unspeakable. You can’t say this stuff to casual friends, although I do have a couple of woman friends I can say anything to. The average person who has not lived in the situation just can’t process this stuff. And to think I thought, no, thought was the wrong word, I had to accept this abusive behavior from people I loved. In my mind I questioned my treatment even as a child. As an adult I felt badly inside when he lashed out at me or treated me like I was 10 when I was 40. I can remember always being treated like I was 10. As a 10 yr old, he could keep me in that abuse, never changing, never being allowed to grow or have a voice or a choice. He was a narcissist, (the world revolved around his needs, no empathy) I discovered thru reading on line and had PTSD from WW2.
    His belittling voice became the voice in my head that says you are NG (no good, his favorite line). Its been hard not to listen when I am feeling defeated. That stupid voice won’t shut up. I have recently said to it..
    “why do you think that?” sometimes the voice answers but I persist. I never questioned that voice because I was not allowed to question as a child. I’m not that child now, I’m finally growing up. (remember I’m 58)
    Its taken a while but I am. I’ve never taken responsibility for myself. But I’m learning to now that I have learned that its OK to care about me..

  24. By: Karen Ranes Posted: 13th June

    Hi LeAnne..
    Your husbands actions do not prove anything about you! But its so easy to feel like they do because we have been trained by others to think that way. Boy I hear my fathers voice like you hear your Moms. I am 58 and feel much the same way. I feel like I’m starting over. But this site is such a great place to hear truth not the lies we were told. It is so helpful to read what others say. To know you are not alone.
    Hang in there! We all share here and we all care…All the best Karen

  25. By: Mimi Posted: 12th June

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through with your husband. Life seems so unfair sometimes. I just want to say you landed in the right place for honest loving support. I hope you have the opportunity to return often. There is so much wisdom and healing on these pages. It has helped me so much…. actually saved my life. When I found EFB last year I was thinking of suicide. I was a mess. I’ve spent hours upon hours here since then. It’s been my saving grace. Hope to see you here again!
    With Hope,

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