Hi, I joined because I need help and have no one I can talk to about this. I was abused by my mother from the time I was 12 until I was 21. My father was an alcoholic, cold, distant and emotionally abusive. I am now 52, a special education teacher and fairly successful painter, with two loving, sweet grown sons. I have been married 28 yrs. and I seem to have a wonderful life. Most of the time, in fact, I feel very blessed. I went to a therapist 25 yrs. ago and thought I had dealt with all the pain from the abuse, but recently, after an awful visit with my mother a month ago, I'm suddenly feeling very infantile emotionally. Over the years we've put the past behind us, but, on this recent visit, she attacked me verbally, calling me all the old names she used to and attempting to reduce me to the helpless victim I once was. I think she succeeded. I'm having nightmares and my feeling of worthlessness and fear of abandonment have come back. I think I've been difficult to live with. I seem to just be looking for signs that my husband doesn't care about me and, of course, since you always find what you look for, I find them. I scrutinze every nuance of every interaction with him and I know I'm being ridiculous. I just can't get rid of the gnawing pain that I have inside. On three occasions, he's gotten very angry with me and we
've had horrible fights. Once it was because he thought I'd lost my cell phone and it turned out that he's put it in his briefcase, thinking it was his. When I tried to explain that I didn't think I'd lost it, he ridiculed me for being an "airhead" and called me defensive. In each of the arguments, I've reacted by trying to talk rationally (at first) about whatever caused each of the conflicts. This infuriates him and he always says that I need to "shut up." Of course, then I panic and keep begging him to be patient, forgive me, hold me, help me...you name it. I'm pathetic. This always ends up with him calling me unprintable names and telling me I'm just as crazy as my mother and that he hates his life. He's such a sweet, supportive guy to everyone else. He even bought a house fpr my sister and her two children. Most of the time he's a wonderful husband: thoughtful, successful, a great father, and he's proud of me as a teacher and an artist. Most of the time, he says he thinks he's a lucky guy. After all these years he still thinks I'm beautiful and he tells me this often. We truly enjoy each other (when we're not fighting). He seems genuinely upset by what my mother did, and cried, when he heard the things she said to me recently. I just seem to bring out the worst in him and he loses his temper and says things that kill my soul. I don't know how to stop this cycle, and my pain is growing unbearable. I've tried all my life to help other people, and, when I need someone, I have nobody. I can't talk to my sister or my friends because I'm so ashamed of being this weak. I've gone on so long, you're probably sick of listening to me too. I feel completely alone and sad.