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SB - honestly, because of the specific type of law I've practiced in the past, the "too specific/too general" thing is something that both DH and I are very aware of. He knows that I've used that, and honestly when I have I've been aware of just how clumsy it is. I hadn't realized the rephrasing thing until he pointed it out - and I intend to use it to check myself, because when I start rephrasing things it means that I am trying to control the question and therefore control my answer.

This morning I caught myself wanting to control various pieces of information I needed to give DH - but I did catch myself. In one case, I just immediately said what was true and in the second one, I had to check some numbers but when I did, I told him honestly what was going on.

Boss at work has laid out rules for going to the program, which are fine by me, although I am a bit concerned that he is going to hire "his own professional" to talk to the people at the program. I am not sure how to handle that. I honestly don't think that all the details about what I am working on are things that I morally feel that I need to share (and, frankly, I'm not sure that it's entirely legal because of privacy laws). But, I will cross that bridge when/if it comes up. I think that perhaps the most ethical path would be to talk to the program and discuss what they reveal and under what circumstances. PLEASE tell me if I am being deceptive here.

And yes, I hate being dependent on other people. I'm sure that at some level my spending started because I had no job of my own and was now completely financially dependent on my husband (not an excuse and certainly not the whole reason). I am trying to change how I look at that and see that it's a gift to have other people on whom I can depend and who trust me enough to depend on me for things.

I really need to find time to check in earlier... there's always more to think about than my sleepy brain can handle.

DH did a wonderful thing today and, without my really asking, bought me the sequel to Self-Deception and Leadership. That's tonight's bedtime reading.

Thanks again for all the thought-provoking truths.

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As to give another perspective to SBs comment about "controlling" situations with people, and what they might think,

The proverb,"Fear of man is a snare" I think applys also

The one thing you should fear is your conscience, and whatever truth that you hold in your heart

Yes we are dependent on others, great post SB

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Quote:
bought me the sequel to Self-Deception and Leadership. That's tonight's bedtime reading.

Anatomy of Peace? I actually preferred that one; I was better able to relate to that than the workplace-based one.

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HTC,

My thoughts are that your employer does need to know that you are seeking help for a problem, period. The employer may need verification of your attendance at a program, for purposes of paying you for your time off, and taking care of making arrangements for that at work. Their "need to know" should be limited to that, however.

They may be concerned that you have a drug or alcohol problem, or mental issue, and their concern could be the firm's legal entanglement if this is the case. You can imagine their concerns, so you should be able to offer them some assurance that this is not the situation so they can be a bit calmer in this arena. Otherwise, I would not be so keen on the idea that they know the exact nature of anything in my personal counseling or therapy. They do NOT have the right to know. HIPPA laws actually forbid your provider from even verifying that you are a patient with them - unless you specifically release your provider from liability, in writing, and grant the provider specific permission to release information to your employer (and within that you can limit the provider what information can and cannot be released).

You are not being deceptive. You have a right to your privacy.

You are not being secretive. I do not tell my employer about my health issues unless the employer is directly impacted (let's say they need to accommodate me - like they need to help me with lifting things, or not expect me to stand for a long time). They do not need to know if I am getting counseling for problems with overspending, that I have lied to my husband about it, or that I have difficulties with lying behavior that has impacted my personal relationships.


Not their business.

SB


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SB - thanks for confirming what I was thinking. I still don't trust my own "truth-o-meter" enough to just go on my own judgment, although I am working on it. I can understand why he needs to know certain things, but just don't want to get too much into it.

Haven't read much more in Anatomy of Peace yet, as I've spent most of the past two days either at work or in bed with a nasty cold. AND that was a truth/honesty/interdependence lesson too - I didn't listen to DH when he encouraged me to take my temperature, because I didn't want to find out how bad it was. Almost wound up in the emergency room! So, another good lesson about trusting others' judgment and not going off on my own because "I know best."

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Inter - dependence.

You are NOT an island.

And wonder of wonders, you do not know all.


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Back here - can't believe it has been that long since I've posted. I managed to get a nasty case of strep throat, which interestingly enough also pointed out some honesty/disclosure issues: I didn't want to admit to myself how sick I was, so I pushed on with going to work, going out, and going to the program instead of taking a few days off, going to see the doctor, and getting better sooner.

This wound up creating another interesting honesty issue - something that I hadn't seen as honesty related but now I realize that it is and that it's yet another habit of mine I need to repair. I overpromised what I could do to get ready for a dinner party we had last weekend - instead of taking up DH's offer that we cut things back a little bit since I had been sick and was behind on the household stuff. We had a really serious argument about it, and DH pointed out that it's just as dishonest (and in many ways the same thing that I did with the money - hoped everything would somehow turn out OK) - and that he relied on me to be honest, even if it wasn't what he wanted to hear.

I thought or deluded myself that I was being helpful and trying to prove that I could go above and beyond - but instead I nearly wrecked our party. I admitted that I was wrong, and from now on I will both try to actually work harder when I can but also to be a lot more realistic about what I can actually get done.

I also got some stuff off my chest - that it bothers me how DH likes to throw elaborate parties where I feel like we're in over our heads and it just creates tension.

As it turned out, we had an amazing weekend, complete with candlelit dinner for six (because we had no power). I'm glad we hung in there, and I'm glad that I learned another way that I have to be more honest and trust others.

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htc,

Glad you're feeling better.

One of the things I have learned as I have grown older is that I don't have to be
Superwoman to be a super woman.

I think that for a very long time I believed that doing everything by myself was important to me because it "proved" to everyone else that I was what I wanted them to believe I was.

Or...maybe it "proved" to them that I was everything that I wanted to believe I was?

Or...maybe I was trying to prove all of this to myself?

Or...was I trying to keep everyone from finding out that I was not as smart and great as they thought I was?



I want you to understand something about the human mind. It is important for you to understand this, because you believe you are very different from other people.

Here's what I can tell you. I study thinking. My work is thinking about thinking. I know, I am a nerd. The nerdiest, because my "hobby" is reading about the brain and neurology, memory, learning, and fun exciting juicy stuff like that. So day in and day out, I "do" brain stuff. What a deal.

Anyway.

What you need to know is that people who have a certain level of intellect often go about life with a fear of being "found out". They often think that other people are going to "know" that they are fallible - that they have intellectual weaknesses - and that they are not as smart as other "smart people" they know. It is a very common fear for well-educated and intelligent people to have this going on in their minds.

This is because people who "know" a lot realize that they really can only "know" so much about anything - that they are actually quite limited in what they know. That they have an intellectual ability, and that what they actually store in their heads is limited - what they actually have is the ability to store a foundation of information and to use the foundation as a springboard for researching to draw more information and make conclusions, etc. They "know" they don't "know everything".

The fool believes he is a wise man. The wise man knows himself to be a fool.

So what happens to you very often is you are caught in this cycle of trying to cover this "gap" - you perceive that you will be discovered, you fear this. When in fact, you ARE intelligent, you have no need to fear any of this. It isn't going to happen, nobody is going to find out that you are not smart. Nobody can see inside of you.

You over commit because you are trying to prove that which cannot be proven, and furthermore:

It simply does not need to be addressed at all.


Accept that you are simply okay. Nobody is expecting you to be something you are not.

To do otherwise is to set yourself up for failure, and to create conditions for lying.


Life is much better when you realize that you are not so different from other people. And you do depend on them to help.

You are not an island. Each time you find yourself believing you have to prove ANYTHING - stop and figure out who asked the question:


"Prove it to me"

Chances are....that was YOU.


SB


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SB - again, very much spot on, although I think that I at least *perceive* that I am hearing "prove it to me" from my husband. I've also in the past felt that he expected me to be something I am not - I don't know that it is true anymore, but it's something I've *felt*.

I definitely feel the sense of "being found out" (which I definitely feel at my job, because I've been having trouble keeping up with things, and feel like I'm out of my depth. I am trying to ask for help there and be humble about my limitations.). I have often felt like I'm not *really* as smart as people think (I know, for instance, that I didn't really apply myself in law school but nevertheless it looks good on paper). But at the same time, I also feel like I'm more intelligent than a lot of other people. I know that's a paradox, but maybe that's my way of looking at what you said - that at a certain point you "know what you don't know."

I can live with being okay... at least that's what I need to be able to do. I need to work on humility in a major way.

Thanks again for the accurate analysis. I am truly thankful that you've kept it up, and look forward to anymore words.

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Being intelligent carries with it some burdens and some responsibilities.


Let me open up a bit about my family. I have two daughters, who are both gifted. Raising them was interesting, to say the least.

Both of my daughters are gifted intellectually. One is pursuing a PhD, the other is a musician and artist. Both are quite accomplished in their chosen fields. Both of them consistently scored at or above the 97th percentile on IQ tests in various areas of the "G's".




Why am I telling you this?


Both of these girls struggled with the sense of "being found out". They thought that they were not smart enough. At one point, each of them nearly failed in school. The oldest daughter almost failed ninth grade. She became convinced that she was not as smart as she needed to be in order to be in the Pre-AP English class, because she actually had to "work".

Really.

The youngest one was upset in high school in AP English because she had to "look something up". This convinced her that she must not be "AP material", because she should have known this already, and therefore she was stupid.


What happens to people who have intelligence is that they learn quickly. They have the ability to learn the very first time that material is presented. They come to expect that when they run across information, it will go into the brain, be processed, and that it will STICK.

But!!!!! They reach a point where this doesn't happen as easily. There comes a class in school, or a level of material, where they actually have to apply a learning strategy. That old system of "read it and it will be learned" does not apply any longer. Or, "memorize it and you will pass the test" does not work for this subject.

The intelligent student can usually get through college anyway, and pass courses with the strategies in place. However, most of these people get out with a bachelor's degree and they will say, "If I had applied myself differently, I would have graduated with straight A's - AND I WOULD HAVE LEARNED A GREAT DEAL MORE." This is because they did not need to "learn" the material to "pass the courses".

That is what you are talking about when you say you feel like you are topped out at work. You are having to apply new techniques because what you have been used to in the past is just floating around in a world that comes to you easily. There has been no effort to learning - information comes in, it is processed, and it sticks.

Now, you are faced with this: you have to work to learn. The process is that information comes in. You must take time to understand what that information is, what you need to know from it, how you are going to get that information, what other resources you need to get it from, what you already know, who can help you, etc. You need "learning and organizational strategies".


You have a good learning ability. Use them to get yourself organized for work. That is what is lacking - it is NOT that you are not smart enough. I promise you that.


Been there. Taught that.


SB


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PS...there is solid research on this topic to be found. This is not based on personal information......just so you know. You can find this phenomena in past issues of Brain and Behavior? or Learning and the Brain? circa 1989 or 90 ish........sorry I cannot quote you on the articles. I've slept since then. A team I was on researched this once for a project we were doing in neurobiological bases of reading disorders or something along those lines.

I must be getting old. LOL


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SB - you are exactly exactly right again. DH has pointed this out to me as well - that I am not used to *working* to get what I need. I'm used to it coming easily and have sadly gotten into the habit of not *wanting* to work or telling myself that it's not worth it if it's too hard. And I think that's built up over the years.

I am hopefully learning that working pays off - that I can stretch my mind and learn new things.

SB - you are incredibly insightful, and so very helpful. I'm sorry I haven't been around more, and am going to commit myself to coming here every day and at least re-reading this thread and responding.

I also think that when you're smart you can get into a bad state (or at least I can) where it feels very threatening to be told you're wrong - again, there I am with my "I'm better!" mindset. I got into that last night with DH - not about honesty but about interrupting him when he was telling me something very meaningful. I was being impulsive and thinking that what *I* had to say was more important! Ugh!

I need humility, and wasn't really taught it very well growing up (not an excuse, just an observation). I honestly think that I heard how "special" I was so often that I didn't realize that even if you're "special" (which I'm really not! at least no more than everyone else is) you should still be humble and open to listening to others.

SB - thank you thank you thank you. Your career sounds fascinating!

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HTC,

You are sounding like you are feeling better about yourself, and not so panicked. That's good.

It is very easy for people who are smart or who think very quickly to want to move fast to the next thing, or to just speak first and run over top of others with their own words and ideas.

One of the exercises I often have people do who are experiencing what they refer to as "communication problems" or "relationship problems" is for them to use the 15 second rule when they are having a conversation with other people. Try it with your husband. In your case, you will gain more insight into yourself than you might believe possible, and you will find this to be a strategy that wields some very strong negotiating power as well.

In your conversations with your husband, whenever he has the floor, do not respond or take over your side or your "turn" for 15 seconds after he has stopped talking. If you have to force yourself to do this, count to 15 in your head. This slows the pace of the conversation to a crawl, yes. But what it does is allows the other person this very empty gap in the conversation, and often they feel quite compelled to fill that silence. What you get in the silence is what they are thinking "next", or what their "afterthoughts" are - in other words, they will often fill that silence with insights and openness into themselves that you would not otherwise get, had you just jumped in there with your own agenda!

These afterthoughts are rich, and can be very rewarding in creating closeness and intimacy with a partner in a loving relationship. They often open the door to deeper feelings, because you allow that space for them. LEAVE THE SPACE. Your husband will use it.



In business relationships, it is very useful. Other people see you as more of a listener, and will run more ideas past you. They will begin to trust you more, and if you do not respond right away, will offer more information and ask more questions or give you more information regarding what their own stand is or their own personal position or desire for the outcome of a situation might be. This is quite useful in a negotiation, because if you want someone to give you something, silence in response to their offer can be quite a leverage, even though you may not be leaning one way or another! Your failure to immediately respond - with a neutral facial expression - may lead the other party to offer more information regarding their situation, and help you at the bargaining table.


That 15 seconds can be a golden ticket.

Additionally, you learn something about yourself. You start actually LISTENING to what other people are saying, because you KNOW you cannot respond anyway.

You are no longer spending your time waiting for the other person to just shut up so you can say what you have to say. You are listening - and actually INTERACTING.

Your agenda

becomes

a MUTUAL AGENDA

and YOU

become

an INTERACTIVE PERSON.



Wow. Now wouldn't that be an interesting change?



Try my 15 second rule. No matter how stupid this sounds to you, give it a try and see how people react to you. Watch the golden things they say, and how much calmer you become as you see people begin to open up to you. It is as though somehow the other person and you step into the same room.


SB


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Originally Posted By: schoolbus
..
These afterthoughts are rich, and can be very rewarding in creating closeness and intimacy with a partner in a loving relationship. They often open the door to deeper feelings, because you allow that space for them. LEAVE THE SPACE. Your husband will use it.



..That 15 seconds can be a golden ticket.

Additionally, you learn something about yourself. You start actually LISTENING to what other people are saying, because you KNOW you cannot respond anyway.

You are no longer spending your time waiting for the other person to just shut up so you can say what you have to say. You are listening - and actually INTERACTING.

Your agenda

becomes

a MUTUAL AGENDA

and YOU

become

an INTERACTIVE PERSON.



Wow. Now wouldn't that be an interesting change?



Try my 15 second rule. No matter how stupid this sounds to you, give it a try and see how people react to you. Watch the golden things they say, and how much calmer you become as you see people begin to open up to you. It is as though somehow the other person and you step into the same room.


SB


Awesome SB

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Great advice as always, although I majorly screwed up tonight and not in (for once) an honesty way. I was checking stuff on my phone while we were at a concert for a band that DH adores. Now he is barely talking to me and won't go to our kid's teacher conference tomorrow.

He is absolutely right to be furious. I was impulsive, thoughtless, and ruined a wonderful night out that was really important to him.

Not honesty but caused by the same lack of perspective.

I am terrified by his silence.

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Originally Posted By: hopestochange
Great advice as always, although I majorly screwed up tonight and not in (for once) an honesty way. I was checking stuff on my phone while we were at a concert for a band that DH adores. Now he is barely talking to me and won't go to our kid's teacher conference tomorrow.

He is absolutely right to be furious. I was impulsive, thoughtless, and ruined a wonderful night out that was really important to him.

Not honesty but caused by the same lack of perspective.

I am terrified by his silence.

Yeah music is a spiritual thing and men like to connect and share in it

I would be upset too, but I would eventually have to let her have her own tastes also

Do you like the band?

I guess this would be covered in RC as doing things together that you both enjoy.

Although there are times I suppose that couples endure for the other

Don't know how far you should go though, pretending to like them, the band, and appreciating your H admiration for them and honoring it, are two different things.

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HTC,

My thoughts on your DH's reaction to your behavior?

1. He has a right to be angry with you.
2. His behavior in response is illogical. (I am one to operate on logic most of the time, so the Mr. Spock in me comes out here.) If my H were to say this:

"You were behaving badly at the concert and not paying appropriate attention to my needs. Therefore, I am going to react to this by failing to go to our child's educational conference and be a poor parent."

My response would be:

"Your reaction to MY bad behavior should be some sort of punishment toward me. Failing your child as a parent is punishing the child. How is it logical to be a bad parent in response to my being a bad wife? I can accept that I was rude and inconsiderate. We both can look at the situation and understand that our child should not suffer consequences for something between the two of us."




On another note.......

You need to apologize to your husband, you already know that.

Attending events with ANYONE else should be something you do WITH the other person.

Somewhere inside of you there needs to be a switch you find. That switch exists. It turns on and says to you that there are other people around you, and there is value in sharing their dreams and hopes, and what they love. There can be a joy in watching other people simply love what they are doing. You don't even have to like the activity at all.

Here is how to enjoy something you don't even like:

Let's say you are at a concert for a Country music band. You hate Country music. In fact, you listen only to Rap and Hip-Hop, and if anyone were to hear Country coming from the block you live on, you might be mortified.

Your husband loves Country, and he has been given two tickets to see Brad Paisley in concert. Front row - center tickets. His dream concert. These tickets are for the night of your anniversary, and you find yourself agreeing to go, even though you know in your heart your brain might just explode. So, you go.

There you are! Brad Paisley is pretty good-looking, and you can entertain yourself by just that alone at least for the first few minutes, and ignore the sounds he makes. LOL

How do you find true enjoyment in this situation, though? That is the question. How do you ever "connect" with your husband when you are not doing something YOU WANT to do?

Easy.

Look at your husband. Get into his mind while he watches the musicians. Get the perspective of your man, and open your heart to the human-ness of him. Here is a person, who loves what he is seeing, where he is, and what he is hearing and doing right at the moment. He is filled with pleasure. Feel that WITH him, enjoy that feeling and be happy FOR him - feel the love of humanity within you that there can be this much joy in a person, that you are contributing to happiness right now. Within this, find a sense of joining him, being a part of him.

Then, look at the musicians. These are people who are doing what they love for a living. They are enjoying an intertwining link with one another via music; then, they link with the people who are listening. An interchange of souls and minds playing out right there - for pleasure and happiness - and you can just stand there and watch and be happy for them as a bystander soaking it up as a human event, in its beauty as it occurs.

Look now at the crowd. Look at one person, or the entire group of people. You can see each person and breathe them in, taking in the essence of being human there from them. The excitement, the happiness, the joy of life. It is all around you.


That's how you enjoy something that you "don't like" or "isn't what you wanted to do".


You don't get that via texting somebody on the phone. What you get is DISTANCE from everyone who is PRESENT and WITH YOU when you are texting - and meanwhile the people who are right there want you to be a part of their lives!!! You check out, instead of check IN.

Next time, you could leave that phone in the car. In the event of a real emergency, the police will actually find you in the crowd. They did this in the days before cell phones. Tell the babysitter how to handle the kids, and to make decisions that are safe and logical. Pay the babysitter extra to do that - and screen them to understand EMERGENCY. Pay extra for a college student to babysit. It is worth it to have that cell phone go away, to love your husband, and

to join the human race.


SB


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Yes, next time the phone goes away. Irony is I like the band - not my favorite but I do like them. And yes, what I love most is how much DH loves them. He really *does* connect with them. It's also kind of neat because I don't think there is anyone else that he'd go see them with (again why my behavior was extra stupid).

Today I felt really really manic all day. I am seriously thinking it might be time to talk to the psych people about my meds. Amazingly the kid calmed me right down (eventually).

I also made out a long list of all the ways that I have tuned out the world and how I disconnect. At least I got that exercise out of this latest mistake. It was about a page long. I think that I have spent most of my life trying to tune out the world instead of living in it. I was an introverted kid - playing quietly, stories in my head kind of thing - and that's grown into being a disconnected adult. I feel like things get overwhelming almost, like sensory overload. BUT - that is not what is going on when I'm out on a date with DH! Constant internet availability is not a good thing for someone with my tendencies, I'm realizing increasingly. Makes it easier to tune everything out.

Yes, he was inviting me in and I was stupid stupid stupidly pushing him away. Dumb. I do have the feeling that I recognize these situations now when in the past I was just so caught up in my own world that I didn't see it for days or ever - I realized immediately that I had done something wrong.

Thanks again.

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Originally Posted By: hopestochange
..- I realized immediately that I had done something wrong.

Thanks again.


And that is why it is good to talk at you, because without you realizing it, and telling us, we would never know.

Giving credit where credit is due

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I think CV has said something important, HTC, which is that you are seeing things in yourself, and that is rewarding to us.

It helps us help you. Your own insights help us point you down the path, and then you move much faster in the right direction. It's kind of like a very active diary here, one that offers you feedback.

I will miss you when you no longer need this.



Have you read "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran?


I think you would benefit from it.



The other thing I want you to think about is your disconnecting from people. Your lying behavior and secretiveness about your life is related to this. Then, you have the behavior of texting other people while you are with someone.

What I'm seeing is that you are trying to be "somewhere else" all the time.




You do not live your life at all.

You are MISSING your OWN LIFE.



Sit with that for a bit.

You are not even living the moment you are living in!

How can you possibly expect to be happy?



If you eat a chocolate cake with cherry icing, and you only think of the eggs you will have tomorrow morning, and you text on the phone while you watch television....

Did you eat the cake
or
Did you text the person
or
Did you watch your show?


You did three things, sure.


But this I will guarantee:

You didn't taste and relish the taste and flavor of the cake, enjoying the creamy texture of the icing as it enhanced the richness of the chocolate of the cake. You didn't notice that the chef put that bit of cocoa between the layers of the cake, for the extra punch of power, and you missed the bits of cherry liqueur floating in the mix, too.

You didn't catch the sadness of the friend's message in that text, because your mind was wrapped up in the TV show at that moment. You texted back, but you missed out on that chance to patch up your friend's need to be closer to you, and you didn't get that empty feeling in your own heart filled either. You didn't pick up on the hint that she wanted you to invite her over, or to go do something together.

You didn't get the whole story out of the TV show, and you missed the chance to sit on the sofa and watch something with your DH who, BTW, had been wanting to have a moment to sit and cuddle with you....but he noticed you were eating, texting, and had the TV on something else already, and really weren't much interested in anything he had to say.................................anyway............







We can get a lot of "things" done.

And we can completely fail to live our own lives.

We don't plan to do this. It becomes a habit, though. We think that we are Superwoman because we "accomplish" so much. Meanwhile, we don't breathe in the evening air, notice the crunch of the snow beneath our feet, or that our own husbands long to just sit and hold our hands. We don't even care that our own lives are lived in solitude, completely disconnected from other human beings.

We tell ourselves that we do not "need" anyone else.

That, HTC, is the ultimate self-betrayal.




SB


Lucky to be where I am, in a safe place to get marriage-related support.
Recovered.
Happy.
Most recent D-day Fall 2005
Our new marriage began that day. Not easily, but it did happen.
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