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    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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    suicide, staring, procrastinating, jumping to the worst conclusions and overthinking.

    Otherwise, movies, music, theater, lesbian films, and coffee.

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  1. You are right -- about me not being responsible for her actions. A lot went down in the past few days after this post. Half of it is pleasant, giving me hope once again, and the other half, not so much. For so long, I've wanted to help her. I thought I could help her. The last time I decided to leave, with my bags packed and a friend ready to pay for my fair going back to my country, she seemed really sincere that she will work on her behavior, with my help. I think she may even be "sincere". Unfortunately, it didn't hold up. She rarely went to her psychiatrist, given that it is really hard to schedule one with doctors who don't charge very high fees, but she still could've made more effort to see him. But as time went by, I realized she didn't really want to or want it that much. I am right now at the turning point. I WANT TO LEAVE. I recognize my relationship is abusive and it is likely not going to change. But things are a little complicated and I'm going to need a very good plan and help from others. In the past few days when things were "okay", we decided to get a hamster. In retrospect, I now see it as an impulse buy but we've been talking about having a pet for a while and when I saw Mr. Butters, I fell in love with him and we decided to take him home. I've taken care of a hamster before and have a friend who knows a lot about how to care for them so I know more than her. But she wouldn't listen to me and kept downplaying my input, telling me I'm wrong. Just the day after we took him home, she insisted on making drastic changes on his cage, wouldn't put him back when it was time to go back. The poor thing was so stressed and scared. And when I saw him there, shaking in fear wondering what he did wrong to deserve such a treatment, I saw MYSELF. That must have been how I looked each time she told me I'm stupid, I'm a bitch, I'm fat, each time she yelled at me, throw things around me. It's strange... that such a very small animal can remind you that you deserve love and respect, no matter how small and fragile you think you are or have been made to believe. In the past, she even told me that she was worried that if I left her, I would be in danger of killing myself because she claims I am more mentally stable with her around. I've been reading all morning about domestic violence and abuse and it still surprised me how much this has been happening all along, how deep I am into it now even though I'm one of those people who had said in the past with certainty that "I will never stay in an abusive relationship". Yet here I am. Last night, when she wouldn't listen to me about not over feeding him treats, she made another threat. She said that if I do that to her again, she would stop caring for "that thing" (that's what she referred to Mr. Butters at that moment), that she will not pay for anything. Then she threw the broccoli into his cage knowing that sudden movements would startle the poor thing. She threw her blanket almost hitting the cage and walked out. I was so afraid she would start banging things again though she didn't. I am so afraid that she will hurt my pet, honestly. I don't trust her at all. Later that night, when we were in a calmer situation, she blamed me even though subtly, once again for her behavior. The last thing I will mention is our first and last visit with a counselor, the pastor who married us. I remember her distinct words. She said to the pastor: "SHE MAKES ME A BAD PERSON". And when the Cathy, the pastor, pointed out that she can only be responsible for her actions, she started crying and diverting the conversation to how I am hurting her. After that, she lashed out violently when we got home and told me she doesn't want to be with me anymore, again! She was so pissed that the pastor didn't agree with her about me making her a bad person that she never wants to see her again. And so ended our hope in counseling. I am so overwhelmed right now, thinking about how I can leave. Asking friends to help pay for my airfare and taking my pet with me for fear that she might kill him. What started out as my desire to understand her dysfunctional relationship with her mother has led me to the realization of the state I am in, the danger I am in. I am typing this while my insides are shaking just thinking about how she might yell at me again and call me stupid and call me names. I am AFRAID. I just recognize that now. But the way out is so uncertain and difficult and I'm really scared of how things might turn out. Though she never assaulted me physically, at least not like in obviously abusive relationships, I'm now beginning to have real fears that she will soon hurt me or my new pet to hurt me. There were times when she would "playfully" slap me in the arms but hard enough to hurt me or throw things at me, light ones. But I'm scared shit might soon get real.
  2. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I can totally relate. I'm glad things are looking better compared to when she was around. I'm afraid things wouldn't change too much even if my spouse's mom would pass away. I know it's wrong but sometimes I find myself wishing that but then again, I know that my spouse would just put her on a pedestal and will continue to worship her. I really don't want to sound like a bitch here saying all these things. But I can't talk to her about it so it's just really been difficult and I need to let this out somehow. So, really thank you for responding. This shit can make you feel so alone and lonely.
  3. The resources are for me, for now. Because you’re right, she’s not ready to deal with this herself right now. She’s about to do her prelim for her PhD and I know that’s not an excuse for her not to deal with our marriage but I also know she’s just going to tell me “I don’t need this right now”. And no, I know I cannot tell her any of this stuff. Anything concerning her mother. It’s just not possible. I’ve tried. I’ve done all the therapy-talk where you don’t attact or blame or criticize and just come from where you feel. I’ve been very careful, inserting positive comments about her mom and how I care about her too. But no matter how I phrase it or which words I use, she will still be defensive of her. In her mind, I’m the one taking away from her mom because she has to support me in a way since it’s not legal for spouses of students to work here. And I think she’s quite resentful of that fact. Because she came here in order to earn money intended for her mom. I thought when we got married that would change but I can see now that it didn’t and maybe never will. I feel so stupid saying all these things now “out loud”. Like I should’ve seen this coming a long time ago. I feel so bad.
  4. Hi, don’t be sorry. You are seeing it for what it is which is hard for other people to understand. Though I was worried that I’d paint her mom as “evil” because some of this may not have been done consciously. Oh what am I saying, yes I do. I do feel that her mom is smart enough to really try to manipulate her. The problem is she does is so subtly that my spouse will never believe me. She would never say a bad thing about me for one. Now that her mom is back in the Philippines and she is kept at a distance, things have not been as intense. But her influence is not less hurtful. We are currently set to go to Europe next year so we are setting money aside for my expenses going there. She is assigned there for less than a year. I am not allowed to work here so I’m relying on my writing gigs so I am hoping she would help me with my airfare, etc (I’m her wife after all goodness!) But as usual, she doesn’t feel 100% willing to spend that much money on me and though she doesn’t tell me now, I know that she wishes she could just give that money to her mom instead. Therapy/ counseling would be tough. Because based on our one time experience, she really can’t take it when she feels she is being told she’s wrong no matter how constructive the phrasing is — this is already a counselor talking and she doesn’t want to go back to her. This counselor is the pastor who married us who is a supporter of lgbt rights. She is free. Getting a professional therapist is not an option cause we can’t adford it. So I’m really hoping someone could share resources or even books that might help me. My problem is I don’t think she will consider even discussing it. Every time I express my feelings about her mom issues, she gets really defensive and accuse me of just hating her and not understanding their relationship. I didn’t use to but now so much resentment has built up because of repeated incidents.
  5. Here are some resources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201510/understanding-covert-incest-interview-kenneth-adams https://www.thefix.com/living-sober/emotional-incest https://spousesofmem.weebly.com/blog/support-for-spouses-of-mem
  6. I've disappeared from this site for quite a while and I hope I am still welcome to seek support. Has anyone here heard of the term emotional incest/ covert incest? Not many people are familiar with it because on the outside, it looks NORMAL, but is not. And the only person really affected by it is the spouse of someone who is involved in it. For those who don't know, it is when a child, usually the eldest, becomes a surrogate spouse for their mother. This usually happens when parents are separated and the mother relies on the child for emotional, often financial support. They become close, to a point of "too close" that boundaries disappear hence, it is also called "enmeshment". There are a number of articles that talk about it online but none that offers real solutions except for the child who is mother-enmeshed. Being a spouse of a mother-enmeshed person is hard because people don't see what's wrong with it. My spouse (we are same-sex couple) is really close to her mother but from the very beginning, there have been things that bother me but I couldn't put a finger on it because I've never heard of it and her situation is something that is very common and deemed normal in the country that we came from (Philippines). Her parents separated when she was young and since then, she's become her mom's best friend, confiding with her and seeking her financial support when she finally had work. My spouse saw how her mother suffered so I understand how she feels responsible for her and to be the one to stand in for her father to make sure she is happy, well-provided for. But as an adult, I think she deserves to find happiness for herself but she puts her mom above all and that's where it becomes complicated for our relationship. When we started dating, she took me to dinner with her mom in order to show me that she gives money to her. She handed the money in front of me while we were at the table. I thought, that's sweet and didn't think much of it. I also give money to my mom because the Philippines is a third-world country and it's really hard to get by on your own. But as things progressed, I began to see things that disturb me up to now. For one, she tells her mom EVERYTHING -- I mean everything, details of her relationships, exactly how much her salary is, access to her financial accounts (her mom holds one of her ATM cards), how much bonus she is going to get for Christmas and how much of it, what percentage of it is going to her mom (always more than what my spouse would put aside for herself). And -- a key to her apartment. When we moved in together, her mom would often come by because her office is nearby (which is why my spouse chose that apartment). My spouse would walk around NAKED in front of her and it's deemed normal. I didn't feel comfortable about this because I thought that as an adult, you shouldn't let your parents see you naked even if they've already seen that when you were little - which is her justification. Needless to say, I learned that I have no say about these things. I began to suspect that her mom is manipulating her but in very subtle ways that no one would believe me. My spouse often said things like -- she and her education is her mother's investment and her mother deserves to be repaid now that she is earning money. She owes her her success and it's only right that she gets her money. This is a Filipino concept and one that is hard to argue about but it doesn't make it right. One more thing I should mention is a really weird thing about their relationship. In high school, my spouse's ex cheated on her WITH HER MOM. Her mom then turned to be gay. Then, they stayed together up to now. I find it disturbing that my spouse does not put any responsibility of this incident to her mom AT ALL. She even said that it's her ex who was a snake and her mom was just manipulated into it. Obviously, that's not true because they're still together now. After all that, my spouse chose to ignore everything and continues to regard her mom as a saint, someone who could never do anything bad on purpose. Our relationship is one big mess which I recognize is a whole other thing. Before we got married, she had been emotionally cheating on me with the girl she pursued before me. I later found out that she never got over her. We broke up many times but she kept getting back with me, saying that it meant nothing but eventually admitted she still has feelings for her. To prove she chooses me, she proposed to me. Here's the catch -- she had to to say a disclaimer to her mom that she will marry me but she will continue to give her money. I know this doesn't sound troubling but to me, it sounds like she had to ask permission to her mom, that she is assuring her that she will always come first before me and that's where I found myself years later. In articles talking about emotional incest, it is said that the mother-enmeshed person usually becomes inclined to cheat on their partners. So I felt it was worth mentioning. When we moved in and had to sort out finances together, she would often compare our expenses to that of her mom's. I grew up in a slightly more privileged environment so I was used to eating slightly more expensive food and having more convenience. I was the one who cooked and planned meals and she would often tell me that her mother only spent 500 pesos which would last them a week, why should I spend 2,000 on groceries? If her family could get by on 500 pesos, so should we. I understand that this is coming from someone who grew up in a poor family compared to me. But to hear those things hurt me because I am being compared to her mom and am expected to be the same way. When we moved to a different apartment, she told me that one of her reasons for it is so that her mom could stay there sometimes, enjoy our air-conditioning and eat our food. She also chose the place because there is a swimming pool and her plan was to bring her family there so she could play with her nephew, etc. This is when my own issues add to the complications. I am naturally jealous and I also have my own baggage, growing up as a middle child -- carrying issues of insecurity and abandonment as an adult. Not all of our issues are necessarily because of the emotional incest but because of how her situation made me feel, I felt less and less secure and taken for granted. When she gave me an expensive tablet as a gift for my birthday, she told not to tell anyone because she hasn't given money to her mom yet. My feelings about this seem really petty -- but I felt again, second best. Why should she feel guilty about giving things and spending for me? Always, she had her mom's feelings in consideration, a bit too much I think, and her feelings always comes before mine. And this continues to happen now. If she gives her mom a gift worth $50 -- and she explicitly said this -- I should not get a gift worth more than that. Three years ago, she got offered a position in the US which is why she moved here. I didn't want her to take the scholarship because we had plans on going to Europe. But her mom pushed her to go to the US because her mom also plans to migrate here. She wanted my spouse to go to the US so that they can live together. At the time, our relationship was rocky so she again chose her mom. We patched things up a little and she asked me to come here which I did and in order for me to stay here, we had to get married. Our marriage is another painful situation. She told me she didn't really want to marry me but she wanted me to stay here so she did it anyway. At this point, I know that you're thinking I shouldn't be in this relationship anymore. And I agree. I stayed... for reasons. Obviously I love her and I know she loves me but now that I've learned about emotional incest, I realize she will never really commit to me and that it is very unlikely, almost impossible that things would change. The biggest trigger came on our first wedding anniversary. Again this sounds petty but doesn't make it hurt any less. She was thinking of posting an anniversary message for me on social media (something I found to be really harmful, I've learned my lesson). I told her, though jokingly because it's so cliche anyway, to say that this is for "the most important woman in my life". I wouldn't mind if she didn't say it but her reaction is what really scarred me. She told me that I am NOT the most important woman in her life because her mom is also very important to her. She then took a step back and tried to tell me that we are in "EQUAL" status, but I realize now that is not true and she will always come first. I thought about leaving then. We went to one counseling session but she reacted violently. I should note that she's been verbally and emotionally abusive to me. She would bang things, bang the door, throw furniture around the house many times, she told me to get out and go back to the Philippines. Once, she took my clothes from the closet, put them in my luggage and told me to get out. When I do, she would apologize and the last time this happened, I thought it was sincere so I decided to stay -- Again! Part of it may be unintentional because we both suspect she is in the autism spectrum but according to the emotional incest readings, the enmeshment also makes them have a tendency to be detached and abusive. We decided to stay together, once again. I've had friends leave me because I wouldn't break it off with her. Now, I'm beginning to think that they are right. We both have bipolar disorder 2 and these crazy things about us is what made us drawn to each other. But this emotional incest issue is something I do not think I can handle even though I've already been dealing with it for years. I just feel so invisible, so unimportant and I already have deep issues of abandonment from past experience. I do not think that counseling would help because she does not respond positively to people pointing out her flaws. I also learned that mother-enmeshed people do not really see anything wrong with their situation and from what I observed, she will never admit that there's an issue with her relationship with her mom and that it's affecting me. And if it's affecting me, then I'm the one who has a problem. I came here to seek support because I cannot find any elsewhere, hoping that someone might have read or experienced these same issues. There is a book called When He's Married to Mom, it's $13 on Amazon Kindle but based on the previews and table of contents, there is not much about what to do for the spouses. It just explains what it is. If anyone here has some experience on this and could tell me something that might help if at all. I think I am just in denial of the obvious answer and that is that this is a dead end and the only way for me to go from here is out. But if there is hope, I'd like to know before I leave.
  7. Hi, I've just gotten back here to talk and start a post about a slightly similar topic, but weirder and more effed up (Haven't read recent rules about profanity, someone please update me cause it's healthy to express violent emotions sometimes). I've been married to my spouse for almost two years but we've been together for almost five. This exact same thing happened to us and unfortunately, it progressed to more upsetting things. She had been talking consistently with this girl she only met online -- and also lives in a different country. I guess I don't need to tell you how that feels since you've already described it so accurately. This was the girl she pursued before me whom (I later found out) she never got over. So many months spent on pleading, explaining my feelings, having those "talks" for her not to communicate with her anymore. They talked about sex, intimate details of our relationship, details about her (my spouse's) life plans that she doesn't even discuss with me. I broke up with her, several times before we got married and she got back with me, telling me it meant nothing and I'm the one she chooses. But this emotional cheating continued until one day, she finally admitted she still has feelings for her even though they never met. This was when I decided to confront the girl via messenger and told her to keep her distance because my spouse still has feelings for her and I don't know if they share these feelings. The girl told me she didn't and that she's not interested in a relationship with my spouse then she gradually stopped responding to her which was respectful and I appreciated it. But my spouse continued to think about her. She even brought up the idea of polyamory so that she can have us both -- something she already proposed before we got married to which I repeated said NO. She admitted that she wants to have sex with her, travel to places with her but that I will still be her main partner. The only thing that sort of saved us was that the girl didn't feel the same way so my spouse basically was forced to choose me. There was one thing that helped throughout all that conundrum. I told her firmly AND meant it that if this continues, I am out. In the end, she chose me. What I can tell you is to think about making that choice for yourself. Contrary to what others have pointed out, you don't necessarily need to have that "proof" that he is cheating. The fact that you expressed clearly that you're not comfortable with him flirting with this woman -- do not believe that cr*p that it is not flirting even he doesn't confirm it -- the fact that you've made that clear and refuses to make adjustments and compromises for you, really sabotages the relationship. To not even be willing to talk about it openly means that there is something more to it than he lets on and I am talking from experience. He has to know and you have to mean it that you are NOT okay with this and that you either work this issue out together or you will leave. I hope others will see that this is not the same as making threats in form of manipulation to get him to do what you want. This is different because you are setting boundaries, for valid reasons, that the other person needs to respect. And you are expected to do the same. Please think about this and remember that self-care is more important than being with someone who takes your pains for granted. Fast forward to today, my spouse and I are in a better place because the girl is out of the picture. However, I am certain that she is still in her mind because she once told me that she thinks about her everyday. I stay... for reasons. But our marriage has been one big mistake which is another story that I will talk about in a new topic. It turns out that her tendency to cheat and look for emotional support elsewhere is because of a symptom called emotional incest. For this reason, I do not think I will continue to stay. I would like to point out that sure, there must be issues in your relationship that needs to be addressed which might have pushed him to act the way he does with this girl. But I disagree that you are partly at fault for his behavior. People may make us want to do something that could hurt others but it is ultimately our choice if we do it or not. Do not blame yourself even though it feels like it's your fault. But I know that's easier said than done. Whatever your problems are, those are between you and him and you need to work on those together. But running to a third party to resolve his issues is wrong and must not be justified. I hope this helps you see things from a different perspective, from someone who has been in this difficult position. Your case is slightly different than mine but I hope you see the common factors that can destroy a relationship. As of now, what he's doing looks harmless especially to outsiders who might even say you are overreacting. Know that your feelings are valid and you are right to be concerned. If this is not addressed sooner, you might find yourself where I am now. I wish for you the courage to do what is right for yourself. If he shows interest in prioritizing your relationship over his thing with this girl, there is hope. Counseling might help, only if he truly wants to make things better. If you need someone to talk to, I am offering my support. You can send me a message. Or not. Just know that there are people in here who understands the pain you are in and that YOU matter.
  8. Haven't been here for years, editing and testing my signature.
  9. Thank you! I will read about it. My next appointment with Pdoc is one December 5th so I will mention that.
  10. I'm afraid that if I tell my PDOC that she would take me off of Ritalin. I don't want to be off a stimulant as much as possible because it's very hard to work. Thank you. Could you give an example med? They're also stimulants, I assume?
  11. Edit: I haven't been on here for a while and have forgotten how to edit my signature. I'll figure it out but my current meds are: Lamictal 100mg, Latuda 20mg, Ritalin 20mg, and Xanax (as needed). Plus Lisinopril for high blood pressure. (There, I think I did.) Hi guys. I've been taking Ritalin for a while, I think for almost 6 years now but on and off since I take it as needed. I switched to Ritalin from Concerta because Concerta gave me really bad mood crashes and I'd have major depressive episodes. Recently, I've been having problems with my BP and have been diagnosed with Hypertension a few months back. I ignored it because... well, I'm just not very good at taking care of myself and I also couldn't afford too many maintenance meds. Now, my spike in BP has caused an alarm and my GP prescribed Lisinopril to me. It's only been the third day and I noticed an improvement in my BP but when I take Ritalin twice a day, my BP spikes up to 150/100. (I'm taking 20mg - split in half, one in the morning and the afternoon to maximize it). Now, I don't know for sure if the Ritalin is causing this or if my BP is just really high but I did read that it's a side effect of Ritalin. If so, I am in big trouble because I am using it for work and I have tried being off it (like I said I'm on and off it), and I just can't work with the same focus without it. It was okay when I was working a full time job and I was paid by the hour so it doesn't matter much if I trail off or zone out for a bit, I would still get paid. But right now, I'm working as a Freelance writer so my earnings depend on the number of jobs I can do per day. If I don't take Ritalin, my output would be greatly reduced and I'd have no money to even pay for my meds. But my BP spike has been alarming. My first question is, is that BP 150/100 when on Ritalin okay? Or is it already dangerous? I mean I know it's too high but is it something that can be brushed aside since I'm taking Ritalin and since it would lower down when the Ritalin wears off? Second, and oh boy I don't know if I'm going to get good responses to this, but... Are there any alternatives to Ritalin and Concerta that can be stimulating but not causing high blood pressure? I'd really hate to be off of a stimulant, I admit that. But for those who are on them, I'm hoping you can understand why. I'm slow and just all over the place without it.
  12. Thank you! Checking those sites right now. Great to see someone from AL here. Than you for your suggestions. I have been looking at Blue Cross. They also don't seem to offer plans that cover pre-existing. And yes, it's expensive. I am asking my partner to inquire at the University Health Center if I will be allowed to consult there for the same discounted price for students.
  13. Hi, it is not offered by the University of Alabama unfortunately My partner also has a friend who brought his wife and they did not allow her to be added to his plan. So I really have to find one on my own.
  14. Wow... $350! That's a lot. I'm also asking my partner to inquire in their university if I can consult in their community health center. They have a health center in the university and it's generally cheaper. Hopefully, I can qualify for that as a spouse.
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