I had been married for about 10 years.  I knew he was having affairs.  I had even talked to a couple of the bolder ones on the phone who had the nerve to call his home, MY home, the home of our CHILDREN!  One of them I remember kept asking “Who are you?”  I responded “HIS WIFE !  who are you?”  Well, after several go-rounds with this particular robin, I knew this conversation was going nowhere fast and hung up.  You might, with righteous indignation demand, “What did he say when you confronted him?”  But, sadly, at that point in my life, my already hugely battered self-esteem would not allow me to even attempt to confront him one more time.  I couldn’t have taken watching him stand there in front of me and blandly lie to me yet again over his inappropriate behavior.  If he had said to me one more time, “I don’t know who it was, must have been a wrong number.”  This was way before the days of caller ID, mind you.   I would have just disintegrated right there on the spot.  Ya’know, just like how they show the vampires on TV, when they get struck by the sun, one minute they are standing there in full view of everyone, the sun comes up and poof!  all that remains where they were standing is this cloud of smoke and dust.  That would have been me.   I just couldn’t’ve take it again….

This obviously wasn’t the first one and I was completely convinced that as long as I stayed there would continue to be others.  I had two children under 10 years old and wasn’t working at the time.  Children needed their father, didn’t they?  Children in a family together, even when it was not good, was still better than children from a divorced family, wasn’t that what everyone said?

This was all happening during the early 80’s.  We were enlightened back then.  Feminism was alive and active.  So where did it all go wrong? Now, I think it was all wrong before it ever started, but that is another story for another day.  But back then, I thought it was all my fault.  I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t a good enough housekeeper, and on and on, ad nauseam….

There was a part of me that knew he loved me, or so I told myself.  And yet, the scene that kept running through my head was this:

“If I could find a tree, just the right size tree, and run my car into it, not too hard, but just hard enough, ….  I could knock myself out, be unconscious for 4-5 days, he would come RUNNING to my bedside, sit there as the handsome, distraught, young loving husband, holding my hand, gently stroking it, repeating over and over again how sorry he was, what a schmuck he had been, could I ever forgive him, please come back to him and give him another chance, how he would never mess up again…. Then, after he was sufficiently scared that he might actually lose me,  I would miraculously come out of my coma, with absolutely no brain damage, tell him I heard every word he had said to me while I was unconscious and how I completely forgave him, because I know knew that he would be forever faithful, now that he had almost lost me and realized how much he really did love me. ”

Jeez, Louise!  What FANTASIES we can come up with to appease our broken hearts!  …  and our bruised and battered self-esteem.

I was probably 4 or 5 years into recovery when it finally dawned on me as I heard another woman talking around a table.  She was telling a story about HER FANTASY, and I thought, “oh, my, gawd, she is suicidal!”.  Then and there, in that moment of recognition, it dawned on me that I had been suicidal.  If anyone had asked me at the time that was all going on if I was suicidal I would have completely denied that I was, at that time suicidal, or had ever been suicidal.  After all, it was just a little fantasy, wasn’t it???  …..  It probably took me another 5 years before I could tell that story for myself sitting around a table….  Finally admitting, that yes, I had been suicidal for several years when I got into recovery

Just Lexxie, Chatterin’ Again!

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THE ACA TEXT
page 573-574

Crosstalk
Some groups incorporate a definition of crosstalk into their meeting format. This definition is usually read just before the group begins a discussion on the meeting. The term “cross talk” means interrupting, referring to, commenting on, or using the content of what another person has said during a meeting. Cross talk also refers to any type of dialog that occurs as the meeting is in progress as well. Members talking to one another or discussing what someone has just said is cross talk.

Many ACA members come from family backgrounds where feelings and perceptions were judged as wrong or defective. In ACA, each person may share his or her feelings and perceptions without fear of being judged or interruption.  In ACA, we create a safe place to open up and share. As part of creating that safety, cross talk is not permitted. We respect these boundaries for two reasons:

  • When we were growing up no one listened to us; they told us that our feelings were wrong.
  • As adults we are accustomed to taking care of other people and not taking responsibility for our lives.

In ACA, we speak about our own experiences and feelings; we accept without comment what others say because it is true for them. We also work toward taking responsibility in our lives rather than giving advice to others. Here are various forms of cross talk:

Interrupting
Each member in ACA should be able to share, free from interruption. When someone is sharing, all others should refrain from speaking, including side conversations with a neighbor. Gestures, noise, or movement could also be considered interruption if it were grossly distracting.

Referring to
In ACA we keep the focus on our lives and our feelings. We do not make reference to the shares of others except as a transition into our own sharing. A very general “what’s been brought up for me is…” or the occasional “thank you for sharing” is fine, but please do not make more detailed references to another person’s share.

Commenting on
In ACA we accept what each person shares as true for them. We go to great lengths to avoid creating the climate of shame that enforced the three primary rules of a dysfunctional family: don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel. In ACA, we simply do not make a comment either positive or negative about another person’s share before, during, or after a meeting. In like manner, we never speak about the contents of another person’s share. everything that is shared in an ACA meeting
is considered privileged and confidential and must be treated with the utmost of respect. Unsolicited advise can be a form of commentary and should be avoided.

———— ——— ——— ——-

This is from an ACA meeting format:
Before we begin the meeting, I would like to mention that we do not “cross talk” in the meeting. Cross talk means interrupting, referring to, or commenting on what another person has said during the meeting. We do not cross talk because adult children come from family backgrounds where feelings and perceptions were judged as wrong or defective. In ACA, each person may share feelings and perceptions without fear of judgment. We accept without comment what others say because it is true for them. We work toward taking more responsibility in our lives rather than giving advice to others.

Fixing others: Learn to listen
“In ACA, we do not touch, hug or attempt to comfort others when they become emotional during an ACA meeting. If someone begins to cry during a meeting, we allow the person to feel his or her feelings without interruption. To touch or hug the person is known as “fixing”. As children we tried to fix our parents or to control them with out behavior. In ACA, we are learning to take care of ourselves. We support others by accepting them into our meetings and listening to them. We allow them to feel their feelings in peace.”

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –

Also I feel this is very important:
ACA text
page 576

“We want to balance keeping our groups safe from cross talk with our own responsibility to educate new members about group decorum. In most cases a gentle reminder works.”


If you are involved in a situation when you don’t always feel safe, do what you can to be as safe as you can.  That often includes covering your tracks as you are gathering information.

Some Important Security Info:

WARNING

Taking all of the actions on this page may not prevent an abuser from discovering your email and internet activity. The safest way to find information on the internet is to go to a safer computer. Suggestions are: a local library, a friend’s house or your workplace. Other safety suggestions: change your password often, do not pick obvious words or numbers for your password, and pick a combination of letters and numbers for your password.


HOW AN ABUSER CAN DISCOVER YOUR INTERNET ACTIVITIES

email: if an abuser has access to your email account, he or she may be able to read your incoming and outgoing mail. if you believe your account is secure, make sure you choose a password he or she will not be able to guess.

If an abuser sends you threatening or harassing email messages, they may be printed and saved as evidence of this abuse. Additionally, the messages may constitute a federal offense. For more information on this issue, contact your local United States Attorney’s Office.

history / cache file: if an abuser knows how to read your computer’s history or cache file (automatically saved web pages and graphics), he or she may be able to see information you have viewed recently on the internet.

You can clear your history or empty your cache file in your browser’s settings.*

  • Netscape:
    Pulldown Edit menu, select Preferences. Click on Navigator on choose ‘Clear History’. Click on Advanced then select Cache. Click on “Clear Disk Cache”.

    On older versions of Netcape: Pulldown Options menu. Select Network Options, Select Cache. Click on “Clear Disk Cache”.

  • Internet Explorer:
    Pull down Tools menu, select Internet Options. On General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on “Delete Files.” If asked, check the box to delete all offline content. Still within the Temporary Internet Files section, click on Settings. (This next step may make it harder to navigate pages where you’d like your information to be remembered, but these remaining cookies do show website pages you have visited. Therefore, use your own judgment as to whether or not to take this next step). Click on “View Files.” Manually highlight all the files (cookies) shown, then hit Delete. Close that window, then on General page under History section, click on “Clear History.”
  • AOL:
    Pulldown Members menu, select Preferences. Click on WWW icon. Then select Advanced. Purge Cache.
  • Firefox: there is this nice page at their website about managing cookie use.Now to erase all trace, go to START, click on WINDOWS, click on COOKIES, this will display every site you have ever visited, ever. DELETE anything you don’t want him/her to see.

Additionally, a victim needs to make sure that the “Use Inline Autocomplete” box is NOT checked. This function will complete a partial web address while typing a location in the address bar at the top of the browser.

If you are using Internet Explorer, this box can be found on the MS Internet Explorer Page by clicking on “Tools” at the top of the screen, then “Internet Options,” and then the “Advanced” tab. About halfway down there is a “Use inline AutoComplete” box that can be checked and unchecked by clicking on it. Uncheck the box to disable the feature that automatically completes an internet address when you start typing in the internet address box.

* This information may not completely hide your tracks. Many browser types have features that display recently visited sites. The safest way to find information on the internet, would be at a local library, a friend’s house, or at work.

For help call the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)