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Note to new therapist 3/2/2010
Hi xxx,
I have a lot of questions about my life (mainly about my marriage and how/if/when to end it) and feel therapy (regression or marriage) will not be complete without the therapist knowing the patient.  I tried to succinctly write the story of 'this life' for you, and it is helping me formulate my questions as to exactly what I want from therapy.   Sorry if it is too long, please try to read it. Thanks and I am looking forward to Friday.  

I was born in 1965 in Brooklyn, NY, a Virgo, I am now 44.  My mother was too young, 21 and already divorced.  We lived with my grandparents who remained a big part of my life.    We moved to a new apt. with my mother's new husband when I was 2.  They had 2 children, a sister and brother.  I had a bad relationship with my stepfather, he was physically and mentally abusive, and I never spoke with him again after I was 19.  I had a bad relationship with my mother as a result of her compliance with him, and her addiction to gambling.  My relationship with my mother is okay now, not very close, but okay.  Stepfather and biological father (only met him twice – he was not interested in me) have both passed away.
I loved school; it was where I got attention, positive feedback and love. I did great, always have excellent grades. I met my husband when we were both 11 in junior high school; we formed a strong bond and dated from 13 to 19. I felt loved by him and his family. I guess I was looking for connections I didn't have in my own home. By 19, I couldn't stand living with my mom and stepfather anymore, and we decided to get married. I just finished my third year of college (on full scholarship for merit and need) and he was working in brokerage (he quit college after 1 year). We were 20 and married and I enjoyed him and my marriage greatly (honeymoon was great, sex was great, money was good and we had fun living together and only having to please ourselves). I did make choices then that I now regret – he didn't like dancing, so we stopped going out with my friends, which led to them not including me in all the fun you are supposed to have in your 20's. He would have been happy to only be with me the rest of his life, and I realize now that he doesn't have close relationships with anybody – friends, relatives, coworkers if I don't help him keep them up (call your mom, let's go to dinner with x,etc..). That is a problem for me because I am much more social, I want to have good family relationships and friends – and now I am starting to only keep mine up, I am not helping him anymore keep up his. I worked 21 hrs weekly during college, got married the end of junior year and graduated the next year with a BS in computer applications. I got a job as a system programmer for xxx right after graduation and stayed there a stressful 8 years. My grandmother got lung cancer when I was 21 and I helped take care of her, so at 21 was I newly married, working in a stress filled environment and dealing with death for my third time – my grandfather died while I was in HS. (My good friend had died when we were eight crossing a street in Brooklyn. Though brought up with no religion, I started then saying a prayer 20x a day to God to not have anybody in my family die. ) My 21st year I started to put on a lot of weight; I got up to 260 lbs by the time I was 27 (I would like to figure out why). We also bought out first home at 21 in xxx, NJ. All of these grown up responsibilities were probably so stressful that I ate to relieve them; I still do eat for all reasons – boredom, stress, anger, happiness, and celebrations. I think I always went along with things my husband wanted – moving to NJ, I wanted to get buy in a new building in downtown NYC, close to work and excitement. Instead we moved to a new, lovely townhome in a bedroom community – not exciting for me. Then we got pets – 2 birds followed by 2 dogs – he wanted these also. I tried to go to graduate school – but stopped when I got pregnant at 24. We both wanted kids, I wanted to wait until we were 30, but my gynecologist diagnosed me with a condition and explained I would have trouble keeping the pregnancy. So, we figured we better start early in case it takes a long time. It didn't, and my new OB/gyn said she was totally wrong and
I wasn't high risk at all.   I loved pregnancy and baby stuff, and got a beautiful daughter at 25.  I stayed home for 4 months and then put her in child care and went back to work.  Leaving her was very hard for me; I think the stress contributed to the large gain of weight.  During those years I was always dieting and then regaining weight at 60 lbs intervals.  Finally I decided at 27 to have gastric bypass surgery and end my struggle.  I told everyone except family it was gall bladder surgery and stayed out of work while I recovered.  I lost 100 lbs in 8 months, and then got pregnant again, too quickly after the surgery.  I would have had better results if I waited 2 years.  We also wanted a bigger home, so we bought a larger, older home in xxx, NJ.  My husband was doing very well in brokerage and I could stay home to raise the girls and I was very happy.   I had my second beautiful daughter at 28 and she had some medical problems.    It was necessary that I was home now, so I dealt with all her issues myself.  We had a loving, supportive family and enjoyed great times with the kids.   We decided to have a third, and at 30 I gave birth to another wonderful daughter.  

 Life was great, money was plentiful and we wanted a new, big house in a great school district, so at 32 we moved into a large new home in xxx, NJ just 2 of miles away.  This turned out to be a great, friendly block that we loved.  I had girl friends, and 'couple' friends.  I was very busy – involved in the kid's schools, their homework, decorating our dream home, adding on a sunroom, pool, new driveway, always had many projects going on.  I always took care of everything – the kids, shopping, planning activities, parties, vacations, doing all the bills, hiring cleaners, contractors, etc.  My husband would always be 'too busy' to deal with anyone and I just did it because I could handle it, but I did resent it.  Other husbands would talk with the many lawyers and realtors we dealt with, he never wanted to.  If we bought a car, he never wanted to negotiate.  I had to, and then he would come in as the 'good' guy and take a deal.  If there was a problem with a contractor – he would want me to talk with them.  He never wants confrontation – so he always either swallows his pride in work or life, or blows up at people.  This is becoming harder to deal with.
When all 3 girls were in school, I knew that I would return to work someday. I wanted something other than computers, because I didn't want to stay away from them 12+ hours a day in NY and never felt the job was helpful to the world, just made money for a business. I researched jobs and joined a window decorating startup business, because I was so into decorating my own home. I used the business to do my own home, and then did a few friends' windows, but couldn't make any money and gave up on it soon after. I then started an internet shopping site, and worked hard for a year learning web programming – though I didn't know pc's from work, computers come easily for me because of my degree and background. I started the LLC, and got my friend and me eligible to go to the NY decorating shows where we picked merchandise to sell. It was hard but fun because of the decorating. I kept this website up for 2 years, but made very little money. In 2004, my husband joined another firm because of a problem with his partners and money was not as good. Although many industry people in the stock world had been threating for years that the company was going to electronic trading and the brokers wouldn't be needed, he never really believed it or worried about it. By 2007, he was had to end his business because of electronic trading. We were fighting a lot about money, and his lack of effectiveness in looking for a job. I wanted him to be networking with people at his old job and in the industry and he waited for the offers to come to him, with minimal effort on his part. It got so bad, that we had to put our home up for sale, and he made me do this all by myself. He wanted to just stay in the house, costing $8000-10k a month until things got better. I put the house up for sale and my heart and the girls were broken. He did get a job right before it sold, but it wasn't enough money to keep it. It was the worst time for us and he wasn't mentally there for me. He was seriously drinking everyday, and I started to also. The selling of the house and all of our furniture that couldn't fit in a smaller house, was horrible, also moving so much into storage and getting rid of so much was hard on everyone. We considered moving south to live cheaper and start over, even over the objections of the girls, who wanted to finish HS in xxx, and he convinced me that we should stay for this new job. So we moved into a rental in xxx, and I started a third business. In my never ending search to make money, I began looking into real estate businesses and taking classes at trump university. I enrolled us both because it was free to the spouse and he seemed excited by the amount of money you could make and a way to become independently wealthy without relying on the stock market. We started taking serious courses and I started another LLC. I threw myself into tax liens and buying a foreclosed house and renovating it. A lot of time and work went into this, and a lot of communicating and dealing with realtors, accountants, lawyers, contactors, potential buyers, and real estate mentors was involved. I wanted us to do this together and be partners, but he would not communicate with people and be the real partner I needed. I wanted him to be really interested, but he just goes along with me, and won't self motivate or work on it by himself. If I wasn't the one buying or investing in the houses, he would not. I question why he doesn't want to make money himself, or lead us. I am tired of always being the leader, but playing the 'little woman' to our friends.
His job ended within 6 months, and he was home again.  This time was worse, and a friend winded up getting him a lower paying sales job, that he hated and wouldn't do.  He hated to sell and tried, but rejection is too hard for him and gave up.  He was laid off again.  The next layoff lasted 9 months, and our fighting was bad.  He would send out resumes, but only was motivated to call people for contacts and help when I got crazy.  He finally got another job, making 1/6 of his income from 5 years ago.  He realizes the money will never be the same, and is taking classes toward a business degree.  He is bitter, depressed, and short tempered.  My tax lien business went well and I made some money, finally.  Also the flip house finished and sold, but did not make much money in this economy, and we are scared to do it again now because of the limited income to support it.  I realized I have to get a real career again, and health care is always viable and necessary.  I looked into it and found that I can become a nurse with a fast track program, which is a 1 year program for people who already have a BS in another field, can get a BSN in 1 year.  I had to start with 5 prerequisites, all science courses that I never took before - anatomy and physiology 1&2,microbiology and I loved learning about the human body and being a student.  I got all A's, I could be a student forever if someone would pay me for it.  I also took a pharmacy technician course at the same time, passed the test, and am working at a really busy pharmacy to get medical experience and some desperately needed money – because the nursing school said medical experience is very valuable for entrance into the school.  Working at the pharmacy is physically hard – I never had a job where you have to stand for 8 hours, be constantly judged and "low man on the totem pole".  It's not a great environment but I plan to do it until I hear if I am accepted into the May 2010 cohort.  My plan is to work at the pharmacy until May, then do the 1 year program and hopefully get a job as a nurse in a hospital.  I will work there for a year of two, and then go back to school to be a nurse practitioner, because I would really enjoy that.  I don't know how much I will like the physical aspects of nursing and the hierarchy of nurses and doctors, but I will do my best to do a great job.  I know I need a career again so I will be independent of my husband, able to support myself without him.  One daughter is in college, one a junior in HS – so if all goes well she will graduate June 2011 and so will I, and my youngest will still have 2 more years in HS.  

     We moved out of the rental last year and into an older house in xxx, that needs major renovating.  I am not happy with my marriage for so many reasons but also am so conflicted because I care about him so much, he's always taken care of me and loved me and the kids, will help clean, shop, drive, pay for everything, and tries to make us happy.  I also love the kids more than anything, and do not want a broken home for them.  Even if I wait until they are all out of HS, I don't want the bad stuff of divorce - splitting holidays, awkward weddings, and all events, splitting kid and grandkid visits, fighting.  It would break his heart to even talk about divorce. How do I tell him I appreciate all the household things he does – work, help clean, help shop, help with all the endless driving for the girls, participate in all their activities, care about all of us, help with family stuff – but I am very disappointed with him.   After all the glitter (the great job, money, vacations, homes) faded, we are left with our true selves and I no longer respect him.  All of the big things in life, he will not handle.  He won't talk or negotiate with accountants, lawyers, realtors, landlords (when we left the rental to move into this house, he wouldn't speak to the landlord to get out of our lease – he made me do it), our daughter's boyfriends – are not forewarned about anything by him.  His brother repeatedly insulted us at our vacation home with our friends but he can't talk to him about it, his brother also started a restaurant business and did not ask him to become a partner and he was very upset, but told no one but me ( many times – over and over how he should have been asked).  He will do favors for anybody but will never ask for a favor himself, he won't talk to our renters at our vacation home  – all of these people are other men who he thinks it's my job to deal with.   Any school issues, kid issues, home issues are always mine to handle.  When the time came for him to standup, he did not many times.   We have many friends in xxx in managerial positions in his field, but he doesn't want to ask for anything.  We are living currently in a home we cannot afford on his salary, but he ignores this.  Every year I tried to show him the bills and household budgets which I maintain, and he is not interested.  I started at The School of Practical Philosophy 4 years ago and asked him so many times to go to classes.  It has helped me tremendously grow as a person and explore why we are here, how we are not this body, how we are not the endless chat of our minds, how our soul is eternal and godlike, to be less judgmental, to see people for whom they truly are and so much more. Many of the lessons of the Masters from Dr. Weiss's books are taught here. He doesn't want to have to speak in group settings and so never joined.  His everyday interactions are often sources of contention, and he often has to apologize to me, the girls, or others for stuff said in anger. That is why Practical Philosophy would have been so good for him.  I think because some everyday interactions don't go well is why he doesn't like dealing with professionals unless he is the 'good' guy.  Any disagreements or negotiating conversations is when he defers to me.  

      I now try to meditate daily – I'm supposed to do it 2x a day for 30 minutes, but still have not worked up to that yet.  I involved us in ballroom dancing lessons and tennis lessons and groups when times were good, but found out he didn't really want to do them, he did them only for me.  Many times in the last 25 years I have asked him to exercise or go on walks with me, and when I drag him he goes and has fun, but I always have to be the puller.  I am tired of this also, and don't want to do it anymore.  We have some good couple friendships, but only if I call the wives and maintain them.  Two of the husbands do invite him out for specific things and he goes when asked.  I think when I was younger I was really interested in his stories and thoughts, he's repetitive and filled with too many details, but sadly I'm not any more, and it gets harder and harder to feign interest. His work stories are long and boring, he's always complaining about the school classes or work or people's treatment of him. Why was I interested before?  Why didn't he stand up for us?  Why was he sad but so accepting of his loss of a great living and income, unwilling to fight to reclaim it?  These are not new thoughts for me, but in the good times I just went along and excused/accepted him and now I see some things more clearly.    

           What am I afraid of?  No, I don't want to be the single woman who doesn't get invited to couple events, dinners and parties. No, I don't want to do all the work of maintaining a house and family. Yes, I want someone who will always be there for me.  No, I don't want to pretend that I'm still in love and life is back to normal.  No, I don't want to have sex and pretend to be interested.  I'm not and it's becoming a source of fighting for us.  I also don't want to fight with him the year I have to work so hard in a full time nursing program on top of money problems and teenage issues.  I don't want him to be heartbroken and suicidal, and he will.  I don't want to break up my children's family.  I don't want to hurt him and the kids, so I am trapped.  

         I want to know why I am embarrassed to tell my kids and close friends about my weight loss surgery?  Why do I treat all information on a need to know basis?  For example, I didn't tell friends or family about my session with you.  Why?  Afraid of judgement?   Am I afraid of not being perfect or living up to a certain image?  I need to peel away all of these false layers and become the woman I was meant to be.  I'm hoping regression therapy might give me some answers.


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