CASE STUDY 1:
I was in a relationship that wasn’t really working for quite some time but I really didn’t know what to do first because it’s like all of a sudden you wake up and realize something isn’t right. What I felt inside though was a deep emptiness and a longing to be loved the way it use to be between us. I felt that at times he wasn’t listening or didn’t care about my needs and wasn’t paying attention to any feelings I had. This all just made me feel like I was invisible and very unimportant in his life. I also felt that sometimes he was deliberately upsetting me so that an argument would occur which would upset me even more. I would often try to talk to him hoping to find some clarity and understanding as to how to fix it or make it better, but he would either try to to avoid talking things out with me or he would just say that I’m being unreasonable or overly sensitive. But what would hurt the most would be the times that he would get angry with me and then minutes later be able to be affectionate and want to make love to me. I simply couldn’t switch my feelings so quickly like he could and he couldn’t understand why I was not responsive. Then it felt like the whole vicious circle would start all over again. I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew I had to do something or talk with somebody because I was feeling so unhappy and as if I had no control over my life anymore. To do even my normal daily chores was hard because my mind was so preoccupied by my saddness and a need to make things better.
We worked with understanding how her responses and reactions determined her state of mind. We gave her some therapy writings to do as well as some new responses and ways of reacting that would then give her different results in any communication with her husband. We also asked her to mark down the differences that she felt. One weekend, she came out to our Loving Home for some quiet time and reflection as well as some educational programs that displayed her values and principles. With this new found learning, she was able to not only communicate better, but also have intentions that better matched the results she wanted. She shared with us that her relationship had gone from one of near divorce to a markable difference in affection. She also learned that some of her sensitivies were her own perceptions only and that the realization of her partners perception was also important and valid. Today, she is much happier and her marriage is more intune with the love they had from the start for each other. She was very grateful for SoulTalk’s insights.
CASE STUDY 2:
I don’t know how I allowed all this to happen. I have always considered myself to be a confident, indepenant and intelligent person and here I am in a marriage that I feel is stripping me of everything I believed in myself. I have 4 beautiful children but I feel that my role as a mother is being compromised because of my unhappiness in my marriage. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I’m not allowed to talk on the phone with my girlfriends when he is at home because he feels that it takes time away from him. I can’t do anything I want to do when I want to do it without asking him first or I know it will create a scene. If I want to buy something for the house, no matter how small, I have to ask first. This being mainly because I don’t share a cheque account or credit card with him. I just receive an allowance each month which is used on food and certain bills. I know none of this feels right but when I want to discuss any of this with him, he just gets angry with me. Yet when he goes out to buy something, he doesn’t need my permission or even my input. He says because he earns the money. And I feel that towards the children he is very kind and understanding but with me he’s totally different. It’s as if he needs to have this power over me and watch over me constantly. What can I do to change this situation so that I can feel more like I’m a person that counts rather than someone who is just a puppet on a string to be pulled at whim. I don’t want my marriage to fail but right now I feel like I’m just slipping away into never never land.
With a few counselling sesions and her realization of how she had forgotten about her own power and rights to share her feelings, we helped her to regain her own respect and reasons for deserving what she wanted. Also, after, attending our Values and You workshop, she realized that she just needed to feel OK with sharing her own needs and to stand up and say that she is a partner in this marriage, not a particpant. We used different techniques to explore what worked best for her and to learn to apply them to different situations at home and out in general. With her new awareness and experiences, she has definitely moved up on the awareness chart. She has even been able to use these techniques with her children. Now instead of feeling like a puppet on a string, she stops, thinks and interjects her new found ways, however, always with consideration and not with distain or anger. Her communication with her husband is now one of declaring her rights, her needs and her understanding. She says her marriage is definitely feeling lighter and more enjoyable. She know realizes how easy it is for each of them to fall into a trap that doesn’t help. This new presence keeps them more in line with each others concerns.
CASE STUDY 3:
I’m 35 years old and I’ve been in three fairly long term relationships in my life. At the start of each relationship, it always feels great and exciting. But now I can see that although at the start each man seems to be different, after awhile they all seem to treat me the same way. I think I’m learning and growing after each relationship, but based on results, I am not. I even try to have better communication each time hoping that if I explain what I like and what I don’t like, that all will be upfront and we will have this special understanding and respect for each other. There seems to be compliance at the beginning and even for awhile but sooner or later something makes that change. Why do I always seem to attract the kind of man that ends up emotionally abusing me. After my last relationship, I really feel that I would prefer to be on my own and not have all the troubles of being in a bad relationship. On the other hand, I would love to have someone to love me and for me to love him too. What can I do to find out more about why this is happening to me and how I can change this pattern and hopefully find a partner that I could share my life with happily.
This client came to our Loving Home for one week to receive inhouse counseling and educational programs. To her amazement, she learn some really good Ahaa moments about her own personality and patterns that she was running. By simply switching her mindset about herself and others, she was delighted to see how this could relate to all that was going wrong. Also, with a clearer picture of what she had to give and not just take from a relationship, she was able to balance all that she wanted in someone else. She did have some self-esteem issues which when worked on through some exercises, she too realized here, that some deep beliefs were working against her. After her stay, she definitely felt like she had found some negatives which she turned into positives and was ready to go out there and give them a try.
CASE STUDY 4:
I’m a young girl, 25 yrs of age. I have been married now for four years. Before my husband and I were married we had been dating for over 7 years; I guess you could say we were high school sweethearts. I also have one child, a little girl that is two years old. He has always been a very aggressive man in nature, sometimes putting demands on me higher than I felt I could strive to, but nevertheless I was persistant in beating the odds, and refused to be another divorce statistic. Throughout the years of dating him – he was a kind loving man, who I was convinced I knew like the back of my hand, but not even one year into the marriage, did I soon learn how volatile this man really was, and that this kind loving man, indeed had an equal demon to balance him. The beatings didn’t start as a regular event. Initially it occurred very rarely, followed by an apology and often a gift of regret, and of course love making. Although it wasn’t till soon after that he started beating me, and on a much more regular basis. He became overly possessive, jealous if he simply felt I was making eye contact for a lengthy period of time with someone of the opposite sex. My self worth diminished rapidly. This man who had once meant the world to me, repeated to beat me durring my pregnancy, and after. Followed by emotional abuse on how ugly I was. My heart was torn. I wanted nothing more than to simply make my husband happy, and i couldn’t do it. He made me believe that it was my fault, and convinced me that I was nothing more than a pebble in a shoe. I was once a determined, expressive, dynamic young woman, who had many aspirations in life. Now i look in a mirror and I no longer recognise the face that stares back at me. I want my self worth back, I want my dignity back; I want my life back.
This young lady had certainly lost everything she believed in and stood for. We needed to ascertain firstly if she was willing to accept help, even though she said so. She was, which was a great start. She really did fall into a hole and just needed help on how to get out as well as to determine, whether her marriage could work or not. In this case, we also needed to see if her husband would be willing to seek help also. He was. This is was longer road then normal. However, due to the acceptance of the husband to seek help, their recovery was working. We determined that her husband had his own security issues which added to the abuse over time. As our client had a strong constitution, she was determined to continue working in the marriage. With the new ways of communication that they have both learned from us and the continual counselling, they were making great strides. Today their marriage is holding together and the physical abuse has disappeared.
CASE STUDY 5:
I’m 30 years old, female, and come from a very poor background. I am not married, but have had a boyfriend for the last 10 years. We have two children, aged 8 and 10, both are already avid drug users. My husband is an alcoholic and a herion addict. I work two jobs evening and day, therefore sleeping for very little amounts of time. The money I do make is often used on his drug habits. Every day that I manage to grovel out of bed is an effort. My family is deteriating before me and there is nothng I can do to stop it. I am aware that giving him money for his drug habits isn’t the right thing to do, but I fear his aggression when I do not comply. I love this man, I am not in love with him, but I love him. Like a brother would love a sister. He is all I have ever had to turn to. I have never had many desires to do much with my life, but to keep it simple and happy. But neither am I happy nor living a simple life. I am constantly in fear of my childrens lives who are following there father’s footsteps so avidly at such a young age, and are already uncontrollable. I have tried talking to him many a time, about how his habits aren’t just destroying him and our relationship, but what they are doing to the children. His response. . “It’s not my fault if you can’t control YOUR children”. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. I keep reaching out for him, letting him know I’m here if he needs help, but he doens’t take my hand. I can’t even reach the children. SO tell me, how does one get up every day, and go on with life, knowing that it’s all going to end in a pit of destruction. How can I make my children see, that there are millions of things for them out there that they could do, if they would only try. How do you teach a man you love, to love himself?
This is a case that we felt deserved a referral due to the addictions of drug use. We shared a few referrals and explained our position and the kind of cases that we focus on. That said, we shared with them that they can call us anytime on the Hotline for just chatting and sharing how their sessions are going. We also explained that we felt, to do the best for them and their family, another professional would be better. After a few weeks of following their case, they still have many issues to work on, but at least they are gaining ground and have taken their sessions seriously. The wife calls me from time to time also just to share her feelings.
CASE STUDY 6:
My husband and I were married for 16 years, although we have now been seperated for the last 4 years, still awaiting on the finilization of the divorce. I am writing to you for your help. I have never had to deal with lawyers or the legal services until recently as my husband initially agreed to go through the proceedure out of court. Of course knowing him as I do – I should have realised that mind games and money would have been brought into the scheme of things. I was always the bread winner in the family. We have two beautiful children, whom he is now fighting me for on custody on the basis that a working mother is incapable of caring for her children adequately. I am a very assertive dominant woman, but have lately been feeling very inadequate and concerned for my well being. I am seeing a side of my soon to be ex husband that I have never seen. A very cunnng sly side. He is stopping at nothing and stooping to levels incomprehensible to get what he wants. The lies seem endless, and the mind games are tearing me apart. I have even had to take leave from work as I am unable to give my undivided attention to the job that I love so much. I would appreciate any advice that you would be able to give me – on how to ease the situation somewhat, or maybe ways that I would be able to approach him on a woman to man basis. I am slowly deterioating, and it’s only a matter of time before he wears me down. I am determined not to give in, but if you are hanging onto the edge of a cliff and then someone comes and stamps on your hands, eventually at some point you will let go. From one woman to another, I ask you, if there is anything you can do to help, I am more than willing to try.
Once becoming familiear with the court hearings and all that had transpired, we were able to accompany her to her lawyers and sit down to understand better the matters at hand and what worried her the most. On the legal side, we were able to smooth her thoughts about the procedures and what was real and what was not in terms of her husbands games. This set her at greater ease. On the emotional side, we were also able to have her understand the mind games abit better and by her having a different mindset, her responses became different. With these, her soon to be ex husband could no longer react the same as he did. This already created a more realistic view of the situation. With our new found ways, the legal matters went through well and all was eventually worked out in court. Emotionally, she is now leading a separate more calming life and she is even getting on better with her ex now as a friend and sharing parenting duties with their children.