dear Dr. love,i separated from my husband almost two years ago. we were living in ca. and i loved it and i had friends and was making a very lucrative living. we moved to florida and i hated it and i was completely ignored, so i left to go work in my hometown because i couldn’t make a living there. in the meantime, i met someone else, who, for the first time in my life, made me feel loved. my husband desparately wanted me back and wanted to make everything up to me. we married when he was 21 and i was 29. we were married for ten years.i have been back and forth for the last year not wanting to let go of either one of them. during all of this mess, i went from being completely independent to living off my savings feeling worthless and severely depressed. i feel like my family hates me. my mom has always been mean to me even as a child because she was so miserable in her marriage and i really resent her for it. they thing i’m stupid for leaving my husband. i really don’t feel like i ever want to b e married again.one of the main reasons why i wanted to go with my husband was because of security. i’m back with the boyfriend now, but i feel numb and i hate myself for everything i’ve done. i really want to move to a place where i can make money again, which would be a big city. i can do it here, possibly, but it would take a good three years to get going. my boyfriend says i’m acting irrationally by wanting to leave but i feel like i’ve wasted three years of my life. i just want to run away by myself because i really do like being alone.i cry every day and night and have shut off the world and my family (they never call to see how i’m doing) and all the things i used to enjoy. i’ve been this way for two years. i feel so desparate and i feel like i’ll never get over all of this hurt. i don’t know if it’s mid-life crisis or what? i’m going to be 40 soon and i feel like i’m going to spend my 40th birthday crying in my wine. please help. i can’t call Dr. laura because she’ll yell at me.thanks, diane.
If you sensed that Dr. Laura was going to yell at you, then you made the right decision not to call her. You don’t need another person hammering at you. You yell at yourself quite enough. If you read the answer to the above question, you will see that you too are turning your anger back on yourself, in the form of self-reproaches and depression.I think you were very brave to seek out a lover that made you feel wanted and appreciated. It is only very sad that you need to blame yourself for having tried to seek out better treatment for yourself. If you need to pound yourself for this life-affirming choice, then you could have simply stayed with your husband.By the way, the voice in your head sounds like the voice of your mother ( you said she hammers you for having left your husband). She should be supporting you for taking care of yourself. And, the fact that she didn’t and doesn’t has you so confused. You actually think that you are supposed to be dumped on. By her, by your husband, by yourself. But you weren’t and aren’t supposed to be dumped on by anyone. At this point, you need to realize that you are being drowned by the voice of the mother that drones on in your head. We call this the toxic introject. Every human being’introjects’ or internalizes the voices of their parents.This is how we become who we are. The problem is that if our parents were critical of us, then this is the voice that we carry around. What’s diabolical is the fact that we soon confuse the voice of our parent(s) with our own true voice. So, that when we internally pound on ourselves, berate ourselves, pick on ourselves, we don’t know that it is actually our parent speaking. When you hammer yourself the way she did and does, you can’t even tell any longer that it is she who is berating you, not you. When we become buried by the voice of a toxic parent, we end up in big trouble. For one thing, we find it impossible to know what we need for ourselves. If we attempt to do what’s good for us (like you did) the voice talks us out of it, and even berates us for taking good care of ourselves.The only way to heal this problem is to develop your observing ego–in lay terms watch yourself like a hawk. Listen for her voice and when it comes, don’t try to block it, that will make you nuts, just label the voice as hers and say,’Hi mom. It’s you, putting me down again.’ Just separating you from her is the first step to unburying yourself. Later, you can tell she may not hammer you, but not yet. Just separate you from her.Separating your voice from hers is the first step in your healing. Once you separate you from her, you will find that the message that is plaguing you, ‘you are bad to have left your husband’ is her message not yours. Eventually, you will be able to hear your own voice, and mine, saying to you ,’You are supposed to be with a lover that treats you well. You are not supposed to be mistreated.’Once you are able to see and hear reality, not your mother’s crazy abusive voice, you will see that the choices for you are very clear. If your husband wants you back, and you decide that you want to try again, you must only agree to do so under certain circumstances. You must be certain that you deserve better treatment (the voice of your mother is separate from yours). If you go back with him before you are clear on who you are and what you deserve, he will mistreat you all over again. So, first you must be strong and able to shut your mother up. Then, once you are clearer in who you are and what you deserve, and if you then decide to try again with him, he must get help and be willing to be responsive to your needs before you go back with him. Otherwise, forget it.You can also choose to simply stay with your boyfriend, if he is meeting your needs. You don’t need to put yourself in a situation that will be harmful for you. You are not obligated to struggle and suffer with your husband, simply because he’s your husband.So, hear me talking to the voice of your mother, and you will heal and grow.