Codependent to Codependency

Related image

Prior to my Mom dying in 2012, I was extremely codependent. My foundation was built upon my family. I made them my world. I grew up in a dysfunctional family and my roots in codependency started at an early age. My environment was such that my Mom, sister and I had to hold onto each other for dear life to survive. We even called ourselves the three musketeers. My father was the spider and we were the flies. Eventually we were able to escape that spiderweb but we’d be forever tangled up together.

My childhood taught me that the only way to function was to be codependent. It was always the solution and the only way to live. Since I can remember my wellbeing has been dependent on other people. I couldn’t function without another person. That all changed when my Mom died. She was the glue that held our family together. After she died our family was never the same.

The death of my Mom sent me spiraling out of control, out into outer space. I went into danger mode for years after. I lived in constant fear that something bad was going to happen to my family, especially my two nieces and my family. That fear put me into a paralyzed state. I couldn’t leave my sister’s home in the fear that something bad would happen and I would be needed. That’s what happened in April of 2012, when we first learned that my Mom had cancer. I was awakened from a nap to the news that my Mom was coughing up blood and needed to go to the ER. To this day I still can remember the level of panic that I felt. I still flashback to that moment. Especially if something wakes me up suddenly.

The forced separation almost destroyed me. I couldn’t function without my Mom. A world without my Mom was a world that I didn’t want to be apart of. The first two years after my Mom died were hell. I almost didn’t make it. Thankfully I was able to get help and started on a long journey to healing. Even though I was able to function more I still was very codependent to my family. I held onto dear life to every moment that I had with my family the last seven years. I constantly envisioned something bad happening.

It wasn’t only the last year that again I was forced back into outer space. This time I had no one to catch me. I was alone. It was hard to break my codependency and it wasn’t my choice. These days I’m afraid of any type of connection due to the fear of abandonment. I’m not close to anyone. The only way I have been able to cope is to go inward, to shut everyone out. It’s only been recently that I have felt safe enough to venture out and it’s not been easy. I crave connection with others but it frightens me deeply. I put my feet in the water and the fear of a shark attack sends me running back to my safe zone.

I thought it was easier to isolate and push everyone away. The idea of falling apart like I did from the seperation of my family has kept me alone. I want a healthy relationship with dependency. I’m learning to build my foundation on solid ground but it’s going at a snail’s pace. I can quickly form attachments and that scares me when I meet someone I like. Especially because I have very little interaction with people. I meet someone I really bond with and feel less than when the person doesn’t keep in contact with me. I use to take it personal. Most the time I’m able to see the truth but it still hurts the same.

I don’t want to feel lost like that ever again. It’s extremely difficult to overcome years of unhealthy boundaries and attachments. I have to remind myself that I must focus on building my foundation, which I have been doing this last year. If you build it, they will come. It’s just tough waiting. I sometimes wonder if I will overcome this hurdle. Self care and love is something that I must practice daily and is the key to having healthy relationships.

Advertisements

Taking Everything Personal

This is probably my achilles heel, my one tragic flaw. I have worked really hard recently to overcome this but it is a daily battle. Every interaction, especially bad, I find myself taking it on. Lately I have become aware when I am starting to take something personal but that doesn’t always prevent me from going down that spiral of a road.

The biggest part of my life that I personalize is my love life or lack thereof. I tend to take a guy not being interested in me as a result of who I am, whether it’s because something I am lacking or a quality that a guy is too intimidated by. Either way there is something about me that I feel keeps me away from love, many times it’s probably me.

Image

I can remember my first heartbreak feeling devastated, wondering where things went wrong. I was young and naive, thinking love lasts forever. When it didn’t it started to chip away at my self esteem and self worth. One pebble usually doesn’t shatter a glass wall but after time it can leave you shattered. The pebbles start to pile up and one crack turns into multiple cracks and before you know it all you can see are cracks.

My track record is falling for guys who aren’t available emotionally and usually have major commitment issues. The more they pull away, the more I want them. I have lived my life trying to make everyone love me and I have learned you can’t force like or love. I recently watched The Great Gatsby and it really got me thinking about that subject. Jay Gatsby does everything (and I mean everything) to be with a lost love and in the end it isn’t enough to bring her back.

Image

Then there is this idea of how can you love someone else, if you don’t love yourself. I don’t quite believe in this philosophy completely but I think there does lie a little bit of truth. When you don’t love yourself you view the world in a hazy, discolored tint. You accept less from others and yourself because you have a low value of yourself. You take unkindness and everything else in between as love, or at least you accept these things because you think the person loves you.

Trying to get a guy to love me back wasn’t the first time I tried this. It started early on with my Father. I never felt like I lived up to my Father’s expectations of a son. I grew up believing he didn’t love me, why else would he treat me the way he did? I didn’t realize that he didn’t love himself and this was how he treated others close to them. I accepted his behaviors and actions as fact, and my own.

One of my favorite quotes is from Moulin Rouge.

“The greatest gift you’ll ever learn is just to love & be loved in return.”

Romantically I haven’t felt that love returned and that stings. After a decent number of the stings you start to get a complex, that is where taking things personal comes into play. We live in a society where we are constantly told we need to pair up in order to be happy, just look at the movies. I grew up believing I wouldn’t be whole until I found the love of my life, so I went most of my adult life feeling like something was missing. I am constantly having to remind myself that I don’t need someone to make me happy, that I must do it.

Image

I am learning to love myself, it is not an easy trait to learn. It takes a lot of trial and error, and back steps. That negative voice in my head has a strong hold over me at times. The less I feel about myself the louder it becomes. I fight a daily battle with that voice. It tells be things like “you’re worthless”, “a loser”, “unloveable” and so on… For the longest time I accepted these words as reality and I listened to it. Very early on I learned to take on other peoples feelings for me, I became them. I didn’t have the coping skills to realize that the way they treated me had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. I mean I was only a child and to a child a parent is God. I gave my father a voice inside my head and various events after that only amplified his thoughts and feelings of me.

Image

While I no longer have a relationship with that man, I still have his voice inside of me and I struggle to kick him out of my consciousness! One voice, other than my own is enough, but everytime I get hurt I let how (I think) they feel set up shop inside my brain. To the point now where my brain is full of negative voices, to the point where they overflow. I have worked hard to kick them out, one by one but I still have some stragglers left. I need to kick them all out, especially my father, and close up shop for good, set up a barricade and not let how others view me affect who I am and how I live my life!

Protection, especially for a survivor, is very important. From an early age I didn’t feel protected, nor did I feel like I could protect myself. The doors to my garden were ripped off from the hinges and I have struggled to find them again. While I didn’t have the coping skills to heal and repair the damage back then, I do now. I have the tools to repair my door and make it so that no one will ever be able to steal what isn’t theirs to take.

Those voices aren’t real, nor are they the truth. I deserve the world and so do you. Many of us have accepted less. I will continue to fight the voices, until they disappear. I have the greatest key and gift of them all, my own voice. My voice is louder than all of them combined and I must continue to use it, over and over again. Even if it takes yelling!!! For years I didn’t think I deserved love but I now know that isn’t true. I am loveable and a good ally to have. If someone doesn’t see that, that’s not my fault. That is their issue and insecurity, not mine! I must use the Family Circus philosophy of “Not Me” whenever I am faced with this.

Image

Healing is for me is a combination of repeating positive patterns over and over, until they sink in. I now have a wide arrange of tools in my coping tool box and now have the skills to use them. Again it is like trial and error, find what works for you. Taking a stand is the first step and intercepting those voices is a big step. Every time that negative voice pops into your head, talk (or yell) right back! When you stay silent is when you lose your power, and your voice. Repeat positive affirmations (as silly as you might feel) over and over, eventually that voice will be drowned out. If it makes you feel better do this out loud, who cares if others think you are crazy! 🙂 There will be times you don’t feel like it or you don’t believe in the words you say but eventually that positivity will seep into your consciousness and eventually subconsciousness!

For too long I have allowed my negative voice to hold my authentic voice captive. I gave my power away to it. All these years I thought it had me bound, gagged and helpless but it was all a trick. I was never trapped, it was an illusion to keep me at bay.

tumblr_lr8tp41kED1qf1498o1_500

Learning To Live Alone

I am about to embark on a journey, one where I live on my own. One of the realizations of my episode a few weeks ago is that I have never really had a place where I felt I could be stable with. Most of the places I have lived in my adult life have usually ended up with me not knowing where I am going next. You can only run so many times before it gets old and I’m worn out from running.

Being on my own frightens the hell out of me but I don’t have a choice. I no longer have a safety net so it is sink or swim time… and I am choosing to swim because I am tired of drowning. It is time for me to put my roots in the earth and make a place for me in this world. Obviously I have a purpose in this world, so I have to make do with what I have been given and trust that the right opportunity will present itself.

Hiding in the basement will not bring me what I need out of life. I have hid all my life and it gets old. Quivering in the corner doesn’t suit me at all. Hiding in the dark only gets you more darkness and I am not meant to stay there. I am light and not meant to be caged. I deserve love and light in return as well.

I have tolerated the dark for way to long, believed that was the only thing I deserved. Misery and pain… Before I would just cower in fear but now I am learning to crawl and pick myself back up. Various situations in my life and my upbringing taught me some things about myself that were untrue. Seeing my mother stay in a marriage where she was treated poorly did a number on me. Children learn by example.

I am no longer that child. I am strong and can take myself out of bad situations. I might not have been able to so many years ago but I can today. My dear mother is free from all the pain and suffering this world can bring you… but I am stuck here. So I either chose to live in misery or I chose to walk in the light.

As scary as walking alone in the light is, it sure is much better than being surrounded in the dark.

Healing is a slow process. A journey I first started in my early twenties. You take one giant step forward and another giant leap backwards. You fall… You stumble… You get cut… and you cry… but I always get back up. The one thing all the bad things has taught me is how to survive.

Losing my Mother was my biggest and ultimate fear. I thought I would die… but I didn’t… Sure there were days it felt like I was dying but that only meant I was healing… I am alive and stronger than ever. Just like a giant redwood my roots are buried deep within the warm earth and my branches reach up into the heavens. Sure my bark is battered and scared, and some wounds are still raw but deep inside my spirit is on fire… ready to flow…

Ready to touch the world in many deep and wonderful ways. So I am going to push through the fear and the discomfort. I need to learn to tolerate the uncomfortable. Push myself to grow and go down roads early I might have avoided.

This is my time to shine. My turn to make my mark and show the world all I have got. Create the family I have always wanted and yearned for. It starts with just one seed at a time and before I know it I will have a garden full of bountiful fruit.

In the end, we are never alone even when we walk by ourselves. Each time we give our love to someone else we leave an imprint on their heart and they do on ours. The stronger the impact the bigger the imprint. So when we must walk a path alone, they are always with us. It would be nice to be able to have someone by yourself all the time but in reality that is never possible. There are some journeys that you must walk alone.

To live a life in codependency only stunts your growth. When you attach yourself to others you never really have the opportunity to mature. You become very much like a leech sucking all the energy out of everyone you touch and in return your life force is also extinguished.

Something just dawned on me… I am a survivor but that doesn’t mean I have lot live my life in survival mode. It has taken me over twenty years to realize that I am no longer in danger. I am free… to live my life as I please. I no longer have to live in fear or desperation. I don’t need to hold onto dear life to anything or anyone I can grab a hold of.

Now it is time to build the world around me that I want and just live… and grow…