codependency

A sorry state of affairs

I’d been dating The Good Guy for a few months before introducing him here on my blog. Laura P. Shulman shared an insightful observation which I never forgot. Her honest words made me observant and helped guide me through the confusion of the conclusion that he really was a Trojan Horse. An alcohol-swilling, shamelessly-lying wolf in sheep’s clothing. A Good Guy gone bad.

Since ditching the lying, drinking Good Guy, I’ve existed on a diet of undereating and oversleeping. Trying to deny deep yearnings to contact him, I’ve plied my mind with Pinterest quotes…..


But with the roar of co-dependency in my ears, I admit defeat. Good love, bad love, I want him back. I contacted him, tossing away my dignity, and begged like a wounded animal. I’m ashamed. I know I’ve made the wrong choice, but I can’t seem to escape the vicious cycle of settling for bad love just to avoid being alone. And its weird. As with the others, I don’t even want to physically be around him at all. Maybe once in a while would be nice. But I prefer my solitude. Prefer them, distant, on the periphery of my life. I just don’t understand myself at all.

Good Guy is a goner

He lied. He drinks.

Every day as opposed to the ‘rarely’ he stated when we met. Quanity? Undertermined… because he’s a liar and I don’t believe a word he says. Why didn’t he at some point in the past 4 months tell me he drinks everyday?

I wanted to protect you

More like he wanted to protect himself. He’s selfish. He wasn’t protecting me. He wanted his cake and to eat it too. He knew drinking was a deal breaker for me. So he hid it. He kept it secret. He wanted both alcohol and me, not one or the other. So he lied. But since confronted, he has at no point said – because I love you so much, I don’t want to lose you, so I won’t drink any more. No. Instead he said….

I’m not one to force anything on anybody. So its up to you. Whether you want to just be friends. Its your choice and I’ll understand

But what he didn’t realise is he left me no choice. I will not be subject to having another man choose alcohol over me. So I took back my keys and told him to – go home and “unwind” from your hard day at work, and “chill” with a few beers. Then he threw a manipulation tantrum….

Great! I get robbed today and lose 2 cellphones and now I’ve lost my girlfriend. Thanks! Thanks a lot. What a great time to dump me

Excuse me? He made that choice. He did. He put himself in this position. He’s had four months to come clean with his little secret. And only guilty people keep secrets. He can’t have the best of both worlds. And my world does not contain alcohol. Or liars.

I love you? Horseshit. And here I was, all this time thinking, how lucky could I get – a man who boils the kettle for a cuppa after a long days grind. Turns out he can’t wait to get home to his beers. Well now he gets to spend even more time with them.

Friendships, bipolar and codependency

I wrote this a while back – early July when I [out of order due to depression] – and may explain the contribution to my current profound depression. Due to it’s emotional sensitivity I have not felt comfortable posting it. Until today.

I’ve been in therapy once a month tackling my abandonment and codependent issues and, along with a lot of research, I’ve been making headway in my understanding of dysfunctional behaviours that have carved detrimental patterns through my life.

Codependency

On Monday, I had a breakthrough in understanding just how pervasive this behaviour is – not only as daughter, wife, girlfriend or lover, but that it lives and breathes within ANY relationship….. including my friendships.

What a harsh dose of reality to realise I have dysfunctional/codependent relationships with the only two friends I have and love. To realise that my value of these friendships was not matched with equal importance, I can’t tell you how much it slayed me. To realise I’ve been people-pleasing, jumping through hoops, making fun of myself and humiliatingly being made fun of; to realise I’ve been making excuses for behaviour I now find unacceptable (thanks to my boundaries crash course), all in exchange for their approval to validate my own identity, to be accepted, to be loved. To realise their love was condition, absolutely broke me.

Friendship

She was my best friend. But I was only the ‘funny’ friend at work that was never included in her personal life or out of work activities. Out of work, she hangs out with a person she confesses to find ‘repulsive’. So why do activities with this horrible person when we could have been a reinvention of Thelma and Louise? She was a friend on her terms only. Offers of help when accepted, turned into excuses and lies.

At this point my abandonment issues were SCREEEEAMING! My natural instinct was to immediately disengage from the world. To close ranks, draw the bridge, fill the moat and cloak myself in isolation. To be really, truly, completely alone. I had to make a decision. Continue my current behaviour which would silence my fears of abandonment? Establish some boundaries? No, not possible. So I’ve cut all ties. My world has been emptied by the loss, a kind of death, of my only friends.

I want to say there is not blame to be bestowed. That we are all characters in our own lives and these lives blend together – sometimes for a short periods and sometimes for an eternity. But I can’t. I feel betrayed, vulnerable, cheated, angry. The loss of my only friends has felt like a death.

In the midst of this emotional storm, I was struck by a concept the therapist mentioned – a new home is the opportunity to create a new persona. So what if I looked at this from a different angle? Instead of loss, I look at it as gain? What if I have to say to myself is – I now have a clean slate; I’ve done my housekeeping and swept everything that’s dysfunctional out. And now it’s just me. Alone. Starting again. A second chance. An opportunity to create a new me, a new life well beyond the expectations of others. Feels kinda liberating looking at it like that. ….

Bipolar

Well, it would be if I wasn’t bipolar and felt every ounce of emotion like dry ice on raw skin . Instead my illness has directed me head first into an endless depression, compounded by the stress of buy a home, moving, the incident with my father, sciatica and then Ulla’s death.

This is what set my depression in motion. It has become more entrenched as each day passes. I try, I try and I try to adopt the therapist’s strategy. I try to keep busy, to fight the depression, to adopt my own strategies. My efforts are endless and exhausting. But the ‘aloneness’ is so amplified it is consuming me. On bad days, I think it’s going to kill me. Since all my dealings with people over the past year have lead to betrayal, I don’t have much faith in this ‘aloneness’ ending anytime soon.

10-08-2016-letting-go-to-live 10-08-24-letting-go-to-live-2

 

Access denied

too bad how sad
almost caught again
almost distraught again
from the web of lies
you use to try
to ply my affection
for your lazy errection
well from where I sit
there’s nothing in it
for me
money won’t make me your honey
so I ain’t interested
in your lonely predicament
I choose freedom not fear
just leave me unthethered
by your wandering weathered
ways of theiving displays

Change

sometimes I can get it right
it may seem silly
it may seem slight
but I’ve lived dysfunction all my life
it’s become a familiar, comfortable fight
so to change
to tame the urge
from up and down
fists thrown around
confusion and anxiety abound
its a thug with a promising drug
a tug of war
against what was
and is no more
so in nine short months
change does count
to have an ordinary existence
bringing peaceful deliverance
important is this change
opening up my cage
I can choose not be confused
I may slip here and there
but I’m treated well and fair
for second chances, third and fourth
Fate is not quite as hard as I first thought

Sales pitch

you wanna date me?
you wanna make me yours?
right now?
how?
you don’t even know me
even though we’ve
talked briefly over the years
texting playful but always perplexing
so from where does this proposal come
me thinks you’ve plucked it out your bum
while you’ve gotten older
your dating pool’s grown colder
you think I’m an easy option
desperate for adoption
but despite your age
you’re still a shark in a cage
nothing but a playa
using my heart to wager
a remedy to your loneliness
but from you its meaningless
I know your type
from my old past life
I’m not interested in your pitch
I’m giving your offer a miss

Shhhhh, it’s the silent treatment

This past week I did the unthinkable – I set a boundary with my father, and said ‘no’! Shock, horror, call the bad behaviour police! It was a boundary set to protect my mental health. I don’t do change well and let’s face it, I’ve got a lot on my plate with the move.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it’s become a big deal. His retaliation when I don’t please him is ALWAYS a solid dose of silent treatment. Purely from my own experience, it ranks right up there as being one of the cruellest forms of punishment and manipulation because you are denied that which is intrinsically human.

All contact is withheld – written, verbal, even eye contact. You become invisible; the message that you don’t exist is very clear. If you are nothing and nobody, what value do you have? What self-worth do you carry? None. You have been damned, abandoned, and the message is ‘you have only yourself to blame‘. Deep shame combines with a compulsive need to please, conform, obey, comply. Anything to get that person to acknowledge and love you again. You don’t know what the rules are, but you live in constant fear of breaking them, and your fate is at the mercy of someone who is supposed to keep you safe. So you reshape yourself over and over again, you shamelessly grovel and beg to please in the hopes of forgiveness. Buy hey, if it allows you access back into the fold, you’ll sell your soul.

Well, I may be in the dog box, but this old bitch ain’t doin’ tricks no more! No more codependency. I’m building myself from the ground up and I won’t see my hard work go to waste. His displeasure frightens me and the urge to please and grovel is ingrained. But I’m doing things differently, and this time I’m going to protect the child that was never kept safe.

When it rains it pours

So I was out of order due to depression. That’s it’s own story reserved for another time, and I’m doing well now. But you know that saying ‘when it doesn’t rain it pours’? Well, I hurt my back again – sciatica.

Holy hell it hurt. At work, I was told to get it sorted out once and for all. I wanted to go the physio route, but that didn’t correspond with getting it sorted out on demand. So off I went to the doctor, who refered me to a neurosurgeon who booked me into hospital. And there I stayed for 5 days being poked, prodded and drugged while still in an enormous amout of pain.

A slipped disk at L5 was diagnosed. Xrays, an MRI scan, loads of morphine and three days later – I was still no better off. An operation with a 3 week recovery period was considered, but an epidural decided upon. But for all the pain, it didn’t take. Of course it didn’t take! Nothing with me is ever uncomplicated or easy.

I was discharged this past Sunday, a horrifying R4000 lighter in pocket, and in just as much pain as I started with. The lesson I will take from this is, never ever undertake a medical health decision in order to please, or appease, someone unrelated to your life. Since then I’ve been seeing a physio, as I’d originally intended, and I’m making good progress.

In keeping with the raining and pouring theory, my internet connection at home has finally breathed it’s last death-rattle. So I’m out of touch with the rest of the world for now. I need to wait until I move into my new place on 1 September to decide on a new service provider. So my lack of visits to your blogs are not intentional. In fact I miss you all very much. I can go top secret, undercover and covertly sneak in a few posts and catch up with my wordpress friends intermittently here at work. But shhhh, don’t tell anybody I’m using ‘work resources’.

So please bear with me for the next month or two. Love ya guys ‘n gals

Blossoming freedom

This is my last post regarding The Narcissist. After this he gets no more of my time. All thanks to him actually, the things he said. He upped the ante on his cruelty and it flipped a switch inside my head. It was as if the shock of his brutality sent an electric current through my brain and jolted it back to reason. It was the strangest feeling, and I thought – why on earth am I engaging with such a foul little creature. That craving to be heard just *poof* disappeared. And thanks to the advice and support of fellow bloggers, my perspective changed.

So I took the gap and made the decision to let go. To banish him from my thoughts. Its not easy, my mood has levitated from relief and freedom to a predominant anxiety. As a people-pleaser, it is a distinctly uncomfortable feeling knowing he is displeased and enraged with me. The anxiety is anticipatory. I’m expecting some sort of horrible retaliation.

I’ve also decided it was never really about him. It is instead about me – further insight into my codependency and my crash course in boundaries. This incident has broken a few pieces of me, but there is always collateral damage in a learning curve. And time is always the best medicine. Good news is, my progress speaks for itself:

1st alcoholic – my ex-husband – 17 years
2nd alcoholic – Lover – 4 months
3rd alcoholic – The Narcissist – 6 weeks

So tomorrow is a new day and I will carry on regardless. I’m trying to focus on the bigger picture – how cruelty can blossom into something as beautiful as freedom.

 

asshole