Hello everyone. Although I have known for a long time that I am a codependent, I never knew what it was called. I came from a pretty dysfunctional background growing up, with a father who always told my sisters and I that we were never good enough and had anger problems, and a severely depressed mother who would get out of bed every few days. I remember feeling like I needed to keep everyone happy in order to keep my world from falling apart. From a young age, I questioned whether I was capable of taking care of myself and was quite fearful to do it. I married when I was 21, and was extremely unhappy, not only with my ex, but especially with myself. He used drugs, and was very unpredictable. Fearful still of not being able to care for myself,I met another man whom I started an emotional affair with, and ultimately left my ex for him. This guy had major depression issues and anger management problems, while the doctor had not ruled out bipolar II disorder. I never knew when and what would set him off, and when he would rage, it was always my fault for "making him feel that way." I stayed with him, even though he treated me terribly, because I was fearful of being by myself. It took me 5 years, but I finally kicked him out. During the relationship with him, I finished my degree, and gained a great job. The fear of being alone no longer consumes me, but it is still there. I know that I still feel like I'd choose to be in an unhealthy relationship, than not one at all. I'm very aware of the problems I have, the hurt I have placed on others due to my own fears, and my duty to work on myself. I have apologized to my ex for my contributions to the demise of our marriage, although the guilt of my actions can consume me time to time. Some days I feel like I am so weak and hate the way I am. I am currently trying to find a group to join, while going to therapy and building a support system. I'm tired of not giving myself a chance at having a healthy relationship that I feel I deserve to have one day... when I myself am in a healthier state of mind.
I understand where you are coming from. It is really hard to get out of the cycle and I am working on it myself. The part where you said "I know that I still feel like I'd choose to be in an unhealthy relationship, than not one at all" rings very true for me at the moment too. I got out of a 6 year relationship a few months back because she was/is addicted to drugs and i feel like even now if she wanted me to be there, i would be. If you ever need anyone to talk to or anything you can send me a message and I can try and help. But i agree that we both need to give ourselves a chance to have a healthy relationship.
Thank you so much for responding to my post! I sometimes feel like I’m the only one out there with this issue. I literally have to stop myself from thinking about my most recent ex constantly. My mind goes straight to figuring out how to mend things, even after he’d call me names, leave me, and make character damaging comments when he was angry. I wish i understood why I do this, and how to stop it.
I completely understand. My ex was constantly lying to me about what she was actually doing. She is away at school and far away. I had plans to see her and a week before i was suppose to fly up there, ticket booked, work off, the whole deal, she told me she had found her grove and me coming would just throw her off. Come to find out she had a new girlfriend and has been lying about being a full blown drug addict. And it's sick because I somehow still want to take the responsibility and make it work. And i know that that is sick but it's almost overwhelming. I too wish i understood why i do this and how to stop it. I mainly only do it with her but i've seen it in other relationships in my life, but not as intense.
So you're not alone. I deal with the same thing everyday and I wish i was more successful in stopping my thoughts but it's really really hard.
I think the healing journey starts when a big determined part of ourselves sees we have a problem and decides to own it and do something about it.
But the other parts will still be there and have their voices! I consider i have some good recovery in co-dependency. But i still have a lot of the thougts and feelings that go with it, even though my life is much less chaotic now, and my choices of relationships have gradually got better, i still have issues with my current partner, and tendencies to workaholism to numb some of my feelings....
This stuff takes a lot of time. Learning (with a lot of help and support from CoDA, therapy, supportive friends) to live with some feelings with love and acceptence, and to act on other feelings with determination and sometimes detachment, has been my journey so far in a nutshell.
Like for example, you say you'd prefer that bad relationship to the loneliness, but what if you know deep down that's faulty thinking, and don't act on it, and at the same time learn to accept the loneliness...even talk to the lonely part of you with kindness?