I used to be in a deeply, unhealthy codependent relationship. In fact, the reason I started blog writing was to help heal myself after we let go. I figured writing would help me release all the hurt I was feeling and help me become more aware. I was involved with a guy who apparently wanted a “relationship” but he didn’t want a “serious” relationship. I didn’t know this at first, because trust me if he had had a sign on his head that said it, I would have turned the other way. I learned about 3 or 4 months later that he didn’t like serious relationships, but it was too late by then, because little did I know, I am codependent. We were involved on and off for the next 4 years. Yep. And a little after that too.
I am codependent. What does that mean? I’m a people-pleaser. A fixer. I care very much what other people think about me. I do everything and you sit back and relax because it’s my job to make you happy. I give and I give and I give and hopefully one day you’ll give me something back, and I won’t complain about it because I hate confrontation. I’ll just let the anger build up. You treat me like crap and I say “I’ll fix it”. Let me do more for you because you’re not happy, apparently, I’m not doing enough. I need you to be happy, to need me, or else I’ll be alone, and I don’t want to be alone. You have an unhealthy habit/addiction and are emotionally unavailable/love avoidant, but I’ll try to fix it (by controlling you). Because if I can fix you, then I don’t have to worry about being left and alone and unloved. I depend on you, you depend on me. That’s codependency. That’s a codependent. And that’s what I am. I’m recovering from it now (going on 3 years) but I still catch myself repeating some of that behavior every now and then though. I’m aware of it, so it’s easier to stop when I notice I’m doing it. But it’s a learned behavior and if you look at it, I’m 31, I’ve been doing it since I was born pretty much. So 27/28 years I was unaware? Thinking it’s normal? According to Wikipedia, codependency is “a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s drug addiction, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or underachievement.”
I think the one thing I hate now in a way is I see it in other people’s relationships. People who are close to me, who I love, who I don’t want to go down the same route. And honestly, it drives me batty. I want to say something and I think it’s the codependent in me coming out. Trying to fix people, but don’t want to cause any tension. Once again, my dilemma, letting people control their own lives. It’s not my job to “fix”them, but I also can’t ignore it. It’s my life playing out in front of me. Do you know how much self-control it has taken to not just blurt out every single thing on my mind? I know it’ll do no good, but it’ll feel good. I’ve been down that road and it leads to nothing good. Eventually people will learn on their own. I just hate seeing people hurt. That’s my problem. So I have to go run away and hide somewhere and gather myself when I get the urge to “fix”.
-Sonja Jackson, OpenHeartTin