I Need to get a Life: A Realized Codependents Struggle

  I was not going to type any of this up because I didn’t want to go downstairs to get my laptop. I wanted to stay hidden in my silent corner of the bathroom with my coffee cradled in my hands for security. The kids are asleep and I need time alone with my thoughts, not just my thoughts, but time alone with myself.

   I make myself uncomfortable, though. People are a distraction from the painful, broken heart that still manages to beat within my chest. If I could save the world I in turn would be saving myself, right?


“If you are hungry feed the homeless and you too shall be fed”


  That was my quote from years ago when I was volunteering in a homeless shelter. I volunteered because I was struggling financially as a single mother and I wanted to teach my boys about service to others. Plus, we all got a free meal afterwards.


  I sit here now confused. So very, very confused. Where is the line drawn? When does my personality cross the invisible line from charitable to codependent?


  This is why I blog. The answers come to me as I type. I cross the line when I sacrifice my own well being for the benefit of others. I have gone so far in my current situation that I have sacrificed my son to feed my codependent frame of mind.


  I never gave much thought to the term co dependency. To me, it was just one more term thrown at me by therapists and I was already a walking DSMV. Even though I feel it is symptomatic of something deeper, it is rearing its ugly head demanding I acknowledge it.


  Ironically, before I zoned in on the concept, I used an analogy to describe the situation with my husband to someone trying to intervene. I compared him to a drug and myself as an addict and every time  I allowed the abuse or took him back I was sticking the needle back in my arm. That is what addicts do and my ex was my drug of choice.

  I got on Facebook a few days ago trying to find a codependent support group and found out there is a 12 step program revised for the specific needs of a people addict. I found this hilarious for some reason, mostly because I don’t give myself near enough credit. I knew what my problem was before I even had a grasp on the subject.


  I have had this dream since I was a little girl of saving the world. I remember as a teenager promising myself I would never let another person suffer the way I have. But, I took it too far. I killed myself in the process and set myself up to be easy prey.


  People are like knives. I am hungry and need to cook but I know that if I do I will inevitably get cut. So do I choose the dullest knife or the sharpest? Or do I say screw cooking and make a sandwich, using a spoon to spread the mayonnaise?


  By nature I am a people person, by nurture a recluse. I push everyone away because I am unable to distinguish between knives and spoons.


  My save the world mentality has put me in one abusive relationship after another and as a result I have become jaded to everyone, even those that have the best of intentions.


  What will life look like if I break free of my chains? Well, I have had 3 weeks to see just that. As a codependent I don’t want to believe the reality of things because the reality is we are more than ok. I don’t want to admit I am excited about our future. A future that does not revolve around being an emotional smorgasbord for a narcissist. I have fed pieces of myself to my ex for 6 years until there was nothing left. He then began sucking my children dry, feeding on whatever they had to offer emotionally to fill his void; which always involved tearing them down to lift himself up.


  This has been my story for far too long. I have made it my kids story now and that is where it stops. As parents we are the beginning of our children’s life story, the author of their book until they reach a certain level of maturity. I have failed my kids in so many ways, especially my oldest. I hope one day he can forgive me and heal from the part of his story I wrote.


  Someone told me that I don’t honestly love my ex, I love the thought of him. At the time I laughed because they did not know the depths of my love; the extremes I have gone to too prove that love and to help him with his issues. But the truth is, martyrdom is not love. Wow, powerful words I have just slapped myself with. love should not be a one sided sacrifice. I may be alone for the rest of my life but at this point, I am ok with that because, and I repeat: Love is not martyrdom.

4 Replies to “I Need to get a Life: A Realized Codependents Struggle”

  1. I totally understand where you are coming from. With my ex, I was being abused but still trying to love him in hopes it would help heal his hurt. I was expanding myself far beyond what I could afford and not receiving anything back but hurt. It’s hard to finally realize that love is not martyrdom but it completely changes your life – for the better. You’re healthier, safer, and truly loved when you escape that hold.

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