Some of you reading this blog, have also read some of Melody Beatties books.
Codendent no more
The language of Letting Go
Stop being mean to yourself
Playing It by Heart
and the one I am reading now, Beyond Codependency. The stores are full of self help books, but when we read them and gain some insight how do we apply it in our lives. I have found in my own life that change is diffucult for me, no, DAMN difficult and it is hard on those who know me too.
When I cut my hair and change the colour from black to red, the same people will say every time they see me, 'you look so different, you look younger, you have changed so much, I like the change, I don't like the change'. What ever they say the fact remains I have changed. When I wear 'these' clothes, some people will say, 'that really suits you, I much prefer you in casual wear, others will say, I don't like it when you wear that, you look much nicer when you wear your gypsy clothes'. The point is, my wardrobe has all kinds of clothes and wear what ever I feel like wearing on any given day. Each day is different. Why do people find it so hard when one is making personal changes, that are hard to make but necessary for survival and personal growth?
Perhaps when we are not being our normal selves, or normal as people know us, we should say to them, 'please allow me some space, I am learning and growing'. I am not stopping loving you, I still care about you, but I am changing my heart today, I want it to feel something different to what I felt yesterday.
Since my divorce, my bottom of the barrel, my darkest hour ever, I had two choices, die or live. Had I chosen to die, I may not have died in the literal sense. I may have found my death in the bottom of a bottle, or in the indulgence of far too many sleeping pills, tranquilizers, another bad relationship. There are many ways of dieing slowly. But I have chosen to live and with that choice have come changes, that many people around me don't like or understand, but I must continue to find my own peace and harmony.
The people who don't like the changes or who are finding the changes unpleasant, painful for themselves are the people who's own marriages, I never want to be in again. They are people like me, pleasers who wish the world was a kinder more gentle place to live, but are not willing to make the sacrifices I have been forced to make. I am not a brave hero, I was simply desparate enough, or I would die.
I have reminders, unpleasant reminders to keep me focused on pushing forward.
Lets call him Mr B. He was married with two children and got divorced. I am not sure of the reasons for the divorce but not long after the divorce (do you see what I mean by too soon), he met and fell in love with a friend of mine. He was good to her, spoilt her rotten and there was no limit to what he would do for her. He showered her with gifts, took her to fancy restaurants, paid some of her bills, helped her around her home. This all sounds like heaven? But he suffocated her. He phoned her all the time, wanted to see her every day and hardly allowed her any time on her own. They became engaged and as time went by, he became more and more attached wanting desperately to get married, she needed some time. The longer she waited the more desperate he became until one day, she said NO. The engagement was off and she started to move on with her life. He couldn't let go and begged pleaded with her to reconsider asking her what he could do, what hadn't he done wrong? She kept telling him 'nothing', nothing, but he just couldn't accept it. (That is Co Dependency). Months went by and he would stay away for a while and then the phone calls would start again, he would drive by her house, want to know where she was and who she might be dating.
One day he went to her house and wanted to talk to her to sort out the problem between them. She told him he had done nothing wrong, but the relationship was over and she had moved on with her life. He left, in tears. She felt terrible, doubted her decision but stuck to it. She wanted to rescue him from his pain, but knew that in rescueing him and making him happy, she would end up in pain herself.
He moved closer to where she lived, making it impossible for her to go anywhere without worrying she would bump into him. One day, she invited a male friend, who is gay, to her home for dinner. Mr B happened to drive past her home and see a car there. He sneaked up and looking through one of the windows he saw that she obvioulsy had male company. He left, but phoned her the next day to call her all the names under the sun. When she explained who he was and that Mr B had no right to stalk her and if he didn't stop she would report him. Not long after, it happened to be Christmas day. My friend was getting ready to go to church and then meet some friends for Christmas lunch. Mr B arrived at her house, parked his car right outside her kitchen window and then sat on the horn. When my friend went rushing through to the kitchen to see what the noise was all about, she looked through the kitchen window and saw him sitting in the car. Before she could do anything, he pulled out a gun, held it to his head and pulled the trigger.
Statement: I can't survive without you!
He left behind his two children and at his funeral service, my friend sat next to his X wife and children and I wept. Not for him, but for them. He had ended his pain but theirs had only just begun. That is not to say I did not feel sorry for him, I was terribly sad that he could find no peace and suicide was the way out of for him.
This is not the choice of a coward, but of someone who simply couldn't go on with the pain one more day.
Oh my word have I felt that pain many times and also wanted to end it in the same way as he did. But he was an example to me of the pain that we cannot cope with gets passed on to those we love the most. After my divorce, I knew that if I was going to survive my divorce, I wanted to LIVE and not just breath each day. To acknowledge one is CD is the same as saying I am a heroin addict and I need help. The help comes one hour at a time not one year at a time. There are many relapses over and over again. What is a relapse to a CD? I find one of the biggest is telling people 'this is what I need for now'. I need to stay away from anyone who triggers my codependency, the need to rescue, be there for someone when I don't have the energy to be there for myself. Anyone who makes me want to say 'sorry I am hurting you and making you angry'. I am not hurting anyone, perhaps I am just not doing what they want me to do, thats all. All CD's need to be alone for a while to discover that they are Okay, nice people, who don't actually NEED anyone. We want people around us to enjoy the company of others, but we don't need them to validate out existance.
..... and so another day continues in my own recovery.