Post date: Jul 26, 2016 4:05:16 PM
I wrote a blog posting on Medium.com. To link to the original posting, click on the title.
I’ve been in recovery a month. 30 days. I feel like I should get a chip or something. Maybe a cake or a bunch of roses. I think I’ll go buy myself some flowers today.
So my journey began 30 days ago. I kept praying and getting the same answer, “You need to let Jared go.” I thought I had done that. I felt like I no longer had to have him in my life. But still, the answer persisted. Finally, I asked Heavenly Father for clarification. I was given the vivid image of Jared struggling to swim. I am under water, clinging to the bottom of his jacket. I’m drowning and he’s trying to stay afloat.
I needed to physically let him go. So I did. I felt myself detach from him. And a bunch of things happened.
First, the next day, I felt like I was in a state of panic. My, what I thought was my anchor, was gone. I prayed and received a clear message to Google Codependent Relationships.
Now, I thought codependent meant I couldn’t live without someone. What I didn’t know is that codependent means I worry so much about everyone else and try to run their lives, that I can’t and DON’T take care of myself.
A light went off. I emailed my therapist. She responded, “Yes, you are codependent, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before the Lord did.”
It’s been a month. I’ve read books, I’m working two 12 step programs, I’ve started a website: www.codependentmormon.com.
But that’s not what this is all about. This is about what it is like to wake up and discover this knowledge. It sucks.
I’ve learned I’ve been a horrible mother, horrible wife, horrible person.
DO NOT CORRECT ME ON THIS.
I’ve spent most of my life, my therapist believes right around the age of 2, being codependent.
I was manipulative, cruel, angry, pissed off, belittling, and demeaning to the people who I should have loved the most.
I did not ask to be codependent. But now that I know I am, I’m not about to continue with this caustic way of life.
I cried last night. I cried because it hurts to know how much I’ve hurt people. I thought I was being nice, but I wasn’t, I was being controlling.
I thought outside of my home was safer than inside. I gave more to others than to my own family. I drained the life out of those who loved me.
On a recent trip to Utah, I watched as my mother-in-law stiffened when I walked into the room. She didn’t know what to expect. Was I going to be happy, sad, pissed off, what? I was a ticking time bomb for so very long, no one knew what to expect from me, so they expected the worst.
Working the steps have been hard. Step 5 in the codependent realm is not only seeing whom you have harmed but who has harmed you. Sitting in my mother-in-law's house, I felt so horrible for the way I had treated her son. He deserved so much and I wasn’t able to give it to him. Saying sorry to Jared’s siblings was even harder. I had hurt someone they loved. They’d watch it go on for years. What I thought was normal, wasn’t.
My therapist asked if the Spirit was in my home. How could it be, with me yelling all the time, waiting for the next crisis. I always thought there must be something wrong with the home, probably why we moved so much. It couldn’t have been me. Look at all the good things I did for everyone. What a pile of crap that was.
Wherever we went, it didn’t take long for others to be yelling too. It was my normal. I brought my crazy along wherever I went.
I’ve had several aha moments. I asked my daughter a question and she responded in a really snippy way. It hurt my feelings. When I asked Jared about it later he just looked at me in surprise. He said, “That’s the way you always respond.”
I reacted with anger. I reacted without thinking. I always reacted.
In a recent car trip, my daughter, who has picked up some of my codependent habits reacted to something. I just wanted to cry. Had I been that cruel to my children. To my husband. To my family.
Yes. I had.
It hurts to know how much I have hurt them. I can’t change the past, I can only make a conscious effort to move forward. I see myself currently skipping down the right path.
I’m also looking for my inner child. If you find her, let me know. I don’t really believe I had much of a childhood. I have bits and pieces of ok times and a whole lot of not so ok times.
I want to say I’m sorry to those I have hurt. I honestly did not mean to. I didn’t know or understand what I was doing.
Please know I’m trying to get better.
I have found peace. I feel “full” for the first time in my life.
Quiet is amazing. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong.
Worrying never changed anything. It never did and it never will.
Thank you to all of you who have stood by me, in my darkest hours. Thank you for believing in me, when I couldn’t believe in myself.
And that picture, the one of me drowning, it has been replaced by one of me swimming beside Jared. We can both breathe and it is lovely.