//
you're reading...
Food for Thought, Relationship Ranting

An Examined Life

In my sophomore year of high school I was embroiled in some issues that my family and I couldn’t resolve. I’m not entirely certain why it hurt my mother as badly as it did, but I think the biggest culprit was that she thought she knew exactly who I was and I managed to turn all of that upside down. I think that it wasn’t so much the choices that I made bothered her so much, but that they were not the choices that she would have made for me. Looking back on it now, I think she interpreted my actions as a direct attack on her.

I don’t remember much of what was said in therapy, but I remember the psychologist’s office and his collection of thick leather-bound tomes that seemed to be written in some other language. I also remember him looking like a big teddy bear. I’m not entirely sure that he physically resembled a bear so much as embodied it. He felt safe. I felt safe.

There is one word that stood out in bold print–codependent. It sounds innocuous enough. I depend on people, and they can always depend on me. How could this be a bad thing? The women in my family carry the weight of the world on their shoulders whether the world wants us to or not.

I get embarassed when someone spells my name wrong. I take everything personally. I feel safe in reacting to the world because I can tell myself that “so-and-so’s” actions are responsible for my feelings. I have convinced myself that the people taking care of me are screwing up, but no one is supposed to be taking care of me anyway.

I bend over backwards and martyr myself to help people. And if there is no problem, rest assured I’ll dredge one up from the past or create a “what if” scenario so that I can get back into caretaker mode.

Don’t get me wrong–I love my Mom and Grandma very much. But I don’t think any of us should have to feel this way anymore. I don’t want to raise Gwendolen that way because codependency, once started, is a habit that’s nearly impossible to break.

Advertisements

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: