Survival for the Recovering Codependent

codependent no more

 

Here’s a big secret…or maybe not. Recently I’ve had some pretty harsh things to say, in both public and private posts, about alcoholics, addicts, people who don’t take responsibility for their actions, etc. I’ll explain further for those of you who don’t know the specific situations so you’ll understand better why I can’t have certain people in my life.

Everyone has issues; some people have subscriptions. Being addicted to something or having a certain kind of issue that threatens your happiness doesn’t make you a bad person. We ALL have quirks and problems. As an intuitive and empath, I can tell you that even the most together person is a hotbed of secrets and fears. Not taking personal responsibility or using your addiction, illness, deep dark secrets, etc as an excuse for bad behavior? That will cause me to distance myself from you in a big and necessary way.

I know my issues and what I need to do to stay in a happy place. I didn’t figure this out overnight and it took years to find serenity that I don’t want to threaten. I’m a recovering codependent, meaning I have a tendency to sacrifice too much for others and carry them through devastating times–at my own expense. While some codependents focus on controlling PEOPLE, I like to control OUTCOMES. I want everyone to be happy. I want to find that perfect solution that will make everything good. I believe in the good in people and soooo want people to live their potential. Yay for self-actualization! This is inherent to my personality, and it’s not going to change. Nor can I change something so basic to who I am. I’ve found positive ways to channel it–life coaching…mentoring….giving employees the best opportunities possible for professional development so they’ll have the best solutions to choose their happiness from in the future. I get immense joy out of helping people get to a good place.

There’s an insidious negative side that can seep in and leave me feeling unappreciated or feeling like a relationship is one-sided. These are usually the people who take, take, take, and I’m left feeling resentful and missing the balance of reciprocal support. This is why it is vital to surround myself with people who are honest, people who take personal responsibility, people who don’t excuse away abusive behaviors. It also means being with people who don’t purposely treat me badly and remind me that it’s MY responsibility to put up boundaries to stop them (an ex once admitted to using this flaw of mine as an excuse to abdicate all responsibility and see how much of a dick he could be before I walked out).

So depending on the specific addiction, behaviors, and level of responsibility you take, I may not be able to have you in my life AT ALL. Or maybe just not very close. It depends on how directly and intimately I’m affected. Is that selfish? Damned right. It’s survival for me. I am going against my nature and I am taking care of myself first because I know that if I am extremely close to you and–Gods help me, if I’m in love with you–I will, as a high-level empath, merge with you energetically and see the world from your viewpoint blended with mine. I’ll not see your lies or your faults. I’ll believe your words and turn a blind eye to your actions. I will see the very, very best in you, even if it breaks me…or until it breaks me. I know this about myself.

They say to choose your friends wisely, and it’s all the more important for anyone with my particular personality. I intentionally surround myself with certain kinds of people and distance myself from others. Every now and then, someone unhealthy for me gets through the net and has to be ejected. Then they get belligerent. Then they make me out to be the bad guy for saying no. I get patronized, insulted, threatened, and guilt-tripped…and you KNOW how well guilt trips work on me since my divorce, right? Not at all.

So whatever problems you have are just fine by me and make you who you are right now and define the person you’ll be tomorrow, but if you try to drag me into your muck and sink me, too, I will clobber you and crawl out of the pit. Crawl out of the pit yourself or maybe accept a hand up from me while I’m on the sunny and dry bank, but pull me into the pit with you and I’ll withdraw my hand.