The other love language...
The walls didn't talk, they didn't tell the story of how I felt like I was breathing through a straw at the bottom of the ocean, just fighting to get my head above water. They didn't tell the story of how when I would start to get to the surface I would just be pushed back down. They didn't show that the person who could have saved me was a blurry image at the surface and wouldn't bend another inch to take my hand until the very last minute.
They didn't show that when I was finally pulled out to take my breath that it came with conditions and that I wasn't able to steer the boat or able to stay on it long because I didn't want to take up someone else's space. They didn't mention how I would apologize for making everything wet. They didn't show you the ways in which I had mastered this forgiveness that I thought was required or the part of myself that decided to stay at the bottom of the water so I could push everyone else to swim.
They didn't put pictures of the walls that showed the way I had began washing away, right before my own eyes, that I was becoming a fixture fed off of the need to please someone else and secure their lifeboat. If the walls could of talked they would of told you that I had become so detached to myself that I was relying on someone else for my life to make sense.
Codependency. Have you ever found yourself in a position in which you feel like you owe someone something? You owe them something for the basic things we as humans require and need? You find yourself striving to please them because you are trying your hardest to make sure they don't leave or leave you without warning? You start to think that your needs don't matter, and that you are here just for the purpose to secure someone else. You become obsessively worried about others and you lose yourself in their drama, trying to feed their ego and trying to find your self worth in trying to fix them. You feel as if you are almost invisible because your emotions have never been recognized, almost abandoned, and you make that idea okay because someone else might need you more.
It actually becomes easier for you to take care of others, rather than to take care of yourself, almost as if it was your duty. You just keep doing it because you fear rocking of the boat and creating conflict because the thought of someone being upset with you is terrifying. You find yourself constantly apologizing because you feel the guilt and shame when things are not perfect or the fear when something might go wrong that could trigger something in them.
Sometimes in relationships we tend to become codependent, through emotional and even physical abuse, we respond by trying to help verses trying to help ourselves. The relationship with someone you are codependent to doesn't have to be a significant other, it can be a parent, a child, a friend, or anyone really. Someone who most likely has conditioned their love or time to you by allowing you to feel as if you need to satisfy them in order to gain acceptance. Your entire world starts to focus around this person or it could even be persons. It starts to show in your work places or in other places. You tend to start apologizing for small things, you start to feel that you cannot say "no" when you are asked to do something, even when you don't have the desire or even time. It doesn't matter though, because running yourself short, will make their lives easier. For myself I started to realize I was codependent when I found my whole world shattered without someone to be giving my dependency to. I was lacking when that person had eliminated themselves from my life. In other situations when I was codependent I realized that I was giving up parts to myself in which I was not able to set clear boundaries for things I had felt so passionate about. Then one day out of no where, I was with someone, and I had said something and the change in their response had made me say "sorry". It was the next key phrase in which I realized I had some major emotional work to do, they said "I'm sorry that I made you feel you needed to say sorry " and it hit me like a rock. What just happened? Did someone just recognize that I had apologized for something that I didn't intentionally do? Did someone just try to secure my feelings for once? Did someone just turn the table? You would think that it would give me some type of happy feeling when it happened, to be acknowledged and accepted. It didn't though. It gave me this uneasy feeling, like someone right now was rocking that boat.
Realizing you are codependent isn't easy.
Coming to terms with codependency can be a huge step. Pointing out these behaviors makes you vulnerable. You are codependent when you deny yourself selfcare, when you continue to rescue others from their poor life choices, when you don't address your own feelings, when you stay in unhealthy relationships even when you know you want to move on, when you say yes but actually want to say no, and even tone yourself down because you know those around you would be upset with your success. Codependency creates this idea that you are not worthy of those things and that you are intended to be the safety net for many people in your life.
At times people like to say they are empathetic to those around them and that's the reason in which they do what they do. However, most of the time it's become the way they are conditioned to not think, feel, or even consider what they need and live to cater to others instead of focusing on their own life. Healing from codependency can be hard. It takes a lot of self motivation, as well as, at times, other mental health help, relying on peer support even to help you create new schedules, self care routines, self worth outlooks, and even getting to know your triggers is a huge step into the healing process. Getting yourself to the point that you are getting to know yourself, recognizing that your needs matter, challenging negative thoughts you have about yourself, and setting boundaries is a huge step into some of the ways that we learn to heal.
Understanding the value that you bring to the table and keeping relationships with those who respect you as much as you respect them. Accepting and knowing that you deserve better is the first step in my opinion; letting go of the toxic strings attached, because you need to realize you owe no one anything in this world.
Detaching from codependency can be a scary thing and leave you at times wondering what your purpose is, your purpose is to live freely and to be able to feel and reciprocate the benefits of being able to set the sails in the wind, going whatever direction you choose.
Disclaimer: Blog posts reflect the opinions and experiences of the specific blogger and do not reflect the views or beliefs of Peerstar LLC as an organization.