Friday, February 16, 2018

Codependency and Low Self Worth--the Most Insidious, Toxic Relationship-Ender There Is

PAST

"HOW can I say that?" you ask. "I thought a lot of other things were way, wayyy worse. Like cheating. Or beating. Or porn addiction. Or any other kind of addiction. Anger management issues? A controlling personality? At least codependents don't do any of those!"

No, they don't. (At least, not in any overt, in-your face kind of way.) BUT...

Most of the time, a person whose spouse is straying will find out. If your spouse is an angry or controlling person, you're gonna figure that out within a year of marriage, I promise you. Addictive behavior, you're gonna see evidence of as soon as it gets bad enough. And most people being hit have no problem recognizing the fact.

With just about any other relationship problem you can name, it's going to show up on both people's radar pretty soon. Both people will recognize there is a problem. They may not know what to do, and they may struggle with it for years and years, but both people know there's a problem.

With codependency and low self esteem (and I'm always going to use those terms together because all codependents feel horrible about themselves), only one person knows about any problems, and that person either:

A.) Isn't talking, or

B.) Gets knocked down every time they try to talk. Then they feel bad about themselves and just shut up again and pretend everything is fine.

       [Then you get, A.) Isn't talking.]

When this dynamic starts, the relationship can go on LOOKING AS IF everything is fine for years

and years

                           and YEARS

                                                         AND YEARS.

ONE person knows things aren't fine. The codependent.

And that person isn't talking. That person is ACTING.

The codependent is secretly miserable, so codependency is already ruining their life. That's how it starts. Then, codependency ruins everybody else's life.

Because acting is fine if you're doing it professionally, on the stage or in movies or TV. It's when you play a role all the time in your life that it isn't healthy. It hurts to be other than who you are. And nobody can do it forever.

Why do codependents not talk? Why do they act and pretend rather than be themselves?

Because they have such low self esteem and such, SUCH low self worth, codependents can be sort of mousy little people, absolutely SURE they aren't lovable and no one would want them. Because they've been treated like shit in childhood by drug addicted, personality disordered, or otherwise sick/neglectful/emotionally unavailable parents. Or maybe someone else was sick in the home and the parents just had their hands full. Either way, the codependent child/now physical (but not emotional) adult, feels horrible inside just about ALL the time and will do anything, ANYTHING for the love they needed growing up.

Sad to say, this kind of person is VERY attractive to anyone with a NEED TO CONTROL.

If Rory's horoscope is to be believed, her need to control came from a punishing childhood with an authoritarian mother, during which all her emotions went permanently into hiding and she determined to marry somebody who wouldn't treat her like that. So she was looking for somebody with a weak ego whom one glare, one snarl would knock nicely into submission. Maybe not even consciously, but it's the truth. Also, there's a lot there about a deep lack of confidence. If a person like this can get their hooks into someone smart who will be amazingly successful in the world, and then control everything this person does...well, that person has it made, right?

Wrong. Because no human being can be remade into the image another human being needs or wants. The truth is going to come out...and it does, in the mind of the codependent. Who isn't talking.

In my case, I had the same deep lack of confidence. The rest of my control problems came from a mother who portrayed to everyone around her that if only they would treat her just so, she could feel okay.

When that mother is a borderline who's flying into terrifying rages on an almost daily basis, scaring the minor children in the household to death, those kids grow up highly motivated to "do something" to change, to control, to comfort the people around them into feeling better and acting better.

Put me and Rory together and you have two very controlling women. The difference between us is, Rory had a high functioning mother (capable, held a job in the community) and herself turned out low functioning (barely aware of emotions in self, let alone her significant other), and I had a low functioning mother (couldn't drive or even handle a checkbook until her mid-thirties, anxious and fearful, could not hold down a job and tried to make ME do most of the household chores) and I turned out high functioning (extremely self aware, and brave enough to churn out writing like this.)

What do the two of us have in common? Chi. The extreme codependent, who acts, pretends, and won't talk. What does he act and pretend? Whatever is necessary so that people around him approve of him.

BECAUSE CODEPENDENTS BELIEVE THAT APPROVAL AND LOVE ARE THE SAME THING.

How could we ever believe otherwise? Because the only thing we ever got (and really, all three of us are codependent) was approval from our abusive parents, whenever they weren't on a rollercoaster borderline wave of intense negative emotion, stuck on a drinking binge, or otherwise able to notice us, and we did something that reflected well on them.

So, the codependent acts and pretends, acts and pretends, acts and pretends that everything's fine (because that's what gets approval from the people around him) for DECADES. Even though he himself knows that he isn't happy and that something is wrong.

During those decades, an awful lot of badness happens.

1.) Outsiders judge the home, the relationship, and the happiness of the people by what the codependent displays.

2.) Problems fester and fester, growing worse and worse, because the other person doesn't know what's wrong--doesn't even know that ANYTHING is wrong--so doesn't get a chance to understand anything or to correct anything. Even worse, the codependent, trying to make everyone else happy, lies to himself: We'll do it her way. I'm fine with it. Really! And displays specifically to the partner that something that's making the codependent feel bad is perfectly OK. So the partner innocently acts on what the codependent has displayed. Now a painful situation has been set up. And worse, the codependent may even blame the PARTNER later, when the codependent specifically told the partner it was OK!

3.) The codependent does ANYTHING to try to handle the upset feelings, B-U-T talk about them to anyone who can actually help. Chi used to clean compulsively, lose himself in reading or hobbies, and misuse Zen meditation in an effort to be "not unhappy." They're most honest with people they aren't close to, and most dishonest with people they're close to! And relationships are SUPPOSED to go the other way round.

I mean, look at this. Chi is more honest with me than he's ever been with anyone, and we haven't even seen each other's FACES in over two and a half years. What do you suppose a person like this is going to do if we were ever together? Shut down to me, trying to keep me in the room, and go be honest with someone peripheral again.

That's how affairs happen. Sure is how ours started.

4.) Because the codependent has architected so very, very well this beautiful (untrue) fa├žade of "Everything's perfect!" and is able to do this so very skillfully for so very very long, if and when the codependent finally breaks the wall of silence and reaches out to someone close to the situation to share truthfully...often that person is shocked. People tend to believe what THEY saw, rather than what a person actually involved tells them is the truth. This is the reason so many incest victims come forward to a family member and aren't believed. "But your dad is a GREAT guy! I've known him for years! He would never do that! Why are you lying to me?"

People get so attached to what they SAW and what they BELIEVED that they NEED to believe it, and giving up the belief is too shocking, too terrifying. What if that little girl really IS being sexually abused? How will things change? Or maybe it's as simple as, "Chi and Rory, we love them. Such a lovely couple, such a lovely family. MY marriage is shit, but theirs is wonderful. *Sigh*"

So the codependent comes forward, finally, trembling and filled with trepidation, and gets greeted with SHOCK! "OMG, this can't be true!" Or they get pelted with the DUTY they OWE the other person. When it may be that that other person has been abusive or neglectful or hurtful for years, in ways the codependent can't even bring themselves to say because it's too personal. But...

5.) Codependents don't like or trust themselves. So they value the advice and opinions they get from others over their own feelings.

Go back up to A. up there and start all over again.

Because of these dynamics, codependency has absolutely GOT to be the WORST emotional problem that can operate in a marriage. Here I'm witness to a marriage that's been rotting from the inside for nearly FORTY YEARS.

When something like that is going on, two people can waste most of their lives before even getting properly introduced to what's actually been happening. Now the bad habits of controlling and not speaking up are severely ingrained, and lots and lots and lots of unspoken hurts have poisoned the well. And the same bad habits are working in overtime to keep all the problems going. AND the external pressure from people who don't understand (because things LOOKED so good for so long) is doing the same thing.

If it really is unsalvageable, now the people are old. They're in their late forties, their late fifties, their sixties...even their seventies. And their entire LIVES have been lost to a bad relationship.

Worse, should they ever find a better one, they're probably going to conduct themselves according to the SAME BAD HABITS they've practiced since childhood. "I'm no good. No one will ever love me. I'd better put my head down, play along, not talk, not upset anyone, and never make waves."

Codependency is a LIFE DESTROYER--quite possibly the worst one there is.

Because it always has such a pretty, pretty face on it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

A Letter to Myself.

Present.

Probably within the next three weeks, Chi will be back and I will have to finish this job.

I really have no choice. I can't let this person back into my life and get treated the way I KNOW I will be.

I know, in general, what I have to do. Exactly how to phrase it, I don't know. I don't have that part yet. I don't know exactly where his head will be or what he'll say.

I do have some pretty good guesses.

By mid-March, this job should be over. I can't change my mind. I absolutely can't, I just can't. That way lies tragedy, and this I know.

So, by mid-March, Chi will have left my life--or I will have left his--quite possibly forever, and this will be my life. Just as it is now. I see nothing different, nothing new, nothing better, in my future. Not for many, many, many years. I'll be a senior citizen by then!

But, you know, that's the way it has to be. If I got anything wonderful and new before I learned how to accept my life the way it is, and be perfectly happy and satisfied with only what there is now, I'd just mess everything up again. Simon was the one person that wouldn't have happened with.

He was the happy childhood I deserved and should have had. Now I've moved out of the house and for the first time in my life, I am both all alone and an adult,  instead of a child.

Before, I could be happy because I had this starry-eyed belief in myself, sort of like he had. I believed in a much, much, MUCH better world than the one we actually live in. I can't do that anymore, so there's no more flying up on the wings of anticipation of being the next J.K. Rowling. I'm just going to go along doing my work, and that will be it. There's no one close to me but myself, and  no life but the one there is.

After the life I had, this isn't much of a life at all. I wake up and ask myself, What am I even doing all this for? What is the point? And, Why do I care?

Most days, I don't. I've been really sleepy all this week. I'm beginning to suspect I'm just depressed.

And no wonder. Who wants to spend the rest of their life like this?

But, it's unacceptable to run back to Chi, although I suspect I WILL have that opportunity over the next month. 

Once I was so happy because I knew I'd see him again. Now I know exactly what I'm looking at, and I've already skipped ahead emotionally to the time when I've said goodbye and now I have no life at all. I feel like Bella Swan in that horrible second Twilight movie, where all she does is mope and moon.

I need to remember that those movies were HUGE hits. And that, while J.K. Rowling was divorcing an abusive husband and ended up fired, jobless, and on welfare while alone raising a newborn baby,  feeling awful about life and herself, she did her best work.

I guess some people can do something good with a time like this. But, I sure won't be happy doing it.

I don't think, most of the time, that I will ever be happy again. My life just fell all to pieces--twice--and oh, well. 

Last time this happened, Simon asked me out within two weeks. Not gonna happen now, not with anyone emotionally well enough to be in any relationship, at least. This time, I really do have to tough it all out alone.

But that's no excuse for helping someone else perpetuate his own illness. If I do that, everyone pays, pays big, and pays bad.

In theory, if I learn my lesson, I push Chi to learn his...which, in theory, he has a decent chance of doing. If I DON'T learn my lesson, well, he has to keep teaching me my lesson, and those are painful lessons I don't want to undergo. I keep getting this transit, and he does too, that a teacher is coming into our lives that doesn't look like a teacher. 

I need to test out of that course.

Codependency 101 was bad enough.

In theory, Chi has the stuff and is capable of doing much better.

In reality...well, look at his track record. It's bad.

I have to figure out how to go on living this way for the rest of my life without being so miserable. I haven't solved that riddle.

One thing's for sure: If I don't solve that riddle, and I end up brokenhearted forever, for the rest of my life, I can at least know that I stuck up for what was right, insisted he GET THE FUCK WELL, and refused to support him in staying sick.

At least I did that.

How can I live this life and not be so sad anymore?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Excuse me, but what do the rules people from RelationshipTalk.net keep coming over here for???

1.) I don't know if you've noticed, but what I post on here is ending up NOT to be what I was posting over there. You have to tailor your postings to your audience, something I am capable of doing but apparently you aren't.

2.) You banned me.

First you used ESP, apparently, to divine what I was going to post and how I was going to post it, then you pressured me to stop posting there because one of the admins had a personal bad experience with astrology and admitted her own bias right there on the public forum. Then you threatened to ban me telling me you had warned me I was violating rules, when I had received no such warnings. Then when I responded in just as public a manner as you were threatening and harassing me, you stayed just as high-handed, haughty, and mean. So I saved all my work to my computer, told you exactly what I thought, invited you to ban me since I had all my work saved, and you banned me.

So why are you people still visiting over here? 



Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Funny Thing...

PRESENT

After I finished writing all that, I felt happy. I felt like I had had a happy day I was satisfied with.

I actually felt like my old self for the first time in over four years. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

SO...Do I Believe All That??

PRESENT

Yep. I sure do.

I think I would be an idiot not to. If it didn't match perfectly with everything I've read about codependents and how codependents act in relationships, it would be different, but it does. He's already done all of this once. Look at all that's happened so far. When we don't learn, we do it all over again.

Besides, ALL THREE CHARTS ARE IN AGREEMENT ABOUT ALL THE EVENTS, AT THE SAME TIME.

What mathematician would assign good odds to that?

Chi has access to this blog now, so heaven knows what he thinks of all this. As The Other Woman, I must follow instructions, and when the last instruction is, "Don't talk to me," then that's what I do.

                        
***

Below, I wish to present, courtesy of Wikipedia, a list of...


Commonly cited symptoms of codependency:[1][21]

  • intense and unstable interpersonal relationships
  • inability to tolerate being alone, accompanied by frantic efforts to avoid being alone
  • chronic feelings of boredom and emptiness
  • subordinating one's own needs to those of the person with whom one is involved
  • overwhelming desire for acceptance and affection
  • perfectionism
  • over-controlling
  • external referencing
  • dishonesty and denial
  • manipulation
  • lack of trust
  • low self-worth.
I have turned the symptoms that overlap with borderline personality disorder orange.

Any idea why "trying to save Chi" looked so attractive to me, given that my mother almost certainly has BPD?

Please also note the word in RED.

You see, no matter what you THINK you're doing or how good your intentions are, that word in a relationship is a trust-killer, a relationship ruiner, and a life destroyer.

More on that soon.

Friday, February 2, 2018

So Why the Fuck Do I Change My Mind??

FUTURE

WHAT convinces me to do this, when I see how things are now?

All through this, I haven't been STUPID. Last time, I looked for the classic, married-man-swears-he's-leaving-but-always-has-an-excuse-and-never-moves-out. THAT'S what fooled me the first time. He consulted a divorce lawyer. He moved out. He went to counseling. It was going to be divorce counseling.

THEN it fell apart. Why? Guilt. Codependency.

Clearly, I'd need to see behavior at least as convincing as that, so I surmise that this is what happens. And we all know how well Chi can act. He's such a good actor, he even convinces himself he feels some way about a thing when he really doesn't. Anything, anything to make someone else happy and avoid conflict of any sort.

And then I remembered something.

A year and a half or so ago, I told my therapist, the wonderful Janice (who hasn't committed me yet over all this astrology!) that I was rereading all our notes to each other, and I had noticed something. Every time a new person walked onstage and started talking, what Chi thought would SWING to match what that person said.

Now, look at this: It's been three years. To all outside observers, the marriage LOOKS stable. (Because, once again, Chi is groveling to PLEASE OTHER PEOPLE, and NOT TELLING THE TRUTH.)

Because the marriage looks stable, the kids, the friends, and the relatives have all shut up.

Marriage counseling is over. He's upstairs writing me while Rory is downstairs. (Once AGAIN, as if the intervening three years never happened.) 

Rory has shut up.

There's no more individual therapy. He's only in group. His therapist, most unfortunately and unwisely, has shut up.

Once again, Chi is lonely. And once again, I am the only one talking.

And what did I just say?? "I guess we'll just have to end contact."

OH, SHIT.

He's already mimicking me now! About our club meetings. I already told him they'd just lead to disaster. I got no argument. I got agreement. Then: He started telling me what I originally said about it!

And then what did I say?? "You deserve so much more than this in life. How can you accept so little? Why are you doing this to yourself?"

Now his therapy group is going to talk. They've heard the ENTIRE story of the past two and a half years, much more than I heard. What do you think they're saying right now??

And we all know what Chi does when a new person steps up onstage and talks.

What's he going to say to himself now? BUT: Is he any more ready or able to follow through on that?

Let's add one more clue to the compilation I put up here one week ago:

20.) Chi NEVER thinks for himself until he's desperately, desperately unhappy. Literally, until he's entertained the idea of suicide a couple of times. (Really. A person needs to be thinking for himself long, loooong before that.) Until then, his first response--he believes it's his first DUTY--is to adopt the thoughts, opinions, and perspective of the other person. (Unhealthy Sun in Libra in action, folks!!) And he ACTS with the skill of Robert De Niro.

And THIS is why we have communication problems! 

Sometimes deception in a relationship happens because one person is  consciously trying to use and hurt the other one. 

This deception is happening because one person can neither find nor fight for the self.

THIS IS MOON OPP NEPTUNE. This is the deception and miscommunication I've been warned about.

He's going to come back to me and say all this--"I can't live like that anymore, I love you, I miss you, I have to leave--" AND FOLLOW IT UP WITH BEHAVIOR--and I believe him.

This is what happened the first time. And I fall right for it again, because:

I DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A MANIFESTATION OF CODEPENDENCY AND A WEAK, WEAK EGO. NOBODY DOES!!

I BELIEVE IT'S REALLY HIM.

Especially when, especially when, especially when, especially when--

It's what I think he should do anyway! (Remember how I'm advised to stop CONTROLLING?? Because I need him to make me feel less afraid and more secure in life? You know--that stuff I'm supposed to be doing for myself??)


Especially when, especially when, especially when, especially when--



I'm lonely and needy and it's what I long to hear.



There's my Neptune in house three! There's why I misunderstand.


But really, who knows? 

I mean, fuck, man. It could really be him, but...



...as soon as he leaves Rory, the relatives all start up again, and his thoughts, all over again, SWING to match their pain and SWING to match everything they're screaming at him. And the next thing we know, it's back to, "They're going to cut me out of the family. I'm causing other people too much pain." 


Because he hasn't done any work within himself to know any other way to handle the situation.



And how do I know that?? Because I've spent the past two and a half years reading books, watching videos, uncovering what's wrong with ME, journaling, and healing--and he hasn't. All he's done is sat in the back of a therapy group watching OTHER people working, healing, getting well, and moving on. While he speaks in that group maybe once every few weeks. And focuses ALL HIS ATTENTION on other people, other people's problems, doing what other people want, and making sure other people are happy and nobody's mad at him.

Folks, this is the definition of codependency. All he's doing is cycling and cycling back through it, 


f

  a
    l
      l
       i
        n
          g
             
           back, back, BACK INTO THE ILLNESS that got him here

                       DOING IT ALL OVER AGAIN


instead of studying, working in therapy, healing from the sick childhood with sick parents that did this to him in the first place,


            INSTEAD OF GETTING THE FUCK WELL.


PLEASE NOTE:



Recovery from a broken childhood is not a spectator sport. 

If you spend sixty years avoiding difficult emotional work, you spend sixty years forever a lonely, sad, broken child, making everyone else your parent, bending over backwards for mommy and daddy to love you and take care of you the way you needed when you really were a child. 

And you do the same damn thing, over and over...ruining everyone else's life in the process, because YOU WON'T LET YOURSELF KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND WHEN YOU DO KNOW YOU WON'T TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT IT.   

AND YOUR LOVED ONES GET THE SHIT KICKED OUT OF THEM, BECAUSE THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS AND THEY TRUST YOUR WORD.

And half the time, you're so worried about what they will think of you, that so do you. When, 

if you just had some of your OWN approval,

you wouldn't need so much of everyone else's.



(I don't know how many times I thought this same thing of my mother, watching the way she acted when I was a child.)

So you run around and around the same worn track, avoiding those codependency books and videos like they're the damn plague, when they are the only way OFF the same worn track. 

Then you wonder why three more years passed and you're still living in a world of pain.

                                 ***



There's a saying among astrologers that the only reason astrology is predictive is: WE DON'T LEARN.

Yes, it all happens all over again, only this time I'm even more horribly devastated. Because this time I thought it was for keeps. He stays out of the marriage for two years this time. Marriage counseling didn't work; Rory is still behaving abominably; anybody else would leave. 

And I'm judging him by that adult part of him that holds a Very Important Position that requires a lot of smarts and made him a million dollars. I expect that that sad hurting little boy healed and grew up, because he can LOOK like it for months at a time.



But without the WORK, these things don't happen. And look who spent the past three years working on other people, instead of on himself. Again!!!

This time, we're together twenty-four months instead of only four.

And this time, I am devastated beyond ALL recognition.

                                  ***

Unhealed from old child feelings of being scared, lonely, and unable to take care of myself or find any meaning in life if I don't have some close loved one around, and without the tool of astrology, 

I can't see this.

Healed, and with astrology, I can.

And THAT'S the crucial internal process I was supposed to wait to complete, and why I've been so obsessive and in such a damn hurry these last three years. 

If I'm incapable of finding my purpose and my own two feet, I'm so needy, a-tiptoe to hear him say those magic three words ("I'm divorcing Rory") that I have NO hope of figuring out what's actually going on. (And I'd better, because I'm not too sure if this therapist of his has any fucking clue.)

I need too badly for it to be real.

And our whole relationship goes on and on like that!! For TWENTY YEARS! IT NEVER STOPS. Because he never sets to work and HE NEVER GETS WELL. And I was going to perpetuate it, because before I started reading the astrology and seeing all these warnings, I was frozen in place, that sad, scared, lonely little child wounded and hurt by HER parents. I wasn't going to get well, either.

No matter how hard I thought I was listening or how it looked like he was telling me the truth, our relationship would have been just like Chi and Rory--especially if I stay controlling, trying to mold him and our life the way I wanted. I'd hear this, and it would look like it was the truth: 

"Yes-dear-yes-dear-yes-dear-yes-dear," until one day...

"AAAUUGGHH!! I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE!"

Only he isn't assertive enough to a.) say that early on, and b.) back himself up...which would have prevented the problems! 

Instead, he just finds other people to complain to, and one of them about ten years from now is an unattached woman, and then... and then ... 

I get to be Rory.

(Hence the saying, If he cheated on her, he'll cheat on you. In this case, here's why. Unhealed, untreated, RAMPANT codependency and low self worth. Ah, giving in to codependency always looks like you're doing the right thing at the time...doesn't it??)

And Rory and I and everyone else are always baffled. It looks so much like it's really him.

                               ***

And IT'S ALL HAPPENING. In the next three months.

HOLY

FUCKING

SHIT.

Well, now I've already started it. I've already started the trajectory. Here we go.

How to alter the forthcoming bad transits? Is there any possibility of a happy ending? What's the middle road? Is it so dangerous to me that I no longer care?

In a word: YIPES.



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

About The Move

Present...

Eventually I plan to move this whole blog to RelationshipTalk.net. The only problem I see with that now is that this one, being up to date, is SO far ahead of that one. Over there, I have to start the whole story all over again and catch up. So, that's what I'm doing. But there's still new developments. I don't want to forget those. So those are going over here. If you're an old reader here, stay here I guess. Unless you want to see some NEW content I've posted for RelationshipTalk, then look them up.

But if you just started reading here, go over there. It will be a lot easier to follow. Once that blog gets caught up, this one will be out of business.