4th February 2019 at 9:26 am #71853
I was just wondering what people’s thoughts were about co-dependency being part of the reason you stayed with your abusive partner for so long or got with your abusive partner in the first place?
I have been reading a lot about shame, guilt and co-dependency recently and what I have discovered it that I am hugely codependent. Even though I believe it was the FOG that kept me in the relationship. It was my own co-dependency which made me believe I could “fix” him that got me there in the first place.
I hope this makes sense. I am definitely NOT saying that me being abused was my fault. I am merely just trying to figure out what it is about me which attracted him to me/me to him in the first place. And the more I read of co-dependency, the more I see a pattern in my life which has got me to this point.
4th February 2019 at 10:10 am #71854IwantmebackParticipant
I’m reading the human magnet syndrome by Ross Rosenberg it explains why we are attracted to each other, not jyst as codependents and abuser. It’s got a few of his own stories in it too and others as well.
4th February 2019 at 10:53 am #71855
I think I will read that next, it sounds really good.
I am reading “Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to freeing the true you by Darlene Lancer. I can now see how my self worth comes from others approval. And that really I do not love myself at all. Its been a hard read and I feel emotionally exhausted but its been totally worth it.
4th February 2019 at 12:33 pm #71856maddogParticipant
I think you’re right, Janedoeissad about co-dependency. However, the list of signs and symptoms cover pretty much the human condition. The word itself is commonly associated with alcoholism. The positive thing about co-dependency or whatever we choose to call it, is that it is a habit, not a personality trait, and we can make steps to recover from it. I think there is a lot of stuff in the Freedom Programme to help us see things for what they are and to become more independent and interdependent.
I’ve been watching lots of things on Youtube which I’ve found helpful. It’s been a terrible struggle for me even coming up for air. There are many ways out of this. It’s finding the one that suits you.
4th February 2019 at 1:58 pm #71860
Maddog, that’s very true, the book says that the word is commonly associated with alcoholism. I started watching Youtube videos about signs of codependency and I ticked far more boxes then I realised. The depth of my codependent habits has shocked me. I have no boundaries and will literally do pretty much whatever I am asked as long as people like me (and as long as its legal and I am not physically hurting myself), as that is where I get my self worth.
The book asked to look at what you are giving and demanding from other people and see that is what you are really craving. So if either inwardly or outwardly you are demanding to be liked or loved, you actually need to start liking and loving yourself. Ultimately I need to start liking me, pouring all the effort into myself that I would normally give out to others.
Its facinating to see how what you perceive the world to be, might not be. That we can construe things a million different ways when really, the reality is maybe a lot nicer.
4th February 2019 at 7:27 pm #71878maddogParticipant
I have found that so much of Freedom and trauma therapy is about re-defining boundaries. It has all been such an eye-opener for me and above all I don’t feel so much like a freak any more which is a huge change. A massive burden of guilt has lifted as I realise that the things that have happened, the things that I have tried to make better are not actually my fault and I have to get on with my own things. I’m certainly not out of the woods yet. I went to some ALANON meetings. The 12 steps doesn’t suit me. It really is horses for courses. At least there are ways out!
5th February 2019 at 11:04 am #71902[email protected]Participant
I never understood why i was so co-dependent on my ex, i had so many opportunities to leave and I either couldnt or reneiged. I felt like and i knew people thought that I was being pathetic. I felt so feeble so my confidence just plummeted. So the shame and the guilt keeps you there, circumstances ie money and isolation is a hold. Your inabilty to think straight due to abuse dosent help. Its a real up hill struggle isnt it?i really hope that eventually there will be better support for women trying to break free. its so hard but against all the odds we do get though this and emerge stronger eventually. xx
6th February 2019 at 2:31 pm #71936
Maddog, the book references the 12 step programme and I am not a big fan either. However, the book has given me some tasks to work through which have been enlightening. Another thing I have noticed is rather than accepting loneliness and isolation as part of life sometimes, just as happiness and sadness are. I’ve being trying to cure it with trying to get straight into another relationship. Which no doubt would lead me back to another person who isn’t right for me.
[email protected] yes, there really needs to be more support and understanding, I really think they need to teach this stuff at school at an appropriate age. In a sense I’m sort of glad I went through the abusive experience because I have come through hell but learnt so much about myself. We are all incredibly strong and resilient people who should be proud of ourselves and our achievements, whether we have left the abuser or not. I felt humiliation and guilt for so long I missed the biggest achievement of my life so far. Getting the courage to leave him.
6th February 2019 at 5:17 pm #71941fizzylemParticipant
Yes I tried to fix, be the helper. I gave and he took, I gave more and more – he was happy to oblige me lol. I collapsed with burn out eventually. It was only at this point, when I was forced to look at what needed to change, I realised I wasn’t actually getting anything back from this relationship other than abuse, stress and more work.
It’s natural and needed to ‘give’ in a relationship, but it was just as much me who kept this dysfunction going because I never questioned I need to be receiving here too – for a long time; it feels good to give right?
Equal relationships are give and take aren’t they, respectful and supporting, when one needs support the other moves in to offer this, may hold the fort for a bit, then ‘moves back’ again, sooner or later the other one needs support and the roles are swapped – without issue! I supported abundantly – I never actually felt supported.
Can see how intense the relationship was as well now and how I fed off this, really came to falsely believe I needed and craved his attentions – of course I was only ever given scraps – why was that ok for me? It wasn’t ok. I questioned this with him, that it felt there is little or no intimacy, I was told I am too needy, untruths, I do love you – all he had to do was tell me what I wanted to hear, which worked for a while.
I noticed white lies more and more, purposely keeping others in the dark – he doesn’t do that with me though does he we’re soul mates, I’m different I told myself, I’m the only one on the inside – what an idiot! I wanted a soul mate all he had to do was say you are it, you are the special one – ha!
I know now questioning this unmet need was not needy at all. The mistake I made was I didn’t attend to it and I carried on. Self-doubt kicked in with lots of help from him of course with that!
I was overly self-sufficient, took on too much responsibility, a problem solver, always personally responsible for everything, ‘it’s me, what do I need to do here to make it right’. Always positive about him, others and the world so didn’t see the sinister. I struggled greatly to ask for help and to receive anything from anyone – I was perfect for him!
I froze when he shouted abuse at me and every time he kicked off, as I simply didn’t know what to do – usually when I don’t know what to do I find out what this is, I didn’t here, I did nothing and stayed feeling stuck, guess because the answer was I needed to make it stop and the only way to do that would be to end it and I wasn’t ready to act, so I tolerated his lack of respect – w*f?
I suppose we all get to a point where we become invested in the relationship hey. I was invested before I had spent time getting to know, but I was duped too, because he pretended to be the man I hoped he would be – wanted to see. I certainly never took the time to ask is this relationship right for me before committing to moving in – more blindly and optimistically I told myself it will be ok – how wrong was I!! Lol. It was an emotional decision, based on how I felt at the time and what I hoped for – big mistake – that will never happen again.
Sorry for the length, it’s a fascinating topic though isn’t it, so much to get into once you start. The gift that keeps on giving! This is all great armour you’re building JDIS, will help you to stay safe and to spot and keep out the wolves for sure x
6th February 2019 at 6:26 pm #71942IwantmebackParticipant
Thank you @fizzylem for saying that you too think this is a fascinating topic. I too find it that way, even though living it is an entirely different story. I too was like you, questioned why I was getting deeper into this relationship when though it felt so wrong at times. You hit the nail on the head, it’s because of time invested, emotions invested AND yes money plays a big part in it too, as does ego and stubbornness and that belief that you’re the one who can fix this other person. sometimes I feel I’ve become a human guinea pig, seeing how far I’ll let anither person push me until I say enough is enough, instead of walking away at the first sign of wrongness. Teach me not to listen to my gut eh?
7th February 2019 at 2:07 pm #71968
Fizzylem, you have described my relationship with my Ex to a T!!! It was scary reading your post. I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough and that I had done something wrong. I was so hyper independent that I decided I didn’t need him to help me. When now I have come to the realisation that I do need and should be allowed to ask for help and support. Like you say, its give AND take. All my Ex ever did was take and then scream at me when I didn’t give enough. And then tell me I didn’t try hard enough when I had give my absolute all.
It is such a fascinating subject. I am learning so much about why MY head works the way it does. This is the first time in my entire life where I have taken time for me and to learn who I am and how I tick. I am learning that I have feelings too and they are valid and deserve my time. I am discovering that the more time I spend with me, the more I like me, which I never did before.
7th February 2019 at 4:52 pm #71981fizzylemParticipant
Doing cartwheels for you JDIS! You’re going to be just fine, and stronger and wiser than ever before, as the saying goes, ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’ – sure does hey – there really is no going back for you now, now you are responding to you and have discovered you like you xx
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