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Asking for some posible diognosis of my situation (long)
September 20, 2003
10:02 am
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My_Mess
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Where to begin....
I am a Male.
I am 26.
I think I have a serious problem with co-dependancy.
In a nutshell...
I come from a broken family.
My parents divorced when I was 10 and my sister was 7.
My Father is an alcholic.
I had never heard of co-dependancy until I arived at this forum 20 minutes ago.
I realise that I have problems with relationships beecause I have a habit of being very susupicious about motives and "cause and effect" in all my relationships both work and personal.This I realise is not how things are meant to be.
I guess I have always wanted to be valued and needed in a comunity.I have gone far beyond what most people will tolerate from others in the hope that I can "fix" them.
I hope that with enough support from me my father will dry out and stay dried out the rest of his life.I am the only member of my family [and most of his] that comunicates with him. After being let down on numerous ocasions I have "snapped" where I no longer care what his fate is.I have shunned all contact with him and left him to himself.As my mother [ who worries herself sick) has always said "He doesn't deserve what you do for him." but because I am so cynical I always used to give him the benefit of the doubt ( they are divorced after all).
I realised I have a problem when I could do this. "Snapped".I really couldn't give a (insert expletive here).This troubles me greatly. I worry not for him but for me.What does this say about me that I can do this to my father. I can see myself repeating this situation with my Girlfriend ( 5.5 years now ).I guess from my parents divorce that I have an overwhelming desire to make a relationship that works. To me a relationship menas "two people working together. Staying absolutely TRUE to each other and supporting each other 100%. two people against the world".
I am an average looking guy "Now" I looked alot worse at highschool and "then" had absolutely NO sucess with any relationship with women. I was always the bloke they told everything and stayed sober and drove them home and kept them out of trouble. Doing the "Right thing". (Probably left overs from no father figure at home). When I met my GF she was "on the rebound" from her ex BF ( I met her 2 weeks after she broke up with him and 2 days since she last slept with him) He dumped her just after she had an abortion for thier child. She is a "late child" her next older brother ( she has 4 of them) is 9 years her senior. She has a family friend who paid for her to have an extra antenae installed to she could get better TV reception in her bedroom. The family friend has a wife who has cancer and is dying and he was hoping to Get some return from his antenea install in the sexual kind of way.
I beleive that my Gf has always had low selfesteem ( her parents are also Alcaholics) she has had 10 sexual partners before me and she started having sex at 14 with a 22 year old. I met her when she was 19.All this to me was shouting out " GIRL IN NEED OF HELP". So I did what I knew best. Helped her out. Paid for antenae install. Treated her like she is special (which she is) and helped with her emotional issues.
To me though she went from one disaster to another. Betrayl of trust. Lies about money and what she gets up to. Now after 5 + years it still keeps happening. I try to explain her actions to myself but can't. thats when it started to come home "I can't help her".
Now I am in this situation where I get into "downward spirals of mood" Little things start it and then I speed it up myself until I get angry and depressed. I can see things things starting and I try to stop them and some times I can. I have never been violent with her in a physical and rarely in a verbal way. I keep thinking that if I continue to support her and trust her it will suddenly "come right" and I will be blissfully happy from now on until I die.
None of my friends understand why I put so much time into her. Why i tolerate her treatment of me.Why I cant leave her. She really is my everything. Without her everything I have bought and own is dross.
I want her to be "the one".Unfortunatly I can never trust her and must be an ogre about money and what she earns and what happens to it.Some people are like that. Some people have relationships like that and seem to be happy. NOT ME.I won't be a dictator and say "you will do this" "you must do this" "you must have dinner ready when I get home". What kind of life is that for her. what would it say about me If I was like that.I have absolutley NO desire for children EVER. Everyone says "that will change" .NOPE.Too much responsibility. Too hard to control and keep safe in this sick world.
I want to give her the world. I want to sail the oceans with her and visit diferent countries and peoples. SEE the world before humanity destroys it. She feels ( I guess who can know what another feels) the same. About Kids and travel ect.
But I can't get trust back and I can't leave her...
So I continue from one deceipt to another.
We both have probelems.
I am not helping hers though by wrapping her in cotton wool.
If my behaviour sounds remotley similar to anything you guys and gals have experianced perhaps you could give me some advice on books to read of spefic help to get.
I am really sorry if this has offended anyone.
I apoligise if you read all this and it was wasted time.
thanks,
My_Mess.
aka
Will from Australia.
Sorry for all the spelling mistakes too.

September 20, 2003
11:03 am
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Anam Cara
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Hi MY Mess

You are a mirror image of me and the problems you discribe.

I could go on about it but my story and many others can be found on the Coffeehouse boards.

Hitch a ride - tie up on the rail of the coffeehouse .

Anam

September 20, 2003
11:07 am
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sixfootblonde
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Hey Will. Nice to have you here, I'm a 26 yr old female from the US so we're kind of at the same points in our lives.

I am in no position to diagnose you or whatever. But I'll just point out the things that came to mind as I read your post, ok?

First off, I'm sorry for what you've been thru with your family. That's a tough road and I'm glad to see you made it thru relatively sane, sounds like! 🙂 You state that it troubles you greatly that you don't give a $(%). Will, I think it's safe to say that after all you've been thru and the lengths to which it sounds like you've gone for your father, anybody would be in the same position by now if not sooner. It is normal to feel depleted and drained and thru after trying so hard for so long. Ok? Don't beat yourself up for that.

Your girlfriend. That's a little more of a touchy subject and I don't want to offend you but in real life as well as here I am known for calling it as I see it. So nothing hurtful meant here. But first of all, when you write that without her all is dross -- dude, don't ever lean on anyone quite that much. You are of value and worth, you matter, you are or can be strong enough to love yourself as you are. When you look in the mirror and see that you are a whole unit by yourself, then you will be ready to give more fully in a healthy way in a relationship. That's part of being codependent, we like to control because it makes us feel needed. I'm working on this every day myself. But realize that with or without this girl or anyone else, you are fine, you are all you need, right inside of yourself. I promise! 🙂

Your girlfriend's actions trouble me as well as make me sad. She hasn't had it easy either and sounds like she looked for love the wrong way huh? Doesn't make her a bad person, but the things she does (lie, money issues etc) are choices she continues to make, knowing they are wrong. What's with that? Maybe she is used to being treated shabbily and is afraid when things go too well, and subconciously or not sabotages them? Maybe she acts in a manner that will result in a known reaction, since that is something she can deal with and is used to? Whichever, and I know it's easy for me to say sitting over here on my side of the screen, but the two of you sound like you're kind of feeding each other's bad behaviour patterns huh?

I have found that for me, sitting down and being totally honest with myself in regards to what I need in a relationship, what I deserve, helped to start. Then to honestly realize that to be happy and respect myself, I need to not settle for less. There's such a thing as really trying, Will, and then there's such a thing as lying down to be walked upon. This current pattern of behaviour helps neither you nor her, and the really positive note here is that you realize it and are trying to do something about it.

What do you think are some ways you could begin to set some limits and stick to them? This doesn't need to throw you into the role of enforcer or parent, by the way. You need to sit down with her and lay out your new goals and limits and what you will and won't live with. Maybe this is something the two of you can set out together, a compilation of these goals etc of the two of you, that you can both live with. That way she is aware, and if she blithely continues to go on her way and trample all over these boundaries, what does that say of her feelings for you? Be ready to address some tough issues there, Will, so if it does go that way you're not blindsided.

You need to look at the way you are treated and determine what that says of her feelings for you. Actions speak louder than words, and all that. Would you like to share what it is you love about her? Would it help her self esteem and ability to try a little harder to have those qualities laid out for her? If the two of you can support one another on a road to a newer healthy relationship, with clearly laid out goals and boundaries, then that's optimal, that'd be the best. But if only one is willing to try you'll quickly find it's another story. Then it's back to, what will you allow and how much do you value yourself, to hold the line for your own well-being?

Sorry to go on and on but these are just some thoughts I had that I thought I'd lay out for your consideration...

September 20, 2003
12:23 pm
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justjane
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September 20, 2003
12:24 pm
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justjane
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the book 'co-dependent no more' by melody beattie is a real eye opener. i highly recommend it.

September 20, 2003
1:23 pm
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gingerleigh
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Will, welcome. Don't forget that you yourself are young and deserve to experience life and all of its marvelous experiences. It's admirable that you want to share life with your girlfriend, but both of you are so young to be putting yourselves through such turmoil. Perhaps a break while you do some internal searching and external observation would help for you to clear your head and see what is really there, rather than what you want to see or wish that you had seen.

Keep posting, we're glad you are here.

September 20, 2003
2:34 pm
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Ladeska
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Will....so many times we do what we do in this codependent cycle because we want to "fix" the big relationships in our lives growing up. It was broken and we, the child back then, thought it was about US, or that we needed to do something better, or be more more loving or just anything to deserve - being loved. Kids just think that way when parents fall apart and don't love them very well.

We learn from watching them basically. We do what they do in alot of ways. If one parent tries to fix the other one and gets all entangled in a web - we mimick that later and don't even know why we do it.

The anger and frustration comes from - you feeling that - you're not good enough, what you do, how you treat them, what you do for them - to make them love you........ It's a earn and reward kind of thing.......this kind of love. And it really isn't love at all. It's you trying to fix a major boo-boo in yourself. What's broken - is inside you, not whoever you are trying to help.

Taking someone and fixing them up and molding them into - what you want - isn't really fair either, is it? I mean it's loving with - expectations - for what you did. And that's conditional love, not real love. And it's not fair to you either. You need to find someone that is your equal, that stand on their own two feet, that will love you and enjoy your company and not be NEEDY all the time and just be there with you - because they want to be, not because of what you DO for them.

You don't have to "get love" by doing for them. Anyone who would be drawn to you because of that - will hurt you in the end anyways. And anyone that you would draw to you in that way - you would hurt them also because you would expect love in return for you - fixing them and that's not right either, is it?

We get so caught up in this "do to get" kind of love that we lose sight of what love really is. And if we don't love ourselves unconditionally and accept our faults and love our strengths then - we will forever be trying to make someone else - "worthy" as well.........all the time saying - we're just trying to help them, when in all reality - we're wrestling with trying to accept and love ourselves THROUGH someone else. Nasty little cycle that becomes, huh? As you are no doubt seeing and experiencing now, thus the reason for saying HELP!

I'm glad you're here. Lots of good people to talk to. Just keep talking and examining things. Life is made for growing, for learning new things every day, for leaving old things behind, for becoming a new creation every day. So pull up a chair and stay awhile. (smile) And by all means, drop in the Coffeehouse!

September 20, 2003
6:03 pm
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My_Mess
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Fristly I must thank everyone who has replied.
WOW!!
I never expected to get one response let alone all that I have received.
I'll be sure to drop into the coffee house next.
I saw all the threads and some of the messages and thought it was like a "roleplay" area and I have never been good at those places...
So i'll take your advice Anam Cara.
Thanks also to sixfootblonde for your reply.The biggest thing I found troubling is making myself realise that I have a problem.
I think "how can it be wrong to go above and beyond for the people you care about????"
I guess it is hard to be the last person to give up on someone. My father knows he has a problem but refuses to get advise ect. ect. He also suffer ( big spelling mistakes here) Apancritis an infection of the pancreas. when he drinks on an empty stomach it causes MAJOR stomach and digestive upsets.The hospital say it WILL kill him if he doesn't stop drinking. He knows he cares not I guess or he thinks he is bigger than the problem.
When I state "all is gross" I literaly am talking about all we have made together.Not me personaly I know I'd survive the fallout of seperation. I meant it more like All the physical things we OWN don't mean a thing to me without Her. Sorry for my lack of clarity.

All the things you have sujested for her reasons for continued mistakes have been through my mind a MILLION times on a regular daily basis. I have been beating myself up wondering "where I have gone wrong" "what should I do better". She also takes her problems internaly and I can't get her to talk about what troubles her. PROBABALY because I keep saying "what is wrong with you?" when i try to comprehend her motives.Dont I feel bad for doing the wrong things and saying those things now.

that isn't to say she has no problems either.
I'm REALLY hoping together we can work through or relationship mistakes and hopefully be together at the end.
Maybe that is co-dependancy decieving me again though.
I am sure that she is making an effort to control her choices.
The problem arrises because I can't trust her not to make them AGAIN I keep on her case and observing her criticaly.
What a mess.

Thanks Justjane I'll be looking for a copy of Co-dependent no more. in my local book stores or ordering it through amazon.com

Thanks also to gingerleigh. We have discussed breaks before. I have always shelved my problems when I am by myself though... I don't dwell on stuff that has no answers ( that my currently educated mind can make) I'll have to read some books on the topics and gain some new insight.

Thanks for the reply Ladeska. truly it is a wonder anyong comes through childhood in one peice.
Consciously I don't blame myself for my parents break-up. I can see that Dad was never around in my childhood anyway.Mum has stated again and again that it was never our faults.Maybe deep down though I have accepted it though. I get this feeling because the feeling I have about it aren't FIRM like they still need some polishing and understanding.

I always feel like my anger comes from frustration. My lack of ability to understand why the hell these problems keep repeating.Also my GF's lack of support on trying to resolve issues. I beleive it is because the conversation always goes to things I think she is doing wrong. and she resists being critical of me.
She avoids these discussions because she doesn't want me to keep blaming her for mistakes...

Your certainly right about lots of great people here.
I can't beleive the support you guys ahve shown to me.
I'll be sure to drop into the coffee house shortly.
Many Thanks,
My_mess
aka
Will the Aussie.
Although a "sixfootcoppertop".

September 20, 2003
11:36 pm
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ms.confused
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Welcome, Will.. theres lots of inspiration here and its helped to keep me aware and working towards my codependency issues on a daily basis, Glad to have you!

Ladeska, U said it Oh so Well as always! =] Seen a bit of myself in your words once again. Thanks

Hugs to all

September 22, 2003
2:46 pm
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sixfootblonde
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LOL Will, you sixfootcoppertop! 🙂

That was cute!

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