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co-dependency and anxiety
May 17, 2006
2:11 pm
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fireman38
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Hello...I am new to this room, but look forward to spending some time here. I will try to summarize where i am at, i divorced 2 1/2 years ago...was in a co-dependent relationship...tried to make wife happy so she wouldn't leave me and take our daughter, but she eventually did. I was fine untile she started seeing someone else, then i had no one to take care of but myself...got anxiety in the worst way. saw a counselor, priest, doctor for meds.....and read co-dependent no-more (extremely enlightening). I was cruising along for about 6 months doing good and then i got in another relationship. It was very fun at first, then I began fixing her...she stopped smoking, quit drinking like she had before...we broke up alot along the way...then we got engaged and of course it didn't work out. At least she broke up with me though, but I am now in Al-anon...got a sponsor, seeing therapist still...learnig alot about myself, but I catch myself wanting to fall back in the realtionship because it is all i was for the last year and a half....it is pure crazy!! I love this woman, and I know she loves me, I want to take it slow, have told her that and she says ok, and will wait, but i am so used to my life revolving around her that i lost myself again...and my stupid anxiety came back. I have told her we have to take this slow....as friends for now, she says ok....it just feels out of control for me. Like I can't do things without her because she might think I am trying to get over her....I dont know if this makes any sense to anyone, but thanks for your time if you read it, am up for any advice....Thanks!!!

May 17, 2006
2:28 pm
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mamac
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fireman38
new to this room also. I hear alanon a good thing. I was in AA for years and it helped to have people there who understood where I was coming from. I have been on both sides of the coin, I have been the drinker, and the one putting up with it, after I was sober. It is hard load to carry on your own. Pray and talk to people as much as possible. Praying 4 you

May 17, 2006
5:07 pm
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fireman38
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Thanks for the prayer!! Alanon has been very enlightening...it is funny what you learn about yourself in the toughest times...lord knows i am learning right now.

May 17, 2006
8:04 pm
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Anonymous
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Hello, fireman38 and welcome to this site!

I've been to Al-Anon, and it was a TRUE eye opener to me! I realized that I had ALOT to learn about MYSELF! (Wow, and to think that it was ME with a problem! LOL!)

I know what you mean about the fear of being apart being taken as "getting over" the relationship. We almost feel panicy at the thought of taking some time off. We're afraid of losing them, for good, and not having the option of returning, or worse yet, the fear that THEY will get over US, if we take some time apart.

Fire, this is what I have to say about this. We need to work on ourselves, before we are capable of offering our WHOLE selves to another. Otherwise, we will carry the same exact burdens around with us, OVER and OVER.

I'm 38, and have been in only 2 relationships. The first time, I thought my codependency only exisisted with "him". So after the marriage ended, I thought I was "cured". Well come to find out, 10 years later, and meeting someone else, my codependency was as alive as EVER! I felt myself returning to my old patterns, and realized it was ME who had to make the changes.

We cannot change someone else, nor can we "save" someone else. And when we put so much effort into attempting to change another, the only thing that changes is US! We develop into people we don't recognize nor care for, and then wonder, "How did this happen to me?" We believe that the reason we have changed so much, is because the other person "did" this to us. When in reality, the only way it truly happened, is because we "allowed" it to, just by being present in the situation to begin with.

Anyway, this is just my take and experience as a codependent. Keep posting and just know that there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel! Have faith! You are NOT alone, Fire!

Jennifer

May 17, 2006
10:44 pm
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Hi Fireman38

Codependency is a fall back position. It is a way of trying to heal old wounds from the past in our present relationships.

I too feel anxiety when I go to meet with my addicted lover.

When I saw him last night (I will only see him when he isn't drinking),
I couldn't tell him how negatively his behaviour is hurting me. I guess I learned that loving someone means not getting my needs met which is what I learned from my alcoholic parents. I know what I should say and do yet haven't found it in me to do so.

I sometimes think that I have a warped idea of what love is and am working on changing.

May 17, 2006
11:02 pm
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StronginHim77
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Littlespirit...

Wow. Listening to what you posted was like a viewing a playback with my own alcoholic fiance. When I last saw him at night, I wanted to tell him how much his mean behavior and cruelty is hurting me. The next morning, I finally worked up my courage and sent him an email, telling him how much he had been wounding me with his mistreatment, "silence" punishment, snapping, irritabilitiy, etc. I can't even remember the last time he SMILED at me (I think it was about 3 months ago, the night we got engaged, BEFORE he got drunk and began verbally abusing me on the ride home from our engagement dinner!).

It takes such courage to tell these abusers how they make us feel...because we pay a high "price" when their rage flares up because we have challenged their projected image of who they want people to believe they are. But it is only an "image." If we make them face the Truth about themselves, they turn on us which is (as you know) terribly scary and painful for a codependent. I am rooting for you. You are getting stronger every day. I have ready alot of your postings. You are quite an amazing person.

My thanks.

- Strong

May 17, 2006
11:03 pm
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startingover
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Hi Fireman and welcome to this site. I hope you feel a lot of support here. This discussion board, and Al-Anon have helped me tremendously. I have done both for about 5 months, and my life is slowly changing, for the better. I am 46, was married 20 years in a very codependent relationship with an alcoholic, and a recent break-up with another alcoholic with a crack and heroin problem, and a new GF who is 23 years his jumior. I didn't know, because I'm oblivious, I can't see "red flags" well, or I justify them, or try to fix them, or something. Codependency gets worse if untreated, I learned that in "Codependent no More", and I believe I can attest to that. I'm intelligent, reasonably attractive, fit, have a good job, there's just no sense in the choices I've made. So, I'm determined to "recover" and make healthier choices, or remain single, which is a fate better than the heartbreak and chaos these relationships cause.

It sounds like you need some space, or time. It also sounds like this new relationship could be special, and maybe you will know it if this woman respects your need for moving slowly. I wish you all the best and encourage you to write often.

SO

May 18, 2006
7:32 am
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Thank you so much StronginHim for your kind words of encouragement.

You are amazing too!!

What also amazes me is that I tolerate behaviour from these men that I truthfully would never inflict on them. It is not loving, repectful behaviour.

I do recognize that as a child when several times I tried tell my parents I was feeling, angry, sad, or ignored because of their drunken parties I was told to get over it, not talk about it, or laughed at. So I think I shut down, overlook and try even harder to somehow "earn" their love.

As a child and teenager I became an overachiever I suppose, and though I have success in many aspects of my life today, my ability to attract and keep a genuinely loving, fun, repectful and spiritual partner still eludes me.

May 18, 2006
12:37 pm
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fireman38
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Thanks for the amazing responses....funny like in al-anon, there are people here just like there that have a similar story to tell. It sure does help to hear that i am not alone in the way i feel, and the nervousness it creates. I went to the library and read codependents guide to the twelve steps...read through step 5. Very enlightening...i talked to my ex girlfriend this am...she is scared with our time apart that we will grow apart....she has no idea how much i want to jump back into the relationship to feel safe, yet i no i would be making a mistake. I wish i knew how to explain all this to her...i don't even know what my own mind is thinking half the time...*smile* I am affraid to do things on my own because i don't want her to think i am growing apart from her, or forgetting her....now thats insane i know, but i am so used to being with her this past year and a half...it feels crazy to even begin to think for myself. thanks again to everyone!! I hope i can help someone as much as your words are helping me.

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