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codependency is difficult but possible to shake
June 1, 2007
2:09 pm
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vinny
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June 1, 2007
2:15 pm
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vinny
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Being a member of CODA for so many years I am still struggling with it. I know exactly waht the problem is and how it took roots in my system but I am finding it extremely difficult to shake off. My overall condition is much better as compared to the past but I still have a long way to go, Like they say that once you become a codependednt you have to stay in the process for recovery for the rest of natural life

June 1, 2007
3:22 pm
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obsessia
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Hi Vinny:
Yes you do and also you need PRACTICE. Practice, practice, practice. New behaviors seem odd at first and then they can become second nature. I am a co-dependent myself and have asked for support here from this group. I see what I now need to do to grow even more. I have to change my behavior because it's the only thing I can change.
And remember, give yourself a pat on the back - you said, my overall condition is much better as compared to the past. So what do you do differently now? What would you still like to change about yourself. Stick with the winners in CODA mtgs.
Thank you for sharing and I hope this helps in some way.

June 1, 2007
3:37 pm
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lettingo
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vinny
My opinion is Codependancy is a disease just like alcohlism or any other addiction. You can arrest the disease and treat it but I don't think you can ever really "cure" it. An alcoholic who is in recovery for 50 years and never has a drink is still an alcoholic. Again, my opinion since I am both a recovering alcoholic and codependant person.

June 2, 2007
6:19 am
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vinny
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Thank you Lettingo and obsessia for your comments
I became a very severe codependent because I learnt that from my father. He had no confidence in himself, he spent his life spending himself to broke all the family money, beating my mother and licking other peoples asses. I saw all that and I thought probably this was the only way to lead life. I lost the sense of feelings. I became a people pleaser at any cost. My self worth was zero. I am 64 years old man and can you believe living all these years like that.I went in denial. I blame my parents for my lost life. May be I would not have wasted all these years if I was not in denial. All these years I was hiding my feelings under the garb that" in the end every thing will be fine" I feel I should not have done that. I should have revolted and given piece of my mind to my parents. My father is dead but I curse him every minute of the day. My mother is living but she is 84 years old. I feel very guilty if I have these type of angry feelings for her though I feel angry at her. I do not know getting angry at this late stage of my life will do any good. I try to find solace by helping other people. In other words licking other people's shoes, shut down my own worth and try to get my worth through the approvals of other people

Can you believe I have become so codependent that I left my first wife and two daughters, on the verge of leaving my second wife just to look after my mother.I am like a little boy of 64 years. I am so scraed of my mother(Though people say she is the best woman in the world) I dare not pay any attention to anybody else. I am very scared of her eyes fearing that she may throw a curse on me. I try to get her approval all the time and also from the people that my mother approves. This whole situation is driving me nuts. I really need help
Any suggestions?

June 2, 2007
12:43 pm
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StronginHim77
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Vinny -

Because I am in your age bracket, I can relate to your current situation. My abusive father is dead, also, and my 85-year-old mother is still alive. Here are some choices:

You can choose to continue "cursing" your father, or you can forgive him and take responsibility for your own choices.

You can choose to remain codependently bound to your mother, or you can reach out for the professional counseling and self-discovery that will help you establish healthy boundaries in ALL your relationships.

You are NOT too old to change. It's entirely up to you. Remember that you exchanged vows with your wife, in the presence of witnesses. Did you -- or did you not -- promise to "forsake all others?" This includes parents, siblings, friendships...any relationship that would try to supercede your relationship with your wife. She is supposed to come first in your human relationships. She should be your first priority and unity/agreement between you is essential.

So many of us are tied to parents who manipulate, control and undermine us. Many of us are also bound by unforgiveness towards those very same parents because of the damage they did to us, as children. You need to break free of that anger, bitterness and unforgiveness and take responsibility for your own future, your marriage, your happiness. You CAN change. I strongly encourage you to consider professional counseling (your minister, a licensed counselor, etc.), to help you in this path of emotional inner-healing and recovery.

- Ma Strong

June 2, 2007
1:31 pm
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vinny
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Thank you Ma Strong for your advice.

I am already under the supervision of a counsellor. The thing is that he is dealing with my issue which I have not indicated before. Since my childhood I have been having pain in both my testicles. This according to my own analysis is due to the fact that I withdrew internally due to the constant beating that my father gave me. I grew so fearful of him that that I started internalising everything-my tears, sadness anger, rage. I did not express them because I was afraid of getting beaten up further. All this manifested itself into pain and settled in both my tesicles. Still I cannot sit comfortably. I have to keep shifting in a chair. So my counsellor is trying to deal with that pain at the moment. As the age progresses it become more and more unbearable. So this has become a top priority. If the things go on as they are now I may end killing myself.

You are absolutely right about the selfishness of my mother and my sisters. They have done nothing to look after the mother. I have been left holding the bag. I have been so blinded and manupulated that I could not see it until now. I will definitely be dealing this with my counsellor but I know now what I have to do. I need to set my boundaries with my mother and sisters. I am afraid that I may lose my second wife as well if I do not take corrective action.

June 2, 2007
5:55 pm
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vinny -

Wow. I can totally relate! I have a rare (and highly painful) disability called "interstitial cystitis." It is relatively rare and causes extreme, random pain in the bladder and urethra. I have suffered it for most of my adult life. Prior to the onset of IC, I endured the pain of terrible fibroid tumors and constant hemorrhaging episodes.

The psychologist who worked with me for nearly a year has helped me to understand how these afflictions are rooted in the abuse I endured as a child (including sexual abuse, as a toddler). So, I am not surprised to learn about your medical condition. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

Let me share this: my bladder pain has improved DRAMATICALLY in the past 4 years. We can actually achieve remarkable physical improvement, as our "soul" (emotions/mind) recover from those childhood sufferings and traumas.

So there is definite hope for your improvement and recovery.

My best to you,

Ma Strong

June 3, 2007
12:45 am
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vinny
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Thanks MA Strong

I have tried to analyse the pain and its source. It is amazing what I found out. If I am in the presence of my mother, my sisters and my other relatives pain goes up in direct proportion to how many people are there. My pain is the maximum when I am in the presence of my mother alone. At that moment I hate her and I wish to kill he by twisting her neck. My guilt of having these feelings for my mother not only stops me from doing it but it also stops my mind EVEN THINKING ABOUT IT. That really kills me and the and my pain shoots and I have to twist and turn to ease the pain

So do you see any connection here?

Please advise

June 3, 2007
2:56 am
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bevdee
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Hey Vinny,

This was my first thought when I read your initial post. I had a lot of lower back pain when I started un-enmeshing from my mother's life. Check this out -

http://www.healer.ch/rootchakra.html

June 3, 2007
8:40 am
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vinny
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Thanks Bevdee.

That is another way at analysing my problems. Thank you so much and I will definitely look into it.

My prayers for everybody

June 3, 2007
10:03 am
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StronginHim77
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vinny -

It would help you a great deal to stay completely away from your mother and the other toxic members of your family. No Contact with her, at all. Just total silence and separation. Perhaps not forever, but you do need a season of healing.

And I strongly urge you to seek out some spiritual counseling, to help free you from the bitterness, rage and hatred which you feel toward your mother and father. I am not saying that these feelings are unjustified. Unfortunately, YOU are paying the price for harboring them and need to be free. It IS possible. I am living proof of that.

And my dramatic improvement in pain did not begin, until I began forgiving those who had abused and mistreated me.

- Ma Strong

June 3, 2007
10:33 am
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vinny
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Thanks MA Strong

I hold all that anger, hatred etc but in my heart I have forgiven them all though I do not wish to see them at all. I have an option of not seeing my sisters and their families any more and I will surely use that option. But with my mother I do not have such a straightforward option. She lives in India and I live in the US. She lives alone She is dependent on me financially. As son I have to visit her once a year at least and stay with her a month or so. She is 84 years old. And I have no communication with her at all. I cannot sit with her alone for more than 2 minutes. It is extremely suffocating. She does not know what to talk to me about and same with me

Do you see my predicament? I do not know what to do. I do not mind meeting her financial needs but I can bear to sit with her. I have no help from my sister. The other sister died last year. My mother does not wish to live with them and they have no space to keep her

Please help me here. I have written this in the context of what you wrote.

Thank you so much for your help.

May God bless you.

June 3, 2007
10:34 am
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vinny
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June 3, 2007
3:03 pm
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fantas
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((((Vinny))))...I am so happy for you that you found this site and are writing on it. That alone is going a long way in healing you pain physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I am about half your age and I have suffered dibilatiting migraines and other things while I lived in denial of my mothers abuse and other abuses. I am amazed at how the our souls, minds, and bodies are connected. As others have stated here you will see that as you heal yourself your body will also begin to heal. I have seen that for myself as well. I understand about your mother. You feel responsible for her and you cannot just let her go without assistance. I suggest for you that for your own sake, you consider what you do for her, a continous random act of kindness. Treat it like a monthly charitable gift to a complete stranger. Like you would do with World Visions or other organizations. I find that for myself that two things happen for me when I think of my mother who was my abuser this way, I see her as a human being with flaws, just like those other strangers that I donate to, and I feel the internal goodness of doing a kindly deed, which itself is healing to the body. If you are able to make that mind shift you'd feel a lot different. As for your anger, I so understand that and the justification we give ourselves for holding onto it. This is what is eating you and your body...if you can deal with it as your heal your physical aches, your quality of life will change drastically. I have gone through this. Here are several things I have done:
...Attending CoDa meetings and diligently working through the 12 steps with a sponsor. I found more helpful to me than therapy. I did then both though.
...Hypnosis and EMDR, these two methods of healing postraumatic stress disorder, helped lessen the intensity of the trauma I had suffered neurologically and physiologically.
...I started meditating and visiting natural environments eg, oceans, forests, mountains as well as eating the most natural and organic foods I can find. I cook most of my food. No matter how simple.
...I started to do things that I love...dance, baths, read fun books, watch soap opera.
...Every day I speak gratitude for something, anything really.
...I try to exercise, or atleast visualize myself doing it:)
...I volunteer at the children's ward here every week.
...I have chosen to have a few but trustworthy friends around me.

I am still healing myself, in fact I am currently having flashbacks from the abuses or a regular basis which are accompanied by migraines but I am holding up and I refuse to hold onto the anger. I feel it but I let it go as fast as I can. I feel the sadness and the frustrations and now I have learned how to deal with these like writing here, journalling, exercises. It's an ardous journey but I have accepted it as my journey.
You mentioned about killing yourself...I can certainly understand how in the midst of pain, this seems like the only way. I attempted suicide twice, I failed both times and boy am I glad I failed. I highly suggest that you tell your counsellor these thoughts, there are painkillers that can take away any pain and you should get on those if you are not already. Please take this process each day at a time. Turn to your wife and have her help you and be there for you. We are all guaranteed death, you don't have to seek it. Live and heal yourself. Your journey will be an addition to ours all just like you have already taught me by writing here... Please keep posting. We are hare for you:)

June 3, 2007
4:17 pm
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StronginHim77
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True forgiveness means a complete release from the anger, bitterness and resentment which comes from being abused, misjudged and/or mistreated. I have never met ANYONE who didn't need alot of help to work through the process of forgiveness. It is a spiritual process, not a mental decision. Please reach out for help with this. Therein lies your freedom from this terrible suffering.

In the meantime, as Fantas suggested, you should seek and obtain appropriate pain medication to alleviate your physical suffering. And I also agree that you should consider your financial support of your mother as a charitable donation and keep it IMPERSONAL. I do not understand why you must spend one month of every year with her? Is that a requirement of your native culture?

If a person is toxic to us, we have the right to protect ourselves from them, even if it is our parents or spouse. We can honor our parents from a safe distance. I strongly recommend it. I have had to geographically keep my own elderly mother at arm's length. I communicate with her via a second party (no direct phone calls or visits) because she is mentally ill with a destructive personality disorder and upsets me, emotionally, to the point of illness.

Please save yourself. And keep posting. We are here for you.

- Ma Strong

June 3, 2007
5:14 pm
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vinny
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Thanks Ma Strong and Fantas

I guess I agree with you that I have to treat financial help to my mother as an act of kindness and nothing else. Sometimes ago I thought of doing that but I felt so guilty that I keep reverting back to old pattern.But I will start doing that immediately. Thanks

No it is not required out of my culture to spend one month with my mother but the problem is that while in the US I feel guilty 24hrs a day 7days a week that I am leaving my 84 yr old mother alone while I am living with my wife. This makes me so guilty and restless that I leave my work and wife and run to my mother. I do not what she has done to me. This is driving me crazy. I cannot be husband to my wife. I feel I am under spell of witchcraft. I see hovering eyes of my mother over me the moment I think of changing my present behaviour. Like I am in shackles in jail or intertwined in a cobweb and stuck there

I need help to get out of this one

I wish to thank all who are trying to get me out of this nonsense.

June 3, 2007
10:10 pm
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fantas
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Vinny, It's not nonsense, it's as real as if you were behind bars and you need to treat it as such so that you can take appropriate measures to release yourself from there. Those who train elephants say that once you start to tie its foot from a young age, it gets used to being tethered and eventually just having a rope on its foot keeps it from running away. Elephants have a long memory and forget nothing once it's imprinted in memory. I think it's the same with abuse. Even if you are grown, your mind is still in survival mode as far as your mothe is concerned. You have to actively change the way you think and your personal beliefs. This is where psychotherapy, EMDR, and Hypnosis helped me greatly. Begin to imagine what your life would be like if you didn't have these memories and the universe will honour your wishes. I think you are already doing it cos you ended up here somehow. Read books on abuse, codependency, selfesteem. I have written several letters to my mother, and expressed how I feel about what she did and read them to my sponsor. You can write one to your father and let him have it even if he is dead. It feels better. And to your mom as well. You can send it or choose not to send it but the act is very freeing. I send you lots of positive healing energy. Keep posting

June 4, 2007
1:43 am
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vinny
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I used to go CODA meetings but haven't been there for a few years now. How do I find out now where these meeting are held. When I used to attend them they used to be held at St Vincent Hospital in NYC

Secondly, how do I Get a sponsor

Thanks

Vinny

June 4, 2007
2:19 am
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fantas
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Hi Vinny...go to http://www.codependents.org/

and check your state and city to see when, where the meetings are and the contact numbers. You find a sponsor when you go to the meetings. Basically you listen and watch for the person you feel you connect with and ask them if they can sponsor you. Some meetings have a list of people willing to sponsor. Basically, a sponsor is someone who has done the twelve steps, and seems to get the purpose of the program and is able to be available to you as a confidant. When you go to your first meeting, you can say that you are returning to the meetings and ask them to share about sponsorship. I wish you all the best. Keep posting

June 4, 2007
5:42 am
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vinny
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Hi Fantas

Thanks for the information. I went to the site and took the address, day, date, time etc. They hold meetings on saturdays and sundays which is good for me. I am still in India at the moment with my mother and flying back to the US on July 16. I think I will attend the first sunday meeting after July 16. The next I have to do is find a sponsor for myself. I will keep everybody posted.

I have wonderful friends here on whom I can count. My prayers are with everybody.

Thanks

June 4, 2007
12:09 pm
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vinny
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June 4, 2007
12:25 pm
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Have just been made aware that Codependency is a problem I suffer from. From what I've learned, it all makes sense, especially in terms of my relationships. So, how do i start working on my self? What part of me should I start looking at? What behaviors are the most typical/damaging? Am 56 year old male and I fear time is running out. Can't have satisfying relationships.

Please advise on good place to start. thanking you in advance.

PS Have 12 years of AA recovery and am v. familiar with 12-step program, but need to know where to start on what is believe is a related but different problem.

Thank you.

June 4, 2007
12:31 pm
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mj
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Hi Vinny and OpenBook!

I have been attending Coda meetings for over 2 years after attending other 12 step meetings. I highly recommend meetings.

Recovery does happen. When I read the promises, I see them happening in my life.

I work the steps on a daily basis. I see progress in changing old behaviors that hurt me. I am not perfect. My life is alot more manageable and I have much more peace and serenity.

There is Hope! Welcome to you both for posting on this site. I hope you find the love and support you need!

June 4, 2007
1:11 pm
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Vinny and Openbook -

There is a national organization, called "National Association of Christian Counselors and Therapists." They have local State chapters. Look for the Assn. in your State. (Example: New York Assn. of Christian Counselors & Therapists) I have worked with one of their member psychologists and found that using a spiritual approach to my therapeutic recovery from codependency has been VERY beneficial, more so than secular psychiatry, alone (which I tried, but didn't get as much benefit from). Worth checking out, perhaps?

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