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Rediscovering Myself - Recreating my Identity
March 6, 2005
10:40 am
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sagewalker
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Years ago, as I found my own first marriage disintigrating, I found myself reeling with successive waves of grief and panic. It seemed that everything meaningful in my life was being lost at once. After 20 years of marriage and six children, my own identity was almost entirely wrapped up in my roles as husband and father. That was largely how I defined myself, and as those roles were threatened, so too, I felt, were my very meaning and existence. Who was I?
By this time, however, I had been actively learning to recognize and understand my own codependency, and now I continued with real determination to rediscover myself and to redefine myself, not in terms of my role in any relationship, but in terms of who I am apart from any relationship.
That was tough! But my survival depended on it. I challenged myself to discover my own interests, the things in life that give me joy, independent of any relationship. These were the things that could not be taken away from me when a relationship was threatened, and finding them allowed me to approach relationships, with my children, with friends, with girlfriends and potential partners, and eventually with a new wife, with less dependency, less fear, less need to rescue or take care of or control others, and with the freedom to be more of my true self than I had ever been.

What is there in my life that gives me joy or comforts me that has nothing to do with my relationship with any other human being?

March 6, 2005
12:02 pm
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chickyfighter
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Is that a question or are you hsedding light into this? I can relate, but what happens when after surviving a divorce yrs. later when you think you are all better you find yourself repeating it all over again?

March 6, 2005
12:06 pm
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hartless
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sagewalker,
I can totally relate...I was a mother and a wife..but had no idea who I was.
My happiness depended on the happiness of others...if others were upset, then I was. If they were happy, everything was right with my world.
Now I'm going to school fulltime; go out with my friends once in awhile; spend time with my kids.
Still a work in progress but coming along.

March 6, 2005
9:54 pm
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on my way
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sagewalker, it sounds as though you have taken the healthy, necessary steps to make a successful life for yourself. I learned this as well, and it has been beneficial to me and my relationships.

But also, not sure if your last statement is a question you are asking?

March 7, 2005
10:36 am
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CODA_Mom
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Sagewalker,

WAIT...I need to welcome OMW back!!! Good to see you again, < <>>

Ok, now back to your post, I can definitely relate. I've gone thru the same thing being mom, wife, therapist, daughter, aunt, etc., thinking that my identity was defined by what I did or who I did things for. If you are a codependent person it is even tougher figuring out who you are because your life may have revolved around someone else's bad behavior at one point (with me, my dad was an alcoholic).

Anyway, I know who I am first and foremost, and learned it later in life (age 27). I am a Christian, which makes me a child of God, that's who I am. Everything comes from that point of reference. I've put the identity thing behind me for once and for all and don't look for my worth in what I do or whose wife or mom I am.

It is a journey of sorts that we all need to make...some have the good fortune of going thru an "identity crisis" when they are an adolescent growing up in a relatively stable home.

I pray that you find your point of reference some day. Thanks for sharing,

CM

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