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Untreated codependency
October 5, 2003
10:42 am
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2tone
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I was born into a large family with an alcoholic mother and a father so busy taking care of all of us that we were pretty much left on our own to survive. All of my sibs have experienced problems in relationships and I have one sister severely mentally ill, I think stemming from childhood and a 3o year abusive relationship with her husband.

I dated very little, then married young to a man who turned out to be so violent that I suffered many, many physical damages; he was also verbally and emotionally abusive. I had two sons by him that I adored. This relationship went on for 16 years and I could not leave him. Everything I even thought about it, I would become terrified and become even more anxious to please. I knew nothing about codependency, nor much about life for that matter. I became so depressed and tired, I was working to pay the bills (he thought his money was his own), taking care of my boys and doing everything that needed doing. I tried to "keep the peace" in the family, but then I would get sick of it all and stand up for myself only to find myself with another black eye or broken rib and telling everyone something stupid like I ran into a door, etc,etc,etc. I hated myself for being so weak and did not understand why I could not leave him. Finally, one day he almost injured one of my sons in an attempt to get at me and something in me broke. I kicked him very hard in the shin and then I was beaten to within an inch of my life, literally. I decided to leave him and after 3 years of him following me and coming into each place I rented and taking over, his parents helped me to get away from him.
This was just the beginning, I then went on to have 3 more abusive marriages, each different from the first, but abusive in different ways. My second husband had continual affairs and would take off for days at a time, but I thought all he needed was for someone to really love him and he would be alright.Yeah. The next one got me into drugs and into a lifestyle that was totally out of my ability to cope. The drugs covered the problems, but caused an even worse problem. I was now addicted to a very powerful drug. He was mean, nasty, perverted and totally unfixable. Again, I went into the relationship thinking I could help him by loving him. I was "rescued" from this relationship by a man who seemed to be a dream come true-romantic, caring, loving and totally in love with me. However, this man turned out to be the most subtly manipulative person I have ever met. He wanted to control every aspect of my life and for a long time he did. I ended up having a nervous breakdown, then a complete physical breakdown, on a ventilator in the hospital and not expected to live. After that I went to my son and his wife's home in another state to recover. While there, my son talked to me about how destructive this man was to me and I was beginning to understand I had a huge problem. Then one day this man had someone else call me pretending to be a credit company and I took the call and it all started up again. The words, I love you and only want you to be happy, I will do anything you want, just come back and we will have a wonderful life. Well, I bought it, to my son's strong disapproval, and went back for a year. It was a year in hell, he and his kids made my life miserable and all the time telling me that I was crazy, I had problems,etc,etc,etc. So, I went into therapy and read some books on codependency and recovery and left him.
I now live alone and am in therapy and on a lot of medication just to stay stable. I am beginning to understand codependency a little more each day. But, I think back now and realize that I have been in abusive relationships for almost 54 years, what a waste!!! I wish I had found a therapist years ago (I did try, but they just kept prescribing this drug and that drug). I am not happy yet, but I am not sad all the time either. I have to work very hard not to keep telling myself how stupid I was to keep repeating the same mistake over and over. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, so how could I not have seen what I was doing? Ihave damaged my own self-esteem more than anyone else could and do not want to keep doing this to myself!! Any advice?

October 5, 2003
10:52 am
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mj
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Hi 2tone,
It seems to me that you are doing the footwork to help yourself. I admire you. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Being raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family creates lots of self-esteem problems for all of us. I sympathize.

What I found that worked is getting involved in a twelve step program. For me, this has saved my life. Adult children of Alcoholics support group might help you. Look in the phone book for AA and see if they can help find you an Alanon group for that extra support. They also have web sites if you look around.

I have been married 4 times myself and have suffered a great deal with relationships so I can truly say that I am so glad I found this site and my Alanon group.

You are on the right track 🙂

October 6, 2003
10:36 am
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2tone
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mj

Thanks for the support and suggestions, it really does help to know that there are more of us out there. I have read some of the other stories and it is heartbreaking to see the one's so young in abusive and codependent relationships. I worry that their problems will carry over like mine did from one hell to another. You know, I never considered alanon until you mentioned it, but they might be able to help me. To tell you the truth, my mother's problems were so much a part of our daily life, that I didn't think about that setting me up for codependency issues. I did know that I suffered terrible self-esteem problems and still do from her never once saying she was proud of me for anything I did. In fact, I mostly remember telling me that I was a problem to her. I'm saying that nicely in keeping with the guidelines!
I'm still reeling from the realization that I have so many issues to deal with.
Thanks again and good luck with your life, too. Your kind words have helped my day.

October 6, 2003
10:41 am
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mj
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Good Morning 2tone 🙂
Thank you for posting.

Progress not perfection. Sometimes because we are trying to survive, the answers are waiting patiently to be noticed. Good luck with your search of local meetings and keep coming back.

October 7, 2003
10:07 am
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cnm
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What is it about the kind of people that we codependents get attracted to?
Why do I find it so hard to break away and then justify the break up?
I have ended a relationship with this guy who was always in the grip of mood swings and depression of some sort. And for me it was always trying to figure himout, why he felt like that and what I can say or do to make him feel like a million bucks. He was totally not co-operative. Always protected himself and wanted to suffer in solitude. He would pick up the phone and call me but then only be mean and sarcastic and that was his way of letting me know that he was upset and that I could not do anything to help him so he found no point in sharing. But the one or two times that he was in a good mood. things were soo good. I loved everything. So I kept trtying everything for that "good mood" to return. Now thanks to reading books on codependency and what I learnt from my previous relationship with someone who abused alcahol and soft drugs I found it within me to end this relationship. But memories of the nice time really kill me. I crave to hear his voice and be with him.
Why is the combination so deadly?

October 7, 2003
10:17 am
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mj
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Hi cnm,
I don't know...but if you figure it out....let me know 😉

I am sooo wishing that I could just walk away myself. It seems like nothing ever changes in my relationship. Yes, I know that I have choices...but how do you just walk away when you know that it is ripping someone elses heart out...if you do.

I know that I will be ok if I leave, but I feel so guilty wanting to take care of myself. So I stay, hoping that he will get it...but instead I just feel like I am slipping back into the old unhealthy behaviors, like wanting to sleep when I am around him.

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