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Why am I everything to everyone?
July 1, 2007
1:05 am
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Faith1159
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Why do I have to be everything to everyone? I'm the girlfriend, the x wife, the friend, the mother, the daughter, and the sister! Although all thoughs titles fit me why does all the stuff that comes with them solely lie on me? The girlfriend, because I'm the girlfriend, I'm suppose to be understanding that my boyfriend and I don't have intamacy in our relationship. Hes depressed! He comes home after work, plops down, waits for dinner by playing his xbox or watching tv. He doesn't do chores around the house or helps me with the kids; but, hes allowed to be the one to claim to be depressed. Its not fair. How is that I can juggle all the balls in the air for our family, even juggle school and two jobs, but at the end of the day all I want is a physical and mental relationship with him and he can't give it to me? The X wife. Even though I'm the x wife, my x still comes to me with all the problems in the world. For lack of a better description, its like he is bipolar. He is nice one day and a jerk the next. My x's girlfriend and I are really good friends too. But I'm like their therapist, helping them through their problems. The friend, as cruel as it sounds, my friends are full of drama and the first person they call is me. Why? They know I'm probably more of a wreck then they are. Misery loves company type deal? Dont get it. The mother, I love my little girls with all my heart, but why am I doing most of it alone when I'm in a relationship with the father? The daughter. I have been there for my parent's divorce and held their hand like the little miss perfect daughter that they wanted. Why is it all about them and never about the drama they put my brother and me through when we were kids? Why do they always take me and what I have done for them for granted? The sister. Although my brother is deeply hurt by my parents divorce. I believe that I have let him down. Pregnant at 18, divorced by 20, jumped in and out of relationships, pregnant again by 22, still in a troubled relationship at 23. Although he is far from perfect, I really miss my relationship with my little brother. Now that he is 18 himself, I see him being more destructive and I'm afraid to step up and lose anymore of the little relationship that I have with him. Why am I always the solution to everyone's problem? Why am I always the glue that keeps everything together when the times get rought? Isn't it up to them to keep it together as well?

July 1, 2007
1:20 am
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fantas
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(((Faith1159))) You sound like you need a very long and luxurious vacation in a tropical island. As Dr. Phil often says, "we teach people how to treat us". Somewhere along the way, you never drew boundaries with your family and friends. You've let them believe you are like a 711, open for business and always at their service. This is a classic symptom of codependents. To us selfcare is a dirty word. You have to start drawing boundaries with your loved ones and letting them know that you need help from them. They will probably be upset and try to guilt trip you into changing but you have to stick to your boundaries. Have you considered attending CoDA? There should be a group in your area, also the book codependent no more is a good book. Boundaries, is another good one. Keep posting here. You are not alone.

July 1, 2007
1:31 am
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Faith1159
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How exactly would I be able to find a CoDA group in my area? I have never attended a support group, nor do I know where to begin. My counselor mentioned to me that I might be codependant, but the book suggestion is very much appreciated. I will look into that tomorrow, but I really would like to know more about getting into a CoDA group.

July 1, 2007
1:39 am
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fantas
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Here is the website where you can look up meetings in your city

http://www.codependents.org/

all the best you...Post on this site as well. People here are very helpful and many understand exactly where you are because they have lived it.

July 7, 2007
2:50 am
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LadyLibra
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I can identify with you on this concern...Codependent that's me. I am everything for everybody - I think it keeps me in control of things. See being out of control means I would have to make decisions for myself and stick with them. I am a go getter, good job, and I make a great team player, where I must have some responsibility to lead. Often, in family/friend relationships, I wake up one morning and say that I have had enough" I want everybody off my bus so to speak. they all want to ride for free. then they make me feel guilty for saying no. Then I angrily run or go away and hide. the truth is, I allow my need for approval to cause me to become the do it all, and fix it all person. then I get resentful when people don't appreciate me for my hard work. I set myself up for failure. I am currently working with a Coda group. There is a light at the end of the tunnnel. We have to slow down and let others talk and work out their own problems - we are not always right about everything and we have to be everything to ourselves.

July 7, 2007
9:44 am
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jasminum sambac
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fantas, and everyone here, do you have this problem? I've been working on boundaries...that's really where a lot of my effort has been focused in the last while.

But I'm discovering that that for me isn't the whole codependency problem...it's also got a second part to what LadyLibra pointed to in "See being out of control means I would have to make decisions for myself and stick with them."

There's a problem with having good boundaries, but also a problem with my center, if you want to call it that. I'm not talking about my soul, here.

I was always pretty wellbounded in the work world...that was my "other" universe. The play world outside of the house was my "other" world, too, and things went pretty well there...hahah, I didn't end up toting around other kids' buckets of sand, or being strung out and jumping like a puppet over their feelings.

So, because it's always been pretty functional, I could live with a pretty OK work world and whatever as an adult is like that play world outside of the house...and with these better boundaries that I'm working on with my intimates (who still are of the type to want me to be their codependent caretaker, but I'm starting to work on changing the mix).

However, there's a center, inside those boundaries, a me, that is having a heck of a time acting to take really big building and growing risks.

All of my energy, so to speak, is on those boundaries, thinking about em, sending the moral and emotional troops over to em if someone does one of those old assaults on them. I could do this for the rest of my life, I think because those other couple of areas, which I value, are pretty much OK: work and play, if they don't involve my intimate people.

But to stop growing at getting and keeping good boundaries leaves somethng, in me at least, really dead:

Faith 1159 said: "But I'm like their therapist, helping them through their problems. The friend, as cruel as it sounds, my friends are full of drama and the first person they call is me."

Been there, for sure, Faith. The great thing about being people's "therapist" or source of emotional and thought supply is that its a task that asks for a lot out of you...it feels like you're doing something of worth...it's using your compassion, and mind, and those are higher parts of the human being (nothing at all wrong with the body, either, but our culture values those inner parts)...but it's kind of a passive thing: you have that worth, that nobility only when someone comes to you and "switches you on."

It's hard for me to name this searching toward activating the "center" after the boundaries begin to gel better, and maybe that's just my own thing. But once you cease to be people's "therapist," and cleaner upper, or emotional punching bag, once you stop that, and figure out how to dance it so that their behavior with you changes, and you develop confidence in those new boundaries, there's this gap at the center, an inertness, in me...

🙂 What does Mr. Phil say about that?

I think, at least in me, there may be very powerful fear, or social prohibition from the past, that's still working, that I haven't kicked...I think Faith talked about responsibility...I think some of it is a responsibility issue.

When I was a kid, to be responsible really meant to do what other people said or what I perceived other people needed... I think "getting the center going" is not a boundary issue, it's an initiated action issue.

Am I naming anything that anyone else has run across, in their work with codependency? I didn't think I succeeded, quite, in naming this "not functioning at the center" thing to my therapist, when I was in therapy.

To me, the answer isn't quite "just take some risks." I've always been able to do that...hahah, giving yourself away to a narcissist as if you're opening up the doors to a bank vault is a risk, isn't it? And it feels thrilling if you do..

So it's some other oomph issue, or a more focused one than risk.

All best to everyone. Reading this thread helps...you all are straight talkers.

July 7, 2007
11:43 am
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StronginHim77
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Faith -

They (the xh, the xh's gf, the bf, the divorced parents, etc.) will NEVER "keep it together" and stop dumping their problems on you, until you step back, draw a healthy boundary and say "No More." And stick to it.

Most of us recovering codependents only feel alive and valuable when we are neck-deep in chaotic, crisis situations. Our self-worth seems rooted in our ability to "handle it all" and carry the load of everyone's problems. This can become a rather addictive role. Abandoning that role and drawing healthier boundaries with these people is tough. We cannot unlearn a lifetime of being "the caretaker," without understanding, support and time. In short, this will not be a quick fix. But it seems that you are facing these issues in a healthy way and seeking options to this (very difficult) role.

Instead of focusing your energies and strength on others, maybe you are ready to focus strictly on your children and yourself. And slowly -- but steadily -- disengage yourself from every relationship which drains the strength, passion and peace you need to be the best, possible mother. That should be your goal now: focus on yourself and your children. What can you do to make yourself happier and help your children feel loved, accepted and supported?

- Ma Strong

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