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Looking for insight on codependency
April 24, 2011
11:59 am
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Hi all,

 

I am new to the site.  I hope my post is in a relatively decent place and that it is appropriate.  I'm simply looking for insight about my behavior.

 

Some background - I was married for 16 years.  Now divorced for nearly 1 year.  Started dating last fall and immediately fell for a woman.  She was smart, funny, creative, a great writer and communicator, beautiful, etc.  She was also bi-polar, suffered from PTSD, and a recovering alcoholic. 

I looked past these issues as I was so taken by her.  (Perhaps I was taken with her as she seemed taken by me?) 

Anyway - we dated for a few months and both thought we were in love.  Last month, she unexpectedly relapsed and began drinking.  Her bi-polar meds didn't seem to work and she cycled between mania and depression.  I've never seen such a dark depression (and I've had my own issues with depression).  She was looking for guns to killer herself with.  Her therapist immediately put her in a week-long suicide watch at a locked mental health facility.  A week or two after getting out, she drank again.  And drove drunk down the highway with her child in the car. 

I was concerned, scared, confused, and hurt.  She told me she had been planning on drinking and I felt that was deceitful (to her and to me).  I told her I needed some space to begin wrapping my head around what was happening with her.  She broke up with me a week or so after that and I am now heartbroken.  We traded a few e-mails afterwards, and then she said she never wanted to hear from me again.

Sorry for making this long - - I'm just trying to figure some things out:  How do I heal knowing she is struggling mentally?  Why did I jump in so fully with someone who openly expressed they had issues?  How do I learn more about my behavior and how to do better in the future?  Everything I've read suggests that people are either addicts or codependents.  I guess I'm a codependent. 

 

Thanks for any feedback anyone can provide.

September 17, 2011
10:39 am
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gizmo24
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First of all, I'm sorry to hear your pain. It's been a while since you posted your message and I hope things are better. I consider myself a co-dependent and can sympathize what you're going through.

I suggest that you see a therapist or attend a local CODA (Co-dependents Anonymous) group to explore your tendencies towards co-dependent behavior.

Unfortunately, your friend has some issues that she (and her therapist) have to work through and resolve to the best of her abilities.

It can be very painful to observe someone that you love purposefully hurting themselves or threatening to do so.

One of the symptoms of co-dependency that I struggle with is the "need" to rescue someone from their pain, as I perceive it. It's usually best to let the person trip, fall, then pick themselves up. But co-dependents tend to want to save people from their pain and discomfort and keep life "safe" (and boring).

I am impressed that you were able to respect and preserve your own personal boundaries and put "some space" between yourself and her situation.

The emotional pain will fade over time, and hopefully you will meet someone whom you enjoy spending time with.

Best of luck in your journeys

September 19, 2011
10:10 pm
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ShiningLight
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Hi,

 

So sorry for what happened to you. I think gizmo24's advice should be taken up seriously as he has the same condition with you. Try to engage yourself in a therapy on how to deal with codependency symptoms. That way, you'll be fully oriented, get help and be treated.

 

Regarding your ex-GF, it's better to just let her go and move on because she's also facing self problems on her own and she needs time to analyze that. Forcing yourself to her would only create more conflicts and depression between the two of you so it's better that you allow space and time to each other first to resolve any of your individual concerns.

 

Hoping for the best.

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