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Codependent No More CHAPTER 7
February 12, 2007
8:23 pm
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mamacinnamon
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CODEPENDENT NO MORE - CHAPTER 7

SET YOURSELF FREE

Due: Thursday, February 15

Questions to Ponder:

1. Is there an event of person in your life that you are trying to control? Why? Write a few paragraphs about it.

2. In what ways (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) are you being controlled by whatever or whomever you are attempting to control?

3. What would happen (to you and the other person) if you detached from this situation or person? Will that probably happen anyway, in spite of your controlling gestures? How are you benefiting by attempting to control the situation? How is the other person benefiting by your attempts to control? How effective are your attempts at controlling the outcomes of events?.

February 13, 2007
1:38 pm
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mj
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Ok, yesterday, the event was the phone call from my ex. who was needing help finding his original birth certificate. After the conversation, did I just let it go? NO I had to search my file cabinets to see if by chance I might have it and then injured my finger. Then I researched on line again and called him back to report that I didn't have it and that I had the number for the agency, and gave it to him, offering my daughters services if he needed help. How codependent is that?

Very!

So when I sent my daughter a reply I mentioned to her that her step-father was trying to get his birth certificate too. (She just helped her sister get one for their father a few weeks back.)

I get an email from my daughter this morning telling me to tell ex she would help him if he'd like.

Having had a little time in between to analyze my behavior, I replied to my daughter that I had mentioned that and if he needed help he would contact her that I didn't feel comfortable calling back again. Then.....that's when I can say, I truly let it go, and detached.

So here I am almost 10 years later after the divorce, trying to get browny points from my father/exhusband. I mean, what was I thinking marrying someone 15 years older than I. I was thinking I needed to be taken care of. Still have that same mentality with current husband. I think he is responsible for me financially because we are married. Whose controlling Whom?

Set Yourself Free

“Whose controlling Whom?” pg. 80

“When we attempt to control people and things that we have no business controlling, we are controlled. We forfeit our power to think, feel, and act in accordance with our best interests.

Never forget that alcoholics and other troubled persons are expert controllers. We lose the battles, we lose the wars, WE LOSE OURSELVES – OUR LIVES.”

Pg. 81 We cannot change people. People will resist our efforts. Detach, Surrender!
You don’t have to stop caring or loving. You don’t have to tolerate abuse. You don’t have to abandon constructive, problem-solving methods such as professional intervention.

YOU only need to put your emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical hands back in your own pockets and leave things and people alone. Let them be. Make any decisions you need to make to take care of yourself, but don’t make them to control other people.

Start taking care of YOURSELF!

If its important to you, I suggest that is all the more reason to DETACH.

For each of us, there is a time to let go. Deal with your feelings. Face your fears about losing control. Free others to be who the are. In doing so, You set yourself free.

February 13, 2007
2:40 pm
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armyleo
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"When we attempt to control people and things that we have no business controlling, we are controlled."

Intresting, first I didn't realize I was controlling, however reading the book I realize I am...but it is only an illusion, because by me thinking I have everything under control...I am really the one being "controled". I am feeling and acting, not as I really want to be, but as I feel the situation should be...

Thanks MJ, I brought the book with me to work today...I am going to start the chapter during my break...

"Face your fears about losing control." Ah that is a biggy for me...

February 13, 2007
6:30 pm
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mj
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I know armyleo. I didn't realize how controlling I can be either. I mean it seems like Controlling is what my husband does, not me. Yesterday, hubby gets home from work and I walk into his office and he is walking around with mud on his boots in the house. What, why are you walking around in the house with mud on your boots?? So I follow him outside to make sure he takes them off and doesn't wear them back in. I rest my case. I can be controlling. I don't like to admit it but its true. Now I get to work on freeing myself of yet another character defect. Great Day to Be Alive!

February 15, 2007
7:23 pm
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bevdee
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With Lucifer? How did I control him?

At first, I tried to be my fantasy of the perfect partner. That his fantasy was different? No problem - I fused them together and tried to be both. I spent alot of time maintaining my appearance, so I looked and dressed pretty for his self-esteem, cooked and baked, cleaned, and was gracious to his not-so-nice family. I thought if I did all these things, it would insure his love. I did the things I liked to do when in was not inconvenient to him. I do this - so love m?

I tried to please him so I could insure his love and fidelity. I did this happily, eagerly because I thought I was in love. I thought it was what I was supposed to do.

After he started beating me,I used the above to placate him, and offset his anger and possible violence. By this being his implied threat, he controlled me.

The house was in my name, and so were both cars. I reminded him of that periodically. So he would stay in line. So I could make him feel as bad as he did me. Are paybacks ever control?

This is hard to be honest about this, because I would prefer to think, all these years later, that I was so sweet. But then I tried to control him through guilt. Guilt from the beatings. Guilt that he was not a better provider than I was. Guilt so he would stop whooping up on me, and so he would "do" better by me.

These were my expectations each time I forgave him.

I let him know in subtle ways that he was so letting me down. It was sad, though, because I never outright said "you worthless piece of sh*t" It was more of a martyr thing that I did.

I bragged on my BIL, who made great money and provided for his children (Luc didn't)

I don't know if this counts? But I felt I had control by not allowing him the pleasure of always getting to argue with me. Here's a big one. After the beating started, I never again pretended he was good in bed.

#2 - this worked both ways - we both tried to make each other feel like shit. While the implication from me was that I would leave, so it would be more difficult for him to live, certainly not in the same style. His implication was always that he could hurt me. Or kill me. Then when he could not control his rage I got hit, then the honeymoon phase started again, and I had that upper hand again.

I believe we both chafed under this - controlling we tried to do to each other.

I know this is an extreme example, but this is what came to mind today.

I'm sorry I can't make the live meeting tonight.

Bevdee

February 15, 2007
10:19 pm
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ggfred4
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hey girls, can't meet tonight, not feeling well, will try to add my thoughts tomorrow...proud of all you.............gg

February 15, 2007
10:27 pm
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mj
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Hi Everyone, I am here ready to discuss Chapter 7 of Codependent No More! Sorry you're not feeling well gg! Take care of yourself! Sorry you can't make the meeting in person too Bevdee.

February 15, 2007
10:31 pm
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mj
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Today I practiced taking care of myself. I applied for a job which will make me more financially independent. I cleaned for my brother as my other job and earned $40. I talked to a Al-Anon friend and made a plan to get together this weekend and do a facial. I talked to a Coda friend and made plans for lunch tomorrow. I am here ready to work a program too! I feel really good tonight. I am tired but its a good tired from a day well lived.

February 15, 2007
10:32 pm
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armyleo
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I'm here going to compose my thoughts on questions.

February 15, 2007
10:33 pm
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mamacinnamon
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I'm here

February 15, 2007
10:35 pm
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mj
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Yeah!

February 15, 2007
10:35 pm
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mamacinnamon
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I had a hard time as to trying to decide to talk about marriage 1 or marriage 2. I have been trying to use both to show the differences, so as of yet let me see what ya'll start w/ and then I'll join in.

Glad you are here MJ and Army.. GG so sorry you are not feeling well.

February 15, 2007
10:39 pm
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armyleo
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In what ways am I being controlled, by controlling...

I'm trying to make my H fit the mold I want in the family...Which in turn gets him mad, when I nag (1st time I admit to doing this), him, because he didn't do something I thought he should do...

Emotionally I get all bent out of shape I'm, pretending things are fine at home when there not...Or maybe if I let them be, I wouldn't stress out so much...

I guess I haven't been effective at controlling, because honestly, things are the same, the family is still not the family life I wanted...Sometimes I wonder if what I want exists?...I just pretend that I'm happy...I keep thinking that it's going to change, that give it one last shot...Like maybe I can't give up because this might turn things around...

February 15, 2007
10:40 pm
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mj
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I don't think Bevdee's example was extreme at all. I just read it again. I think each of us have been controlled or controlling or both.

Being silent is also a method of control. I have done that a lot in my present relationship.

I will punish my husband for hurting me by not talking to him.

February 15, 2007
10:44 pm
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mj
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Last night when when we joined our neighbors of Valentines dinner, I tried to talk my husband in an intimate dinner. He said he wanted to go with the neighbors because we are always telling them no. To me, Valentines is intimate. My expectation. I decided to let life happen. We rode with the neighbors to the restaurant. My husband leaps out of the front seat and runs for shelter from the rain. I silently pouted because he wasn't a gentleman and opened the door for me.

February 15, 2007
10:45 pm
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armyleo
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I guess the person I am trying to control is H...I've been trying to mold him...example...he has never been real big on Holidays...Where I use to celebrate to the max...so we (I) plan stuff, and sometimes I wish he would go with the flow...but he doesn't which gets me upset...So we both have this pull going...

mj, I glad things are going well for you today... you sound good..

Mamacin...glad your here...

Bevdee/gg - miss you

February 15, 2007
10:46 pm
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mj
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I want to be cherished. I want the man my husband use to be back. I want him to want to spend time with me, talking, and enjoying each others conversation like it used to be when we first were together. I don't want to settle for being room-mates.

February 15, 2007
10:48 pm
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mj
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My husband use to buy me gifts and make Holidays really special. He gave me stargazers the week before when they were cheaper which I thought was smart. On Valentines morning, he gave me a card. I know that our relationship has changed but not for the better.

February 15, 2007
10:50 pm
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armyleo
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On page 82 ...Face your fears about losing control...Gain control of your self and your responsibilities...Free others to be who they are. In so doing you will set your self free....

This really hit home. I should concentrate on my responsibilities and myself...let go of the rest...In trying to control, him...for years now, I have neglected my responsibilities to me...I think I have not done things that he wants done just to punish him, so I feel like I have what...won...the upper hand??? thinking about it...this only hurts me and others more...

February 15, 2007
10:52 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Ok, I've decided.

I am going to go w/ marriage 2. I never looked at it as controlling because I was trying to keep him from using. Here's the senerio:

Hubby goes to his bro's one day a week. Spends the whole day. His bro used to be his supplier. There was also that he loved going there but never happy at home no matter what I did. So, i would try to not say anything but he could see the hurt on my face. How do you hide that? Then I would call him several times coz I was afraid he was up there having fun and smokin dope,e tc.

February 15, 2007
10:52 pm
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mj
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I bought my husband a beautiful sandstone candle carve into a heart at the local art association. It was beautiful when lit. I made him a dvd of our wedding stills as a slideshow with a few of our songs from dating. I lazered a label. I gave him a card too. I had it all in a gift bag. His comment was, you didn't have to do that. I didn't get you anything. I sugar-coated it by saying that you bought me paint so I could paint the cupboards, and drapes that I am remaking to suit your desires. I want him to love me again and want to be intimate. Is this controlling?

February 15, 2007
10:55 pm
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armyleo
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mj, your roommate comment hit home...That is how it has become...and before he was deployed...for a while it's okay, I thought we were getting along, but honestly it's hard, living next to someone you love...knowing he doesn't really want to be there...

Bevdee, made a comment about love, I can't believe, how I've sunk to years ago, begging and pleading for him not to go...to stay home...He use to be gone 1 night a week...I thought if he saw how much I loved him he would change his mind...I guess pleading and begging is not really love...

February 15, 2007
10:55 pm
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mj
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Thanks you both for honestly posting your thoughts and feelings. I can relate to you.

February 15, 2007
10:56 pm
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mamacinnamon
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I want to be cherished. I want the man my husband use to be back. I want him to want to spend time with me, talking, and enjoying each others conversation like it used to be when we first were together. I don't want to settle for being room-mates.

My thoughts 100% MJ. Same thing here.

February 15, 2007
10:56 pm
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mj
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Posting tonight makes me sad about reality.

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