I have been sick again, sleeping the days away. I guess that explains why I’ve been feeling so tired lately. There’s also been a lot to process since my last therapy session. Suddenly, so much is starting to make sense. Behaviors, patterns, triggers and psychological sore spots. The therapist recommended a book about codependency, which I’ve ordered. All I need now is to learn how to deal with it – because in the end my issue of psychological codependency is a good thing – it means I am an empathetic and caring person who’s able to put other’s needs before her own, if necessary. The psychological codependency grew from an early feeling of guilt and responsibility for things which weren’t mine to feel guilty or responsible for in the first place. I get it now. It all makes so much sense. Why I lose myself to other people’s expectations, why I think it’s my responsibility to make everybody happy, to fix things, to sacrifice everything to be able to be there for others, why I’ve been reluctant to let go of toxic relationships, and how I could’ve accepted the unacceptable.
I can’t change the past. I am not blaming anyone. But the issue still remains – and I have to deal with it. In a way, it’s a good thing that Johnny and I are in this long distance relationship right now. I need the space and the time to figure these things out, because the psychological codependency is so connected to intimate relationships for me. I have been so scared of loving again, of accepting love. I have been so close to isolating myself from love and intimacy all together – even if it’s all I want in this life. But I can understand why now. How I’ve felt smothered by relationships and the expectations I imagine they bring upon me. Expectations I have of myself – to be able to meet theirs. But all I’ve felt is inadequacy and scarcity. That’s when I lose myself. I start playing a role. Giving up my own pleasure to serve it to others. Delivering whatever they want from me. I let them feed off me like I am piece of meat, without any private emotions and needs. Some have taken advantage of it, some where blind to it. Ignorant.
I played my part very convincingly – even I believed I was all those things they wanted me to be. Submissive. Disconnected. Loyal to their convictions and disloyal to my own.
My therapist said: “You have let other people feed off you until you haven’t had anything more to give. Like you thought it was your responsibility to nurse them with your milk. Whenever they wanted they could just suck it out of you. But they took it all until you were left all dried out. Now it’s time to cover your bosom, put on a good bra that is complicated for them to open when they try to get inside it – and to sit with your arms crossed to let other people know that you are not there to feed all their needs.”
I came to think of the old statue – Romus and Remus with the Wolf – and I got inspired to make my own version of it, perhaps in a painting.
Even though I have a good picture of what my issue is, it will take me a long time to understand how to deal with it. It is so deeply rooted. I have to remind myself that in the end, the essence of codependency is a good thing. It means I am a good person – but with loose boundaries. And that’s totally fixable. I just need to put on a bra.