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Religion and Codependency

Old 04-05-2003, 07:22 AM
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Smile Religion and Codependency

Hello family

So many new names and some old ones since I last posted. To see this web page grow in leaps and bounds is such a good thing – it means more people seeking help and recovery. It feels good to be back – like coming home to visit family.

My struggle continues. Strangely, it is not about my husband/addict this time – it’s about “codependency” which rears it’s ugly head when I least expect it too.

My question is – does not religion promote codependency in a way? My religion (I am a grateful Christian) wants us to be unselfish in our dealings with other human beings particularly from the aspect of - do unto others. I’m struggling with my boss who is controlling and abusive inasmuch as she has (what appears to me) an uncontrollable temper of which I am the recipient of for what she calls mistakes and what I call simple errors. To make matters worse, it’s only two of us in the office. Being the classic codependant that I am, I take responsibility for everything that happens.

I have attempted to resign last week and was persuaded to take it back with promises that she would try to control her temper, as she has not been well. Should I do the Christian thing and accept this? Should I leave anyway as graciously as possible?
Should I leave only after letting a higher authority in the company know exactly what’s happening between us to protect my interests? Going by the last two days she has been trying, but (given my background), I am extremely fearful of her temper and do not want to actually wait around to see if it happens again. I don’t expect a leopard to change it’s spots overnight.

I love my job, I’m good at it, but to expect to immediately jump into another one in this market is unrealistic. I don’t have the time to go to interviews whilst I’m working. Financially I can (thank God) afford to be without a job for a few months. I do want to give it my best shot.

Finally would the good creators of this web page kindly consider a “Codependants Anonymous” board? Thank you for everything you’ve already given us through these boards.

Would love some feedback. Be safe and peaceful my family.
Fatcat
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Old 04-05-2003, 07:51 AM
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Ann
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********{FATCAT}}}}

Helloooo!!! I missed you and am so glad you came back.

I know what you mean about codependency. It is not just about being on the "other side" of a relationship with an addict, but it is about an inner turmoil and inability to take care of ourselves.

I know that I have been this way since I was 6 years old and thought I could "save" my dying father (nobody told me about cancer and that he would die), if I just loved him enough and made sure he took his medications. He used to call me his "little nurse".

When I was 7, a crazy person got into our basement and tried to kill my mother with an axe. He got her hard enough with the blunt end that she ended up with epilepsy, but she managed to get away with me to a neighbours and the police got him and put him away. It was just a freak thing, we didn't live a life conducive to violence and lived in a safe neighbourhood, but because I saw him first and told my mother there was a "monster" in the basement (he wore a rubber pirate's mask) I always felt responsible. And she always told me that I "saved" her by being the reason she did not pass out.

My point is that looking back I can see that I was already codependent, and that even today my biggest trigger is something bad happening to someone I love. It is only through working my program that I could see this and work on changes that would make my life livable again.

My fellowship is CoDA (Codependent's Anonymous) and I chose it because the focus is on all codependecy issues and not just addiction. It was right for me because I knew that, like you, my codepency was bigger than being the mom of an addict.

I fight the same battle as you do in a working environment, and have difficulty standing up for myself (which is different thatn changing them), and sometimes I can successfully do this and other times I just move on because staying in that environment is so bad for me.

But I also find that Al-Anon, Nar-Anon and CoDA are very much the same in that they teach us to look after ourselves and shake the obsession that is codependency.

Sorry, I didn't mean to write the Great Canadian Novel, but I am so glad to see you and it does me good to look at the other outside issues of my own codependency.

Sending HUGE hugs and wish I lived in BC where you people have SPRING!!!! Toronto got a week of it, then icy sleety snow again. Arghhh!
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Old 04-05-2003, 08:18 AM
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I think the "do unto others"

phrase has been misquoted for centuries. I think it really should go like this "Do unto others as you would do unto yourself." In other words, be as good to others as you are to yourself. That way, we remember that it is important to treat others well, AND that it is important to treat ourselves well too.
As far as your work situation goes, it is you who must decide where you will be happy. That decision should be based on what is good for you, not on what is good for others. That can sometimes be a tricky thing to accomplish in a work situation. I hope it all works out well for you.
Peace,
Gabe
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Old 04-05-2003, 10:53 AM
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Hi Cat,

I don't think religion promotes codependency. As Gabe says, we should treat others as well as we would want to be treated. And if someone isn't treating you well, then you shouldn't feel the need to have to deal with it, especially if it can be avoided.

Feel free to talk about codependency anytime you want on these boards. You'll find that we often ask questions that are more codie-related than A-related. It's just one more area that a lot of us work on, and this board is as good as any place else to talk about it.

Hugs,
JG
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Old 04-05-2003, 11:06 AM
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Um, hate to tell you this... but there are no REAL signs of spring here in B.C. ... I have been at my sons soccer game all morning and froze my as* off! It was raining and only about 4 or 5 degrees. So while we may not have snow, we certainly aren't basking in the sunshine! :p he he... sorry. Am just still trying to warm up.
Hi Fat Cat... it's great to meet you - and another Canadian . I am on the North Island.
Anyhow, I think Gabe got it. It IS important to "do unto others", but we have to think of ourselves first. We are supposed to know and understand that our God is taking care of us, and he certainly would not be saying "go do whatever it takes to make everyone else happy"... right?
I have to admit that I am only new at discovering my own relationship with God. I have found that there aren't really strict rules of what to DO and what NOT to do. But matter at what stage of recovery you are at, and where you are at spiritually, it is never "healthy" to undermine and underestimate yourself. We HAVE to put ourselves first. I suppose I don't see standing up for yourself and YOUR needs as being selfish to others at all. And when you do something for YOUR own good, it feels right with you, and it IS right with God.
Oh and BTW, I think a Codependants Anon board would be great as well!
Well, take care...
Meg
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Old 04-05-2003, 11:08 AM
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Oooops, Hi anns

I also wanted to say thank you to Ann for sharing a little bit more about where she is coming from. Ann, you are always so full of wisdom and comfort... It is nice to know more about you.
Take care,
Meg
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Old 04-05-2003, 11:45 AM
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Ann
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Thanks Meg - it helps me to talk about it too sometimes.

And Fatcat - about the religious views on codependency....

There are many who could quote both side of this, some say that the Bible says that the woman is to serve her man and always stay with him, others (like me) feel that God didn't ever say that anyone should stay in an abusive relationship, nor that by serving each other with love and comfort that we had to be subservient. I like Gabe's reply.

Our program speaks of "God as we understand him", and the God I understand today is a loving, forgiving God who loves us all unconditionally, who knows our sins and has already forgiven us through his Son, and who I know is with me every moment.

I consider myself a Christian too, but I worship at a variety of church denominations...Catholic, Pentacostal, Salvation Army and Baptist. I consider my relationship with God personal and Spititual and feel that inidivually and collectively these churches are the house of God. Anywhere I can go to pray, meditate and feel the presence of God is his House to me. And I consider my Jewish friends and friends that are not "Christian" in faith to be every bit as much a blessed child of God. To me it is about a Higher Power, and what we choose to call him or how we choose to worship him, I do believe it is all the same Power.
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Old 04-05-2003, 12:05 PM
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See?
Anns always has the right words... couldn't have said it better myself
One more thing I wanted to add: It wasn't until I truly surrendered my life to my higher power that I really saw what miracles he could bring to me. Don't be afraid to let HIM have it.
Meg
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Old 04-05-2003, 03:19 PM
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Rules of Engagement

Oh Wow – thank you so much for your input Anns, Gabe, JG & Meg. Already (thanks to you ladies) some of the cobwebs are clearing up. I wish we had a set of firm rules when dealing with Addiction, Codependency, Abuse, and Trauma etc. I thought I had it down pat but after dozens of books/meetings and having you guys around, however still situations arise which make me question everything I’ve learnt. Recovery IS an on-going lifetime process.

Anns – it is indeed touching to have you share what must be intensely personal issues. I do appreciate that the Bible is open to interpretation and “God as we know him” has such a nice ring to it. My fear of this is that I’ve bent the rules in the past – the basic morals and values that I learnt from my parents.
The end result left me disgusted with myself and what had become of my life. I have now had to redefine myself drastically and I’m terrified of going against those rules again.

Thanks again everyone – Meg, always good to read from another Canuck. Sorry about the dreadful weather you’re having Ann – think about the high taxes and crazy real estate prices we pay for our Spring here…

Love to all
FATCAT
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Old 04-05-2003, 08:46 PM
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JT
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Good to see you Fatcat!!

I have had alot of jobs in my life. I have left for a variety of reasons but after I began recovery I have changed jobs for one reason only. That would be the kind of thing you are describing. One job the boss was a lunatic...and I used that as an opportunity to take a night job and separate myself from the chaos at home. I left that job because it was time to re-enter and face my life and also because in that case my co-workers were lunatics. The job I have now could not be a better fit for me. My postition, the hours, my co-workers and my boss.

We spend far to much time at work to not be happy. Any conflict in my life only serves to trigger my codependency and who needs it?

Hugs,
JT
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