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After realization, everything has changed...

Old 01-26-2011, 11:16 AM
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After realization, everything has changed...

Hi everyone... I am noticing after my realization that I am ACOA and codependent last week, that I am changing - I think for the better, but it is a little scarey. I am looking a friendships differently - "are they healthy for me?". I am evaluating my behavior or reactions to my ABF and others in my life. I am seeing my life from outside of the tornado and it is a much different view. As I said, I am a little scared not to be in the tornado, but i am NOT going back in there.

I would like to share an example if that's ok. Over the weekend a friend of mine, who is extremely needy - to the point that I feel like I need to fix her - contacted me via text boo-hooing about how this guy that she used to date left town without saying good-bye. She was sitting in her car parked on the side of the road wallowing in self-pity waiting for me to "rescue" her. Frankly, I was disgusted. I sort of screamed via text that she shouldn't care about that guy. She has other priorities. She needs to worry about herself. She has a daughter to support and she needs to find a job (she is living off of her parents). I told her she has her whole life in front of her and to basically snap out of it. Ok I may have been harsh and I regret that, but I am so so tired of people around me draining my emotional energy and waiting for me to fix them. I suppose my telling her what she "needs" to do is codependent too, but I just can't deal with her neediness anymore. I need all of my energy for ME. Not to say I can't listen and be a good friend but I am not really in the frame of mind right now to deal with anyone else's problems.

She has not spoken to me since Sunday. A mutual friend contacted me (more drama) and said that my friend had told her what happened and that she is going to contact me tonight to talk about it. Ugh. She apparently feels that I think my life problems are worse than hers....well my answer to that is that they are worse to me because they are MY problems. Her problems are not more important to me than my own. Huh? Am I missing something here?

Truthfully, the last thing I feel like dealing with right now in the midst of my own realizations about myself is her and her drama. I am not sure what I am going to say when she contacts me. I really don't want to hurt her feelings, but I don't want to get sucked in to "saving" her or "rescuing" her.

Any advice would be so much appreciated.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:22 AM
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Good for you, codie. I'm in the midst of realizing my place among others. Here's another thing I've learned.

If you're going to react, give it some thought first. Easier said than done. I know you're looking to s-can some old baggage and this is good. Nothing wrong with firing a couple of your friends. But again, just remember to take ownership of your reactions.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:25 AM
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she apparently feels that I think my life problems are worse than hers....well my answer to that is that they are worse to me because they are MY problems. Her problems are not more important to me than my own.
I don't think you need any advice. I think you're doing pretty flippin' great on your own here. And I think you are wise to limit your exposure to people who drain your energy. One of the most amazing things I've discovered so far in my recovery is that I can say "no" to people without feeling guilty. It took me a long time to get to that point because I used to feel guilty over everything and worry about hurting people's feelings.

It's not selfish to focus on yourself first in this situation. It's like that thing about the oxygen masks on planes. And you're doing great.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:46 AM
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Shellcrusher...I like the way you think - "fire a couple of friends"...I am on the verge of doing just that. I know I will regret hurting anyone's feelings. I am so sensitive about that, but I feel that slipped away on Sunday when I just didn't want to hear her whining and didn't want to expend hours of my time and energy on her drama. You are right I will have to take ownership of my reactions and I think I am prepared to do that with her and my reaction on Sunday. Thanks so much for the advice! It gave me a little boost!

lillamy...this silly incident is I am sure the first of many where I am saying no. I am sure I will struggle with that for a while. I guess what helped me to say no to her was that I am just sick and tired of being drained by these emotional vampires. I also think it really annoys me that I "attract" this people. Thanks for the words of support!! I am really trying to say "no" more often.

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Old 01-26-2011, 12:03 PM
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She has not spoken to me since Sunday. A mutual friend contacted me (more drama) and said that my friend had told her what happened and that she is going to contact me tonight to talk about it. Ugh.

When you start getting better, it really bothers everyone else, it throws their lives all out of kilter, and they will bend over backwards to get you to "go back" to the old "comfortable for them" way.

Man that mutual friend sure has a lot of spare time on her hands, must have all her own stuff handled. The fact that all this is becoming annoying to you, is a very good sign of your own blossoming recovery.

I had been in Al-Anon for about a year and was whining about the plethora of phone calls/threats from my axe, that were mind-effing me.

Someone mentioned to me after the meeting, "you don't have to answer the phone, and you don't have to return phone calls if you don't want to".

Huh? What? Really? It's true for me, and even for you.

You don't HAVE to "state" boundaries either, if it's as uncomfortable for you, as it is for me. Just implement 'em, it's fun to watch their reactions. J/K about the fun part, that'd just be mean.

Thanks and God bless us all,
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:27 PM
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Thanks Coyote21...that's exactly how I feel. Everyone is trying to figure out what is "wrong" with me...why am I not reacting like "normal"????? When I heard that she wasn't speaking to me because I had the audacity to actually think my own problems were more important than hers, I almost fell off my chair. Is that really how the people around me view ME? Am I a carpet for them to dump on and wipe their feet on? Wow!

Funny how she someone turned her frustration about her own situation all on me...my reaction or lack thereof caused her more grief than the original cause. Hmmmmm... I can't wait to see what happens tonite after I fail to react accordingly.

Great advice about not answering the cries for help and other drama tornados. I just don't have to answer the phone. Of course, that will be hard at first, but I think eventually they will realize that I am not available for that crap. I guess that would be a good boundary to implement without verbally alerting anyone? Fun? haha um...maybe a little bit because it is evidence of me finally becoming my own girl. That makes me very happy. Mean? a bit, but I think my independence is more important or let's say I know it is supposed to me - I am working on it.

Thanks for the words of support!
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:31 PM
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"when you stop people-pleasing, people are not pleased."
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:32 PM
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stella...so true. I have a feeling I may be hearing just how displeased people are tonight. Oh well. I can just tune her out or get off of the phone.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:36 AM
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Update...so she didn't call until after 10 pm. I was already in bed so I didn't answer. I admit I did feel a little guilty. Anyway, all of that for nothing. I texted her this morning so at least I responded.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:00 AM
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Isn't it possible to be a friend without trying to fix her? Maybe she doesn't want that. She just wants a friend to listen.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:11 AM
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goldengirl...I am going to try. She has so much consistent drama in her life. I am tempted as a codependent to "fix her" or at least try. Still, I am her friend and I am going to listen and restrain myself from "fixing"...just listen.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:39 AM
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Well, if this is someone you WANT to continue to try and be friends with...

you can always have the sit down and just ... speak your truth.

"Look. I'm working on myself
and here's the thing:
I need friends who are also growing.
This has become a 'me listening to your problems'
and nothing more.
I need more in a firendship.
If you think you can do that -
then let's get motivated.
Otherwise - I don't think I can
be the kind of friend you want any more.
I need all my energy
to make the changes in myself
to become more than I am right now.
I'm moving on and you're welcome if
you're willing to grow and change as well."

act of bravery kind of friend...

not meant in a 'do this or do that' kind of way
just ... an example
of what I mean when I say 'speak your truth'.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:50 AM
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Great advice Barb. I am trying to decide whether I am going to get all into that at this point. I don't know if I want to be friends with her or not. I need to do a little investigating first. Last weekend I was ready to write her off - no explanation. I really meant it when I said I was tired of emotional vampires draining my energy. I am going to see where her head is when we talk. History with her leads me to believe that she expects me to "fix" her problems. There is a line between fixing someone and listening as a friend and responding to requests for advice. I am no longer interested in fixing anyone but myself.

Thanks again Barb...
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