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Thoughts on your non-qualifying parent

Old 10-28-2013, 01:36 PM
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Thoughts on your non-qualifying parent

So... I haven't logged on in a while, but I recently made a bunch of changes in my life (yay) and my life has gotten a little out of balance AND I'm home with the flu, so there you go...
Anyway, I recently had to come to the conclusion (rather painfully) that I am a classic case of Co-dependency... like oh so dysfunctionally so!
I mean I got it all, from excessively asking people their advice, to having near panic attacks when making decisions, avoiding close relationships and getting clingy when I have them... Oh yeah, it's all staring me in the face!
So... that brings me to my mom. Growing up, I had always assumed it was my Dad who ****** up my response system. His temper, his alcoholism, his effort to control my and my mother's every move. He was the monster in the den.
However, over the years, I've had a nice long look at my mother and her behaviors and look at them now as a kind of dyad. Looking at her now, I can see the ways she enabled my father's behaviors so she could push off her fear of confrontation and probably her fear of making a decision on her own.
And then today.
I was talking with her and she was telling me how she often gets so anxious when she is trying to get things done that she rushes, and then she often makes mistakes and is therefore clumsy - causing bruises, breaking things, etc. This is a classic symptom and something that happens to me, too. I think it goes to not trusting yourself, or being so certain you;re gonna screw something up that you rush through it. It's like I can't bear the thought of what *might* happen, so I don't concentrate, thereby causing what I was afraid of to happen. I just can't stand the stress of concentrating on doing a good job. And this is my mother who I have learned from.
Rather than: "Be slow. Be confident. Do a good job, no matter how long it takes."
I got: "Quick! Before you can screw it up!"
Now I have to read past my string of abusive relationships and dead-end career choices and understand how I can build the part of me NOT informed by the way my father AND my mother taught me how to deal with (or better yet NOT deal with) stress and confrontation.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:44 PM
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Anyway, I recently had to come to the conclusion (rather painfully) that I am a classic case of Borderline Personality Disorder... like oh so dysfunctionally so!
I mean I got it all, from excessively asking people their advice, to having near panic attacks when making decisions, avoiding close relationships and getting clingy when I have them... Oh yeah, it's all staring me in the face!
Whoa, wait! Hold your horses!

Occam's razor: All of these symptoms also point to textbook codependency.

People who are borderline aren't capable of recognizing they're borderline. Codependent people are more than willing to take on the personality defects of their abusers. Don't saddle yourself with a heavy diagnosis. Talk to a professional about this stuff.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:50 PM
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Ha! Okay... It is a weird thing. I was aksing someone why I was having certain behavioral problems and she led me to a web site and I looked down the list and was HORRIFIED that they all applied to me.

Though maybe I'm a bit of a hypochondriac because I had the same feeling about ADHD... I'm waiting on medicaid (oh yeah, I am a Welfare QUEEN!)

Funny thing about labels - they can be liberating in the sense that you can name your problems in a neat little bundle, but it can also feel stifling like a life sentence!

I think you're right. Gonna go back and change that to co-dependency. Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:52 PM
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I did the same thing with my parents. I thought my AM was the cause of all my issues, but it turns out that my grandmother had a lot to do with teaching me how to be a classic codependent and enabler. My dad left my mom when I was three, and he never stood a chance at custody back then. The courts were still granting custody to mothers all the time unless they were incarcerated. As I got older, I was so enmeshed in the brainwashing and trash talking about my dad that I bought it all. It wasn't until a couple years ago that I realized all of this stuff, so that's been the focus of my therapy. I'm unlearning those codependent and ACoA behaviors and attempting to become more "normal."
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:17 PM
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Blah. What's normal!

No, but in all honesty. You're right. It's about moving our reactions into the conscious arena and saying to ourselves: "I don't like the outcome of my actions and I can choose to do something differently."

That's gratifying to know... Even more gratifying when we get to a stage of awareness when we can act on them!

I'm actually quite grateful right now for being in a relationship that is bringing up these issues where I can see them, look at them, and choose what to do with them. I'm not quite sure what's going on with the relationship, but what's going on with myself is Really cool!
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by RECF View Post
Blah. What's normal!

No, but in all honesty. You're right. It's about moving our reactions into the conscious arena and saying to ourselves: "I don't like the outcome of my actions and I can choose to do something differently."

That's gratifying to know... Even more gratifying when we get to a stage of awareness when we can act on them!

I'm actually quite grateful right now for being in a relationship that is bringing up these issues where I can see them, look at them, and choose what to do with them. I'm not quite sure what's going on with the relationship, but what's going on with myself is Really cool!
My current (second) marriage is like that, too! My husband has been my rock through all kinds of crap with my AM. When I finally hit my bottom and started this recovery journey, he was my biggest cheerleader. Bless the man, he's been through so much with me, and I can still be a bit verbally abusive toward everyone, but he hasn't held it against me beyond when it happened. My turning point was first recognizing what I was doing and actively working to fix it. Things still aren't perfect, but the good stretches far outnumber the bad ones now. We have both learned a ton on this walk. Our marriage is getting stronger because we are both applying a lot of these communication skills I learn in my therapy sessions. If he had left me early on, I'd probably have gotten here sooner, but I'm so grateful that he stuck around.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:47 PM
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Well... to be fair, it's such a new relationship that I haven't shown much of this to him... It's actually been really cool because I've discovered I don't NEED to overexpose or rush into forcing my emotionality on him. I have found that if I can just wait long enough to write down what I'm feeling and LOOK at it, I can Really see these co-dependent tendencies just shine straight through. If I can WAIT long enough, it's even possible for me to see the TRUTH and come to the right decision.
It's true that I still don't trust myself fully on the professional front.
I'm 36 years old and I have only tasted professional success on a very small-scale. In fact, I don't even have a 'profession' - I've always been just a 'worker' - wage jobs and what not.
I think there are two things I deserve to give myself before I die:
1) The chance at a HEALTHY (meaning upfront, open and honest) relationship
2) A modest amount of financial stability

I used to really stress about the possibility of having kids and I felt I needed to rush. Now I just feel that's in the hands of the gods.
I know it's gonna sound stupid, but there was a quote Eva Longoria made a few weeks ago. She said: "A child is a product of love. If the love is there, I will be blessed to consider having a child... Until then, however, I'm not gonna worry."
I'm paraphrasing here, but still, I LOVE the sentiment.
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