It dawned on my rather depressingly this week that, if we believe such a thing exists as codependency, I have it. Apart from the control patterns of codependency (which I don't have), I have a good handful out of each of the other lists. Where did this come from? I have no idea. I did not grow up in a dysfunctional home. But as I look back on my life, from the discomfort of my mid-life crisis. I realise that for no good reason that I can discernm, I have been living my life for other people. And what have I got to show for it? Nothing. No, sorry, very little....
(1) A very unhappy disatisfied mentally ill ex-husband.
I rearranged my life to be with him. I changed countries, left the family I loved. Accompanied him on all his hair-brained adventures, never once saying NO, THAT DOES NOT INTEREST ME, GET STUFFED. I held off on buying a house, having a baby, all the things that meant so much to me, because he was not ready. I cooked the food he liked, shopped where he liked and carefully packed it in the in environmentally friendly bags that he liked, I went on holiday where he wanted to go, did the sports he wanted to do, often to the point of physical exhaustion.
The only thing I have to show for this is my beautiful son, who was a result of my only act of rebellion when I got to 35 and refused to wait anymore, and he was the catalyst for the breakdown of my marriage.
(2) A disrepectful, unfaithful, sex-addicted partner
I do all the household work, and I never argue with his opinions, it is not worth it. This suits him just fine. I feed his addiction by saying "I don't care" and allowing him to be out all day and night and not provide me with any support, and allowing him to objectify me, and to progress his career at the expense of mine. Worse still I have no idea whether or not I do, in fact, care. I remain with him when he has offended every moral value in my soul, and stepped over more marks than I can count, and I have no idea why.
It occurs to me that if I persist in this pattern of self-sacrifice around no-good men, I will not only totally lose myself, but I will have nothing to show for all the hard work such blind devotion entails.
So here's the punchline. If I can't shake myself out of it I may as well put my self-sacrifice to good use and volunteer or give back to society in some way, rather than hitching my wagon to their capricious stars and being dragged heaven knows where.