Though I know that me saying this to you seems meaningless considering the pain and trauma you are feeling now,
you also know deep in your heart of hearts that being in the relationship you were in is akin to you crossing a bridge despite CLEAR WARNING SIGNS that doing so would cause death.
And now you feel intense regret, anger for doing so.
The feeling of despair, sadness, remorse, shame is so powerful you cannot shake it off your mind, your body, your heart.
It is as if you’re trapped in a fog and everywhere you look, everywhere you go you can only see and feel pain.
You feel like a walking wound – not wounded. You feel like a wound.
You do not feel like a person.
You feel like you’ve been dumped on, used, abused, violated, lied to, manipulated, betrayed.
You feel you are a victim.
You do not know what to do.
All you want to do right now is cry.
Cry and wail from your gut.
Let your tears flow, let your snot go.
Beat your pillows. Go anywhere you can do all these freely and away from the eyes and ears of people who might worry that you’re losing your mind.
You have lost your mind saying yes to that relationship, now you’re just getting it back.
You’re getting yourself back. You’re also getting your spirit back. But you need to clear the grief and anger from your body first.
Feel free to be sad, be mad. Be all of the above.
If all you want to do right now is shout,
Let it all out.
Scream from the top of your lungs.
Then maybe, if you listen to yourself hard enough, you’ll hear yourself say, “I had a hand in it.”
If you look at yourself hard enough, you’ll see how you walked yourself to the place where you are now.
And your regret dissolves.
You become kind to yourself.
You see the gift in the pain.
You see, feel, realize that you have received a priceless treasure.
You have been given YOU.
You’ve been shown the ways,
you have lived the ways of how to NOT love you.
You have been given the gift of your Self.
You now know what to do to LOVE YOU more – the AUTHENTIC YOU – not the You created in your mind, not the You others have created in their minds, not the You which you think You should be.
The YOU just as YOU are.
You now recognize the You who didn’t know any better, the You who was working at the level you knew – the level you were used to or grew up into; the level you think you should be in; the level others before you were also in and so you thought you should also be into because you believed that is what you’re supposed to do.
Your pain is now telling you to LOVE yourself more.
Go look at yourself in the mirror.
Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself.
Look at your eyes and
tell yourself, “I love you,”
Mean it. You know you do.
How does it feel to now realize that the boyfriend/partner/lover who said “I love you” really didnt?
How does it feel to now know that he couldn’t love you?
How could you choose someone to love you when you didn’t even love your self?
Now that you know that you didn’t love yourself, how could you love others too?
Do you now know that you were in pseudo-love with him as much as he was with you?
And no, love is not giving until it hurts.
Giving is giving. It is not loving.
Helping is helping. It is not loving.
Love is simply loving.
There is no requirement to love. It just is. It does not expect.
Love is not a business transaction. Love is not giving X because you were provided Y.
Love is not doing Z because you were made to feel X.
Love is not giving yourself crumbs and offering the entire cake to others.
“Leave a little love for yourself.” is not a loving thing to say or do to yourself.
If you leave crumbs for yourself, you can only give crumbs to others.
Love yourself enough to enjoy the cake. You can only share to others what you yourself have.
You also now know that a decent / mature person – no matter how much codependent / generous / willing you are to give too much of yourself / to allow yourself to get hurt / how poor your self-boundaries are – does not take advantage of your vulnerability/ does not get abusive / disrespectful / cruel.
You also now know that however painful, gut-wrenching, wounding everything is,
In the book Co-Dependence Healing the Human Condition by Charles L Whitfield, M.D. the following are a few definitions of Co-Dependence:
A multidimensional (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) condition manifested by any suffering and dysfunction that is associated with or due to focusing on the needs and behavior of others. It may be mild to severe and most people have it. It can mimic, be associated with and aggravate many physical, psychological and spiritual conditions. It develops from turning the responsibility for our life and happiness over to our ego (false self) and to others. It is treatable and recovery is possible.
An exaggerated dependent pattern of learned behaviors, beliefs and feelings that make life painful. It is a dependence on people and things outside the self, along with neglect of the self to the point of having little self-identity.
A stress-induced preoccupation with another’s life, leading to mal-adaptive behavior.
Those self-defeating learned behaviors or character defects that result in a diminished capacity to initiate, or participate in, loving relationships.
A person who has let someone else’s behavior affect him or her, and is obsessed with controlling other people’s behavior.
Individuals who organize their lives – decision-making, perceptions, beliefs, values – around someone or something else.
A disease wherein a person has difficulty: experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem; setting functional boundaries; owning and expressing their own reality; taking care of their adult needs and wants; experiencing and expressing their reality moderately.
A pattern of painful dependence on compulsive behaviors and on approval from others in an attempt to find safety, self-worth and a sense of identity. Recovery is possible.
A stressful learned behavior associated with an unhealthy focus on the needs of others and/or attempting to take responsibility for or control the thoughts, feelings or behavior of others..motivated by a need for safety, acceptance amd self-worth.
A learned behavior, expressed by dependencies on people and things outside the self; these dependencies include neglecting and diminishing of one’s own identity. The false self that emerges is often expressed through compulsive habits, addictions and other disorders that further increase alienation from the person’s true identity, fostering a sense of shame.
A maladaptive bonding within a family system. To survive psychologically and socially in this dysfunctional family, the child adopts patterns of thinking, acting and feeling that at first dull the pain but finally are self-negating in themselves. These patterns become internalized and form an essential part of the personality and world view of the individual. The child continues to practice these self-destructive patterns of thinking, behaving and feeling in adulthood and in so doing recreates over and over again the bonding in which the destructive patterns originated.
A particular form of unconscious loving..an agreement between people to stay locked in unconscious patterns..an unconscious conspiracy between two or more people to feel bad and limit each other’s potential, (wherein) the freedom of each is limited. Inequality is a hallmark.
An often-fatal disease of emotional confusion, marked by severe alienation from one’s own feelings. Living for and through others, due to the inadequate development of self-love as a true basis for loving others. Variously defined as: the addiction to living for others at the expense of one’s own development; the substitution of adaptation for honest self-expression; the vicious cycle of using and blaming that arises when we make others responsible for what we feel and do; the mechanism of control / controlling that locks people into futile dependencies and impossible demands; abuse and discontinuing disguised in the attitudes and gestures of love, loyalty, devotion, caretaking, people pleasing. Any combination of the above.
A spiritual condition, the shadow side of our love nature..a “dis-ease” of unequal relationships being acted out, of giving our power away.
Was I codependent?
I did depend on my ex for my emotional gratification and felt that he could complete me. I also felt I was nothing without his presence in my life.
I did stay in the relationship despite the overt and covert abuse I experienced all the while hoping he’d change, `fess up or be accountable – but he never did.
I did crave to be in a relationship with my ex regardless of the abuse he inflicted. At that time, I was afraid that if I left my ex, I’d be in a similar abusive relationship with someone else so I thought the devil I knew was better than the devil I didn’t.
I was also ambivalent in leaving the relationship yet was also unsure if I wanted to stay. I was afraid to be alone but I was also afraid to be out in the world on my own.
I depended on my ex to make me happy, to make me feel good.
I focused on how to help heal him but not how to help heal my Self.
I wanted to make him stop hurting me but I did nothing to stop myself from wanting to be with him.
I admit, yes I was codependent.
I acknowledge that I wanted to love and be loved. I realize that all human beings want to love and be loved but this should not trump self-safety and security. Abandoning my self for the sake of saving the relationship and for the sake of keeping my attachment towards my ex was not authentically loving myself and was therefore an unhealthy way to `love.’
Essentially, it was not love at all but pseudo-love.
It was not love that kept me from leaving – it was my addiction towards the relationship; it was my need to make him accountable; it was my desire for him to change; it was my desire for him to love me the way I wanted him to love me.
It was my beliefs and expectations that things can be better if I tried hard enough; it was my fears of being alone and facing the unknown that kept me in the relationship, not love.
I also had an unhealthy sense of self. I was too hard on myself. I didn’t acknowledge my own needs, safety and self-worth that I was lead on easily to any machinations and manipulations I received from my narcissist-ex who knew how to use my weaknesses to his advantage.
I only had the strength to let go when I felt I’ve finally had enough. I had to ultimately decide not to allow him to hurt me anymore. No more.
When I did let go, I realized that I needed to love myself authentically before anyone else could.
Admitting I was codependent was remarkably empowering. Though acknowledging it for the very first time was tremendously gut-wrenching.
Yet, knowing that my thoughts, actions, beliefs and perception towards my self conveniently fell under the traits of codependence helped me to be aware of how much I devalued my self, how I undervalued my worth, how I constantly looked outside to fill my feelings of lack, how I didn’t appreciate my self (no matter how much good qualities I have).
Admitting I was codependent made me mindful of how much I needed to take care of my Self for my own sake. It was only then that I realized how much I took myself for granted and how much I dismissed my own thoughts, my own feelings and my own value.
Knowledge about codependence also made me understand the fact that, if I allowed my ex to do all those things to me, imagine all the good things I can do FOR me.
Being aware and knowing that I had a hand in my situation, and that I am accountable for my actions and feelings gave me the freedom to be kind and compassionate towards my Self.
Honestly, it is scary not having anyone or anything to blame or put my dysfunctions on yet it is also liberating. It made me step up to the plate knowing and feeling that what I have I must take care of, who I am I must value, what I do I must be responsible for.
Knowing I was codependent was not a death sentence. It helped me look at myself honestly. It also forced me to treat myself better and to Love myself the way I should have long before.
Do you think you’re codependent too?
Being codependent is not something you need to feel ashamed of. It is something you simply have to be aware of.
Once you are aware of your less-than feelings about your self or any codependent traits you possess, you give yourself permission to bring these to the light of your understanding.
Doing this gives you the power to choose whether you should continue being codependent or not. Ultimately, you then realize how taking care of YOU will always be for your best interest and that you can never go wrong once you begin loving your self authentically.
“You will never be truly free if you must depend on another for verification of who you are.” Frank Kinslow
Coming Soon:Know more of what codependents say and do, better yet find out if the codependent is you Ebook.
This website intends to share information and resources on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Codependence. It also aims to share helpful tools & resources on leaving, healing and recovering from a pseudolove relationship.