They smile. They COO. They consoled. They give advice, they ask for it or not. But don’t let them fool you! Thoreau articulated it best: codependent “lead lives of quiet desperation”. I know this because I’m one of them. I learned that from my mother, who is also aware of their codependency. I have experienced codependency inside, outside, top and bottom side of codependency. This is a very special kind of hell.
What is codependency?
14 years after the “discovery” of co-dependence, and output wonderful books melody Beattie to give a definition of codependency as difficult as nailing jelly to the wall. Probably the best definition I’ve heard is “dependence on other people’s feelings”.
But it’s easier to describe how it feels in real life. Suppose my husband is laying under the sink to fix the pipe. He begins to grumble. Then to swear. Then he starts running around, rummaging through his things, trying to find the right tools, and describes aloud all their actions.
Meanwhile I sit in my chair, pretending to ignore it and bite your tongue because I am in emotional agony. I feel guilty, because any plumbing issue should be my fault. All of his grumbling and swearing and the stories felt to me like my fault, my responsibility. I need to fix something, to find him tools to do something, so he ceased to grumble, swear, and talk. If he’s unhappy, I’m unhappy. His emotions are my responsibility.
This is one aspect of hell that is called codependency.
But now, here’s the trick. Despite all the grumbling, swearing and talking, he really is happy. He’s all right. He’s not angry with me. The problem with repairing of the pipes, not mine. He (as usual) lost your damn tools and (as usual) will find them. And it would be better if I just left it alone and not tried to help, to reassure and encourage him. He doesn’t need it, he doesn’t want it and asks.
That’s why I call codependency bilateral hell. It’s hell for us, codependent, and hell for those whom we are trying to “save”.
The narcissist codependent love
Although codependency is usually found in family members of alcoholics, narcissists love codependent. They’re looking for us. In the beginning of the relationship, the romantic chemistry between the narcissist and his codependent lover is electric. They play the victim, we play the Savior. It’s a coincidence right “made in…” somewhere. If a codependent married to an alcoholic, washed away their physical vomit, we wash off the emotional vomit of a narcissist. Over and over again. Many years.
Learn how codependency
I learned codependency on his mother’s knee. She was the first to admit it and would’ve regretted it. She, too, learned this at his mother’s knee because she had become codependent if she wanted to be loved and accepted exclusively sacrificial narcissists who raised her. For many years she believed his “service” to be a shoulder on the daily crying to her mother on the phone. Later, she discovered that her mother was just enjoying playing the victim and did so to obtain vitality.
When she was not involved in the expression of empathy to her mother, she was busy with the manifestation of empathy for her husband. Every night while dad complained about their, in his opinion, stupid colleagues for dinner, mom gave him a variety of tips on how to more effectively manipulate them. I quietly munched on the chicken, and her advice seemed trivial. Little did I know that the roots of the problem was the terrible dance of the narcissist and his codependent.
Then I grew up and, of course, talked with my mom about the problems I have at work. Again she came up with a variety of useless advice that I didn’t need and I just felt sick. Finally, we dealt with it. I just wanted to talk. She thought I was looking for advice and, frankly, she herself was sick of everyone turning to her for comfort and advice. It is believed that blame around. But really, it’s 50% dependent on her.
When I was a kid, she taught me how to lie and play the fool instead of having to set boundaries in communicating with people, including in relation to their Intrusive questions. She regrets it now! But on the other hand, every time I tried to set boundaries with her, she immediately accused me that I’m hiding some crime and, as I say, “furiously pouted”.
Meanwhile, she took the brunt of the attack, when her husband had fits of anger. Recognizing that most of his anger was directed at his colleagues, mom was always the one who was supposed to provoke his terrible rage. She bore it. She sat there while he cried and read her notation, waving their fists. We both had to endure that. We feel guilty because we are the “cause” of his rage. We tried to be perfect even more, in order not to anger him. When he beat the table with his fist until it started bleeding, she bandaged him. When slamming the door, he broke it, she glued it together with putty and paint, lamenting: “So does a good wife.”
No! Does codependent idiot.
When I grew up, I discovered new aspects of codependency. “Can you get towels out of the dryer and fold them?” my mom would ask. “Okay”, I replied in a catatonic state, putting aside the book and rising from the couch. “You got to take it, – she was striking me. – I’m not asking for a lot, and you’re also live here. You could wash myself!” Apparently, my silence wasn’t enough. I should be happy, cheerful, positive attitude to the task.
It took me some time to figure this out. She felt guilty! Guilty for asking me to do anything! She was necessary, so I was happy, doing homework, to soothe her into a false sense of guilt. It was enough that I was just doing a job without emotion. Needed “normal perception”. In secret I began to grin in a horrible grin behind her back. “Honey, thank you! – I turned to the dryer, for it is a great happiness to fold the towels! This is so exciting!” It helped me cope with the anger that I felt at having to stay in this hell of constant happiness.
If rewinding quickly in the next few years, we will see that I would rather diethan ask anyone to do something for me. The guilt of what I ask someone to work more than I can bear. I’m happy to cook, clean, wash and wash for the whole world, if only no one had to even move a finger. My colleagues accused me that I “hog all the work.” And they were right.
While in society of co-dependents feel the need for overcompensation in order to please other people. Around other people we put on a mask of charm and excessive gaiety. Perhaps we’re doing it even in your own family. It’s so tiring, isn’t it? IMHO, friendship is too hard work.
When I got married the first time, my husband noticed that I was covered with foam before the visit of the parents. “Are you being superscaling, supermalloy, super-strong when they’re near,” said my husband. This explains why I could never relax when I lived with them.
But his observation about my mother that was even more interesting. After their visit he turned to me and said, “Your mother stoned?!?”
“No!! – I was terrified. She never touched drugs. She doesn’t drink even a tylenol!”
“But she’s such a happy, fun right overwhelms her over the edge — so I thought” he said and winked at me. It just struck me. It’s just acting. Codependent mask which she wears for communication. She wears it at home with your own child. This explains all those times when she imposed a moratorium on conversations in the house. Maintenance of such a false identity is too exhausting. She needed to recharge my batteries. When I moved from them, we both abandoned our hippie happy roles. The last time we spoke, I hardly recognized her voice. He sounded so calm, I was sure that something happened!
Grit your teeth, bite your tongue and don’t move!
I wanted to have a magic bullet to share with you that she treated you from the cold of codependency. I still have to get rid of codependency. This is the last frontier standing between me and peace of mind, happiness. But my husband helped me, calling for a strike against codependency. The only way to be a wife, which I have been known to do is cook, clean and be codependent. Such a model can be wife gave me. To put everything in order. Constantly advised. All to find. To protect your husband from life.
Michael liked the way I cook, how I clean. He hated my codependency. So I learned to be silent, to sit there and just ignore all of his grunts, curses, and stories… and the endless search for things that he “put in a safe place.” I want to scream! To tear my hair out! To read him lectures! But no! I sit quietly though my codependent soul of a cat scratching and going on a hysterical fit. I usually just leave the room to protect themselves from triggers.
And you know what?!? It turned out, my codependent behavior he did not need! Sooner or later he always finds what is lost. Repairing what is broken. Everything goes on as before. In spite of all this drama, he is again happy as a lark.
So when overpowered and just itching for someone to save, that’s what I’m doing.
- Sit down.
- Behave quietly.
- Wait until it will not leave me.
This takes time. The fit of codependency ever take place.
If the victim provoke you to save them, just say something like: “I’m sure that you’ll be fine, dear. You’re so smart! I believe in you.” First, they can be upset, but they like flattery. And can you imagine? Despite all their drama, they actually can handle themselves. Turns out anyone really do not need you to rescue them!
- Author Lenora Thompson
- : https://blogs.psychcentrrcissism/2017/10/the-two-sided-hell-of-codependency/
- Translated Kiril Melamud