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I Am a Recovering Co-dependent

I was adopted into a family where there was alcohol...my father is an alcoholic. We spend years moving from one place to another because he would always drink on the job and then lose it.

After a series of event at the age of 45  I finally came to the conclusion that I was abused as a child by my mother. I suffer from a few types of child abuse..enmeshment, emotional neglect and abuse and being a parentified child are the major ones. And these were all inflicted upon me because I took the role of the enabler in our family...That was the role that was thrust upon me. I had to be there to support everyone else and what they wanted and was not allowed to do what I wanted.

As early as 4 I remember not being allowed to stand up for myself against my brother. I had to "put up" with this bulllying because my mother refused to tell him to stop. At 12 my mother demanded that I talk to my dad to try and get him to stop drinking. Even after I said I didn't want to do it, my mother told me I had to. At 10 I was left to deal with a high fever when I should have been in bed. When my mother finally decided that she would call the doctor, he came and wanted to put me in the hospital immediately....My fever was so high my blood was getting ready to disintegrate.

Those are just a few of the stories and they continue on. There was no support what so ever AND I had to dismiss my feelings and help everyone else with what they wanted regardless of whether it was right for me.

I am doing much better now but one of the reasons for that is because I have only spoken to my mother once since the beginning of the year...And that was not a good phone call. She refused to accept she had hurt me over Christmas.

It is hard not to fall back into old habits....It is a struggle but, the happiness you get from acting on your feelings and not what other people want is well worth the effort.

If anyone has had a similar experience and is now in the process of learning how to believe that they count, how to listen to themselves and make deicisions that makes themselves happy in addition to others, drop me a line...We can share what we have learned!

tylrhere tylrhere 46-50, F 2 Responses Apr 7, 2007

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I recently attended my Father-in-law's family day in rehab. The reason for the day was to tell him all the ways that his drinking and drug use has effected us but before that, they had some videos and informational stuff on dysfunctional families. When he asked us all what role we played as a child, I thought it was silly since I had the best parents anyone could ask for. I didn't come from the dysfunctional family, my husband did. However, I did notice that I HAVE always been the enabler, even in my own family growing up. I have been an enabler all my life but some of the attributes of the enabler are some of the qualities I love most about myself. This makes it really hard to recover from codependency... It is nice to know that I am not the only one :-)

I am this way too, I`ve been reading a lot from Codependent no more, but after a while I abandoned the "procedure", thinking I`ll fix myself along the way...wrong. Whether I want it or not I am this way, not by my choice, but for the sake of my own health, I say No more. No more abusive relationships..at least as far as I can go..it`s so damn hard, I`m all alone, the black sheep in a family of "crazy sheep"..<br />
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And as a result I`m codependent. I don`t expect to heal from this, I expet to live with it peacefully, to become my own person, with my own life, to be able to take my own decisions. I am still kind of forced to deal with crazies. But hopefully, not for long. <br />
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Hope you don`t mind if I add you, I want to know more about you, and your process of recovery..I sometimes feel as if every day I wake up a totally different person, like I would have restarts every day..<br />
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I am so happy for all people who managed to cope with their problems, codependents, who took their lives back .. <br />
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Cheers to you,<br />
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Gia

hi I desperately need to talk to people who understand what i am going through! i feel like i am going crazy!!! may i talk with you? i am soo new at this chat thing so bear with me:) thx!