Friday, January 18

Co-dependency and Abusive Relationships

It's a new year.  A time to reflect and a time to make changes.  I have decided to start my own blog.  It was a long time coming.  An outlet if you will.  A lot of you on twitter know that I am an open advocate against childhood sexual abuse, child abuse, and abuse in any form.  This is something that I hold very dear to my heart.  I am a survivor.  I am a survivor.  It feels so good to write that and proclaim it.  I have been overwhelmed by the amount of people that have reached out to me regarding their own abuse.  I cannot express how amazing you all truly are.  To be able to speak about and express what happened to you is one of the many steps to healing the unbelievable nightmare you experienced.

For my first blog I wanted to air my feelings on co-dependency and abusive relationships.  I want to make it clear that I am not a therapist.  I have no clinical qualifications, I have not attended any school to become a therapist.  I am strictly writing from my own experience with childhood sexual abuse and the manifestations that come with it.

I have been doing a lot of self discovery over the years and I have realized finally that the two main adult relationships in my life were just plain awful.  The last relationship was by far the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life.  I wondered why these two relationships were the way they were.  Part of trying to pick up the pieces requires a person to really take a no holds barred, brutally honest look within themselves.  It is so very easy to want to blame the other person 100%, but the truth is each person contributes their fair share of the good and the bad.  This realization led me on an incredible search within myself as well as an equally incredible realization about my partners.

After years of being in an increasingly unsatisfying relationship, I began to really wonder why it was the way it was.  Why would I stay in an unfulfilling relationship for so long?  I began reading about the effects that childhood sexual abuse can have on a person as they become adults.  Furthermore I began to gain an understanding that there are always residual effects or aftershocks from sustaining such a trauma.  I lived in denial for years about the effects my abuse had on me.  Years!  In my particular case I have learned that because of the abuse I had gained some traits that were less than desirable to the life I wanted to live.  When I am in a relationship I become co-dependent.  Most people think that co-dependency means that a person cannot be alone, or that they need to be in a relationship at all times.  That was never my case.  I have spent many years as a single gal, and truly do enjoy my own company.  However, when I would get into relationships I would let my own needs and wants fall to the wastebasket without a second thought.  I would spend most of my time worrying about the other person, I would make their needs and wants a priority over my own.  Sure you may say that is OK, and for some people they may even desire that.  I will tell you from experience it is not healthy. It is no way to have a relationship.

My co-dependency comes directly from the fact that due to my childhood trauma I am picking the wrong type of men. I would choose men based on the only role model I ever knew early on.. a damaged and in desperate need of help man.  I spent the years trying to help this person figure out his life and heal his scars. I will say this now with utmost certainty that you CANNOT heal someone who is not willing to heal themselves.  Cliche, I know but it is the hard facts.  A fact that took me many precious years to finally understand. Years that could have and should have been spend healing my own scars and learning to love myself for the beautiful woman I am.

When I tell you I became obsessed with trying to heal this person, I think it may just be an understatement.  In trying to heal this other person, I discovered some other things.  I began to feverishly take to the Internet to try to understand why this person was
the way he
was, why did he say the mean things he did, shut me out, make me feel like dirt and just plain be so disrespectful it was absurd. Why when I was around him did I also feel the need to be hurtful and lash out on the same level as this person.  My research led me to without a doubt become convinced that I had become enmeshed with a narcissist.  Yes the dreaded N.  Again I reiterate that I am not a therapist and in no way certified to make any diagnosis.  But in my search for the reasons why and the answer to the question "Why does he do that?", I stumbled upon something that finally made it all make sense.  Through this discovery it opened a wormhole of sorts. A doorway into myself.  I learned that my co-dependency is a perfect magnet for narcissistic individuals.  Through this destined for doom relationship, I realized that until I got to the bottom of what was causing me to be co-dependent in relationships, I was certainly going to attract more of the same.  If you have ever had the experience of an N than you know what a living hell it can be.
This is my first blog and I assure you there are more to come.

I want my fellow survivors to know that I have not crossed the bridge completely just yet.  I am still on this journey of self discovery and healing.  I am putting myself out there, in a brave move to let others know that it is OK to talk about it.  It is YOUR story to tell.  There are others walking this exact same road and you do not have to do it alone.  Know if nothing else, there is someone out there just as hurt and scared and scarred as you. Someone who is just now after 35 years beginning to navigate her way from the darkness to the light.  I will hope and dream for all those who have been abused.  My hope for you is that you can someday begin to move from victim to survivor.

www.thelamplighters.org

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds just like someone I know.

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  2. I have similar experiences with childhood sexual abuse and marriage to a narcissist. I found my light in Jesus Christ. The same night I found out my husband was having an affair, he walked out after 10 years of marriage. I was devastated and cried out to God. In all my husband did to give me less, God has given me more. More love, more grace, more understanding, more of anything I need. I asked God to show me He loves me. I felt worthless. I closed my eyes and saw Jesus Christ dying on the cross. I was overwhelmed with his love as he laid down his life for me. It became real in that moment why Jesus died. He's the only man who willingly suffered for my good. I felt the tangible presence of God and He remains with me to this day. I'm grateful for the life I've found in Jesus. The revelation of His love changed everything. God will never leave me or forsake me. Knowing God sees, cares, & saved me from more emotional abuse helped me to trust Him in healing my heart and mind of all the hurts and pain of the past.

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