Friday, February 1, 2008

Breaking Free

I'm separated. There. I said it.

It used to be that the time between flying and landing and flying off again was enough, but the last couple of months that my husband has been officially living elsewhere, I have felt a great relief. We have so much to work through. Who knows what our relationship is going to look like on the other end. I just know that I am starting to understand what it is that I want and need out of a marriage... a husband... a lifetime partner. This time apart has helped me see that.

I belong to a recovery group. My hang-up is codependency. It seems like a joke to someone who doesn't struggle with this crippling behavior, but to those of us who live in quiet and frustrated suffering, never having our own needs met, it's not much of a joke. When I tell people I'm in recovery, they automatically assume it's drugs or alcohol. I quickly calm their fears (cause their kids come to play at our house) and explain that it's because of this Co-D thing. They immediately smirk.

Smirk. I swear. Like Batman's Joker.

Co-Dependency is a silent and deadly killer. The feeling of having to make everyone happy, even at the risk of your own safety, is overpowering. You'll risk it all just for that little pat on the head, even if the pat comes from the same master that kicked you in the rear just moments ago. And those masters know who we are. They find us just like predators find their prey. We're the ones that will apologize for bothering them with our needs. They are mean. And they are evil. And they look just like everybody else. The one thing that sets them apart is that they like to have someone else to blame. That way, they don't have to take responsibilities for their screw ups... or their bad behaviors... or the mismanagement of their affairs. They don't come with a neon sign disclosing this defect of character. No... it becomes apparent only after years of cycling through periods of extremes. On one end, chaos and heartache. On the other end, joy and harmony. The cycles start to tighten up, almost like a top spinning out of control on those last moments before suddenly plopping to the side. The chaos becomes more frequent until it's all that's left. Any joy comes from escaping it in stolen moments. But all the while there's this disquietude... the knowing... it's only temporary, this escape. Reality wakes you up in the middle of the night and reminds you that your days in this life are numbered. You wonder why you are letting any, much less this many days be stolen from you. And then one day... after many sessions, and lots of groups, and endless slobbering phone calls, and howling alone in the dark... finally...

you break free.

1 comment:

Lela Davidson said...

Yes, you really said it.
This is a great post that a lot of people *ahem* WOMEN can relate to.