Tag Archives: Mental Health

Hi, My name is Lori and I am a Codependent

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“Codependency, by definition, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself.”

 For almost my whole life every man in my life has either lied, cheated or used me for something. I’ve been kicked and torn down by the men that I thought loved me so many times that it’s a damn miracle that I’m not stripping in some shady bar at a truck stop. Almost every boyfriend that I have given my heart to has treated it like trash and thrown it back in my face. Perhaps it all stems from my own father and the daddy issues that I developed as a child.

As a young girl I thought what almost all little girls think of their dads, that he was a super hero. That he could do no wrong and take away any pain with a hug and kiss. I know I was entirely too young when that fantasy world was taken away from me and I was forced to see him as the flawed person he is. Like all the men that followed him, I learned that he was lying and cheating on my own mother. So maybe that is where my extremely LOW expectations in relationships come from.

The term codependent is something that fits my personality to a “T.” I enjoy helping people whenever I can, hence my choices in career paths, teacher, counselor and nurse… but it also transfers over to my love life. Because after each heartbreak I have it seems my need to provide and fix the person I love gets deeper and deeper. I give myself whole heartedly to relationships with men that give little or nothing in return. For a long time I felt that the only way to love someone is to love selflessly and that is exactly what I’ve done for years. In fact, I’ve loved the men in my life so much that I have managed to stop loving myself.

For years I kept myself in a relationship with a man who would habitually cheat and lie to me. Even though everyone around me could see what was happening, I was so blinded by the fear of being alone that I wouldn’t let myself see it. Fast forward five years down the road and I’m sitting in a court room pleading to a judge for a restraining order and to finally give me freedom from this hell I’ve created for myself.

Even though technically I am free from that hell, I still have a long way to get back to the person I use to be. I don’t expect miracles from myself and even though distraction and denial is a very tempting alternative, I’m finally forcing myself to deal with my demons once and for all.

Denial Isn’t Just A River In Egypt

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In 1969 Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross developed a theory of how people deal grief. According to her theory, when someone goes through any kind of situation that causes profound grief, they will go through five emotional stages in order to move on.

Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Depression
Acceptance

Now according to Kubbler Ross, we must go through these stages in that order, however since 1969, psychologist alike have come to the conclusion that people can jump from denial to bargaining to anger back to denial. Like many thing having to do with our emotions, there is no set in stone answer.

I don’t know exactly what order I have been going in the last few months, but I do know one thing for sure. Instead of wanting to deal with all the pain and loss I have been subject to, I had been pushing it all away and distracting myself with anyone or anything I could.

My serial dating with men that I know I have absolutely no future or feelings for has kept my mind off of my ex and being lonely. Constantly having sound around the apartment and being stimulated by movies and music so that my mind would be busy. When I would go to sleep at night I would make sure I would go to sleep to a movie or TV playing so that my mind wouldn’t have a chance to start thinking about everything that happened. I was making a conscious yet subconscious effort to make sure I never let myself start down the rabbit hole of emotion.

It seemed to be working fine and I almost had myself convinced I really was moving on from all this when the smallest thing tipped the scales and it all started to go downhill. That one small, normally in consequential event opened the flood gates of emotion and pain.

Where before keeping my mind busy with music and studying would keep it from going to dark places now I can’t seem to stop it. Even now in my dreams the memories of having a gun pointed at my head come back to me. When I wake up, instead of being able to keep my physical self busy by working out, I can hardly seem to get out of bed.

As Kubler Ross would say, I had officially moved from denial to depression.