Who in My Life Do I Consider Codependent?

This question came up in the recovery program I am doing. It’s one question in a whole list that I am working my way through and I found myself answering this one in so much more depth than I had expected so I am sharing here.

-Mr. B:  He puts up with my shit. But I’m not sure it’s because he cares about what I think. I don’t know, maybe it’s just fear of what more I’ll do if he speaks up for himself. Thing is if he actually spoke up and told me to knock it off because he’s not gonna take it anymore, I would stop, or at least, catch myself each time he spoke up while it was happening. I know I would also think twice about my tone of voice before I got started on something that pissed me off.

This sounds like I blame him for my actions or actually for not stopping. I don’t. I do not. In fact, although I haven’t mastered it yet, I am doing better at thinking before I react. And when I do react, I spend more time thinking about what I can do different next time. I do notice also that my behavior is different depending on my so called mood, which is really what’s going on in my brain. So if I can feel that I’m angry and agitated anyway, like how coffee can sometimes make me feel, I am more likely to be less tolerant of everything and everyone. If my brain is calm, then my behavior reflects that.

The way my brain functions depends a lot what is going into my body. I am now beginning to take control of that. It is important to me to heal, but it is equally important to me that I treat those that care for me with dignity and respect. It’s easier to treat them that way when I feel better about myself but I tend to get caught up in a cycle because the more I treat people with disrespect, the more I can’t stand myself.  And I take my feelings about myself out on others.

-I don’t really have anyone else in my life actively right now. But I can see codependency in my brother, even though he has bullied me and raged at me in adulthood. He feels the need to always be with someone ‘romantically.’ He obviously will not take time to be alone.

My mom:
-My sister would call my mother to bitch about how awful I am because I wouldn’t do what sister wanted. So mom would come to her rescue, take her side and call me to manipulate me into doing what sister wanted.

-She stayed with my father while he took advantage of everything she did. All the housework, grocery shopping, etc. When we were younger, my mom took my paternal grandmother grocery shopping each week with her. I loved this when I could tag along.  But now I wonder if my mother was doing it to appease and just not rock the boat.  My father never really did any cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, etc. Not even the dishes once in a while.  It was all on my mom and she never said anything.

-I remember when my brother was going to California and my mom was packing his fucking suitcase. I forget what exactly my mother said at one point,  but my brother apparently didn’t like whatever it was and got flaming pissed off. I had been sitting right there in the living room on the couch. My brother shouted at my mother, “Shut up and keep packing my suitcase!

I remember feeling so pissed off at my brother for treating our mother like that. But also afraid to say anything to him, fearing brother’s raging backlash. I told my mother after my brother walked away that I couldn’t believe she was still packing his shit after he talked to her like that. She just shrugged. I felt really sorry for her in that moment.

My father was not around, otherwise my brother would have never gotten away with that shit. This happened back in the 90s, so my father was still young and strong enough to have spoken up  and would not have had a single problem with letting my brother know who’s boss. In fact if my father had been in the room, I have a tough time believing my brother would’ve even spoken to her like that.

My father was shitty in a lot of ways, including abusive. But one thing he did not tolerate was us kids disrespecting our mother.

I mention my father “still being strong” because during the weeks leading up to his death in 2013, he was so weak, not only physically but emotionally and mentally too. He had become more codependent himself, more than ever and he wasn’t sticking up for anyone, including himself. He feared both my siblings by then. It was so sad. I felt sorry for him in that regard.

Pathetic and alarming as well to think about the difference from when young to old. When my brother was in middle school, one day my brother was insisting he wasn’t going to school on a particular day. So he locked horns with my father. My father wasn’t having that nonsense. “If you’re not sick, you go to school.”

My father raged that morning and grabbed my brother by the throat and pushed him up against the wall in my brother’s bedroom and seethed, “You are going to school.”

I wasn’t there for that. I was in high school and long gone that morning. It was my sister who originally told me the story and I later heard it from my brother as well. I now see how threatening this likely felt to my sister, witnessing it as well as to me, hearing about it.

I am not condoning this behavior or suggesting it was healthy or OK in any way. It would not have been the way he could’ve even dealt with my brother that day my mother packed my brother’s suitcase, because my brother was a full grown adult at that point. And I think it would’ve been physically impossible. But I do know he would’ve stepped in for my mother.

But in the weeks leading up to his death, my father was a shrunken man, although he was still rather big and tall in physical size in some ways. That happened later, even though while in hospice and still coherent enough to need to use the bathroom, the nurses there needed two of them to walk him there. And even that was a dangerous struggle. Emotionally though, he was very afraid of my siblings. Very frail.

At one point, while still at home, he became upset that my sister would go over to his apartment and allow her young sons to run around and also let them touch and play with whatever they wanted to, without asking.

They are boys, so at that young age, they weren’t exactly the gentlest of souls with material items. My father was afraid to set that boundary.  He was afraid to let her know he didn’t want them doing that and he apparently wasn’t willing to speak up to the kids either.

He also just simply didn’t want my sister to bring the boys over anymore, because his tolerance for their loud play became non-existent as well. I told him to talk to her about it after he told me about it, but I could see how worried he was about such a prospect.

Soon after that conversation with him, I mentioned it to my brother and also mentioned that he didn’t want to tell our sister. Next time I spoke to my brother, he mentioned he’d talked to our sister and it was settled. She wasn’t angry or irritated at all. In fact, I’m sure she was relieved. After that she had the perfect excuse not to be available to help out as much.

It got her off the hook of being obligated to be there. It was the perfect excuse for her not to ‘be able’ to go there on any given day. So it turns out he had nothing to worry about after all.



Dream: Meeting My Mom at One of My Childhood Homes

Tuesday night or more likely early Wednesday morning I had a dream that I was meeting my mom at our old house where I lived from the ages of 3 to 6.

I was an adult in the dream though. (I don’t talk to my mother presently in real life.)

Lots of my dreams are me watching myself and everyone else (like a movie) and this one was like that.

The whole thing was cloudy and foggy, so everything was hard to see.

I don’t remember exactly how my mom and I made the plans to meet there, but as I approached I was pushing a stroller and I remember doubting that my mom would be there. But she was.

The sidewalk, part of it bricks, was the same as was the front of the house. We went in and I remember seeing only certain rooms in the house: the kitchen, the dining room, both of which were different than in real life, and I think the living room.

I remember I really wanted to go upstairs but the dream completely shifted and turned the house into a whole different place. It was a place where people worked and I walked around back, which wasn’t the same as the house’s back yard at all, to the smoking area for the employees there, looking to have a cigarette myself.

Or maybe I was looking for my mom back there. I’m not clear on that. (In real life I don’t smoke anymore, but I used to.) That’s all I remember really. There was more and I’m also not clear on what happened to the stroller either.

The Struggle

It’s so sad to get to 50 and realize there was never any meaning to my life. Never any real purpose. I’ve only been a seeker and I’ve never really had the space to know who I was or am.

I’ve struggled all my life. Taking classes-going to school. Working menial and low paying jobs.  Feeling the desire to do this and then that, never dedicating to one thing. Getting bored or feeling like I could never pull it off. Quitting before I reached the end. Turning down opportunities in fields I did manage to see classes through to the end for.

It hurts to realize I never made anything of myself. It also makes me angry. Angry at my parents. But mostly angry at me for not finding a way to over-ride that. It’s not for lack of some trying. I was hospitalized (voluntarily) twice when I was in my 20s. It helped but when you go back to the same toxic environment, a month just isn’t enough time to fix things. Especially if your family isn’t willing to see what’s really happening.

I know I felt deep down I’d never realize myself completely until I healed. But I also thought that my healing depended on my family understanding too. I wasted so much time looking for approval, not just from them but from men. If someone loved me then I must be OK. But then it was conflicted with the feeling of not feeling good enough within, so something must be wrong with them to want to be with me.

I pushed one particular man away many times by telling him “I need to find myself.”

It was true, but how many times can you say such a thing and never pursue the work? Sad, I never knew what the work was, I just knew it needed to be done.

Edit 9/28/17: Oh boy, so much more to this than just telling him I needed to find myself. There were times I’d said that but wanted to see someone else. But I was right in what I said. Just wasn’t being completely honest. With either one of us. It makes my head spin to think of the mess I was when it came to relationships.

The lack of guidance and nurturing as I grew, took a huge toll on my self worth and self confidence. It left me lost as to where to start to live as an adult once I became of that age. And I was pretty much left to figure it out for myself without having learned how to live in the world and do more than just get by. The result was that I lived at home with my parents for much longer than what I consider to be healthy.

Dreams lost and even forgotten. But also left with many ideas and interests but too overwhelmed to know what to focus on. It led to life paralysis. It led to looking for someone to rescue me.

Now all these years later, after having been in survival mode as a child and a young adult, I’ve reached what is considered middle age and in a vulnerable situation, so once again and still I find myself in survival mode.

I feel like what I’ve started I may not have time for and I’m scared. There is nothing I can do but implement what I know now, because there is much time that could have been utilized for growing that is simply gone and there is nothing I can do about that.

But I am still quite anxious and it leaves me feeling like I should seek out that pay check first, even though I feel pretty incapable of that now, before settling down to work myself out.

I know it’s not the most healing way to do it but it is probably the safest. I hate how this shit has turned out and because I dwell on this, I can’t seem to get any traction.

Praying to the universe to show me the way. But wanting to be careful what I wish for.

“Say Something”: For My Father

I have a third of my father’s ashes from his cremation.

I wasn’t really all that sure about cremation.  And unfortunately my father never talked about what he wanted, nor did he put it in writing anywhere.

So the three toxic musketeers were left to decide on their own. (That would be my siblings and me.)

If I’m remembering correctly, it was my brother who introduced cremation because he couldn’t bear to think of my father’s body underground, considering the decay that takes place. He was really sensitive about that.  And my sister, I’d bet my small inheritance, liked the idea because it was cheaper than a traditional burial. I’m convinced she was worried about making sure there was something left to inherit.

I was on the fence but didn’t have much say. Even though I mentioned that I wasn’t sure about cremation, it was two to one by the time I even knew it was a discussion. So there wasn’t  much time to make a decision. It was brought up (the first time for me) at the table with the funeral director, so it doubled my discomfort of attempting to argue any alternate case. I was already feeling beaten down by my siblings and the man whose body we were there to discuss.

My narcissist sister’s razor sharp tongue was something I feared as well as the possibility of some physical altercation. At this point, the fear of physical altercations, particularly in front of a third party, was an irrational one. But then again, I was not in rational mode. My father had just died. And my siblings had bullied the fuck out of me throughout the weeks leading up to this day.

It was obvious my sister wanted to rush everything.

She also wanted to have the memorial on a Friday. I wanted it on a Saturday. She said she “wanted to get it over with and be done with it.”

Yeah! She fucking really said that.

My brother seemed to stay neutral on that point.

Back at my father’s apartment, I found his address book and called a couple of the numbers I found. Both numbers belonged to long time friends of my father.  I knew they would want to know about my father’s death and when the service would be.

Neither could make it on a Friday on such short notice.

Of course the less people who can make it, the cheaper it is and less money is spent at the wake. Just a theory of course. She never said that, but she is a smart little narcissist and knows when to keep her mouth shut.

Then there was her issue with my cousins, who came to the service but didn’t stay for the wake. But instead of asking our cousins why they didn’t stick around, my sister talked to me a day or two later, all about how fucked up they all were for leaving so soon…behind their backs.  And she was seething.

I told her I’d known our one cousin had to work. (He’s a police officer.) I had actually texted a bit back and forth with him after the service. I told him that I was sorry they didn’t hang out. He texted back that he’d had to get back and go to work.

For fuck’s sake, after all it was all last minute and on a damn Friday!  But she wants everything her way. No matter what. No one else should say no to her EVER.

And when I told her Matt had to work, she said with a sneer, “Yeah well they didn’t ALL have to work.”
I don’t think I said anything after that, I just shrugged my shoulders. I shrugged my shoulders because I had no argument.I didn’t know what any of them had to do. And neither did she. She just jumped to a conclusion and got pissed off.

But later I thought about it again and speculated that perhaps none of the other cousins knew how to get home. And they felt the need to follow or go back with their brother.

We always lived in separate counties, at least a half hour away from each other and at this point in our lives, I believe it’s even farther away, although we are all still in our respective counties.  They don’t know their way around here and perhaps they were concerned about getting lost.

My one cousin, the one who had to get back for work,  perhaps was more confident and more familiar with the area being a police officer and had been down this way for work in the past.

Truth is I don’t know either. But I didn’t get all sneery, pissy, jump to conclusions and talk shit behind their backs.

Maybe they simply didn’t want to go to the wake. That could be true for my cop cousin as well and he didn’t want to say that.  Just because we went to both of their parents’ wakes doesn’t mean they owe it to us to go to ours. Besides our aunt’s and uncle’s services were held on Saturdays.

If my sister was hurt, she certainly has a right to that feeling. I don’t begrudge anyone their emotions. But instead of talking behind their backs and judging them, how about asking them about it.

This is not really the direction I wanted to take this right now. But I have a tendency to have something in mind to write but then it all goes down a different path, so there it is. I feel like my father’s life and his death were both tainted with so much hate, anger and toxic narcissism.

When I got the ashes from my sister, I felt obligated to take them even though I didn’t want them. I still have them in a short, ceramic vase type thing I actually got from his apartment after he died.

I’ve been thinking, ever since, what I could do with the ashes, that would be respectful. There’s no where that I’m aware of that he’d want them to be spread, so I’m left with figuring it out for myself. I can think of one place, where he took me as a small child, so that’s a possible option.

But there’s another place that I feel like my psyche sees as the next best thing to a burial. The plot where his parents and two favorite aunts are buried is close by and I don’t think either of my siblings are aware of it. So I don’t have to worry about running into them.

I thought about doing it before moving because I lived so close but I didn’t do it because it was so hot all summer.  Now is a good time of year but I’m not feeling all that ready yet.

I just started doing inner child/codependency work and I have been thinking that I need to wait a bit before I take his ashes somewhere. I see the act of releasing his ashes as a way of letting go of all the past hurts and pain but I have some work to do before I’m capable of doing that.  I think I’ll know when it’s the right time.

When I do it though, I want to include the lyrics to a song that reminds me of him and our relationship, especially at the end of his life. It also reminds me of the dynamic of the whole family.

Please note: I understand this is a song from one romantic partner to another. And not so much a father/daughter relationship. But I think I was always chasing my father’s love even though he claimed he was “always trying to get me to forgive him.”

Edit Tuesday 9/26/17: OH GOD! That quote! My mother wrote that in a birthday card to me. Passing the responsibility over to me to forgive her. Just as my father had done in an email while he was still alive.

I felt as though he didn’t get it. And that our relationship was not important enough to him, even at the end of his life, to discuss the elephant in the room. And my family was just as guilty of that.

One day at the end of his life, my father and I were at his dining room table, just after he’d eaten dinner. Quietly he said out of nowhere, “I thought there’d be reconciliation.”

I said, hopefully and apprehensively, “With who?”

He then just shook his head a little and said, “Oh, no one.”

He could have meant at least a couple of people that I’m aware of but I was disappointed he didn’t elaborate.

Say Something by Christina Aguillera
Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’ll be the one if you want me to

Anywhere I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on youAnd I… am feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all
And I… will stumble and fall
I’m still learning to love
Just starting to crawl
Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
Anywhere I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you
And I… will swallow my pride
You’re the one that I love
And I’m saying goodbyeSay something, I’m giving up on you
And I’m sorry that I couldn’t get to you
And anywhere I would’ve followed you (Oh-Ooh)
Say something, I’m giving up on youSay something, I’m giving up on you
Say something…

Just reading those lyrics I can feel the entire inside of my chest, especially my heart, tightening up. I loved him, I hated him. I wanted to love him and we related at times. But many of his actions showed me he didn’t feel love and that he was more concerned about himself and controlling things than nurturing his children. I still have not appropriately grieved his loss because I have not been sure and still am not sure what I lost when he died, except any chances of making true amends.  My father broke my heart.


Quote of the Day: Roald Dahl


“Some people when they have taken too much and have been driven beyond the point of endurance, simply crumble and give up. There are others, though they are not many, who will for some reason always be unconquerable. You meet them in time of war and also in time of peace. They have an indomitable spirit and nothing, neither pain nor torture nor threat of death, will cause them to give up.” – Roald Dahl

An Anonymous Outsider

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Sick of Shrinking Myself

Mentally and emotionally that is. Because physically I’ve been growing, which really sucks. I’m 50…I don’t need to do any more physical growing because when that happens at 50, the only direction is out.

But anyway, I think the class I’m taking in recovery from codependency might have started working. I am putting in the effort though… and so far only a little.

The reason I say that is because I’ve written some posts that I’ve made public that I’ve, previous to now have been too afraid to. Too afraid of judgment. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I don’t like myself much, so talking about my behaviors isn’t something I’ve been comfortable with.

But I’m sick of hiding myself and the truth. I was abused and I can also behave in abusive ways because of it. I am responsible for it and I’m not proud of it. But one reason I signed up to recover from codependency and finally get on with it, is because my life is not working, it never has.

I come from an abusive family, my father was narcissistic and emotionally abusive and my mother was emotionally neglectful. When we were kids, I bullied my brother and spoiled my sister. My brother is pretty self-absorbed and full of rage and my sister is quite narcissistic. In the final weeks of contact with my family I was drained of all my energy by every single family member, including my dying father.

I’ve dated and had relationships with mostly abusive men or emotionally unavailable ones. My friends have been unhealthy emotionally and it’s now catching up with them physically. Right now, the only friend I have around is Mr. B.

I don’t really miss anyone, although I do miss what I didn’t get nor have from my family.

There are a few blogs posts I just put up that I’d originally put on another blog that I’m keeping private. It’s a notebook of sorts for me to keep the info I’m learning in the aforementioned class. And I was going to include some private blog posts and write my thoughts and feelings about things I haven’t felt comfortable about posting here.

But today, I changed my mind on that. It’s going here because I’m sick of shrinking myself.

Part of why I’m so angry is because I have kept so much shit to myself. I want to heal that anger (rage) so I need to do what I can that will lead to that and writing what I’ve been holding back on, is part of that.

It’s difficult to explain but I tend to expect the same from other people in general, as what I get from my sister. I remember trying to have normal conversations with her about general, mundane things and then learned she judged me for my thoughts and feelings. When I have an interest in things I hesitate to talk about them to anyone because I expect them to feel the same way about my expressing myself as my sister does.

The tension really built between my sister and I and it got to the point so that I didn’t feel comfortable talking to her at all. But one day she was talking about a friend of her’s kid and how her friend was having a difficult time with him. He was (according to my sister) having tantrums often.

Despite my knowing that she would certainly have some sort of problem with me suggesting that it could be the kid’s diet or something in it, I spoke up about it anyway.

When she responded with a tension filled silence, I knew what I’d said bothered her.  But if she wasn’t going to address the elephant in the room, neither was I…at least not at that moment.  We’d been sitting there with her toddler son and I wasn’t about to get into it while he was sitting between us playing.

TBH, I most likely wouldn’t have gotten into it with her anyway because I’d have been afraid she’d attack me physically. It had been years…decades really since that had happened…and it happened only once, but the memory was fresh and I was still afraid of her.

She changed the subject but I wasn’t all that surprised when she brought it up later. In fact it was the reason I’d been talking to her in the first place. I’d called her on the phone because I wanted to confront my feelings about her not accepting me for who I am, with the aforementioned interaction in mind. But there were other times that I’d not spoken up and I was tired of bitching about her behavior to Mr B and wanted to hash it out directly with her.

And once I’d had those words out, she was off and running about how I was such an awful person. First thing she said was, “Well, I have issues” and then proceeded to tell me how ridiculous my idea about her friend’s kid having a reaction to food was.

This coming from someone who has stated how hyper her own children get on sugar. So she’s aware that food can have an effect on the brain.  Our brain does dictate much of our behavior, because emotion happens in the brain as much as it happens in the rest of the body. But the brain is what dictates our behavior. There are such thing as chemicals in food that cross the blood/brain barrier and do damage to our brains. HELLO!!!

She believed (and I know this because she had no qualms in telling me) that when I talked about food and nutrition, that I was pushing it on her. I used to talk to her about things I had been learning that were new to me while researching heavily about health and nutrition in the early 2000s.

Honestly, I foolishly thought, although we were sisters, we were also friends and spoke to her in that way about this topic. I was just stating things that I’d read and found interesting. And I would say things like, “That makes sense because when I eat such and such, I feel like this.” I never told her how to eat or that she should feed her kids a certain way.

Now she’s a fitness instructor and has no problem talking about food and nutrition herself as if it’s all her own idea.

Edit Friday /9/15/17: I’m reminded here of an occasion my sister had a party for. I made and took a sesame noodle dish to share with everyone, to add to the rest of the spread. One of her friends had some, asked if I’d made it. Right after he asked, I saw my sister look at me and watch my interaction with her friend. “Yes,” I said. He replied, “They’re good.” Of course I was pleased that someone appreciated my efforts and I smiled and said, “Thanks.”

My sister had been watching ME the whole time this interaction took place. So it wasn’t like she was engaging. That would entail looking back and forth at each one of us as we said our parts.S

She’s definitely sick.

And me, I’m like the blob. I let what she thought, effect me in such a way that I began to feel like I shouldn’t pursue nutrition and health. I’ve been shrinking myself back and not been practicing anything I know because I’ve been believing I’m not worthy of it.

And I haven’t been speaking up or out about things because I view everyone to be like her. Judgmental and discouraging. So if I keep it all to myself, that way no one can discourage me. I discourage myself enough though obviously.

But not everyone is like her. Plus I have a puzzle of self to figure out.

So as far as my sister goes…FUCK HER!

Edit 9/15/17: Reading the comment below and my response…ugh. I was so much more clueless than I am now. It’s weird how things open up. The comment was very enlightening and I kind of rejected it and explained my sister’s behavior more. OF COURSE there is always a reason behind behaviors, no matter what those behaviors are. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are fucked up when they are indeed fucked up.

The commenters experience was very much like mine when it came to his mother.  I love this: “Conversations should never feel like you have to walk on hot coals.” YES! That pretty much sums it up.

Codependent Reactions or Narcissistic Abuse

I am not sure how much I’ve gotten into this here on my blog, but I have a tendency to take my anger and frustrations out on Mr. B…my roommate and the one I depend on to put a roof over my head. It’s been happening for years and I’m far from proud of it.

We are not attuned to each other. We are not on the same page usually when it comes to our thought processes about things and even our likes and dislikes can really differ.

Sounds like I’m making excuses. I’m not. No one deserves to be abused because they think differently than someone else and I’d be one of the first to say that.

I’ve been feeling guilty and ashamed for years about this. I can be passive-aggressive with the things I say and do and I didn’t even realize that’s what it was, until recently.  Listening to Lisa A. Romano’s video called “How to Deal with Passive Aggressive Men and Women-Codependency Triggers” I sat there and thought a few times, “Oh my god, I do that!”

And then there’s another video on her channel called, “The Crazy Codependent–When the Narcissists Drive You Nuts and You Can’t Stop Yourself” which confuses matters even more.

I have to say here that I now consider myself a codependent narcissist. And although I am aware of my behaviors sometimes I tend to give up trying to improve myself because it’s so hard. And I make it harder on myself by continuing to eat like shit (probably because I don’t feel I deserve to be healthy) when I’m someone who is really sensitive to foods and additives, etc. It really effects my brain, my body, my thought process and therefore my behavior. (That being said, it’s not the only factor but it is a contributor.)

I would like to mention also, before I go any further that I don’t think Mr. B is a narcissist. However, his emotions are fairly non-existent…meaning he isn’t all that responsive and can seem a bit numb/apathetic at times. This is significant as I continue.

In the aforementioned video about passive-aggressiveness I learned that slamming cabinets is a passive-aggressive behavior. Therefore, things I’ve done, like, punching walls and kicking doors are also passive aggressive.

As an example: The other night I got all worked up about him not coming into the room I was in when he got home from work. We’d talked about something earlier on the phone that needed to be continued when he got home.  At first I had no issue as I figured he’d need a few minutes to get settled in. But then I thought he’d come talk to me soon after. When he didn’t, I became impatient and my first thought was that “He’s being passive- aggressive.”

So even though I found him doing something else, (scooping a disgusting litter box), I still laid into him for not saying hi and coming to talk right away and then used a nasty/condescending tone to put him down for it. I don’t even remember exactly what the fuck I said.I stayed pissed off for a little while but then that was overtaken by shame and guilt.

Even worse is that he apologized to me. UUGGHH!

He owed me no such apology and even though I apologized later, I still felt like shit because there is no taking that back. It happened and I can’t make it un-happen.

Continuing onto another aspect, there have been times that I’ve reacted during an exchange as well. (As I edit though I see a connection.)

My reactions are coming from not feeling understood or heard. I get that part. So when Mr. B didn’t come talk to me right away, that’s how I felt, unheard and not understood. Thing is neither one of us said that we’d talk the very second he walked through the door. That was in my own mind and my own thought process was to get that out of the way immediately.

I’m seeing this now because there have been other times when I’ve reacted without him ever saying anything at other times. One example would be showing him where something goes in the kitchen then finding it in a different drawer. The actual thing that happened there is pretty unimportant. Putting a spatula in the wrong drawer is not a matter of life and death. My problem is with not feeling heard. (Still not an excuse to spaz out on anyone, I’m just explaining what I understand.)

Better you watch the video. Her words explain so much better than I can. And that first statement about being in the middle of a reaction and wanting to stop, know I should stop, but not being able to…I relate so hard to that.

I will continue with my story with Mr B though below the video. She starts talking about how it works and why codependents can act crazy and live in reaction mode at 12:56 but the whole video is worth a watch.
One more quick note: Mr. B (like my mother) suppresses his emotions.

As I said, I don’t think Mr. B is a narcissist. But sometimes I do wonder if he enjoys watching me fly off the handle. Now that being said, my example of the other night with me just sort of out of the blue getting on him, had nothing to do with anything he said. That was shit going on in my own mind.

However, this is part of the confusion for me between figuring out narcissist vs. codependent. Reactionary behavior comes from having C-PTSD and I obviously felt threatened (emotionally) in some way. I also think these reactions carry over from what has been going on all these years. It’s like a pattern and a cycle. The brain gets locked into thinking this is the behavior that works or there’s a neural pathway that’s dug in there that keeps the person repeating the same shit…even though in reality it doesn’t work and isn’t healthy.

There are many instances of feeling not understood by Mr. B both in significant conversation and important topics as well as things that don’t really matter in the grand scheme. I also think that I’ve become more sensitive to not being understood when it comes to unimportant shit because of the misunderstandings about important things. And this has been an issue with other people as well, not just Mr. B. I have found that something that seems like common sense to me, doesn’t turn out to be so, according to others. And when I took for granted that someone would do what needed to be done, perhaps I hadn’t been clear, but thought they’d know what to do, I would find later that they hadn’t and so that has led me to become more and more controlling over the years.

Whew! This shit is exhausting.

Now after pointing out all this behavior not to be proud of, I want to relay what happened last night with my awareness intact while also feeling tired and agitated.

To preface: When I tell Mr. B something and then he shows me with his words that he doesn’t understand what I’ve said or even if he makes a joke when I don’t feel like joking, it feels like our brains get tangled up in each other. I generally get immediately agitated and then try to talk the tangle out. And become more agitated because in my stress my thinking isn’t clear and explaining myself proves to be difficult. Things seem to get more entangled because he still doesn’t seem to get what I’m saying.

Or if he says he gets it, I get pissed off anyway that he didn’t get it in the first place. I also get angry that I’m stuck in a situation with someone who doesn’t get me.

Last night, I said something that he responded to with a joke. It wasn’t where I wanted to take it. It was late, he had just told me something somewhat related and so I was continuing along that same topic and informing him of something I found interesting.

He told me he had seen our landlord at the convenience store down the street before coming home last night. It made me think how I’d run into our ex-realtor at the same store just a couple days ago.

Something my best friend when I was 13 and I would have called a “hum hum gee” moment. “Hum hum gee” was our way of expressing things that happened that seemed strange or synchronistic.

Edit 9/16/17: Rereading this tonight, I notice it’s a repeat. Sorry. I’m going to keep it though. It’s too much to go back and fix and since I was outlining the conversation that took place that is scripted below, it’s in context. And it clears up the jumbled mess of an explanation that is written above.

The conversation:
Mr. B: I saw the landlord at the store just now.
Me: Ha, oh really that’s weird, since I saw the realtor you fired a couple days ago.
Mr. B: Oh Debbie…the realtor I fired a couple days ago?  (Jokingly)
Me: No I saw her a couple days ago at that same store.
Mr. B: I know, the way you said it made it sound like I fired her a couple days ago.

Now at this point I was agitated. I don’t think it really shows in the script above, but I was. I was tired and I knew my communication wasn’t perfect. But after 13 years of living with someone, I guess I feel like we should be able to fill in each other’s blanks.

Me (A little visibly annoyed): I was just telling you that because I think it’s weird that you ran into our landlord there when I also ran into that realtor.

He knew what I meant anyway, because he knows the story and it was also indicated by his joking about how I communicated what I wanted to say.

However, I wanted him to say something like, “Huh, oh really, that is weird.”
But by the time I got that point across, the enjoyment of the moment was gone for me.

It would’ve have helped me feel more connected so when he didn’t do that, and this happens a lot, I once again felt as though we weren’t connecting as usual.

Edit 9/16/17: This is actually a normal human need to have what you say reflected back. It’s part of a satisfying, healthy relationship. But he continually denies me this. So my flipping out could very well have a lot to do with his lack of fulfilling this very normal need. It’s good to read this again. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t control my behavior of flipping out on him. But I am changing my perspective a bit and feeling more compassionate for myself. Whether he intentionally withholds what I need (the reflecting back) or not, it has the same effect. I have attempted to not engage with him before but usually fail. I will be more conscious of this from now on in a little bit of a different way. Not sure I will be engaging him much anymore. We’ll see. Things have improved since I wrote this in some ways. I will be watchful.

At this point, I would usually run my point into the ground and then let my agitation get the best of me and start condescending him for not thinking the same way I do, for not being on the same page as I am and that this is how it ‘always’ goes with us.

Edit 9/16/17: Thing is, in this incident, he was joking, so that means he was doing this deliberately. I can feel the frustration I felt then.

But instead I left it there and let it drop. I still felt bothered by our lack of connection but it also felt good to let it go because it meant that it wasn’t all-important that I grasp him by the figurative hair and make him see it the way I do.

I was disappointed, and I acknowledged that as well, (silently to myself) which I think helped me to understand my reaction to his responses to me that I don’t like. Edit 9/16/17: See just above in purple. More understanding than before. He holds a share of responsibility in the lack of connection for sure.

It’s good to record the positive as well as the negative. It’s important to remember that you can do differently even if it is difficult.

I spent some time running errands yesterday and while I was driving around I spent some time thinking out loud about my behaviors and how I’ve been aware for a long time, but then just continue to fall back into the same behaviors and not do anything to change them.

I was also thinking about something Lisa R said in another video about getting present in moments of needing to respond.This is key, I believe, to really making changes in behaviors.

That day, I’d already been reactive to some things that had happened and so was triggered from those into my thought process in the car later.

I think it really helped me last night in that exchange and interaction with Mr. B.

If you are struggling with being a reactive codependent…or any type of codependent or even an aware narcissist (is that an oxymoron?) then I would highly recommend Lisa A. Romano’s channel on YouTube.

Just Learned That I Am Passive Aggressive

This is a really hard realization. I’m abusive. Period. End of story.  I’m one of them.

God! No wonder I hate myself so much. How can I stop being this way?

Ok so it’s not a brand new revelation that I’m and have been abusive. I want to say it’s not me, it’s him but I know better. It’s true that I react much of the time and that he has also been passive aggressive in a different way. He is quiet. I am loud. I slam shit. I’ve kicked doors. I’ve broken a small table of his. And it’s irreplaceable. I can’t undo any of this and it makes me suicidal to think that I turned out this way.

I so hope that Lisa’s program can help me with this. I know it has a root cause and comes from the abuse, but it’s something serious and I need to stop that behavior before I’m healed. I need to find a way to stop before I say anything. I need to stop when I realize I’m getting worked up and think that he is doing certain things just to piss me off.

These are things like, not coming to say hi when he gets home from work…because he is tending to something else here in the apartment, like cleaning the litter box.

I knew this was abusive behavior. I knew something was wrong. But I didn’t realize it was what passive aggressive behavior was made up of. Now I know so at least there’s that.

This comes from inside me. My dissatisfaction with my life, with myself and I take it out on him. I blame him. He is not perfect and he’s got so many of his own wounds, but he does not deserve to be abused. Fuck!

I must stop. Please tell me how to stop!

NOTE and EDIT 9/23/16:
I want to add that I have not just only recently realized that I’m abusive.  I’ve known that some of my behavior and reactions are abusive. But I’m learning that I don’t always have the words or phrases for the style of abuse.

I had no idea that slamming cabinets, kicking doors, punching walls are all passive-aggressive behaviors, even though I knew they were abusive. So when I listen to or read something about the form of abuse and realize, “I do that!” It’s like learning something new about myself and the shame becomes fresh.

I also admit to a form of denial. I’ve tried to deflect and make excuses that if so and so wasn’t this way or that way or said this or did that, then I wouldn’t have said this.

That’s certainly classic of abusers. And although I know the toxic dysfunction of our relationship is not ALL me, I am still responsible for my behavior. Last night I did something a bit different. When we were locking horns in our communication…I am calling it that even though it wasn’t an argument, but a big miss on me being understood…I felt irritated as hell about it.

Once again, I said something and he carried it to a place that it didn’t need to go. Although he was trying to be funny, it wasn’t where I wanted to take it. Not being in the mood maybe, but it was just unnecessary. I don’t know how to explain it.

He told me he had seen our landlady at the convenience store down the street before coming home last night. It made me think how I’d run into our ex-realtor at the same store just a couple days ago. Something my best friend when I was 13 and I would have called a “hum hum gee” moment.

So I told him and the way I said it, would sound to someone who didn’t know the story, like she was our realtor and he fired her a couple days ago. So he made a little joke about it, but it was a bit unorganized and I was tired. So not in the mood to get really all that funny and joke around. I wanted him to see the point of it being sort of weird that I ran into our realtor when he ran into our present landlord.

Edit Saturday 9/16/17: Some of this doesn’t even make sense to me anymore. lol. But just wanted to make note that we had a realtor before we moved into this apartment because we were looking to possibly buy a house at first.

But since he didn’t acknowledge that he “got it” I felt irritated by that. I suppose if he didn’t do that most of the time…seemingly miss my point, I probably wouldn’t have been all that bothered. But since it happens often, it does bother me. It makes me feel like we don’t connect.

So anyway, last night, instead of getting all attached to it and running my point into the ground as well as yelling about him never getting me , I said something once about what I meant, he said, “I know, it just sounded like…”

And I dropped it. I really was annoyed that once again we were not attuned. Don’t get me wrong I have a sense of humor and enjoy joking around but there are times I don’t feel it. Just as there are times he doesn’t feel it.  It seems that much of the time,  our moods to joke around are not in sync.

It felt good to drop it. I could feel myself and my brain calming to the feeling of not needing him to see where I was coming from and not needing to change him or what had just happened.

I elaborated and changed this post on another post at this link.

Edit 9/16/17: Just one more note…I am in DBT to help me further with my abusive behaviors.