Toward the end of my session with my new therapist (whose apology I readily accepted for the mix-up the other day), she mentioned co-dependence.
I reacted as I felt at the time…I am willing to accept my participation in my abusive marriage. I know I must be codependent to have been in it for so long, but the word “codependent” makes me feel frightened. To be codependent on top of all the other feelings and thoughts I’ve recently discovered in myself is almost too much to bear.
Instead of being able to dump 17 years of bad feelings on one person, codependence forces me to acknowledge my part in this abusive marriage. The word is especially frightening to me because I don’t yet understand exactly what it means to be codependent or what it will take to stop being that way. I want to pretend that getting him to change into a nicer man will end the torment within myself even though I know it won’t work that way.
I think the main reason I’m still hanging around this shell of a marriage is that even if the marriage dissolves and I exile him to the fringes of my new life, the problem is still front and center for me. The problem with me IS me.
The problem with me is me, but the solutions I need are also in me. To find them, I have to trust me – but then I’m back at the beginning, aren’t I? I don’t trust myself at all, which is part of the reason I let him tell me who I was from the start.
The little kid in me wants to shout, “It’s not fair!” and run away fast and hard. I want to put all the blame on HIM. I want HIM to be the Big Bad Wolf and leave me to be the little pig who had the foresight to build a brick house, light the fire, put on the pot, and plop on the lid when Big Bad finally falls down the chimney.
Let me take a second to relish that image…now do the lil’ pig jig…now sit down breathless and happy…then look around the room at the two idiots I’m now stuck with because I was just too smart.
OMG! What the hell is that all about? [sigh]
Maybe it’s nothing.
Or maybe it’s me blaming myself for NOT seeing this coming. Maybe it’s me thinking that no matter what I do right it’s going to end up hurting me in some way in the end.
Or maybe it is the realization that even after Big Bad is gone, I still have to live with my Self.