Dancing the Line of Dawn


I didn’t want to do the dishes. I do not want to do the dishes. I find myself overwhelmed by the whole process. The dishes are the worst part of the whole process of the meal. I must plan the meals, look through the ads, cut out the coupons, go the to the store and purchase the food, bring it home and put it away, fix it, serve it, listen to all the complaints, put away the left overs, clean the table do the dishes, all for them to dirty more dishes and to repeat the whole process. Maybe once every six months my husband will help with this process. I so resent doing the dishes, why if I do all the rest must I do this also?

I do not feel that anyone gives back what I give. I am tired of being a welcoming mat. I am tired of giving all of me to everyone else. Tired of cleaning up after everyone, not just the dishes, the dishes are a symbol of all I have to clean up for others.

When my mom had to go to jail and didn’t have someone to watch my siblings, I gave up going to college, being an 18 year old kid, so that I could be a full time parent to a thirteen and sixteen year old. When my grandfather got sick I flew from Michigan to Alaska. Even though there was family already there. They didn’t like dealing with the doctors and hospitals. With every crisis, divorce, custody battle, medical issue, I am the fist to get called and asked to deal with it. Grandparents, parents, aunts, cousins, siblings all call. Someones going to jail, loosing their kids, has no place to stay, cant pay a bill, needs a ride- and I jump, I do, give, look into, and refer to resources. And they just keep creating the issues for themselves. They keep dealing drugs, neglecting their children, not taking care of themselves, making choices that get them fired, and know that someway I will try to fix it, make it better, take care of what they don’t want to.

I don’t have the will power to say not to them. I can say no to doing the dishes. I feel selfish, and selfish is one of the worst things you can be. But I am starting to think that always letting others needs and wants come before my own makes me a crappy person in general. This is not a pity party, but a realization of my feelings. Its the things I always try to push away because simply feeling them is too selfish and if I ignore them, then I hope that they will go away and never fully manifest.

Have you ever sat down and thought “How int he hell did this become my life?” I do almost every day. I have no clue how to fix it. It would require strength that seems so beyond me. The fear that I couldn’t actually fix it sits heavily upon me. And that I may hurt people by trying only to fail seems too crazy, so why try?

I am better than that, better than this. I will be better, do better, and this time I am doing it for me.

There is a distinction between being selfish in a way that is constructive and a destructive selfishness. Just as I am beginning to see a destructive selflessness. I cannot base my happiness on how others respond to my acts of selflessness. Or even their love of me. I will not be “loved” simply because I can be used. There may never be someone who will always love me, no matter how I try, so I must be a person I love. How do I start loving me? How do I stop looking for that “Atta boy” to make me happy?

I am such a broken mess. I don’t think that I am any more broken than anyone else, I am just not as good at the charade anymore.

My problem is that I am codependent. Wow, I have never been able to admit that before. I may never have the courage to again. Now that I think about it, I am a bit angered by this. I don’t want to be codependent. I don’t like feeling like this. I don’t like being labeled. I don’t like what it means. To me it means that there’s something wrong with me. Something that should be fixed. It means work and change. I am ashamed, I am pissed that I am ashamed of something I had no power over. Up until this point that is. I couldn’t change the things I couldn’t see. It means I am manipulative, which I know I can be, which is evil. It paint the most basic things about me in such ugly colors.

Who is the recovered codependent me? The intense fear, its overwhelming the fear I have of nobody loving me if I stop putting everyone else first. And the weight of it is compounded by itself. Even if I am not ready to change and do not know how, I must because otherwise I will create more codependent people in my children. And so the obligation of them, their health and sanity outweigh my need of time to really figure this out.

Plus if my family ever finds out, my mom would flip, she doesn’t believe in mental health help. She would guilt me, and say I was blaming her for my shortcomings instead of manning up to my love of attention. My father would feel more guilt over his mental disorder, and his own codependency, and drug and alcohol abuse.

I am scared out of my mind. Scared about what it all means. Scared of the path changing this will lead me on. Scared I will try to pretend I never admitted it and hid within myself and allow thing to continue. Scared of the addictions lying in wait. Scared of the times it could have been a close call. Scared of the self-destructive me that I keep bottled up. I am an addiction waiting to happen. In some ways, my codependency has been my saving grace. Needing others approval and the “nobody will help the others if I am unable” has been a good leash. Other than that , I don’t know what keeps me from turning to drugs or sex or something more. I am an addict, I feel it deep within, food now, sex before, cigarettes, weed at one time. Its why prescription drugs scare me, I know how close I have come, how easy it would be. I dance the lines of addiction and right now, I feel a little despair because I am not on one of them. I can feel an itch to be reckless, to loose control, to be irresponsible, to satiate hungers and thirsts, of attention, adrenaline, love, drugs and alcohol. Writing it down helps me see how dumb it would be. I can control it. But to do so I have to be proactive, which can seem so boring, it keeps me so tightly wound. I control it because I doubt anyone and everyone’s ability or desire to help me if I really faltered. There is nobody to pick up the pieces of me, or clean up after my mess. People would never believe the proportions of a meltdown I am capable of, I put on a freaking awesome show. They couldn’t comprehend how self-destructive I am and the things that I will allow. The narcissist that I love to surround myself with wouldn’t even notice my decayed world until I wasn’t there to help them.

I am not ready to fix my problems, but I wont forget. And now I suppose, I will go do the dishes.

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