Just What I Needed as I Venture into the Next Stage of Recovery!
by Richie D.
I'm a 37 year old female and, as my son says, I'm a bit of an overachiever when it comes to hitting emotional milestones. Five years ago, I made a huge change when I took a slower paced job so that I could concentrate on my emotional recovery stemming from a family filled with manic-depressants, co-dependents, and narcissists. Despite a series of incredible successes I always carried around this feeling like these successes were meaningless. I was always well aware of my low self-esteem and at the time I really, really wanted a close relationship with my parents.
Over the years, I went through a lot of self-help processes and counseling. Successes became more meaningful and the sense of low self-esteem eased quite a bit. Yet, the more I changed the more strained my relationship with my parents became. I was "disowned" more frequently because I told them "no". At work my co-workers always looked at me with anxiety or fear for no reason and rarely included me in activities or conversations. So I adopted this "nice, pretty, sweet girl" persona to compensate. I found inclusion, but after becoming emotionally entangled with one of my co-workers, I realized I wasn't happy and that I'd been in this same relationship over and over and over with the men in my life.
At first, I approached it from the "what is wrong with him" standpoint, but that just led to me to identifying my own family dynamics and my parents personalities. So I went to the "what is wrong with me" stage. That led to identifying the many ways in which I enable my "emotional bullies". Things started to change for the positive. All my rotating list of addictions decreased severely and my immediate relationship with my husband and son improved. My relationship with my parents got worse and my co-workers are starting to look at me with fear and anxiety again because I'm a little more honest about my thoughts and opinions and the fact that I don't like to entertain them all the time. I just want to sit in my office and work on whatever it is I want to work on.
My emotionally entangled co-worker and I have always been drama queens with each other, insulting each other, but having a few honest conversations with each other. I tried the other day to be open about the positive side of our friendship and he thwarted it hardcore. I was upset and retreated. Days later he tried to present us as "friends," which surprisingly upset me to the point I bitched about him for four days straight. I realized at that point that there was an emotion I still needed to explore. Eventually, I identified it as contempt. And after hours of internet searching I ended up here. And I've read the basics on this webpage and now I'm ready to read the books. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'll let you know how it goes.