A Full-Week’s Work On Codependency

God, I’m exhausted. What a crazy ride. I’m grateful I’m now writing this post surrounded by a warm, fluffy blanket. I can feel the tiredness deep in my bones, but I also feel my body’s tight muscles starting to relax. Slowly, very slowly, I’m entering in that state of connection where time becomes elastic and breathing the most fantastic human experience. Breathe with me…

It all started a week ago. I allowed myself some help and there is no problem with that, except when the help comes from someone you have feelings for and those same feelings are not corresponded. It felt good to share the burden, but it also reopened the wound I was trying to fix. I have grown to learn that we can deal with wounds, as long as there is time and space to heal. And sometimes we need to part ways for a while, until our heart catches up with our mind, or at least until our heart doesn’t get confused or hopeful again.

It’s a hard thing to keep connected with someone like nothing has happened. It made me feel anxious and it triggered a lot of codependency behaviours. Could I suppress my real feelings and let it be? I think I tried to please for a while, because I didn’t want to upset the other person. The truth is that I did that so many times before! I let myself be in a place where I’m open to be the other person’s pillow and cheerleader, despite my internal bleeding, just because I don’t want to lose that person. That’s what codependents do. This time, however, something screamed loudly inside… something told me to follow my inner voice and that’s what I did after one day and night of forced sleep.

When I decided that I couldn’t let myself be in that state anymore, I knew I had to stop the bleeding. I didn’t want to explain myself too much and I ended up simply saying what I thought I needed. I forced myself not to think about what the other person wanted or wished. I was fed up with my own codependency and I felt like I had to break at least the cycle of staying around for too long. The next morning I woke up to a huge mess of feelings. Part of me still wanted to be a punching bag, but the more evolved part of me wanted to break free. It told me “hang on in there, it’s just the aftermath, it’s just the old codependent you wanting to hold on to something that isn’t right for you”.

So I cried. And I slept a bit more. And I meditated. And I cried. And I meditated a bit more. I cried, and I slept. I realised I wasn’t exactly sad. I guess I didn’t want to accept that things had changed. How did something beautiful and light become heavy, painful, and twisted? What did exactly happen? All these questions became irrelevant though when late night my mom started bleeding from her nose. It was like if we were watching the Niagara Falls on television – the bleeding wouldn’t stop and it was so intense that she couldn’t be straight or otherwise the blood would asphyxiate her. I tried to keep my cool down and I tried to comfort her. I was, however, the one who couldn’t hold her shit together. I started shaking all over, inhaling that intense smell of blood. I couldn’t understand why was she bleeding so much and I didn’t know how to make it go away.

Seconds later, I got the perception I was going to faint. I tried to lean back to prevent it but I soon realised there was no way I would be able to stand still. Then, when I couldn’t even hear my brother’s instructions, I realised how ill my body, mind and spirit had become. I left the bathroom, holding on to what I could barely see and feel. I was conscious that I was losing consciousness so I pressed my back against the nearest wall and I let myself slip down through it. Apparently I hit my head on the wall, but I didn’t even feel it. I was gathering the remaining energy to only remind myself to breathe deeply. Just breathe, but I still lost consciousness for a few seconds.

My mom went straight away to the hospital and her last words were “I’m going but I will be back”. What if she didn’t? What if that had been the last time I saw her? She certainly is not the mother of my dreams, but she’s the only one I have. She doesn’t know how to comfort me or help me making decisions in life, but she doesn’t know how to comfort herself or make her own decisions either. The difference between me and her is the awareness each one of us has. I’m programmed to overcome dysfunction, she is programmed to passively accept reality. Can I change that? I can’t. The only thing I can change is how I frame her and our relationship.

Today it is clear to me that it is my job to make my own decisions, whatever they are. It would have been easier if my mom or dad had been my guides and role models when I was a kid, but they never had anyone to guide themselves either and they are also not aware of the consequences of their own acts. My mom’s veins blew up because of a blood pressure peak. She could have died, if the blood had got to the brain. My dad, nonetheless, was going to buy fast-food for dinner when she came back from the hospital. My brother and I bursted at him and my dad said a lot of non-sense back. I lost my nerve, or the little girl inside me just lost the fear. I stood up against my father and I screamed at him what I had to say. I cried the rest of the afternoon in shock while cooking. I was a total mess but crying and practising mindful cooking helped me soothe my system a bit.

My dad was probably also stressed and scared, but that’s not a valid excuse to keep letting him say whatever his hot cave brain wants. This whole situation certainly also taught me something deeper. I have been trying to control life and I haven’t learned yet that I can’t control it at all. People will come and go; people will act as they please and the only thing I can control is how I take care of myself. That includes who and how I allow people to participate in my life. I can’t force my mom and dad to be healthy. I can’t upgrade their awareness and I can’t mend the world as much as I want to help people. I can’t make someone love me unconditionally, no matter how good I try to be.

Altogether, these situations came to trigger and make me learn. It was a good thing that I was able to put my codependency aside and remove myself from a situation that would only hurt me more if I tried to remain present for the other person. It was also a good thing that I fainted, because now I know the extent to which my nervous system is damaged – there was a lot of blood, but it wasn’t like if my mom’s internal organs were coming out through her nose. In a normal situation, I would have had it together. Both my central and peripheral nervous system need attention. My blood pressure has also been incredibly low and my chest has given me some warnings. Not to talk about my back pain which hasn’t allow me to even bend over the last week.

Finally, it was also a good thing I lost my nerve and I stood up against my father, because that’s also the root of my codependency. My father has and hasn’t been my protector. He has taken my side when my mom is against him, but as soon as she stops being against him he turns to her side. So I guess I grew up learning that it is ok for a man to be in and out of feelings for you in a blink of an eye. But I guess that’s not love, that’s codependency. Love is to be with someone and remain centred on one’s self. Love is to agree to disagree without playing punishment games.

I spent last night like a newborn mom, listening carefully to my mom’s breath while she was asleep. Things between my father and I are now alright – he didn’t apologise, but he is now cooking healthier meals and also stated that from now on that’s the way it is going to be. We even cooked together today. These days have been hard, but I’m also somehow pleased with all these thoughts and internal work. While I write down these words, I feel my stream of consciousness expanding. I’m confident I made some progress, however small. I haven’t physically trained over these last couple of days but I haven’t regressed to my eating disorder either. I keep loving myself and my body as they are in the present moment and I guess that is the major reason why I haven’t had the urge to binge on food. Maybe the fact I’ve been trying hard to sit down with my emotions has equally helped too. I’m trusting the process and even though my flesh might be raw I feel emotionally stronger now. It’s like I’m learning to stand on my own two feet and clearing out what needs to be cleared.

PS: I haven’t been active on my instagram or able to reply to messages but I’m very grateful to everyone who has connected and reached out. I will be catching up with it soon.

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13 thoughts on “A Full-Week’s Work On Codependency

  1. I wish I could give you a hug right now! Since I can’t, I’m sending you positive thoughts 💚 I first want to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry you have a lot of hard and heavy things happening at once. But I also want to say that you are doing amazing setting new boundaries! It’s very difficult to stand up to the person who taught you unhealthy behaviors, and you did- despite how it may affect you. Sometimes all we can do when we feel so hurt is to breathe and meditate like you’ve been doing. Thank you for sharing your story, I felt very connected with it because I have been through something similar lately. You’re a strong woman and I appreciate your honesty in your posts 💚💚💚

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    1. Received 💓 Thank you very much! 🤗 This might sound very weird now, but I feel strangely relieved. It’s like multiple layers are being stripped off. This whole new perspective of seeing and assuming my own responsibility is sky rocketing🚀. Thankfully we share positive things too, but my god, so much drama in these lives… we must have taken a ticket to earth at the same station! 🙈 (thank god too I still can use weird humour to counteract the drama)

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      1. Oh my god I get that feeling SO much! It’s not weird at all. I’m literally going through the same feelings with my situation! It’s sad and strange to be stepping out of the old patterns and relationships but so empowering! It’s a new found confidence and freedom! I think we are on the same wavelength again 😂

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  2. What an awful day for you all Vanessa 😳 I hope your mum is now on the mend. Also lovely to hear that you and your dad cooked together. Perhaps, it will help you both to do these things. Huge hugs 💕

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    1. It was a hell of a night indeed 🙈 My mom is ‘alright’, but she keeps doing the same mistakes and I need to accept it is out of my control. Thank you for your positive vibes, hugssss back 💕

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