My whole adult life I’ve been in a relationship. The first began a few months into college and went on for more than five years. The second--and last-- just ended. That one began a few months into moving to Florida and lasted about five years. Notice a pattern, anyone? (It just clicked for me, right now, to be honest.)
I think I’ve been so afraid of being alone that I subconsciously clung to people I felt safe with. Not to say I didn’t love them, because I did. I cared for them a great deal, and still do. But I’m not sure if I was always in love with them. Or if maybe we would’ve been more suited as friends.
I’m only beginning to scratch the surface of my codependency issues. My whole life, others picked up the slack for me in those areas where I struggled. So I never learned to stand up on my own two feet. The evidence builds as I become mindful of it. In my family, if someone doesn’t know how to do something, the other person does it for her rather than teach her how to do it for herself. Everyone has their role, even in an emotional sense. Consequently, no one ever learns or grows, and we all become far more essential to each other than we should be. Instead of five collaborators, we are more like five puzzle pieces that need to be put together to form one complete picture.
The issue is further compounded by the other problems I have, such as social anxiety, general anxiety, depression, and very likely borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, I think my codependency is a major contributing factor to my relationship issues.
At this point in my life, I need to break—or sneakily gnaw-off-- the chain of codependency. I will only gain self-esteem and self-worth if I learn to be reasonably self-sufficient. Only then, I believe, will I be capable of entering a healthy relationship—one where we are together because we want to be, and not because we feel we need to be.
(Special recognition goes to the DF chat members—you know who you are!—for their support and wisdom.)