After I post a blog, I often receive comments that weave a similar pattern. “You have been through so much,” “How brave of you to share” or “You must have had a very sad marriage”
While my friends say one thing, I can’t help but wonder if they are thinking, Wow, this lady has many unresolved codependency issues. She should still be in therapy. Will she ever get over the breakup of her marriage, and move on?
The reason I reveal my past embarrassing behavior is to generate hope in others who struggle with similar issues. Before I can share my mountaintop moments, I have to show my drama-filled march through the shadow of the valley of emotional trials.
To understand this spirit of honesty, the following is an excerpt from Day 25 of My Resurrected Heart, A Codependent’s Journey to Healing.
Ashtrays overflowed with stale cigarette butts, sour-smelling beer mugs, and loose change covered the bar as Bob and I entered the club for the Sunday afternoon dart match. My husband joined his friends at the bar, and I sat alone at a nearby table. My thoughts were with our teenage son, Jonathan, who was at home trying to suppress an asthma attack. I watched as the pitchers of beer passed between my husband and his teammates. At least I had the good sense to remind myself, No wine with your lunch, Diane, you have to drive home.
Of course! I would have to drive Bob home. That’s why he invited me. He needed a designated driver. I wanted Bob to need me, so I allowed myself to be his enabler. Again.
I smoldered inside. If I was going to take care of anyone, it should be our asthmatic son. Not wanting to create a scene, I walked over to Bob and whispered. “We have to go leave. Now. I’m concerned about Jonathan.”
Fifteen minutes later, I navigated the winding road home while my husband sat in the passenger’s seat and offered a critique. “Diane, you haven’t changed. You still know how to ruin a good time.”
Focused on driving, I forced myself to contain my anger and didn’t respond to his putdowns. My goal was to get home safely and take care of our son. Bob’s resentment was mild compared to my self-contempt. His words could never hurt me as much as my own accusations did.
If you see yourself in my story, and have not yet attended a Codependent or Al-Anon support group, this may be the time to take the first step and admit you are powerless over anyone except yourself. You can recover your sense of self-worth and moral fiber. Together we can turn our wounded spirit into the strong character God predestined us to be. Now wouldn’t that be something!
We … think that everything that happens is to be turned into useful teaching. In … fact, it is to be turned into something even better than teaching, namely, character. The mountaintop is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something.
Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest. October 1. http://utmost.org/the-place-of-exaltation (accessed October 28, 2012).