“Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as in an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs). In broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns. Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.”
Some people like to find old, worn down houses and fix them up. I do not. I find that old houses are creepy and that they smell musty. I’m also afraid that some old ghost could be lingering around, which is why I had my house built. I am however a renovator. Only, I don’t like to find busted houses and fix them up, I like to find busted people and fix them up. And I do it free of charge.
My favorite fixer-up projects tend to be men who are narcissistic sociopaths. I mean I’ve dated alcoholics, drug addicts, gambling addicts, sex addicts, abusers, pathological liars, thieves, con-artists, cheaters, and undiagnosed bipolar persons. The current man who I am trying to wean myself off lived in Las Vegas for three-year making his living from playing poker and living in comped hotels. I had known him from when I was a stripper in my early 20’s and was once mesmerized by his long, dark, hair, his dimples, and his radiantly piercing blue eyes. He drove a bad ass BMW, was high-ranking in his social stature, and he had this mystical je ne sais quoi that surrounded him. As a matter of fact, he strongly resembled Leonardo DiCaprio. My God he was deliciously stunning.
He and I connected last year on Facebook and the rest was history. It wasn’t long before he asked my father for my hand in marriage. He literally got off the plane and moved into my house. Mind you, this is not something that I “do” as I do not like to bring men around Jeremiah and Jonah. As it was, the boys loved him; he charmed us all–for a while. Eventually the heavy alcoholism became apparent as did his gambling addiction. I even had to hide my sedatives from him; I hid them in one of those vintage, cardboard jewelry boxes–the ones where the little ballerina pops up and spins around. Every night when I needed to take my medication, I would be petrified that the sound of the music box was going to go off and that I would be caught. What’s more, this man morphed into the most verbally and emotionally persons that I had ever known. Hence, I wrote the following poem one sleepless night after he had left me (the first time):
You played me for a common fool,
You played me from the start.
I gave you every ounce of me,
I handed you my heart.
Words like blades you slayed me with,
Cutting me to the bone.
With you I felt a stranger in the place I once called home.
I walked on eggshells day and night,
Guarding my every word.
Each thing I did, each thing I said
Felt stupid and absurd.
But convinced was I your love was real,
Convinced I was your girl-
I soon learned I was ordinary,
To you a nameless girl.
A girl you “would not” fight for
With a heart you could abuse-
Your “promises” were hollow words,
You set me up to lose.
Abandoned and rejected now,
Cast out in a lonely spot-
I’ll never dance this dance again;
In love I’ll not be caught.
I’ll build the walls around my heart;
You’ll never get back in.
I’m scarred for life, for the one I lost
Once called me his “best friend”.
So love those cards, the alcohol,
The pills and shallow bitches-
My loving soul now bears a hole,
My heart’s in need of stitches.
So here’s to your life of solitude,
Of Godlessness, and sorrow-
You robbed me of the dream of love
And darkened my tomorrows.
Remember me, as you saw me last,
With tear drops on my face.
I surrender the dream of my soul-mate tonight;
For me love holds no place.
When I wrote this poem, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I was suffering a complete and utter nervous breakdown. Friends I’m not just using the term “nervous breakdown” as a semantic euphemism. This was indeed, indubitably real and entirely physiological in nature. I couldn’t eat or sleep for about 4 days; I lost 12 pounds in one week. I couldn’t stay off the toilet, and my panic attacks were so physically intense that I could not operate my car or attend work. I cried and sobbed for days upon days. Eventually, I had to seek medical treatment in the form of late-night counseling visits and trips to my family physician. It was a nightmare. My mind knew what was going on, but my body ceases to cooperate.
How this happened is beyond me. He had lived with me for just two, short months. Still, 60 days of day in and day out can be intense, particularly because I firmly believed I had finally met my husband. He didn’t work or have a car (supposedly all his belonging, including his chopper and his truck were in storage in Vegas); but he helped me so much around my house and helped care for my kids in ways that were unfathomable. I was my best self when he was with me.
However, once he began gambling again, he became a different person. I was working my tail off everyday and providing for the family financially but justified that it was a fair trade-off because of all the help he was giving me with the boys and around the house. And in all fairness, my house looked like a tornado had blown through it before he came to my rescue.
However, to my horror, it turned out that he felt entirely and hopelessly trapped in my haven of a home. WTF? And the guy wasn’t stuck; I was carpooling to work with a friend each day so that he could have full use of my Hummer. I gave him everything I had to give but in the end, it wasn’t enough. So there it was, staring me in the face again: rejection and abandonment. I became so concerned with his needs that I had completely ceased to care my own. I was screwed.
Today I opened some mail (which is something I rarely do because it’s depressing). Much to my chagrin, it contained two invoices from the North Texas Tollway Authority demanding that I pay $321.40 in toll violations. There are photos of my car and license plate. The problem is, I don’t drive in Dallas. I live and work in Fort Worth. And the dates in question are dates that I was working. My mother was a cop. I would never blow through a toll booth and not pay the toll. I would feel like God was watching me and I promise you, I could simply not sleep at night knowing that I had done such a thing. On the invoices, I counted 32 violations. I’m not sure what to say or what to do at this point. I suppose that some serious prayer is in order.
What’s worse we are still unofficially still seeing one another. I absolutely loathe confrontation. More than that, I hate being lied to. However, I feel that both are in my very near future.
As a co-dependent you have to ask yourself, “When is enough enough?” Am I that lonely and desperate to be loved that I would put up with blatant abuse. He’s put me at risk legally now. I’m going to sleep on this and see what tomorrow brings. Nevertheless, I have had it. I just hope that I’ve really “had it”. Will he deny that he was driving my car and blowing through toll booths or will he fess up, apologize, and pay the fines? We’ll see, but the outcome certainly doesn’t look good.
I’ll write more about the issues of co-dependency that I struggle with later. There are many wonderful attributes about this man who I haven’t mentioned, and I wish to be fair. However, I just really want to go have a smoke and go to bed. I am fed up with myself. I keep trying to find my happiness in the form of a human being. In reality though, my heart knows that true happiness originates from a relationship with God and God alone. I just wish that God would hold me with a tangible set of arms. He made me. Doesn’t He understand my heart and that I want to be chosen and loved by a man?
My best friend, Addison and I constantly talk about how all these other women are married (except us). We carry on and on about the subject noting that women with clubbed feet, missing teeth, and even those with body odor and swamp ass have husbands that truly love them. When will God deem us worthy of having a husband? What are we doing wrong?