I started counseling for two related reasons:
1) I’m too dependent on romance to make me happy. The whole “life partner” thing has always been a huge priority for me, which is largely responsible for my entering into what I now look back on as an unhealthy marriage. Without that, I have little in my life that makes me excited to be among the breathing. And the irony is that unless I find satisfaction on my own, I’ll never have a successful partnership with a man. It’s a self-defeating need.
And that’s because …
2) I’m codependent. I have all the classic signs, including the role model growing up. My mother is the quintessential poster child of codependence. My entire upbringing and my marriage could be used in a psychology textbook. I have a desperate need to take on other people’s problems, make them my own, and almost aggressively not allow them responsibility, because in my life that’s always what love looked like. And it is the most painful thing to watch because post-marriage my efforts to take care of others just drive them away. I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who needs me to take care of them. But people who don’t need taking care of don’t want to put up with my bullshit. Understandably so.
It’s a terrible position to be in. I don’t want a codependent relationship. But I want to be loved – and not by just anyone. By someone intelligent and witty and passionate and hard working and good. Someone I can respect. A partner. People like that aren’t easy to find, not at the level I’m talking about. And when I do find them, I drive them crazy because they don’t (and shouldn’t) need me.
So now I’m alone. And hoping this counseling will help me figure out how to fix what’s wrong with me so that I’m not alone forever. And also help me be content independent of a relationship. And stop getting into relationships with people who can’t and won’t commit. Because I think that’s also a pattern I fall into in my effort to save other people. “Oh, your marriage is falling apart and you’re in pain? Oh, you don’t feel like your spouse appreciates you? Well, I think you’re the most wonderful human in the world, and I hardly ever think people are wonderful so, ahem, allow me to don my codependent superhero cape and attempt to be everything you need.”
Abject failure. I can’t fucking save anyone. Except maybe myself. Maybe.
I’m running with this whole bumbling superhero metaphor. I posted on Twitter this morning: “I picture my codependence as a sort of blundering superhero who means well but only makes things worse. ‘Here she comes to wreck the day!'”
Shortly after that a slew of ideas for a cartoon series came into my head. So I’m going to devote some time to that because I think it could be a project both cathartic for me and entertaining to others. Possibly even helpful to others.
Humor is always my best defense mechanism.
I am such a mess.
I’m a witty, intelligent, loving mess though. So I have hope that I can work my way through. Hope is what keeps me moving. I have to keep moving.