So I'm new to here. I find myself joing because I am in a relationshiop (or at least in my mind I am) for the past 6 months with someone who has really pushed my boundaries and forced me to start looking inwardly at myself and why I do some of the things I do.
My 'partner/girlfriend' has seen a therapists for many years, for various issues coming from her childhood and life experiences such as marital/relationship issues. I think this has given her much insight and during our 6 months together she has pushed me to in her words 'be a man', 'take charge', 'be confident', 'find my inner child' etc
I've always had a bit of interest in Psychology, and in my current partner I see many trends of someone with BPD. So I do frequently find myself having to deal with black and white only arguments, triggers and such like. Also she is a single mom with no career at present and limited financial standing. So naturally, I have tried to be supportive (or at least that is what I thought I was doing solely)
Now I have read up on codependency, it's link with low self-esteem and how it is possible to become co-dependant I can see a clear possibility it may be something I exhibit.
I often said many times to people close to me, that whilst I never had a bad upbringing, I always felt I (being the oldest of two children) felt (maybe not forced) that I had to be a mediator between a very controlling/emotionally unstable mother and a 'yes man/always trying to defuse' dad. I felt like I had to look after myself way before my time as a child and to some extent be more adult than my parents and for my sister.
I became what I always thought as fiercely indepedant, ignorance of some sort also become a strength at times.
Throughout childhood/early life (I'm 35 by the way) I have always had low confidence and self-esteem. This however was not present in sports, such as often being the captain/leader of football teams. Later in life I have become more confident, as experience has helped me see that I am better than I thought I was, or very least not as bad.
But still I lack the real self-confidence and aggression (the good kind/drive) to be myself, not worry so much about others (remember I used ignorance as a way of getting by, I thought it was a good way to be more confident in myself but maybe I also caused myself to be ignorant to others around me and lost some empathy a little)
So fast-forward to now, I'm reasonably well off in my career now as an IT Manager of a global company, I've moved to a foreign country on my own, bought a house here and done many things on my own and with a degree of confidence.
It seems to be more with letting go of my emotions and when in close relationships (I can and did happily get by for the last 3.5 years on my own without feeling the need to be in a relationship) and my partner has recently complained about some of my actions such as her feeling like I'm trying to control her and like mentioned before not being self-confident.
Now I need to take my first steps in confronting the possibility that low self-esteem and codepenency is at the root of this.
My previous only long term relationship was for 6 years, with a girl 8 years younger. I felt like I was the supportive/guiding person for her, and in the end she complained I was closed off emotionally which I probably was. I had felt like it wasn't working for a good year or two before we ended it but I couldnt and didnt end it. She did in the end.
I guess this is a bit of a long opening post, quite scattergun as I'm just letting out what is on my mind right now.
What do I do, where do I even begin?
My husband was an addict. He did well for 15 yrs then after several emotional events hitting within a couple of years he started using again. I realized it about 9 months later. I thought he was making progress. We celebrated our oldest daughter's wedding immediately followed by our 25 anniversary and then I woke up 6 weeks later to find he had overdosed. It has been almost 2 yrs now but I can't...
Salina's post does bring up the subject of the Wide range of side effects from codependency,trauma, Dysfunction, addictions, narcissism,abandonment and abuse.