Cockroaches and Codependence

There are few things I really hate. Cockroaches. I do hate them. And I really dislike their slower, larger, uglier cousins, what we here in Noo Yawk call “waterbugs.”  Sounds innocuous right? Wrong. They may be more lumbering compared to their scurrying light hating (though this too is a myth) death defying primos, but they are even more disagreeable to me.  I rarely scream. Only when I am having a particularly great ride on a roller coaster. Unlike our previous neighbors, I do not scream in intimate…ah, situations. I do not scream in fear during horror movies, which I despise with a ferocity that surpasses the subject of this rant…ah, post.  I scream in utter disgust and terror when I see these roach/beetle/insects. The worst of it is, what I hate the most is the idea of killing them. I refuse to kill them, in fact. That is my husband’s job. Another thing I dislike…being the petulant meek wife who can’t take care of herself.

But lately, I have found something within myself that is uglier than my arch nemesis.  I have always had an addictive personality, laced and tempered by my self-righteous arrogance that refused to allow any substance to control me, and thankfully the Supernatural hand that holds my life in his/her own.  However, from first grade onward, after I slayed the dragon of literacy and finally allowed myself to give books a chance, I have been hooked. Since the age of two point five, when I found my best friend, I have been floating on the drug induced cloud of codependency. I have been addicted to people, obsessed with their attention, needy for their compliance to my control, and unable to break from the heady sub-existence of  not exactly living in reality at all times. I have often wondered why most of my childhood memories have not held strong in my mind. Now, I realize that too much space was filled up with all the fictional characters and storyline I’d read and those which I myself had created. The other side of my brain was filled to the rim with the sick, grim determination to play narrator in the lives of the people whom God had placed in my path. Rather than just love them and let them be free, I have attempted to subtly control their lives and decisions, as if I held strings to the universe like the puppeteer scene in the musical Chicago.

So, now I find myself slowly plodding toward recovery. I am not sure what precisely was the catalyst for my new status in life. Obviously this post won’t make it to Facebook or Twitter, at least not until I am ready and willing to make amends to all those who I have hurt. I have also begun losing the visceral “gut” fat around my middle, almost as though the discipline required for the eating schedules and exercise regimens have given me a skeleton key  to reorienting the rest of my life. I know I have had tools for the last 3 years since living in NYC and attending our church (EMO Health/Spirituality), and I have been confronted with the truth of my sickness since meeting and marrying my husband, the one person who has never taken my bull****, but somehow tough-loved me anyway.  The counseling that I had previously attended before the marriage, taught me the word codependent, but didn’t allow me to personalize the sickness, the addiction as my own.  I should even me more anonymous than this blog will allow me to be, but if I can’t come clean for you all, I have no right to post anything again.  Feel free to judge me fairly or unfairly as I deserve it. However, know that any emotional backlash will not be personalized. I am done over/inappropriately empathizing with other’s feelings. Be free to feel as you must. I am just going to struggle to be free.

I saw a waterbug in the subway station after a ‘meeting’ I went to last week. My new understanding of support allowed me to shake my head, but not shudder; refuse to sit on the bench, share a few words with the man who was amused by my discomfort something to the extent of, “I just don’t like them.” After a walking away from the bench headquarters of the beast, I doubled back to sit momentarily, before removing my tookus to pace the yellow line again. It is alright. I don’t need to bedfellows with my pretend enemy. I could have killed him just as I could have killed those who timidly sneak into my apartment. The truth is I don’t want to kill that enemy. I would rather be free of the life-controlling real enemy sheathed in its pretty wrapper. I am done “helping” smother anyone in my path. I am done allowing overblown “concern” for others to keep me frozen in time like a wax doll. I will try to go forth and live my own life, even if that means suddenly liking chocolate ice cream and eating beans for the first time in my life. Even if that  means disappointing everyone around me. Even if that means making friends with cockroaches. Well, maybe I best not dive towards extremes.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Aw, Julie, thank you for sharing this, and welcome to the road to health! I’ve been to my share of meetings, which weren’t specifically about codependence, but there was a lot of overlap – we were talking about codependence like half the time anyway. It’s really hard work to change a lifetime of relating patterns and perceptions, but it’s so much better, freer, lighter, happier. Much love and support for you, girl.


    1. Julie I A.M. says:

      Sorry for such a melodramatic post…I tend toward such…Thanks for the love!


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