Dearest doctor! Dearest Rhoda!
Okay, that is the healthy, most caring thing he could
have done. But I can only admit that after going back into the info
on codependency that is on your site. I
rang every stinking bell that is listed on your mindset
of the codependent (well, not every single one) and the family perspective on codependence. My first
reactions were not comfortable, as you can imagine. The abandonment
thing was huge. But he never once indicated that our
friendship was in jeopardy. In fact he emphatically denied that when
I expressed concern about it. :)
My best friend is a huge resource for sounding out my feelings. My guy friend that I mentioned may or may not be there for me. The insecurity is from inside of me. He has still called me to see how things are going for me. He is still there in small ways. I am thinking that he has proven to a degree that his motives are honorable. I'm not as certain. Why would a man who truly loves you give you as much space as you indicate here? My daughters were not welcoming to him, and that is a huge concern for him. If it wasn't a huge concern, that would be a huge concern for me! He very firmly brought to my attention that the girls are my highest priority. Correct. Something that in my codependency can fade from my awareness. I am not anywhere near as healthy as I had hoped I was. Recovery happens in stages. But my being able to see these things, I think, is probably monumental in itself in my recovery. You bet. See how you already knew that? The following piece is a grasping at understanding all of this:
So, Doc, I am at yet another critical point
in my recovery. I know that things will work out. I have been
blessed with so much. My dear friend gave me a thought that I want
to share with you. The golden rule of the Bible is everything in a
nutshell. How can you love your neighbor as yourself if you do not
have love for yourself? Food for hours and hours of thought! :)
Rhoda, you fabulous human being! Yes, you will get through this and you will flourish, I have no doubt. Now, down to business:
First you ask me if you should go for counseling; then you list the reasons why you don't really have to go. So, you don't want to go; you want to deal with the codependency issues yourself. Seems to me you have answered your own question. Trust thyself woman. And never forget, that is your sense today; your body is free to tell you otherwise tomorrow. Or not.
Then you tell me about this wonderful man who felt your relationship was going too quickly and pulled back. Everything you said about your hungry heart and battling your sense of unworthiness is true (Though, I ask you to consider this on the unworthiness one: God created you. Are you saying he made a mistake when he made little ol' unworthy Rhoda? Check it out...)
Do examine the needs of your hungry heart. But, also examine your propensity to place the blame on yourself; let us revisit the hungry heart stuff:
We are human. We are programmed for companionship. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with your heart's hunger. And perhaps the problem lay in another individual's not being in the space to fill it. You know, we feed each other's hearts. Perhaps the codependency stuff lay in the codependent's selling out for the first warm body that promises nourishment - but does not deliver... Perhaps the selling out is more of the problem than the hungry heart...
The recovering codependent's dilemma is to accomplish all you so eloquently state in your verse - while at the same time - assessing if a given individual has what it takes to meet YOUR needs... Hold out Rhoda until you meet the individual with whom you can exchange heart food. Back off when the person you thought had your heart food turned up short.
Can you begin to regard your desire for companionship as healthy? Normal? Perhaps this person's backing off set off abandonment bells that, while exaggerated, were real? Check it out...
The way I see it, no matter how wonderful another individual is, if they're not there for you, they're not so wonderful. And, consider the fact that life is full of problems. Your girls will not want anybody else in daddy's space right now. But, if you want him and he wants you, you and he partner together to help the girls get to a better emotional space regarding him.
Just like backing off when you are being hurt "works" with the abuser, it "works" with ordinary, run-of-the-mill human beings. I wonder what would happen to his attitude if you were to pull away - because he was unwilling to meet the partnering needs of your hungry heart? And because you love yourself too much to accept anything less...
Codependency Recovery Lesson 1: Do not give the store away. Do not sell out for a warm body or a promise. Make yourself "expensive." Expect to spend time alone. Feel the loneliness and use the time to explore yourself. Expect a full partner who cares for you as you care for him. Love yourself enough to demand what you want... And you may get it.
Codependency Recovery Lesson 2: Could it be that there is absolutely nothing wrong with your hungry heart? (hint, hint)
God bless you dear lady, Dr. Irene
I just want to read the posts.