Yes, like a damn deer in headlights.
I’ve been working hard on understanding my codependence and have felt I’m on to something. Something important. Something big. Something life changing. And boy oh boy, I sure need something life changing because what I’ve been doing hasn’t been working so well.
Things at home have been somewhat status quo but I know there’s always going to be something to upset the equilibrium – or the illusion of equilibrium. I just wait for it…man I’m getting tired of my behavior in this regard. When the hell will I ever learn? Anyway, Greg says “we have to talk about this apartment thing at some point” which made me freeze. [omg, where are my tools? how do I respond? am I equipped to respond? fear fear fear!]
I said “OK” and went to take a shower so I wouldn’t run the risk of jumping into chaos merely because he indicated that should be the direction we switch to – at that moment. When I came out he said “So I take it you don’t want to talk about the apartment…” I put on my Brave Girl panties and I tried to explain to him that I’ve been working on my issues in a broad sense and that I’m afraid to talk with him about most things in general. We went round and round and ultimately he gave me the same damn ultimatum but in a different form: if I choose to move out he believes we have no chance. I tried to explain that I desperately wanted to work on my issues and my mental/emotional health so that we could work on our issues as a couple but he won’t have it. He said he doesn’t trust me and he keeps reliving the hell he’s been in for the past 3 years and doesn’t believe my moving out will help anything. [Yeah, that’s good for you but what about me? I’m drowning and I’m trying – my gods I’m trying so hard!] It just ended up in the same shitty codependent crap conversation that we always have.
Many of the things Greg talked about were clearly things that only he could change: waking up in the morning feeling that life was futile, not knowing his purpose, etc. I asked him if he thought I could fix those things or if he could fix those things [knowing they were his to fix] and I believe he understood my directed questions and stated [safely] he didn’t know.
He is extremely stubborn and when his anger starts to surface, I have one hell of a time remaining calm and not becoming a complete mess. My gods, what is this freaking POWER he has over me and why do I let it happen? [If nothing else, rhetorical questions such as these have motivated me to recover more than anything. I have to know and I have to recover!]
Hypothetically, if Greg really wants this relationship to work and I’ve understood and validated his feelings, I believe he would be throwing the baby out with the bath water and I don’t believe he really wants to do that. I believe he thinks he can keep me where I am and force me to work on myself his way and that everything will be just fine. Well, that hasn’t worked has it. Some things, on the surface, have gotten better. But that’s only on the surface. I don’t want a surface fix because I don’t believe for a second that it will be worth anything long term. We’ve been together for 25 years, c’mon. That’s not logical! Denial isn’t going to get it here. I feel we should do it right and do it well.
One interesting thing did come out of it though. Greg admitted that he probably has some “codependent things too”. Wow. This seemed promising but I don’t feel like he’s really working on himself with any kind of vigor. I’m not judging, just observing. It would be great if he talked with his therapist about codependence because there’s a lot of fertile ground here. I’ve already adjusted or let go of expectations with regard to what he’ll work on or not work on, if anything. I’ve got my own problems.
So what am I afraid of? If I stand up for myself and make the very difficult decision to step forward – for real – with what I consider to be a temporary separation, he’s going to give me 50 different kinds of hell. I will have little to no cooperation. Should I just prepare myself for this and shoulder it like I’ve shouldered the momentum of solving our other problems? Isn’t it in my best interests to do this for myself?
I just don’t think I can take his abuse right now. Or maybe I can but I’d rather avoid it. Either way…GAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!