“Ode to Co-dependency”, inspired by my last client who is on an amazing journey:
Co-dependents are just about dying for someone to be our safe person. A “port” as my client called it. Because we’ve been taking care of others for so fucking long, **we’re** wanting to be taken care of. Of course!
But we forget that we’re literally the ones we’ve been waiting for.
The hardest job for a care giver is to give care themself. My last clients said, “I don’t know how to do that!”. Yup, that’s right. All our strategies and worth and senses of self and identities go to “taking care” of others. We tirelessly hide behind that delusions/illusion- often with grandiosity. “They need me. I have to. They’ll be lost without me.” My goodness! we try so desperately to make ourselves god/important. The more accurate truth is that we’ll be lost without care taking X person. We don’t like to be lost. “The uncertainty that’s here is unbearable,” said my last client. Yes. S/he was feeling her/his aloneness. There was a lot to be felt with that. (Spoiler alert, it was bearable, and she’s still alive).
The idea of making oneself important enough to care for oneself self barely even scratches the surface of our recognition. We’ve sold ourselves out forever, made ourselves unimportant forever- pretending we don’t have needs and wants that we actually do have. In some ways, we barely remember we exist (and yet can be so annoyingly narcissistic at the same time!)
We repeatedly pretend we don’t exist, while “care taking” others, (i.e. hiding behinds our delusions/illusions), with our hearts on empty. Despite pretending that we’re happy and content, we live lives of resentment, bitterness, sweet sorrow, in the hopes that someone will just please fucking take care of us. Because we simply refuse to do it ourselves.
In order to pause being a care taker we have to let go of the delusion/illusion that other people need us so damn much to the extent that we have to sacrifice ourselves. I know that’s how we make ourselves important, cause we’ve disappeared ourself in the ways that really matter. But really, we always need to be present with ourselves. Anything else is fake martyrdom at best, or just an excuse to not be honest with ourselves at worst.
Many of us simply don’t know how to be present with ourselves. We don’t know how to eat well, sleep well, or feel. We cover that up with dissociating, addictions and a slew of other repertoires. We literally have to learn the art of self care. We have to learn the art of becoming intimate with ourselves. We have to learn how to pause long enough to feel. And for some of us, we have to learn that it’s actually safe to feel.
Our brains and systems are amazing through. So we can learn all this. We can learn! We can do new things. We can retrain our neural pathways. We’re amazingly resilient and adaptable creatures. We all have the capacity to feel deeply into ourselves and to be self aware. But we have to have the willingness and courage to rabbit hole- not to find answers but to let go of answers. When we do, we will find the love that lives underneath all. Oddly enough, when we learn how to take care of ourself, we’ll automatically be more present and available for others. That’s just how it goes. It really is a win-win. Love always wins, when you pay homage to it. <3 <3