As a trauma victim, I learned fear and insecurity, which controlled my thoughts, emotions, behavior, and my life. I disassociated from the pain of the trauma and buried the memories deep within my subconscious mind.
Although the memories were separated from my conscious mind, the effects of them continued to scream inside my head. They affected my body, soul and spirit throughout much of my lifetime.
I felt powerless to control my life; and therefore, I went along with the flow. Actually believing that I deserved abuse, I abused myself and allowed others to abuse me. I turned into a Class-A codependent, enabling others and depriving myself.
I accepted destructive behavior that affected my life in so many ways, and I taught others to treat me this way by allowing this conduct to perpetuate throughout much of my lifetime.
As a teenager, I noticed that my father effectively used anger to control events in his life; so I emulated his attitude and behavior. I started to take a stand for myself. I blamed my anger on my heritage as an Italian. Of course, this escalated my problems and never reaped positive responses (James 1:20).
When I went to college, I repented of my sins and asked Jesus to save me and to fill me with Himself (John 3:16-17); so I allowed even more abuse into my life. I thought that if I served others, then God would send others to serve me.
This never occurred. I just delved deeper into codependence, caretaking and submission even when someone else’s decisions affected me adversely. I actually believed that others mattered, but I did not.
I continued to allow others to treat me in demeaning and uncaring ways. I did not expect to be loved this side of heaven, as I needed love; and I learned to take whatever little scraps of affection or attention others were willing to give me, even if I had to ask for them.
When I exhausted my soul by attempting to be the savior of my world, I reverted back to erupting into an ineffective, angry tirade that drove a wedge between me and those who were supposed to help me to care for my needs.
Thankfully, when I turned 45, God sent me to work for a recovering codependent, who counseled me on mending from the negative traits of this terrible disease. This allowed me to embark on a healing journey to self-discovery and care that transformed my life.
Father God, I grew up as a caretaker for everyone I met; attempting to solve their problems for them, even if it meant that I suffered physically, mentally, emotionally or financially because of it. I took care of everyone, but myself. Thank You that You never gave up on me. You brought the right people into my life at the right time. You taught me to firmly and resolutely put the brakes on those who treated me as an appendage to their life with no rights and privileges of my own.
Unfortunately, my healing attitude and behavior brought insecurity and fear into the lives of some of those around me. They reacted in various ways, but some rejected me because they assumed I was going to reject them. However, You used these events to bring authentic Believers in Christ into my life (Romans 8:28). They actually knew the meaning of unconditional love, and together we learned the benefit of Interdependence. We have flourished in Your love within us ever since.
Thought for the Day:
As a codependent, I had no sense of identity, boundaries or autonomy. I was not able to say, “No”; so I said, “Yes” to every request. I ended up drowning in the enmeshed and destructive relationships I gravitated toward; because I had no internal compass, until the love of Christ brought healing into my life.