Yesterday, a recovery friend told me that the one thing that she knows about me is that I'm always clear about not being able to protect my partner from herself. My friend frequently reminds me about how I told my partner on the day she revealed her addiction to me that I can't be responsible for holding her pills for her. Part of that is true. I did use those words. But I had to fight with myself and lose over and over and over again until I convinced myself that it was true. It's not quite as often today, but sometimes, I still need to fight me over that one.
Today, I'm remembering that on the very first day that I had a real conversation with my partner, I started that same pattern. I told her that day that I can't be her therapist and her friend. I then proceeded to spend the next decade trying to fix her so that I could feel safe and secure in our relationship.
Now, I've got another battle to face on the same front. My partner is engaging in significant self injurious behavior. And again, I used the right words. I told her that I can't be the one to keep her safe. My head knows that the words are true. Hell, she's continuing to show me. Right now she's with people whose job really IS to keep her safe, and twice, now, she's managed to engage in that same unsafe behavior.
The problem is that while I always use the right words regarding who owns her behavior, MY behavior doesn't match. I continue and continue and continue to try to say just the right thing or do just the right thing so that her behavior will change and I can feel safe.
It's funny. It's sooo easy to see the internal wars that the people in my life are fighting. It's not so easy to see my own, even though I continue to fight it again and again and again. I am powerless over others. When I try to change their behaviors so that I can feel safe, MY life becomes unmanageable. It's basic, step 1 shit. Guess I better go ask God to help me with that.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
In the last couple of weeks, I've had to confront all of my big scaries. I started to name them, but to protect anonymity, I won't be too specific. You can insert your own big scary here. Mostly it's involved someone I love trying desperately not to deal with feelings and using maladaptive coping mechanisms to do so. Because of that, I had to deal with my biggest scary of all scaries- abandonment, and in two permutations. And you know what? I'm ok. I have an amazing support system, people who will call out of the blue when I'm not ok, people who will listen for hours and hours, and people who on a moments notice will say "of course you can show up for the holiday." And I'm getting the opportunity to remember something. I will NEVER abandon me. My higher power will never abandon me. I can use my adaptive coping skills, whether or not the people in my life choose to. On this Thanksgiving eve, I have things to be truly grateful for. Thanks, God!!