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.