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Children are not patience creatures!
Most can’t wait to grow up & be in control of their choices & options. Everything seems to take such a long time. If it’s raining out & we had to stay in, if we had a serious illness that kept us in bed, if one parent was away a lot for business or serving our country…. waiting for it to change or finish seemed endless.
ACoAs: However, this normal anxiousness (not anxiety) is magnified for children in alcoholic / abusive homes. Nothing got better, nothing really changed, nothing we did or said made any difference!
Constantly abandoned in PMES ways, growing up, has left us with the conviction that we are not worthy of anything good. So waiting is unbearable. Better to not want. We developed a hopelessness that we’ve carried over into adult life – a ‘learned helplessness’ we still believe is our inevitable lot in life.
CO-DEPENDENT Waiting – RESIGNED ‘patience’
Co-dep is one of the characteristics of the False Self the WIC formed as a substitute for the True Self – which our damaged family prevented us from developing. Not having had positive mirroring, we say “I don’t know who I am”- in the deepest part of ourselves – even when we can list a few likes, dislikes & accomplishments.
Because the WIC has no stable sense of identity, & without a UNIT, we rely on others to tell us who we are, how we should feel, think & act. We’re like flotsam in the ocean, drifting aimlessly thru mental confusion (T), dragged under by waves of emotional pain (E).
Co-dep UP: When anyone is at the -very least- not mean, not judgy, not dismissive and -at best- paying attention to us, tolerant, helpful….., then the WIC feels OK, happy, relieved, alive, allowed to exist.
Co-dep DOWN: But if anyone is -at worst- mean, accusatory, controlling, or -at least- insensitive , silent or neglectful, the light goes out of us, & we feel depressed, immobile, dead.
Co-dep ‘long-suffering’ is PASSIVE waiting, waiting, waiting … for magic!
It means WAITING:
• to be taken care of by others, in ways we should be doing ourselves
• for certain people to come thru for us – who are not capable
• for the active addict (or co-dep parent) to go into Recovery
• for an important-someone to keep their promises – even tho’ we know they usually don’t
• for our S.O. to fulfill all our unmet childhood needs
• for our parents to see us, validate, understand, apologize…..
• for our pain to dissipate, without having to actually process it
• for H.P. to magically heal us so we don’t have to do the ‘work’ of Recovery
Fake Patience means TO:
• live in constant deprivation, because we don’t believe we deserve better
• keep ourselves ‘small‘, while waiting for our ‘golden future’ to materialize
• assume someone will know what we need / want, without having to ask
• survive in the false hope that “One day I’ll be, I’ll have….”, because we’re not allowed the real thing
• put up with whatever drifts into our life, so we’re not alone
• endlessly tolerate unacceptable behavior & situations
• continually say ‘It’s OK’ when something definitely is NOT
• be stuck in hopelessness, unable to get out of bad or unsuitable situations/ relationships…….
NEXT: Co-dep vs Patience #2