"BAM" (Slap right in the FACE). Do you ever have those moments where something just clicks? I did this morning as I read one of my daily reads. As a recovering "Tuck the Fringer" (co-dependent), it's been difficult for me to really come to terms with why I let myself get taken advantage of repeatedly by similar types of people. As I've studied more about co-dependency (no it doesn't always have to do with alcoholics), I've learned that perfectionism and people pleasing was my way of avoiding rejection. But I often found myself, through the years, staying in relationships that were negative or one sided because I didn't want to hurt anyones feelings. When I read this today I had one of those out loud AMEN moments. It goes on to say, "Sometimes it helps to understand that we may be receiving payoff from relationships that cause distress." Okay. Let's look into that further. What's the payoff? Avoiding rejection was always the obvious one for me, but maybe it's something else. Control! Is this the next step in my recovery? Standing up and saying out loud, "My name is Jeannine and I'm a co-dependent. I need to feel accepted so I please, appease and walk on eggshells around others so I can control how others see me." (The Language of Letting Go—Melody Beattie)
So why today? Why is this part of the process? I don't know for sure, but I know it is healing. I don't feel shame around it. I've been working a lot on forgiveness to others and myself, and I know I'm opening myself up to new possibilities that couldn't be realized while I was focused on being everything to someone else. I'm so grateful for the process. I've learned so much over the past several years. I can look back and see how I'm growing into my skin. And not the skin that has the heavy armour. That's gone now. I have learned a lot about healthy boundaries and vulnerability. I've had moments where trying on both has caused me to be sideways with others. That's a very challenging place for me to be, but it was necessary. God has definitely placed me in the some difficult situations, I'm sure as a test to show me how far I've come and where I still need to grow. I've faced some bullies from my past wrapped up people that were my "friends". It opened my eyes to the fact that my patterns of codependency made me an easy target to be bullied by those close to me and I was so distracted by being everything to everybody that I didn't even see it happening. As soon as this journey began for me, UN-Tucking myself really meant I was taking off the rose colored glasses and seeing the truth. I feel lighter and freer than ever, but I also have a radar activated. It allows me to stay UNtucked and vulnerable with a better connection to my intuition, something I have ignored for 40+ years. When I first began this recovery, in my mind there were two kinds of people, me (co-dependents) and everyone else (narcissists). I've always been the glass is half full person and truly want to see the good in everyone so this was a dark place for me to be, but I suppose necessary. It forced me to dig deeper into my triggers and to understand my patterns even more. Now I actually get a physical and mental sense of what is happening around me and I listen to it, instead of ignoring it. There are still days when I need a bit more validation from my intuition, but I'm doing my best everyday. I am very grateful for the entire process and I know how fortunate I am to have experienced the calling to heal myself and UNTuck the Fringe.