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Am I codependent? I feel awful

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  • #401574
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    If I was you, I would try to not take his attitude about the future personally, meaning: no matter what woman appeared in his life (unless perhaps she was very rich, and if he married her it would mean that he would become very rich- money is a big motivator in our world, as you know)- he would have the same attitude that he has now: enjoying the moment and not thinking and planning for the future. And so, his attitude is not about who you are personally, it does not indicate that you are not good enough.

    He told you that he likes you but is not in love. I submitted a post about the nature of falling in love earlier this week, on another thread (I can point it to you if you want). What I shared there was that for a woman who was abandoned as a child, or made to feel unwanted and not special, when she senses (as a woman), that a man whom she values, wants her and thinks she is special, she falls deeply in love: the nature of that in-love experience is the euphoria of FINALLY being wanted, FINALLY feeling special, something she wanted ever since she was a child.

    On the other hand, if a girl (or a boy, which might be the case with Jason) grows up feeling special enough, and wanted and being positively attended to, her falling in love experience is different, it doesn’t have that desperation in the first case, it does not feel that intense.

    Maybe Jason is in love with you, just not in that intensely-desperate way.

    anita

     

    #401938
    lindsey
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    That message rings true- I was studying anxious attachment style regarding intimacy.  I realized that I am putting too much emphasis on that for connection and attention.  Jason and I discussed this also.

    Last week was kind of a disaster anxiety wise but better this week.

    Stress wise I found out yesterday that my ex is dropping the kids off at 6:45 am and picking up at 5:30 pm from summer camp.  I am going to pick them up at 6:45am on his days and bring back to my house.  That is completely unacceptable to me. I drop them off at 8 and pick up between 4-4:30.  I offered to have him drop them off at my condo- my condo is 2 minutes away and closed than the drive to camp- he told me to mind my own household. (shocker isn’t it?)

    I am transporting and picking up the kids on my own now for counseling. The counselor requesting meeting with the kids every week versus every other week- which means he has the impression of serious issues.  I am bothering with any details with him as he continues to try and manipulate the counseling schedules to make things disfuctional with the hope of stopping counseling.

    Other than that all is good.  I am proud to be taking more control instead of sitting back. Trying to get Ella enrolled in a summer reading program- I feel she is behind and I want her prepared for 5th grade.

    Hope all is well and Happy Wednesday!

    Lindsey

    #401939
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    “Stress wise… I am proud to be taking more control instead of sitting back” -I am proud of you too! The more control you take, the lesser your stress and anxiety.

    It is always good to read how involved you are in your kids lives. And of course, it is always sad to read how you and the ex do not co-parent peacefully, I wish this part was very different. About him not dropping the kids off at your place, I think that we talked about it and figured that he shouldn’t because there were problems before when he dropped them off at your place.

    Keep yourself as calm as you can be. When you feel your stress level going up, bring it down: thinking and making choices are best when calm.

    anita

    #402334
    lindsey
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I hope you enjoyed your weekend. The weather was nice here in Bloomington on Saturday but yesterday it rained off and on.  Went biking on Saturday and ate at a really good breakfast restaurant on Sunday.

    I think that I am well and called the doctor this am to see if I could switch my antidepressant from Vibyrid to Lexapro. I recall taking Lexapro for about 6 years from 2004 to 2011.  I had 0 anxiety but I was very tired all the time to the point where my brain was cloudy- very similar to the feeling of Xanax without any withdrawals or harmful side effects.

    I believe I have a pattern of hoping my anxiety will go away eventually or that it’s getting better. I tend to make excuses and say I’m going to do better, not worry so much…giving excuses is taking it’s toll.

    Yesterday Jason was very tired (he was on call for the weekend and received a midnight call but did not go in until 6am. He actually worked Saturday at 7am as well and was off around 11.) He also pretty much took everything out of one of his bathrooms- toilet, flooring, sink and is replacing/painting.

    While I could tell his was tired my anxiety was saying he was off and I was examining little things. That night he stated that he did not want to get intimate and I felt like my reaction was weird- he termed it “strange” later on. He said I stood back and was like “what, why? etc.”

    I am not happy with my behavior in general at times with my anxiety and attachment style. I have voiced to you many times about this and have had reactive thoughts of breaking things off with Jason.

    I’m not happy with him terming my behavior as “strange.”  I also feel like he could have worded things different as going up to me and saying “no sex tonight” we actually half-heartedly did but I pressed.

    I feel like a weirdo. That’s the best describing for me really.  I do not feel happy in my relationship.

    Lindsey

    #402343
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    The weather is rainy here too, raining on and off, more on than off. Currently off.

    Biking on Sat and having a really good breakfast in a restaurant on Sund reads like a nice weekend to me!

    That you felt tired all the time six years ago while taking Lexapro does not mean that the tiredness was caused by Lexapro. It could have been caused by something else, such as your life circumstances at the time. Maybe Lexapro will work better for you this time, as far as tiredness goes.

    “Yesterday Jason was very tired… He also pretty much took everything out of one of his bathrooms- toilet, flooring, sink and is replacing/painting… That night he stated that he did not want to get intimate… I stood back and was like ‘what, why? etc.’ ” – understandably, he was tired.

    “I am not happy with my behavior in general at times with my anxiety and attachment style. I have voiced to you many times about this and have had reactive thoughts of breaking things off with Jason” – if you break up with Jason, (1) you will miss him and try to get back with him, won’t you? (2) next relationship, you will be stuck with the same anxiety and attachment style.

    “I feel like a weirdo. That’s the best describing for me really.  I do not feel happy in my relationship” – to get unstuck from the behaviors that make you unhappy, apply the Notice – Pause- Redirect strategy. Here is an example, based on a real-life situation: Jason works hard redoing his bathroom, he tells you later that he is too tired to get physically intimate. Hearing him say that, you feel distressed and disturbed. Next, you say whatever comes to mind, standing there awkwardly. Jason then says you appear strange. You get offended, feeling like a weirdo. You want to break up with Jason.

    Here is applying the NPR strategy: Jason works hard redoing his bathroom, he tells you later that he is too tired to get physically intimate. Hearing him say that, you feel distressed and disturbed. Next, you Notice (I am feeling distressed). Next, you Pause (you don’t say anything). Next, you redirect (you tell him: excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom, and you go to the bathroom; in the bathroom, you take a few slow breaths and figure out what will be best to say when you leave the bathroom)

    Practice the NPR strategy again and again and over time, your anxiety will lessen and you will no longer feel like a weirdo!

    anita

    #402345
    lindsey
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your support. I am going to do some research on NPR strategy.  I’m hoping my doctor can call in the Lexapro by tomorrow.

     

    Lindsey

    #402352
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    You are welcome. I made up the term and acronym NPR, so you will not find information about it online, other than here. But you’ll find similar things, like an article in mindful. org titled How to Notice, Shift, and Rewire your Brain reads useful. Here is part of it: “How to Notice-Shift-Rewire: Notice: The first step is to Notice- become aware of where your attention is directed. In most cases, you will likely find that your attention is scattered… ‘mind wandering.’ Shift: The second step is to shirt- to redirect your attention to the present moment…  Rewire: The final step is to Rewire…”.

    anita

    #402401
    lindsey
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I am continuing to research the info you provided. My mother sent info on a really good book to everyone in the family regarding mental illness (I don’t recall the name offhand)  My sister said it is one of the best books on mental illness & my mother said it was such an eye opener.

    I have been thinking about my behavior with my relationship and as I have said before many times that I am very unhappy with my anxiety.  I’m also a bit annoyed that Jason referred to my behavior as “strange” when he did not want to get intimate.  When he said “no sex tonight” and I questioned him about it he never responded- he just looked at me and smiled and gave me a hug. I was very confused as to why he did not further explain – I would think he could tell I had anxiety and in my opinion could have discussed it with me that night.  Also saying “no sex tonight” my impression of his wording was something you would tell a child “no snack tonight, no TV tonight”

    I want to address with him terming my behavior as “strange” I am sensitive to comments from anyone that I am strange – odd- weird, etc.  The more I think about the incident the more frustrated I get.  I am trying to set back and process my thoughts without sending anything impulsively.

    Lindsey

    #402404
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    I agree with you that saying “no sex tonight” sounds like a “no snack tonight” that one would say to a kid. But think about the times you say something which you didn’t think about before saying it, and looking back, you could have said it better (or not at all)? It’s too easy and effortless to utter words, so we tend to utter them without thinking much. It’s a good practice to think before we say things.

    “I am trying to sit back and process my thoughts without sending anything impulsively” – excellent, Lindsey: I am proud of you!

    About Jason using the word “strange” in regard to how you responded to his no-sex-tonight announcement- because you sometimes judge yourself as “weirdo… strange-odd-weird”, he hit a sensitive spot. If it helps, I don’t think of you as strange or as a weird or odd, and I know you way longer than Jason knows you. True, I never saw you in person, but I know that if I did, I still wouldn’t think of you as such.

    “When.. I questioned him about it he never responded- he just looked at me and smiled and gave me a hug” – I think that he did respond: his smile and hug were his responses, far superior responses to his verbal “strange”.

    “I want to address with him terming my behavior as ‘strange'” – tell him (?) that you very much dislike to be referred to as strange because sometimes you think of yourself as such. Ask him what he honestly meant by it. In general, people think something is strange when they don’t understand it, or when it is different from what they expect it to be. If he understood what was going on in your mind and heart at the time, he wouldn’t have thought of your expressions or behavior as strange.

    anita

    #402405
    lindsey
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Can I send you a rough draft on what I’m thinking about sending  to him about the incident on Sunday evening?

    Lindsey

    #402407
    anita
    Participant

    Yes, Lindsey, you are welcome to send it.

    anita

    #402414
    lindsey
    Participant

    Jason,

    I’m sensitive to words like strange, odd, weird even when friends, family etc say it.  I don’t think you fully understood my behavior Sunday night after you said “no sex tonight”  I was confused as to if you were kidding at first.  You seemed off all day so I wasn’t sure how to take what you said.  I know you said you were tired.

    I’ve said this before – I know my anxiety takes a toll and effects everyone around me.  It’s hard for me to sit back and see if people will deal with it or just slowly stop interacting with me.  I haven’t dated anyone longer than 6 months before I was married.  I think now it has to do with how I acted a week or so ago.  Only now anxiety is added to the mix.  It’s really a never ending cycle and very hard to just sit back and see it happen over and over again.

    Lindsey

     

    #402416
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lindsey:

    I think that the first paragraph is excellent and some of the second paragraph is not needed. Here is my editing recommendation, accept it only if and where it feels right to you:

    “Jason,

    I’m sensitive to words like strange, odd, weird, even- and maybe more so- when friends, family etc. say it.  I think that you called me strange because you didn’t fully understood my behavior Sunday night after you said “no sex tonight”: I was confused as to if you were kidding at first.  You seemed off all day so I wasn’t sure how to take what you said.  I know you said you were tired.

    I’ve said this before – I know my anxiety takes a toll and effects everyone around me.  It’s hard for me to sit back and see if people will deal with it or just slowly stop interacting with me.  I know that better and better communication between us will continue to help with my anxiety, and this is why I am sending you this text. What if next time, instead of referring to me as strange, you ask me what I’m thinking at the moment, so to understand my behavior?”

    anita

    #402418
    lindsey
    Participant

    Anita,

    Perfect. I’m sending the edited message.

    Lindsey

    #402420
    anita
    Participant

    Let me know what happens next, Lindsey!

    anita

Viewing 15 posts - 346 through 360 (of 446 total)

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