Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Spotting a Co-dependent Persecutor

This morning I was reading from a new book that my therapist loaned me called "The Conscious Heart" by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D and Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. and found this quote:

"We found only three maddening role possibilities if we weren't taking full, healthy responsibility: persecutor, rescuer, or victim."

I found this really interesting because those are the same three phases of a co-dependent cycle with a slight adjustment from persecutor to persecuted.  I had recently been thinking about the people in my life who had been my co-dependent persecutors, those who somehow had the knack for knowing how to take advantage of my co-dependent rescuing ways.

This past week I found myself in a situation that was confrontational in nature and if you know me, you know that I absolutely hate confrontation.  But because of where I was at in the moment, I found myself very angry and hurt and actually spoke my mind (so did my daughter who is worse than me about confrontation so I was really proud of her).  Anyway, later as I was thinking about the person who I had the conflict with, I realized how many similarities there were in the situation to a very unhealthy co-dependent connection I had with an old boss many years ago.

The definition of a persecutor would be someone who tries to oppress or harass someone else.  In Wikipedia it says that a co-dependent person is controlled and/or manipulated by another who is typically a narcissist or suffering from an addition.  So to sum up my definition of a co-dependent persecutor is someone who tries to control, manipulate, harass and/or oppress another.

The interesting thing is that there are people all around us who fit this definition from one degree to another and they may try their tactics on many people, but if you are healthy emotionally you will not fall into their trap, unfortunately the co-dependent person will.

Being aware of these types of people and recognizing them when you meet them will also help you not fall into old co-dependent cycles.  I thought it was interesting how in Wikipedia it also said that narcissists are natural magnets for the co-dependent person.  How do you repel these types of people when you come across them?  Well, I am sure there are lots of ways, but I looked up how magnets repel each other and found this description: they repel when similar poles (+ or -) are placed near each other.  That made me think about how the narcissist thinks so highly of themselves, so wouldn't it make sense that if you thought highly of yourself (maybe not as high as a narcissist does) then it would be two similar poles, both positive, therefore the narcissist wouldn't be attracted.  Anyway something to think about.

In the end, this week I learned that I believe more in myself than I used to as I was able to stand up for myself.  I learned how to start spotting a co-dependent persecutor.  And I learned how brave my amazing daughter is!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Taylor Graduates

The last months or so of Taylor's Senior year of High School were crazy, frustrating and emotional, but she made it and that makes me smile!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mid-Life Crisis

I was talking to my daughter on the phone the other day and she was having what we lovingly call a "melt-down."  She is in college and feeling lost, should she stick with her chosen major, should she change it, what classes should she take, how is she going to pay for all those classes and more.  She was telling me about a video she watched about people in her age bracket having a "Quarter-Life Crisis."  Now I don't know which video she was watching, but here is one of the many that I found on YouTube.

I had never heard of a Quarter-Life Crisis, but as she talked and shared how she was feeling I was thinking about how similar I was feeling.  I am not 18-25 when apparently this phenomenon can happen, but I did realize that I am in the age range where people do experience a mid-life crisis.  We are now an empty nest for the most part (our kids are coming and going from college, jobs, missions, etc.) and I have been a stay-at-home mom for years.  What is a stay-at-home mom supposed to do, when the mom part of the equation is no longer needed?  Am I now just a stay-at-home woman?  Now I know my kids would say they still need me, as in the melt-down phone call from my daughter the other day.  But let's face it, I am no longer driving kids back and forth to school, helping out in class, going on field trips, driving kids to sporting practices and events, church activities and so much more.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my free time, but the problem is, I am not quite sure what to do with it.  Should I get a job, should I push my stamping and scrapbooking business more, should I keep pursuing being a professional organizer, do I focus most of my time on community service or a mix of all of those things.  Like my daughter, I am feeling lost, I am feeling like I am not sure what direction to go.  I keep praying and keep trying things, but so far I don't have strong feelings for one direction or another.

At church yesterday there was something in one of our lessons that really struck a chord with me about feeling success.  Honestly, other than having amazing children, I feel like all my other endeavors have been failures.  In Lesson 11 of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, it said this:

There is a course that men and women may pursue wherein there will be no failure.  Whatever disappointments may arise or seeming failures may result, there will be in reality no failure, as a general thing. . . .  There have been times when it seemed as though we were moving backward; at least, it has to those who were not fully enlightened in regard to the mind and will of God.  The Church has passed through very strange experiences, and the people have made great sacrifices. . . .  But we have come along through these sacrifices, and as a people there has been no failure.  Why has there been no failure?  Because the people, as a whole, have had their minds fixed upon the true principles of life, and they have conformed to their duty. . . .  The people generally have had the Spirit of the Lord, and have followed it.  Hence there has been no failure.  So it may be with individuals.  There is a course for every person to pursue in which there will be no failure.  It will apply to temporal as well as spiritual matters.  The Lord has given us the keyword in these verses that I have read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants:  "If your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you, and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.  Therefore sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God." [D&C 88:67-68]

It meant a lot to me when I read "there will be in reality no failure" as my Heavenly Father gently reminded me that though I am not a huge financial success, I have tried to do most things in my life with Him in mind.  Granted I am still in my apparent mid-life crisis, I still don't quite know what to do with myself and I still am feeling lost.  But I also believe that I will find my way, I will see the direction my Heavenly Father would have me go as long as I keep seeking His will in all I do.   Now, what to do next, I guess I should at least go do the dishes . . . baby steps!