For the record, let it be known that I am NOT an Oprah devotee. I subscribed to her newsletter, because once every ten e-mails or so, there is something interesting there. A few days ago, the title of an article caught my eye. You know, when you're checking off all of junk that's headed for the e-mail "trash" and suddenly.... whoa.... what's that??? The title that grabbed my attention...."The Day My Best Friend Broke Up With Me". Yikes! Due to my ever-present paranoia, I felt that I'd better read it, just in case, because you just never know when a useful nugget of information will present itself...As I read it, I felt the most weird combination of relief and horror. This woman was me. She was absolutely, positively ME. The woman with a co-dependent personality disorder was her AND me. Of course, the story had an upbeat and hopeful ending, and of course my best friend has NOT broken up with me...but it left me with all sorts of questions. But after further research, my initial suspicions were confirmed. I have a co-dependent personality disorder.
This is a difficult thing to communicate. Most people associate co-dependent personalities with relationships involving substance abuse. That's what I always thought, anyway. It seems that this is not always the case. Now, the other issue is that we all know that it is quite unacceptable these days to blame your problems on your parents and how they raised you. You hear this all of the time. Yet, it seems that a lot of people with co-dependent personality issues were raised in environments that were emotionally deficient and/or abusive. This is what I'm finding out now. Wow! After all of these years of trying to not be one of THOSE people, it turns out that I really am.... one of those people.
Where do I go from here? This explains so much about my whole adult life up to now. The lack of friends, the low self-esteem, and on and on. And I can take steps to help myself, starting now. I can help myself to be a better wife, friend, person... everything. If I have the guts, that is. Do I need to go to support group meetings? They actually exist, come to find out, and practically in my back yard. Yes, I have some real thinking to do about my next steps. But at least there is so much more about my behavior that makes sense now.
For anyone who cares to learn more about this journey of self-discovery, here are some links:
This is the story on the Oprah website that started it all: http://www.oprah.com/inspiration/Best-Friend-Break-Up
More interesting info:
Half optimism, half fear......