Our final day of stories from Haiti unless you request more, of course!
In Haiti you have to be very close to a larger town for there to even be a utility pole nearby to connect to. There isn’t electricity as you push into the countryside. They use barbed wire to connect to the transformers and meters and run them back to their homes. It’s wildly crazy to witness this as you drive down the road. The wires are often tied off with sticks which makes it even more cluttered.
Do you feel like this utility pole is your kindred spirit? Do you both have a lot in common? Feeling taxed, cluttered and drained of any possible energy?
Often we can find that this is caused by our behaviors within our relationships. It’s a slippery slope we don’t even realize we came down. One of removing boundaries. Perhaps becoming codependent in a relationship.
Like the Haitian Utility pole, you have so many commitments to fulfill and people clawing at you needing your energy and resources. It’s tough because you want to genuinely help out the other person. You don’t want to be rude. You are their friend or family member. And sometimes those are the worst offenders, the ones we love!
We let go of taking care of ourselves in the relationship and what started innocently enough in caring for the other person has left us exhausted and at a disadvantage. You can relate to the saying, “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.”
Let’s take a look at co-dependency for a moment.
Wikipedia defines codependency as: an unhealthy love and a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that harm one’s relationships and quality of life. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns. Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent.
Being a caretaker and putting others first can cross an unhealthy line with codependency. It is taking those behaviors to excessive lengths that create unhealthy relationships.
- Are you constantly in search of acceptance or affirmation?
- Do you portray yourself as the victim when in an argument?
- Do you feel guilty if you stand up for yourself?
Co-Dependents Anonymous offers a look at the patterns and characteristics to aid in self-evaluation. They have laid out an assessment to help in evaluating self-esteem, denial and avoidance typically associated with co-dependency. If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you need to take a look.
As a recovering co-dependent, what I wouldn’t have given to have found a way out earlier. But, I love where I am today. I no longer look nor feel like a Haitian Utility Pole. I give and give freely but with healthy boundaries.
If you are struggling with Boundaries or Co-Dependency related issues, let’s talk! Coaching is an effective way to address and sort through the issues.