From Soul-Sucking to Soul-Feeding
I’ve discovered how to take my most damaging behavior and instead of hurting myself, use it to help others, which is what this site’s all about. It smacked me in the middle of the night, and it was one of those “DUH! But, of COURSE!” moments.
What I’ve done best in my life, for ALL of my life, is enable others’ damaging behaviors, which in turn, end up hurting me. It’s called codependency. It took a few years at the beginning of life to learn, but I was a very good student. An abusive father and alcoholic mother provided plenty of opportunities to grow into my codependency.
What I learned to enable first were my parents’ dream-killing, soul-sucking behaviors that ended up making me feel lower than dirt.
Unable as a young child to stand up to my father and tell him to stop abusing me, I said, “Yes, Father,” feeling like I was giving him permission to hurt me. (As if he needed the permission of a seven year old child!)
Instead of telling my mother I didn’t want to be her drinking partner, I sat and listened to her drunken woes. I began to drink, myself, at about eight years old because it felt like the alcohol buffered the blows from the adult things she shouldn’t have been sharing with her young daughter. (Drinking just stuffed everything down inside me.)
Of course, parents weren’t the end of it — they rarely ever are. I unknowingly used this learned behavior later to get into unhealthy. relationships with people who hurt me, some of whom were even dangerous. Codependency sets us up for not being able to say “no” or stand up to life partners. Or bosses. Or other authority figures.
After all the years of perfecting thIs skill, I spent going on 20 years trying to unlearn it and heal the wounds that fed it when I began to get healthy. It was a lot of damned hard work trying to fight and fix it. Eventually, I came to the realization that, for me, part of it has become a permanent scar that can’t be healed.
So, I’ve stopped trying to heal the scar that can’t heal, and learned to adjust to it. Now, instead of spending all that energy trying to heal, I’m going to flip it around and use it to enable the good in others instead of helping others learn behaviors that end up harming me, I’m going to help others heal.
Let’s face it: we ALL have issues. And we all get stuck in them from time to time, unable to move on. That’s when we are most in need of someone supporting all the good in us, letting us know we don’t have to be alone. That’s when we need to be here.
I’m inviting you to bring your codependency (or other unhealthy skills) and join us here. If you’re in a stable enough place where you can, let’s flip those around for you, too, and find a way you can use them to enable the best in people. If you’re not in that healthy a space, let us help you along your path.
Let’s also use the strengths we’ve developed when battling to heal our wounds. No matter how much it might feel like we’ve been just powerless victims, there have been some effects that aren’t negative.
We’re strong, empathetic, and compassionate. We’re familiar with the underlying issues and their symptoms, and some of the tools to aid in healing them. We have the courage to tell our stories, inspiring others to bring their secrets to light, too.
So let’s all take our worst and “flip it around” for good use, plus our best effects we learned on our paths and our inborn gifts, and use them all to enable others to heal, here in this safe place, building community, providing support, and speaking our wisdom — for ALL of us.