My A – Z Codependency Challenge – A

I have been struggling with things to write about on my blog lately because, well, I’m an emotional writer. My inspiration is driven by my emotions and yep, that sucks. I want to write but just can’t seem to figure out what to write about. You see, things are pretty stable and uneventful in my life right now, a place I am truly enjoying. However, there is nothing triggering my emotions per se, so I am left to drone on about nothing. Oh sure, I do have the occasional codependent moments I will come clean with but on a daily or even weekly basis, I’ve got nothing.

With that said, I have decided to challenge myself to write about my codependency from A – Z (inspired by some posts I have seen about an A-Z Challenge that happened in April). This should keep me busy and consistent for a few weeks. Who knows?

My A – Z Codependency Challenge – A

Anger, Acceptance, Abandonment – in a nutshell

Angry people stress me out. For most of my life, up until these past few years, if someone was angry, I took it personally. I always felt it was something I did or said or some way I just was that made them angry. It truly sucked working in an agent support department or customer call center for a health insurance company. You know, no one calls the insurance company when they are happy. In my head, I knew most of them weren’t angry “with me” but the situation they were facing but it still hurt my feelings when they yelled and cussed at me. I wanted so badly to make the situation better but couldn’t which would just put me into a tail-spin about my own value and self-worth.

Years ago I worked as the Supervisor of a special unit that was set up to handle the most complicated/messed-up issues the agents had. I excelled in this unit because I love researching and untangling problems. I’m a fixer, what can I say. One day, I took a call from an agent that was beyond angry. He cussed me up one wall and down the other. I asked him to stop yelling and cussing at me but that just infuriated him more. God forbid I disconnect the call so I just listened. Very condescendingly he told me to repeat the problem to him so he knew I understood what he was telling me and I did, just like a little child. When he finally hung up on me, I just put my head on my desk and cried.

The VP of Sales & Marketing, to whom all of the agents reported to, found out about it an hour or so later and called me into his office. I explained what the problem was and what I was trying to do to fix it but that was not what he wanted to hear. He wanted to know how I was treated. Of course I started crying and told him how the conversation went. He immediately called the agent (one of the top-producing agents we had) and ripped him a new one. The next day I received an apology and some chocolates and flowers.

This leads right into acceptance doesn’t it? I wanted their approval. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be appreciated. I wanted to be accepted. There is some false sense of security when someone accepts you but what I realized is that it didn’t matter if they accepted me if I could not accept myself. People only “accepted me for what I could do for them. When I have nothing to give or couldn’t fix whatever the issue was, I was no longer accepted and cast aside, looked-over, forgotten.

Which moved me right into abandonment: People walked out of my life over and over. I would let them back in because I felt they needed me. Like clock-work, when I could not meet their need, they were gone again. My life was a revolving door of various relationships and I would make myself crazy trying to make people stay in my life.

As of today, I no longer take someone’s anger personally and if it does happen to be on a personal level, it is their problem, not mine. I do take responsibility for my part and make amends for whatever I did to anger/upset them but I do not own their feelings. That is something they have to work through on their own. I no longer accept being yelled at. If you can’t express yourself in a civil and respectful way, then bye-bye. I am always open to hearing and discussing what someone has to say but I will not tolerate being yelled and cussed at. If they chose to leave, I’m okay with that too. I know I did my best (in whatever type of relationship it was) and I will not beg anyone to continue to be a part of my life and sometimes that is best.

What are your A’s?

27 replies »

  1. Anger has always been a challenge for me. I do not like the tension in my stomach when someone yells at me, and I’ve struggled to improve my own expression of anger since sadness and fear are so much more familiar. It’s interesting that we both worked in careers that provided abundant opportunities to work on these issues. As an addictions counselor, I learned to listen without taking other people’s anger personally and that anger often masks other feelings. I also learned how to set boundaries. Glad we both learned how to do that. You deserved that apology. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anger freaks me out!!!!! After so many years of crazy I have’ anger PTSD, I just can’t do it. Stable, quiet and normal is good and us CO’s have a hard time with that because we always rode the roller coaster of crazy. xoxoxoxoxo Love your blog and you are an inspiration for me. Great post today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been with a great guy for 4 years and it’s nice, normal and quiet. I didn’t get all of that for a long time. I should tell you my story Terri. 😦 All is good now because I did the work to make ME better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would love to know your story! Isn’t it amazing how our life changes when we work on changing ourselves instead of trying to change others?

    Like

  5. My story is so long and crazy and filled with addicts of some sort or another. I have put many years in Al anon and other therapies and figured it out. I was a fixer with NO BOUNDARIES. Like we all are. I recently lost my son to a Heroin overdose. My new job is to education the world on opoid abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I am so sorry for your loss! We lost my son-in-laws brother 3 weeks ago to the same thing. In March I published “my story” along with some of my blog posts. Not a best seller but hoping to give some hope and inspiration to others who walk this road of codependency. I know you have heard it many times but I will say it again, go ahead and tell your story, someone needs to hear it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have told it many times. I will see if I can copy and past to you. I am sorry for your loss!!!!!! So many people have come forward since I went public with his story. I will not hide what happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for reading it. I was sad and excited to see the paper that day. I had to go to the gas station to buy the paper and I showed it to the kid working in the gas station and said this is my son don’t fool with drugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I shared this yesterday on my Emotional Sobriety Facebook page. They loved it!
    It reached 926 readers and was shared 4 times.
    I will be reposting them at rate of about 3 a month because I use about 100 sources–not all blogs.
    Keep up the good work and think about compiling these into a book.

    Liked by 1 person

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