My A – Z Codependency Challenge – M

Manipulation, Minimize, Mask

Do you realize that codependents are masters of manipulation? I had no idea! Let me tell you, learning that was like a blow to the gut. I did not like hearing that I was a manipulator (to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage) but in learning and understanding what manipulation is, I realized I was. UGH!

I didn’t realize that I did things for people to manipulate them into loving & appreciating me. I needed to be needed so I manipulated you to need me. Oh I just don’t like writing that but it is the truth. Most of my manipulations were so subtle but on occasion, they were the straight in your face kind; “if you love me, you won’t…”.

I wore the masks of happiness, control and worthiness (and so many more). I would not/could not let you see the real me and what was going on in my heart and mind. When someone would ask, “how are you doing?”, I would respond with the every so ready, “great!” even though I just had my head slammed into a window the night before or was screamed at in the middle of the skating-rink about what a whore I was. Yes, I was always “Great!”

I would minimize my pain. I would minimize my suffering. I would minimize my life. My thoughts were that someone always had it worse off than I did so who am I to complain? I would even minimize my accomplishments.

This was no way to live so I had to do the work. I did not want to manipulate anyone to be a part of my life. I’m strong enough today to say, “Okay, bye” if you do not want to be a part of it and I do not let my world fall apart if you are not. I can sniff out manipulation like a blood hound and if I feel you are manipulating me, I stop it in its tracks.

I don’t waste my energy wearing masks today. They are exhausting. If I am struggling in some area or not feeling well, I can let you know. I am okay with not being “on point” every day of my life and I am okay if you know about it.

And, though I do know that there are many people in this world who struggle, hurt or have really, really hard lives, I do not minimize mine by comparing my life to theirs. My pain, struggles, disappointments, etc. are real to me and I am the only one who has to do the work to get through them. I acknowledge them today and I can deal with them in a healthy way so I can continue to live a healthy, happy and peaceful life.  I love my life today!

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