Today I am writing about letting go of unhealthy relationships. I have a person in my life that is always in a crisis. I have stepped in and saved them from themselves many times. No, they are not an alcoholic or an addict. What they are is a professional victim. It took me a while to realize how codependent my relationship was with this person. It took me even longer to realize how much I enabled them. You see, in my mind, I was only trying to help them turn their life around. In reality I was playing God.
But, no matter how much I helped them or saved them, their life never got any better, because somewhere along the way in their life’s journey, they became a professional victim. I cannot even begin to describe to you how difficult and heart breaking it was to me disengage from them and their problems, and allow them to live with consequences of their own making. You see I love this person and I want the best for them. Separating myself from their problems was like having and itch and not being able to scratch it only a thousand times worse.
It took me even longer to stop feeling guilty because I stepped away from them. It took me even longer to stop being angry with them for not doing anything to help themselves or for not accepting the help that was offered.
My enabling was more than running interference between someone and their consequences. It was tolerating and accepting their unacceptable behavior as well. It was allowing them to tell me all of the chaos in their life, and destroying my peace of mind worrying about them, and then watching them turned around and do the same thing over and over again. It was allowing my life to be disrupted because they did not plan or accept responsibility for their life.
Their rights end where mine begin. Which means that I have a choice of continuing to allow this person’s chaos to disrupt my life or I could walk away. It brakes my heart that this person feels abandoned by me. Intellectually I know that I am doing the right thing, so why did it not feel right. I’ll tell you why it does not feel right, because I am codependent as all get out with this person.
The only reason that I can finally allow them to be responsible for their own mess ups is because of my recovery program. Enabling is enabling regardless of whether it involves and alcoholic or addict or not. I have finally accepted that I have done all I can do.
I have been protecting them and helping them since we were children. The truth is that my helping does not help. Nothing changes in their life when I help because I am not in charge of their life they are. I can see now that this person did not want my help to help them change, they wanted my help to help them continue the way they are.
The more I pulled away the more they tried to suck me in. I had to finally close the door completely on allowing them to share with me their problems. I don’t want to know about their problems and I certainly don’t want to hear about them either.
Today I guard my peace of mind. The only way that I can do that is to “live and let live.” God is not on vacation and I am not in charge.