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A Manager’s Garden

When I first arrived at my new place of employment I was given a garden to tend.  At first glance I saw a plot filled with unique specimens and wanted to study them and their growth patterns.  What I found through careful observation was overgrowth and complex weavings developed through what seemed to me more of a lack of nurture than simple nature.  So I set about trimming and pulling the firmly planted roots from the ground.  As with all plants, as any gardener will tell you, some roots give easily to temptation and some hold on with great might, refusing to succumb to other possibilities.

Once the thick brush was cleared and the earth seemed more workable, I began to till the ground in preparation for change.  I chose to group plants differently than before in hopes of creating a new energy and breathing new life into each one individually.

I stepped back and watched my new garden for a while.  What I found was that the struggle and care put forth in the movement paid a reward.  My plants came back to life and produced greater fruit and more lovely flowers.  And then came time to prune and weed this plot once more.

To my sadness I found that many of the plants were not going to produce past one or two more growing seasons and would have to be replaced.  Tom my dismay the toughest roots to pull up for air, buried themselves just as deeply as before and depleted the earth of oxygen draining the energy of others for reproduction and flora.  And the weeds, they were incessant.

My employer is nestled in a climate filled with natural grasses and brush.  Nature has manicured these lawns for centuries before man and will continue to do so should man ever leave.  To step back and observe the beauty of this unkempt and natural wonder makes me question my desire to continue tending to my small plot.  The seeds were planted and they grew.  The gardeners before me had their own vision of beauty, separate and apart from mine.  What made them give up?  Did they come to the same pattern of questioning?  Is it man’s place to alter God’s seeds?  Is there reason to think we could ever perfect such a thing?  If the ultimate goal is to achieve a vision, how does one challenge and reconcile his own vision against that of natural selection?  In this employers landscape, weeds are a desired state and serve their purpose nicely.  I must learn to appreciate the weeds.

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Letting Go of Fear

Wherever you go, you will have been there before… 

Many of us spend so much of our time worrying about the future.  Worry that is generally based off of past experiences that produces fear and anxiety.  Sometimes circumstances in our life can seem so dreary that we wonder to ourselves, “what is the point?”.  Then time passes and we can reflect on where we have been with wonder and amazement at our growth.  Funny thing is that we often don’t utilize this same tool to look forward.

The beauty is that wherever we go in our future it will one day be our past.

Hiroshima Mom? No tiger by any means…

I will be the first to admit, I have not read Rahna Reiko Rizzuto’s book “Hiroshima in the Morning”, but I have scoured the viewer’s comments to the recent Yahoo article regarding her choice to leave her children in the care of their father.  I am not her judge or jury.  I do have perspective however.

My father left me in the tyrannical hands of my mother around the age of 8.  I was the oldest of two daughters from their 13 year marriage.  When I was young I internalized his departure as somehow he did not want me, he did not love me.  As an adult with three daughters of my own, I cannot fathom how he stayed with my mother as long as he did.  And I guess I am still sad that he did not protect me by taking me with him.  However in the 70’s there were few men awarded custody of their children.  I believe that he didn’t think to fight for us, and yes, maybe we were an inconvenience for him to try and regain some self-dignity and respect from such an unhappy marriage.  I don’t know, I was only 8.

Fast-forward.  I am 21, and although not married, making the choice to bring a child into this world.  Her father and I had been together for four years and the desire to have a baby definitely blinded any insight that I might have.  I was terrified of having a child.  I went through terrible post-partum depression.  I loved her so much but I was terrified of becoming the mother that raised me.  I feared for my child.  When her father and I separated just before her 3rd birthday we were able to remain friendly and co-parent.  Hindsight is 20-20.  She always wanted to please me when she was little.  So loving and so deserving and I hadn’t any confidence in myself to love her as she needed or deserved.  Then one night, while I slept alone in my apartment, I was awakened to a man naked on top of me.  I wrestled with sleepless nights, the inability to consume food, and such great depression and desperation to escape life.  I chose to leave my daughter behind with her father and relocate many miles away.  In my mind’s eye, I was still alive for my daughter, her father was a great daddy, and all would be better for her. 

I still to this day believe that leaving my daughter with her father was the second smartest move I could have made concerning her well-being, the first would have been to stay with her father and raise her together as a whole family unit.  To have taken her with me, in the state of my chaos would have only created worse trauma for her.  As it stands today, her visits with me caused plenty. 

And it is not to say her dad was perfect either, he made his mistakes too.  When she turned 10 years old he sent her to live with me to marry and start a new life, he felt he had paid his dues and it was my turn.  I was thrilled at the opportunity to attempt to redo anything I had undone.  It was only seven months later that he racanted and took her back.  I fought for three years to try and regain custody to no avail.  The damage had already been done by that time, by both of her parents.

She is 22 years old now and a self-proclaimed nomad.  She drinks heavily and uses drugs occassionally.  What is ever present is her search, desire, need to find love.  Curiously, she was with a man, my age, for 2 years who looked just like her father.  She is still not over him, and thankfully she recognizes that because he is a crack addict, he is not good for her and she has so far not returned to him, they broke up about a year ago or so.

Now on to my second daughter.  Just around the one year anniversary of the rape I found myself with a very abusive man.  I came to learn that self-loathing and contempt for oneself leads many of us to these men.  During this highly volitile relationship I became pregnant twice.  The first time was tubal and ruptured, I was told I would probably not become pregnant again and if I did it would probably not be a viable pregnancy.  I don’t think I really cared, I didn’t care about myself so how could I possibly care about anything else.  Low and behold a year later I was pregnant again.  This child saved my life from the downward spiral into the blackhole of nothingness.  And in turn I had to save her life.  When she was seven months old, after many, many brutal beatings, I left him and didn’t look back.  I sought help at a wonderful women’s shelter program and learned new ways of life and parenting.  I gained confidence and love.  I don’t regret any of it for a moment because my life is completely different today.  Consequences still come.  The courts still allowed for visitation and for the past 16 years she has spent time with her father for possibly a total of 6 months combined.  At the age of 16, she has admitted “daddy issues”.  She has been promiscuously seeking the male attention that she didn’t get from “daddy”.  We are working on that, together.

Daughter number 3.  Pass judgement if you must.  Daddy number 3.  About the time I had lost the oldest one the second time around we married.  Within two weeks we found out we were going to have a baby in nine months.  I thought this time around would be different.  I was stable, I was planting firm roots, I had resolved alot of my past.  Woops.  Not so fast.  Within 10 years the marriage was over.  Probably should have never began but again, hind sight is 20/20.  She is just about to turn 11 years old.  Her father and I live 3 miles from each other and we share custody.  I wanted to do my very best to NOT screw up another kids life.  We trade custody every Friday.  We go to all her school and extra-curricular events together.  We split holidays and share birthday parties (as to not compete).  She really had a difficult time with the divorce initially but seems to be coping much better these days.  Daughter number 2 also had a difficult time with the divorce.  She wanted us to get divorced, we were always fighting (loudly) but he was the only constant male in her life and since the divorce his relationship is stable with his biological daughter but has been less than fleeting with his daughter by marriage.  There is no telling at this time how daughter number 3 will fair.  I am sure there are more mistakes to be made by her parents in raising her.  Thank goodness we are older and wiser.  And may God bless them all and walk with them through life.

Someone once told me that no child enters adulthood without a cross or two to bear.  Not having had a particularly good childhood I have no reference of my own, only my fantastical ideals of what I think it could look like.  There are so many factors in determining outcome, it isn’t solely on the parents choices, although they do play a huge role.  When it comes time for judgement, God is my sole judge.  We are our children’s role models and no matter how much love we give them, whether we are there for them full-time or part-time, whether we are dedicated care-givers or we earn incomes outside of our homes, and regardless of whether we are male or female………. every single thing that we do………….. our children are watching us……….. and none of us are blameless.

There is a Fire in my Belly! And it ain’t from the jalepenos!!

Forever I have guilted myself about everyone and everything in my life!  NO MORE!!

Things have been stirring in me.  Strange things.  Things like I might actually be worth something to this world.  Can you imagine?  Me?  In reality these strange thoughts have been stirring my lifetime.  Something is happening in which the ingredients in my gumbo pot of life are becoming clear.  No longer is this just mush stirring inside of me. 

Clarity today?  The J O B. 

We all have work to do.  We all work in one way or another.  How many of us actually enjoy what we do for a living?  I mean really enjoy?  I don’t.  I haven’t very often. 

There was the job in college working for a nationwide shipping chain loading semi trucks at night full of packages to somewhere or nowhere.  I LOVED that J O B.  But why?  I loved that J O B because it was physically challenging and when the week was over I would role down my windows in my car driving away in a warehouse district and scream at the top of my lungs.  It was a release every week and a job well done.  But that was just a J O B, it was not a career. 

Then there was a period of extreme turmoil in my life when I didn’t know which way was up.  I came out the other side strong and motivated and my career took flight.  I was climbing the corporate ladder faster than Daddy coming down from the roof on a ladder with his pants on fire!  It was exhilarating!  I was astonished at what I was accomplishing!!  Sadly though, I always felt empty.  And guilty!  I felt empty because I did not feel I was bringing any real value to this world.  I mean, come on, how much value can you bring to the world collecting debt, entering contracts, and selling maintenance services?  Really?  Not too much, except to Mr. CEO and his entourage. 

Now I am a project manager for a government contractor.  Not bad work if you ask me, or anyone looking for a J O B.  I am blessed.  I have power, prestige, and a limelight to which I have never imagined.  Guess what?  I am still empty, and miserable to boot!  Same thing, I am not bringing any real value to this world.  Not in this J O B.  John Quinones couldn’t bring justice in a one hour television event on just how much the government actually does waste in time and money………..but that is a blog for another day.

That brings me back to the guilt and the clarity I received today. 

Guilt is such an ugly word.  “the fact or state of having done wrong or committed an offense”; “responsibility for a criminal or moral offense deserving punishment”; “remorse or self-reproach caused by feeling responsible for a wrong or offense”.  World English Dictionary

So have I done something wrong?  Have I committed an offense?  Should I really be feeling responsible for a wrong/offense?  Maybe.  But maybe not!  My guilt is selfish.  That can be offensive to some I imagine.  There are plenty of folks who would damn me for turning my nose up to a J O B when so many are desperately wanting to work and can’t find jobs.    There are those who can’t imagine why anyone who has had the great success that I seemed to have honed for myself would ever be ungrateful.  I am not turning my nose and I am not ungrateful, even though it would definitely appear that way to anyone of those people.  What I am is sure, certain, that I am not the right fit for these J O B’s.  That is my clarity.  And there is nothing wrong with not being a good fit for the career of choice.  I know many attorney’s who did all the hard work, paid all of their dues, and huge educational costs, and then decided it was not the right fit for them.  What is wrong, in my opinion, is not stepping aside and letting someone who is a good fit for the J O B to have the opportunity.

And so I shall.  Six months from today, that is my goal, quit my lucrative, well-paying, insured position and venture into the unknown world I am going to create for myself.  I know what I want to be when I grow up.  I never knew before!  And I know that what I want to be and what the end result will look like may be very different from each other.  But I have to try.  I have to step out on that limb and just Let Go and Let God!  Here I go…………………

  

The Earth of Emotions

“….and a rock feels no pain…..and an island never cries”

I love you Paul Simon, but I am not a rock and I am not an island, not in the context that you suggest anyway.  There are fleeting moments when I am able to shut off the feelings of life but they are fleeting moments.  Generally, the squelching of pain and sorrow only comes through anger.  Depression is anger internalized.  It is a vicious circle of pain, resentment, anger, pain.  More like the whirlpool just off the coast.

If I were a rock, my emotions would be steady.  But I would still have emotions.  Rocks get built and worn by emotion, the trials of nature.  Islands rise and fall into oceans of turbulence.  There is no stillness.  There is no silence.

Heartache is real.  You can not hide from it.  It will find you in one fashion or another.

24 Hours of PDA – Thanks Guys!!

My boyfriend and I just broke up.  It was final just a few days ago.  It took a while, about a month (or more in his opinion), but it is over.  When I finally accepted this, just a few days ago, I had a second of relief, a few hours of anger, and lots of sadness mixed in with desperation and surprisingly enough, a sprinkle of forgiveness.  Emotional cancer, stage 4.

After my diagnosis, I had to decide how best to manage.  Liquid courage?  Young buck?  Business man?  Loud music and disco lights?  These all entered my mind along with church, co-dependent anonymous meetings, walking in the park, reading a book, sleeping.  I managed a good mix and found 24 hours of solid, edifying PDA “Passionately Developing Relationships”!!

Initially I reached out to a man, a friend, from my past.  We hadn’t known each other very well, and we hadn’t become close by any real means, but we shared a few moments in our paths and trust was established.  For me, trust is the source of everything good and it takes time to establish so I needed to start somewhere safe, where the trust already existed.  Rick.

As it is these days, just about every man I know is either a business colleague or a father of one of my kids friends.  Rick is a colleague.  I asked Rick if he would be interested, and willing, to babysit me through my pain.  The idea was to go out, drink, act crazy and pretend to feel happy.  I am in New Orleans on Halloween weekend anyway, what else is there to do?

Around 7pm I arrived at Rick’s super cool bachelor pad in the Garden District.  It is a warm, open space with lots of hard wood, a large screen TV with ample seating and a wide array of alcohol.  Almost as soon as I arrived I was made aware of his  recent discovery of prostate cancer.  He most graciously shared his experience and answered all of my curious questions.  My perspectives on life began to change and to that I owe Rick a world of gratitude.  How human of this man to be sharing intimate details of his situation with me.  How human of me to have shown up just wanting to lick my own wounds and dwell in my depression.  Our time together was such a beautiful awakening for me.  There are many things that stand out for me about our conversations but the one that stands out the most and humbles me beyond belief is when he told me to just feel.  Just feel.  I don’t want to feel.  Ok, I don’t want to feel the fear, the pain, the sorrow, the grief.  What humbles me is that he does not want to feel these things either, but he, unlike me, has given himself permission to feel.  What feelings he must have.  If Rick can grant himself the time and the space to feel all that he must be feeling, how gracious of him to grant me that same luxury.  God Bless You Rick.  And thank you from every space inside of me. 

Three rum and cokes later, and dinner too, it is time to head back to the lonely hotel room and get some sleep.  My loneliness lingers but I feel more whole.  I make a promise to myself to sleep in, just stay asleep as long as you can.  unbeknownst to me, tomorrow brings even greater enlightenment.

It is Sunday morning and I am feeling a little weak and weary but since I still can’t sleep I get up and decide to head out for the day.  I checked the internet for a patio brunch so I could sit outside, eat some nice food, and read a book.  Well, I managed to find the area where the restaurant I picked was supposedly to be but I never found it.  There are a lot of websites pre-Katrina that have never been updated.  Perhaps it was that I failed to remember the exact name of the street the eatery was located on.  None the less, I drove around for an hour or more just taking in the beauty of the morning, the glory of the architecture, both man’s and God’s, the trees in New Orleans are magnificent!  I finally found myself perched at a patio table just outside of the French Quarter in Marigny.  Breakfast was delightful……..and then my day really began.

An older, good-looking, gentleman approached me inquiring about my breakfast.  He was peculiar.  He stated that he had been watching me and was delighted with how much I seemed to be enjoying the flavor.  I invited him to sit with me.  Lovell.  He told me he was a writer and had been back in New Orleans for just ten days now.  Lovell is a gentle and pleasant man.  Lovell is a peculiar man.  We spent a few hours together walking along the river and around the Quarter.  I wasn’t all too comfortable with him although I wasn’t uncomfortable either.  The most uncomfortable for me was his desire, what appeared to be a real need, to touch me, physically touch me.  For someone who has never been very sure of her boundaries I definitely felt that there was a boundary issue.  At the same time I was bewildered and amazed at the risk he was assuming by being so forthright.  I didn’t feel, mostly, that he was trying to have sex with a complete stranger, I only felt his desire for physical connection.  Strangely enough, prior to him actually touching me there was a brief moment that I actually felt a desire to touch him, to hold his hand.  It was all very surreal.  Here we were, two people from completely different walks of life, having known each other all of 30 minutes, sharing intimacy on some level.   Lovell explained to me his recovery from toxic relationships and seemed to be reaching out in desperate loneliness, what I was feeling but didn’t dare share outwardly.  His name speaks to me.  His soul spoke to me.  He introduced me to his path of “Passionately Developing Acquaintances” and now I understand him and the remainder of this 24 hour period would prove my understanding.

Three bloody mary’s later, just as I was about to drop Lovell at his destination there was a comment I overheard on the radio, something about self-inflicted wounds.  At that moment I exclaimed that I was to paste a sign to my forward reading, “NO SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS!”  I chuckled, said good-bye and drove away.  I felt somewhat lighter and somehow heavier all the way back to the hotel.  Then I decided to head over to another patio for a snack and to spend some time reading the wonderful, colorful, illustrative poetry of Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Eat Pray Love.  I picked it up in the airport on the way to New Orleans and smiled just about every page into it thus far.  I wanted to feel the lift of the story and so I went to the little eatery around the corner from the hotel, sat and began to read my book.  Jeff.

As I sat solo on this patio a stranger approached and asked if the food was any good here and I replied that it was descent, Mexican food is not what New Orleans is known for.  A moment later he walked out to the patio, menu in hand.  Out of nowhere I invited him to join me and he did.  Jeff is a prop master who has worked on many well-known and some not so well-known films.  He was an interesting guy.  The conversation was easy as stardom is that untouchable thing that very few in this world have any real knowledge of.   He was a kindred spirit of some kind too.  He was another philosophical nincompoop on this planet and I enjoyed listening to him.  I didn’t feel that he was comfortable with the real him but the more comfortable he became conversing with me the more of the real him he disclosed.  He wasn’t this fantasy career that was the persona that came to rest at my table.  He was a real human being with real emotions and real feelings.  I recognized his fear when he spoke about his reason for not drinking alcohol, I heard regret when he hinted at bouts with anger, I heard loneliness about his abundant travel, I felt his resentment with sibling issues.  I learned so much about Jeff, although just a sliver of a slice of knowledge about him.  He had very loving and sad eyes, a wiry beard, and all the trimmings of a Harley biker.  He explained all of his tattoos, each with what seemed deep emotional insight into himself and the world.  I listened mostly and asked questions but did not share very much about myself with him.  I don’t know why.  I think it might have been that he also deeply needed to connect and somehow it was okay with me so I let him.  Perhaps my earlier connections had satisfied my need, and there we were.

Three beers later, I drive Jeff back to the hotel, he too is a resident, dropped him and said goodbye.  Ran to grab a sweater and head to another establishment to watch the Saints play the Steelers.  Another friend of mine had mentioned that he might be there and I thought for just a minute that maybe staying in the hotel, alone, was a better place for me to be.  But just as I had said goodbye to Jeff my phone rang…..it was the boyfriend.  Funny thing about relationships, you don’t just say it is over and walk away completely with nothing, there is always some emotion, thought, or phone telling you it isn’t over.  Well, I wasn’t going to sit in my room, alone, with these emotions, thoughts, and phone.  Nope, I am going to go pretend to be a tried and true Saints fan, so off I go.

The place hasn’t filled up yet and it is just me so I don’t feel comfortable taking a booth or table only to stand out like a sore thumb, “look everyone, there is a loser over there all alone, by herself, trying to look cool”.  I head for the bar, where almost all the seats are taken.  I nuzzled in next to Jerome.  Vin Diesel look-alike, kind of, maybe.  Jerome works for IBM in some sort of cyber security role.  He is from the area but lives in Atlanta.  His wife is working on her PhD although I can’t remember what her field is, I think it is in education.  He is very friendly and tells me about his dysfunctional sister (in-law?) who has had a baby at the tender age of 15.  He loves that baby, who is now about three years old.  His visit to New Orleans via Baton Rouge was to bring her back to her home as she had lived with him and his wife for some time now and it was time.  He also told me about his trials with his bed ridden mother whom he was trying to locate a nursing home for in Atlanta as all of her relatives have moved away from here and there was no one to visit with her and tend to family needs.  I was a little pushy I think as I kept eating french fries off of his plate.  But he didn’t mind, he even said, “this is your side of the plate, help yourself”.  Jerome didn’t appear to be a lonely man or a needy man but I could tell that he felt good not having to sit at that bar by himself, isolated in the crowd, for the entirety of the game.  I had said I was leaving at half time, got to work in the morning you know, and I ended up staying the whole game, and he took note.  He told me that he saw Diane Lane when he watched me laugh.  While I would usually dismiss anyone’s sudden, unrequested notice of me, I felt so good when I heard him say that.  I felt happy.  I didn’t feel alone.

Three more beers later, time for bed.  What a fascinating 24 hours this has been “Passionately Developing Acquaintances”!  I am not alone.  All of the emotions, thoughts, feelings, anxieties, I am one with them and they are one with me.  I may never cross the paths of these men again but I honor the PDA!

The Love/Hate Relationship

Personal growth…gain knowledge/insight…emotional vomit…rest…feel better.

Fabulous!!…………ok, this is cool…………….I’m going to die…………Fabulous!!

L…O…V…E……….L…I…K…E……..HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE…..L…O…V…E…

Where is all of my energy these days?  Spent on denial.  Spent on juggling all the balls.  Spent walking on eggshells and around subjects.  Spent worrying.  Spent internalizing the world’s desires.  Spent isolating in my own dark crevices.

I have heard the word CoDependent so many times and read a little here and there but I never really understood it.  All the definitions were too vague for me.  The definition that speaks to me is from Robert Subby, author of Co-Dependency, An Emerging Issue; “An emotional, psychological, and behavioral condition that develops as a result of an individual’s prolonged exposure to, and practice of, a set of oppressive rules – rules which prevent the open expression of feeling as well as the direct discussion of personal and interpersonal problems.”  How thought provoking is that?  It is a condition as a result of external and internal rules which block our true selves.  I got it.

Example of an oppressive rule – don’t you dare say something that offends me in anyway or you are absolutely going to feel my fury, my wrath.  Here is what that might look like: 

Person 1:  general elevation over any topic

Person 2:  steps back, breathes, lowers voice in an attempt to defuse the rising tension says, “I understand that you feel sensitive about [interruption]

Person 1:  “How dare you call me sensitive, you are cold and callous.”

Person 2:  “I did not call you sensitive, [repeats the events that just took place]

Person 1:  “See what you did, everything is what I did.”  Storm off and the break up follows sometime after.  Maybe a week, maybe a month, maybe a year…………..but it eventually happens.

Which one of these people are CoDependent?  Both?  Just one?  Does it matter?  What matters is that both people have the choice to engage in this enmeshed mess or to respond differently.  But to respond differently requires one to go through that yucky wonderful experience of personal growth.  It is my turn to fall through the looking glass.  It is my choice.  I hope I don’t drown.  Here I go…

I have always said that I have a “broken man picker” as I would hold out my right index finger in a crooked fashion.  Maybe that is true.  Unfortunately, after too many years of the same patterns repeating themselves, the real problem is me.  It was that my “man picker” was broken more than I was picking broken men, which also was true by the way, but that is another blog waiting to happen.

It strikes me peculiar when it seems that I fall head over heels in love with someone, even when I thought I was approaching the relationship more learned and cautious than those before, only to find that I get into a funk of depressive behaviors.  Mind you, both parties are always dancing in the beginning of courtship, and when the hair comes down and the makeup gets removed we get to see who we chose.  But that isn’t what this is about.  I can still choose to love the person I fell in love with even when I am crystal clear on the faults he brings to the table.  The key word – choose. 

Maybe at first it is my CoDependency trying to test me…will you set boundaries with these faults of the other person?  Will you honor your boundaries?  Well hell, a true CoDependent doesn’t even have a clue what a boundary looks like let alone how to honor one.  We are too busy trying to control the outcome of our own happiness. Who cares about boundaries?

Well, since God chose this year to be my year of slap me in the face reality, I guess I care.

My awakening……….March:  Approximately 5pm my child disappears.  She was going to stay with my mom while I attended to a busy meeting out of town.  Things have been funny around the house for the past few months but I assumed it was normal teenage changes and brushed it off.  My boyfriend had been suggesting that she was doing drugs and we argued terribly over my denial, there is NO WAY IN HELL that my kid is doing drugs.  I know her.  I know how I have raised her.  No way!  Her behavior was becoming less and less tolerable, although I could still tolerate it quite well (denial).  Her patience level had depleted to almost a negative number.  Just before we left the house that day she had gotten frustrated with me and took a walk around the block.  I had no problem with that, I think it is good to take a walk when you are frustrated rather than just explode.  I thought nothing of it.  I even let her drive the 50 miles to my mother’s house, she had just gotten her driving permit, good stretch for practice.  She was happy and talkative.  Everything was normal, as it should be.  We got to my mother’s house and within minutes she stormed out of the house and disappeared.  I thought she was just taking a walk to calm down.  She didn’t return for six days.  She had no money, no clothes, no cell phone, and she was on her period with no feminine products.  As any mother would, I feared for the worst.  There was so much anger and sadness and fear and had it not been for my boyfriend I truly do not know if I would have survived those 6 days.  It was pure agony.

Skip ahead a few months…………………my daughter is now in “recovery”.  The drugs were real.  And there are lots of other issues she is working on, but they aren’t mine to share.  What I am learning through her program is how tightly I was hanging on was not allowing her to learn.  How enabling I was for her was not teaching her consequences.  I never realized, although told on more than one occasion, that I was CoDependent with my daughter, and she with me.  How it came to be doesn’t matter as much as how to change it.  I have to “Let Go and Let God”.  I have to allow her to fail.  I have to allow her to hurt.  I have to hold her accountable for her actions.  That is how to break the CoDependent thing with her.  Funny thing is that is the easy part, the easy relationship to break the CoDependent chains.  It comes out of the love I have for my child and how much I want her to grow into a happy, healthy, somewhat well balanced, adult.

Now it is my turn.  I am not such an easy nut to crack.  Of course I can see how my love relationships have modeled more CoDependent traits for her, but breaking this one.  It is going to take some work.  See I love my daughter.  I haven’t been real good about loving myself.  Okay, I have spent the majority of my life not loving myself at all.  So now the journey begins………………………in the end, maybe I will write a blog about it!