To me codependency means feeling responsible for others’ emotions. It means always being in a state of anxiety and stress over my relationships; walking into a room and feeling as if you’re walking on eggshells; dreading running into someone that you fear you have wronged in some way. I catch myself on a daily basis wondering if I have displeased someone and how I could make them happier, and I have to remind myself that their happiness is not my responsibility. They are in charge of their emotions. Because of my codependency I tend to put others first before putting myself first. This often leaves me feeling drained and stressed. And when the roles are reversed and I need a friend, partner, or family member I feel abandoned when they do not drop everything to rescue me. I fear rejection and find myself in a state of panic when someone says I have wronged him or her. Sometimes I fear that none of my friends, partners or family members truly love or appreciate me. This is due to the unreasonable expectation I have placed on them because I put so much of myself into the relationship and expect the same in return.
I find myself forming very close friendships with narcissists. They are the “controller” in the relationship and I am the passive “follower”. When they need me, I’ll instantly make myself available. I’ll do anything to accommodate their needs. Our relationship quickly turns into chaos of conflicts and it consumes my daily life. I sacrifice my needs for theirs to the point that I cannot take it anymore.
I will do anything to hold onto these friendships. I’ll put myself through hell and back and never question whether my life would be better without this codependent friendship. I’ve never ended a relationship before because I hold onto them so tightly. When they do end, I often blame myself for having done something wrong. I’m working on identifying my codependent behaviors so that I do not find myself sacrificing my needs for others. And sometimes it just means my codependent relationships must end in order to find peace in my life.