The airplane mask scenario, and how to make Codependency Soup


I’ve changed the title of this blog; but not the link.  You’ll still see poetry on here, it will just not be the primary element of this blog.  This is my cocoon before I emerge a new butterfly.

Writing is truly catharsis for me.  I had to have a very deep and absolute cry.  Then I felt I had to write again.  The next few days will likely be all over the place.  I wanted to make a few statements about life in general, and how to get past these sticky situations.  I want to state my bias in noting I am not a perfect person: I am prone to depression without proper nutrition and exercise, and dammit, I’m human, I have flaws.  It doesn’t mean I’m willing to put up with BS.

My previous post addressed what to do if you discover your spouse might be mentally ill.  What others have told me, and what I’m applying right now, is the airplane mask scenario.  You know how flight attendants always tell you, in the event or air cabin pressure loss, to put your own mask first, before assisting children/others?  There is a reason for this.  If you cannot breathe you cannot help another breathe. It is that simple.

I put mask over mask on my husband before I even thought of my own.  That’s how I ended up having major gallbladder and other health issues, and physically had to put a stop to it.  He doesn’t seem to understand this, but it doesn’t matter.  None of it matters. YOUR MASK FIRST. Period.  Don’t put others’ needs before your own. Particularly if their “needs” are ridiculous.

If you have children, some of the rest of this post may not apply to you.  Obviously, your child’s needs do come first (except in the case of the airplane mask, that is a for-real situation).  It is SO important to give to yourself first and be a whole person when you marry.  I was a professional, had built up some strong foundations.  Yet emotionally, I was very reliant on Esposo.  I liked that he “needed me.”  How sick is that? I didn’t realize my the ingredients my husband and I already began to contribute to codependency soup.

Three things I’ve learned so far: (1)  The REASONS you are alone don’t matter and (2) You are never really alone. (3) The blame game sucks, even though it’s an easy one-player game

(1) I’m probably gonna start reading some of those divorce self help books because: even though I’m not in the EXACT situation as many people, I’m still here, alone, having to deal with my own emotions like a real grown up.  My spouse didn’t cheat or walk out on me, his needs just gradually took over my own.  Little by little so I didn’t notice it.  I’m still heartbroken.  My heart is completely broken because my needs disappeared, even to me.  I have to get them back. I start dance class tomorrow. It’s a a start.  My heart is completely broken because when I’ve talked to him, his anger and blame is evident.  I still feel somehow responsible for him, even though I’m not.  Actually I don’t really feel responsible for him anymore.  I just want to cry because this brilliant man refuses to take care of himself.

(2) Even if your spouse has isolated you from your family/friends, they have not forgotten you.  I have friends that call on a regular basis to check in with me.  As adults, our careers/lives have taken us to different parts of the world.  I’ve decided whenever I’m tempted to talk to Esposo I’m gonna talk to one of these friends instead.  I’ll call until I reach someone.  If I don’t reach anyone, I’ll sit down here and write.  Even so, I found, when we tried separation in the past, that being around people was my salvation.  The women from my previous hula class were funny, wise, and interesting, and it was a great release for me to go once a week.  Even though I didn’t let them in my life situation, it was great.  I imagine ESPECIALLY because they didn’t know, it was a real break.  I didn’t have to think/talk about/deal with my husband for at least 2 hours a week.

(3) Esposo has spent a lot of time being angry with me about various things in our relationship, never looking to himself for anything.  However, now that we’re separated, IF I start blaming HIM for things, the entire process has backfired.  See #1. I’m alone.  It doesn’t matter why I’m here, I just am.  If, for instance, I focus on the fact I could’ve flown to Hawai’i months ago with my savings instead of spending this summer in counseling, etc. TRYING to make it work, I just go further into a hole.  Instead, if I focus on making an income, even over the next few months, I can pay for a Hawai’i vacation, or just move there on my own, instead of relying on his family for money.  That money comes at the price of my freedom, a risk I am no longer willing to take.

I hope this is all making sense.  I probably am a bit all over the place.  But I feel SO much better, and authentic.  Reality bites, but if you’re lucky, there’s a really juicy tomato in there somewhere.

 

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