Tag Archives: codependency

I’m fine.

“I’m fine”. Wow. Crazy how those two words can mean such different things, depending on where you’re at in life. “Hey, your mom and I are getting divorced, and she’s moving across the country…OK?” “I’m fine”, replied the little 9-year-old girl. Except she wasn’t fine. She wasn’t sure what she was, but it definitely was not “fine”. She just said that because she knew it was the expected answer. She knew better than to say otherwise. She knew her role, without even being instructed, or handed a script. Her role was to be “fine”, and I’ll be damned if she didn’t play that role with perfection. She rarely even had to say the words…as long as she acted fine, that was all that counted. Acting fine kind of comes easy, after a while. Even when things couldn’t be more opposite of “fine”. She acted just fine during that period of time when her hormone-fueled step-brother effectively ended her childhood. No one had a clue. Well, she knew one adult in the family had a clue, but that adult didn’t ask her about it, so she played her role and kept quiet.  She acted just fine when she was treated like Cinderella by that same adult…that is, Cinderella before the ball. You know, when she was the despised step-child and made to do all the work and was unloved, while the golden children lived a life of adoration? Yeah, that Cinderella. She acted just fine when no one blinked an eye at her being that Cinderella step-child. Just fine. Not one person blinked a damn eye. Not even her dad. I suppose she acted that way because it’s all she knew. If it’s just fine to everyone else, even your dad, then it must be just fine, right?

She played that role right through high school and into adulthood. Boys and men doing things to her she did not want…it’s just fine, right? I mean, it was just fine when she was a kid with her step-brother, so…

She played it to Golden Globe status when she got married. She was sleep walking by this time. Just sleep walking through life, through that script written out for her. No improv. All script. At this point, it wasn’t even her anymore. Just some typecast actress, playing the same old role, over and over and over, until one day…she woke up. When you wake up while sleep walking, it can be pretty jarring. You most definitely are NOT fine. Everything you thought was real turns out to not be real, and you realize there’s some real shit in your life you pretended didn’t exist. Or you didn’t understand, because you were never taught to think otherwise. She absolutely became not fine. She started to speak about how not fine she really was, and all the people who expected her to play that fine role became nervous. They were playing roles, too…and now they didn’t know how to act. God, NO ONE ever steps out  of character! Who did she think she was??? They tried to force her to say the lines that narcissistic director demanded, but she just didn’t have it in her anymore. She realized she just might love her new role a bit more than she needed that conditional love from her co-stars. She asked if she could just play her new role, and let them continue to play their roles, and still be in the same movie…because she did love them, regardless of the conditions. But those character actors are sticklers for routine, you know? So, they kicked her out of the movie. Just like that. No getting together for coffee, no catching up. No “it’s not you, it’s me”. Just out. She found herself alone, sad… and not fine. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not, I swear…

Even though she loved her co-stars more than anything, she really hated the endless movie they were all acting in. Seriously, it was a movie with NO ending. Who would sit through a movie like that? No one. It’s exhausting. Her sadness eased as she realized that them kicking her out of the movie was not a reflection of her, but a reflection of them. It was actually textbook behavior of a co-dependent family. Textbook. She began to feel sad for that 9-year-old girl, and the teenager she became, and learned how to nurture that inner child. She learned how to nurture herself, as an adult. I mean, God…SOMEONE had to do it, right? She learned how to nurture others, in a healthy way. She learned so much, and continues the learning process to this day. Definitely not perfect at any of it, but at least she’s wide awake now, and is following her own script. And though she misses her old co-stars more than anything, she can sleep at night with her decision. She’ll always be waiting, with open arms, for them to wake up and join her. She can do this because she’s been touched with grace for traveling the path of the awakened. She experiences everyday miracles. Who do you know that you can say that about? Not too many, I think. It really is quite magnificent. Healing is quite magnificent. Now, for the first time in her life, she means it when she says, “I’m fine”.


This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday. Check out her page at the link below. Anyone can join…





The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 3/18





Closure with her

Last night, I dreamed of her. It was another one of those dreams… the kind of dream that you wake up from knowing it meant something. Heck, you even kind of know it’s a message while you’re dreaming it, it’s that meaningful. Rarely have I dreamed of her, so that in itself is something.

Let me preface this with a quick summary of my family. I was raised in a co-dependent family, which revolved around a narcissist. No, none of us had a clue that this is what was going on. Only I do, now, after a few years of therapy. Once this revelation came to me, I decided to no longer participate in the co-dependent behavior, which, unfortunately for me, is a condition of membership in this family. I am now the family scapegoat…cast aside, shunned, ignored…unloved. That’s how co-dependent/narcissistic families operate. Love is conditional.

OK, so that’s the summary. Don’t feel too badly for me. I’m grateful I woke up. Yes, it’s sad. And yes, I cry…from time to time. But no, I will not go back to those conditions, in order to be “loved”. That’s not real love, anyway. Even you can see this, right?

So, back to the dream. In real life, I have not seen her in at least two years. In the dream, I am at her home. It’s a surprise to both of us, yet we do not clash. We both seem cautious, yet calm. Like one waiting for the other to react, yet we don’t. We look at each other, without saying a word. Her eyes are soft, something I’ve never seen before. Both our eyes speak for us. They say, “I hope we can pull this off”. By “this“, we mean being in the same home without conflict, as I’m there to see him, and he is ill. Something I’ve been dreaming of in real life…as he really is ill…knowing it will never be allowed. In the dream, we pull it off. Sincerely. No conflict at all. I am there to love him, and she lets me. It was quite perfect.

God, I miss him.

My time with him in the dream is too brief. Next thing you know, I’m out of his room, never to see him again.  I passed by a sibling who is no longer talking to me, not since I broke the co-dependency requirement. She stood up to hug me, saying, “You know I love you, Jami…more than you probably know. You know why I had to do it”. I guess I do know why she felt that way, even though I knew it wasn’t right. I forgave her. She disappeared from the dream.

I move on, and find myself in another bedroom in the home, leaning on my side on a bed. She comes in. In real life, I suppose this is when the conflict would take place. But this is my dream, and we are calm. She looks at me, eyes still soft. So very soft. I really just can’t get over how soft her expression is. It’s surreal. I find myself patting the bed next to me, gesturing for her to lie down. She does, cautiously nestling her head in the crook of my elbow, like a child to her mother. She is curled on her side,  with me around her, like I’m protecting her. I stroke her hair. It’s stiff and uncomfortable, but I do it anyway. She looks up, as if she’s partially nervous, yet aching for this connection. I stroke her hair, comforting her…nurturing her. Yes, I was nurturing her. She was like a homeless, injured dog you see videos of people trying to rescue from an alleyway. Scared of everything, running from everyone, fighting with whoever crossed her path…yet desperately wanting to be loved. Her guard was down for the first time in her life. She was vulnerable as she lied there in my arms. So vulnerable. You just don’t see vulnerability in someone like her, I think because she’s just been so hurt in the past. That’s why all we see is her armor…her anger… in real life. In real life, we will never see her vulnerable side, as I think she’s just too fragile to take off that armor. All that would be left is fear, and no one wants to just be fear. I will never connect to her in real life, so it had to happen in the dream. It felt like a gift. Even while the dream was occurring, I knew something was happening. I think God gave me this dream to resolve a bit of the pain in my real life. He gave me a gift of closure I’ll never get in reality. All my futile hopes and dreams in the real world will never come to fruition, but they did last night. I don’t yearn for reconciliation or closure with her in real life, but I do yearn for it with him. I think God knows how these two go hand in hand, and because of that, it’s just not meant to bein the real world.  It almost feels like it really happened. I suppose that will have to do.



This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s “Stream of Social Consciousness Saturday”. Linda is a master of badassery, in all aspects of her life. Check out her author page, and read her amazing books. You can find her by clicking the link below.


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 17/18