Posts Tagged ‘codependency’

Characteristics of Love 2

March 30, 2016

“If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost.  You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”  I Corinthians 13:

What a beautiful description of love that surpasses human understanding!

Imagine for a moment loving someone who is really difficult to love.  What if my sister were a drug addict, and had caused the family much grief and loss over a long period of time?  Imagine what it would mean to be loyal to her no matter the cost.  It would mean never breaking relationship with her.  It would mean standing beside her even when it puts me behind the defendant’s table in court, on the opposite side of the window in jail, on the losing side of almost every imaginable situation.  If I always stayed loyal, I would stay and not leave.  The world often advises getting out of the situation–leaving for your own good.  Love will stay.

If I always believe in her, I will trust even when my gut tells me not to.  It doesn’t mean to put myself in danger such as allowing her access to my money, my car or my personal information.  But it means I will believe the best about her, and not jump to conclusions that she will in every circumstance revert back to her past.  It means I will to believe she will always do her best, and I begin that believing again and again even when she falls.  People tend to live up to what is expected of them.  I will let her know I believe she can be well and healed and whole today, and I’m expecting that.

Standing my ground defending her means I will risk being made a fool of again and again by continually voicing my belief in her.  In the end, I know there are no alcoholics or addicts in heaven for God has healed them.  I look to God to do that, and when I look at my sister that is who I see–someone who is whole, and healed.  Not an addict.

Do I always live up to these things?  I’m sorry to say I do  not.  I’m not whole and healed myself yet, and I get tired and wrung out sometimes.  There are episodes of failure on her part when I feel I have no patience left–absolutely no reserves.  That is when I have to lean on God and act as though I do have all I need.  For in God I do.

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Baby Tiger

August 22, 2008

My daughter-in-law Marie has been having serious issues with her son and his wife.  I have written about this in previous posts.  Marie has seen a family counselor to help her cope with her own anxiety and difficulties.  The family counselor has suggested Marie’s daughter in law has behavior in common with borderline personality disorder, and even if that is not the case, Marie could find a lot of help in borderline personality disorder websites.  The counselor also told Marie something I find helpful in my own life.  I am probably codependent myself.  I am a “fixer”.  I like to think I can make things better for people, that I can help them find their answers, and that my love will somehow be healing.  I have bumped up against some tough folks in my life who just don’t respond to any of my “niceness”.  Anyway, here’s what the counselor told Marie.

Your son has brought a baby tiger into your garden.  She is a beautiful creature, and quite magnificent in many ways.  However, she has been severely injured.  The injury just doesn’t seem to be healing, and she is very protective of herself.  The injury isn’t your fault–it happened a long time ago.  However, both your son and youself are in danger if you get too close to her.  She is so defensive of her wounds that she will bite and shred you whenever you get too close.  Often you won’t see it coming, because you will feel she is trusting you more and you are succeeding.  It will be particularly difficult when you watch her bite and shred your son, but if you get involved, you may be seriously injured yourself.  Don’t blame her for what she is.  She is badly wounded.  All you can do is hope one day she will allow someone to get close who is trained to help her.  Meanwhile, you are not that person!  Take care of yourself first.  And remember, if she has cubs, she may well get worse.  She may not let you near the cubs.

Not exactly full of hope for a “fixer”, but still it helps me to have compassion for people like this in my life, instead of being angry or bitter toward them.