I didn’t learn till I started EMDR that I was considered “codependent”. I knew that I had “caretaker syndrome” and that I loved taking care of others. Or it was my default and I only knew how to take care of others needs before mine.I didn’t know how to say no to people. No matter what it did to me. Saying no was something that would endanger my safety. See in my past, I have stood up for myself and say “no” or set a boundary….but it has resulted in violence. So the correlation become “If I set a boundary, If I stand up for myself, if I do what is best for me…I will feel pain–physical, emotional, and much more….but If I please others, I will avoid pain”..pretty twisted right?
I have never been selfish for this reason. It’s a defense mechanism really. If I put everyone’s needs ahead of mine and make sure they are happy and taken care of—no way will they hurt me. And maybe they’ll even reciprocate?
Anyways, being codependent and never having strong boundaries has made me a easy target for toxic people. I don’t even like using the word “toxic”. But for fnow let’s just say people who are not beneficial to me. Who hurt me rather than aid me.
To put this in context, I filed a federal complain against my university with the group of other rape survivors in 2013. There was a lot of pressure to do what the lead complainant wanted to do. Do it her way. Which was chaotic, vindictive and exclusive of our feelings and needs. Anyways this woman–also a survivor of sexual violence–violated our trust by outing our complaint to the media. The complaint details our names and how we were raped and then mistreated by our schools–so you can see how she left us feeling raw and used.
Anyways, she reached out to me again, desperate for me to help her. I said no. She kept pleading. I said no again. She played my emotions like a harp. Again and again I tried to be firm. I’m sorry, I do not want to participate. In the end, I gave what information I could mostly because I felt like I owed her….even in reality I don’t. The I blocked her email…now to somehow block her phone. I really do hope she finds peace and well being.
I never found any healing or comfort via the justice system. I only began to heal with EMDR therapy and my creative pursuits. We all heal differently though. I do really wish she gets the help and recovery she needs.
Still…she should have respected me when I said “no”.
the woman I blocked via email just wrote to me via twitter. Wow, how does she not understand. This makes me incredibly uncomfortable