Mark, I am not sure if you remember me but my name is D___ and my husband and I build Target Stores across the country and currently we are building one in Michigan. I talked to you last year about my then 15 year old step-daughter who had called CPS on us, NUMEROUS TIMES, and you were beyond helpful. We did get and read your wonderful E-book. Did we DO it??? Well, we tried to, meant to, wanted to... but no we did not. Now we find ourselves in another prediciment with L__ and I am literally ready to pack my bags and walk out of here and I need some back-up desperately.
I do not want to leave but I need my husband on-board here and helping with L__, who is now 16. Due to his lack of involvement over the past 9 HORRID years of marriage and MY raising L__ alone, he does not get it! I am very strict! DO I think too strict? No. L__ is out to kill us, at least me, mentally. She does the most subversive things and I cannot believe he does not see it! He then will see her fake tears, that FLOW ALL THE TIME, and he then shows some sign of "poor thing" and I swear I want to SCREAM! And Do!
L__ is horrible, uncontrollable, I cannot do my job because she cannot be trusted anywhere in the house! So my job suffers and his flourishes! I protect him from her like I am the posterchild for co-dependency and then hate myself. It appears to be a no-win. Maybe it is. She does not care about anyone but her! Period. My other children...She could care less!
Last night she walked to Burger King and decided to stop at a creek and sit in the middle of it and take glass and barely carve her wrist (ex nursing background) and then comes back home, wet, crying and saying "I did something really bad". Hell, I thought she stole something, AGAIN. I was working at my home office but she proceed to throw a "attention-cide" fit like the ones we have seen MANY times before. When we asked her why, she says "because she cannot take her consquences".
Her wrist was nothing. I have scratched myself on worse while walking the dogs! It was the WHOLE earlier part of the day where she had decided she must have some mental dis-order because she cannot do what is right and demanded to go a shrink. When we said we had NO mental health coverage and that she had tapped us out last time, she was furious! Also, C___ and I know her pattern. She was playing us with her wrist (and admitted it later) to "get" to a shrink" to get her FIX of plundering US!
Now here we are! Today. Ruined! Another day of MY work lost! I am losing it! Please, what can we do? We would gladly pay for your time on a phone call if possible. Anyhow... I am sorry to write and unload. I have just had it. Take Care, D.
Yes, I remember you well.
I think you'll have to detach emotionally. It seems to me that you are (a) taking on too much responsibility, (b) taking your daughter's behavior too personally, and (c) taking life too seriously [the life of a co-dependent].
I would suggest that you get busy taking care of YOU, and put other people's problems in God's hands. The less responsibility you take for others, the more responsibility they will take for themselves. The more you can lighten-up, the more others will lighten-up.
Co-dependence is a condition of lost self-hood. It is defined as any suffering that is associated with, or results from, focusing on the needs and behavior of others. It can mimic, be associated with, aggravate, and even lead to many of the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual conditions that befall us in daily life.
We become co-dependent when we turn our responsibility for our life and happiness over to other people. Co-dependents become so pre-occupied with others that they neglect their true self - who they really are.
When we focus so much outside of ourselves, we lose touch with what is inside of us: our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, decisions, choices, experiences, wants, needs, sensations, intuitions, unconscious experiences, and even indicators of our physical functioning, such as heart rate and respiratory rate.
Co-dependence is the most common of all addictions: the addiction to looking elsewhere. We believe that something outside of ourselves - that is, outside of our true self - can give us happiness and fulfillment. The "elsewhere" may be people, places, things, behaviors, or experiences. Whatever it is, we may neglect our own selves for it.
Self-neglect alone is no fun, so we must get a payoff of some sort from focusing outward. The payoff is usually a reduction in painful feelings or a temporary increase in joyful feelings. This feeling or mood alteration is predicated principally upon something or someone else, and not on our own authentic desires and requirements.
One of our reasons for ‘being’ is to get to know ourselves in a deeper, richer, and more profound way. We can do that only if we are truly in relationship with ourselves.