I have been struggling with things to write about on my blog lately because, well, I’m an emotional writer. My inspiration is driven by my emotions and yep, that sucks. I want to write but just can’t seem to figure out what to write about. You see, things are pretty stable and uneventful in my life right now, a place I am truly enjoying. However, there is nothing triggering my emotions per se, so I am left to drone on about nothing. Oh sure, I do have the occasional codependent moments I will come clean with but on a daily or even weekly basis, I’ve got nothing.
With that said, I have decided to challenge myself to write about my codependency from A – Z (inspired by some posts I have seen about an A-Z Challenge that happened in April). This should keep me busy and consistent for a few weeks. Who knows?
My A – Z Codependency Challenge – A
Anger, Acceptance, Abandonment – in a nutshell
Angry people stress me out. For most of my life, up until these past few years, if someone was angry, I took it personally. I always felt it was something I did or said or some way I just was that made them angry. It truly sucked working in an agent support department or customer call center for a health insurance company. You know, no one calls the insurance company when they are happy. In my head, I knew most of them weren’t angry “with me” but the situation they were facing but it still hurt my feelings when they yelled and cussed at me. I wanted so badly to make the situation better but couldn’t which would just put me into a tail-spin about my own value and self-worth.
Years ago I worked as the Supervisor of a special unit that was set up to handle the most complicated/messed-up issues the agents had. I excelled in this unit because I love researching and untangling problems. I’m a fixer, what can I say. One day, I took a call from an agent that was beyond angry. He cussed me up one wall and down the other. I asked him to stop yelling and cussing at me but that just infuriated him more. God forbid I disconnect the call so I just listened. Very condescendingly he told me to repeat the problem to him so he knew I understood what he was telling me and I did, just like a little child. When he finally hung up on me, I just put my head on my desk and cried.
The VP of Sales & Marketing, to whom all of the agents reported to, found out about it an hour or so later and called me into his office. I explained what the problem was and what I was trying to do to fix it but that was not what he wanted to hear. He wanted to know how I was treated. Of course I started crying and told him how the conversation went. He immediately called the agent (one of the top-producing agents we had) and ripped him a new one. The next day I received an apology and some chocolates and flowers.
This leads right into acceptance doesn’t it? I wanted their approval. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be appreciated. I wanted to be accepted. There is some false sense of security when someone accepts you but what I realized is that it didn’t matter if they accepted me if I could not accept myself. People only “accepted me for what I could do for them. When I have nothing to give or couldn’t fix whatever the issue was, I was no longer accepted and cast aside, looked-over, forgotten.
Which moved me right into abandonment: People walked out of my life over and over. I would let them back in because I felt they needed me. Like clock-work, when I could not meet their need, they were gone again. My life was a revolving door of various relationships and I would make myself crazy trying to make people stay in my life.
As of today, I no longer take someone’s anger personally and if it does happen to be on a personal level, it is their problem, not mine. I do take responsibility for my part and make amends for whatever I did to anger/upset them but I do not own their feelings. That is something they have to work through on their own. I no longer accept being yelled at. If you can’t express yourself in a civil and respectful way, then bye-bye. I am always open to hearing and discussing what someone has to say but I will not tolerate being yelled and cussed at. If they chose to leave, I’m okay with that too. I know I did my best (in whatever type of relationship it was) and I will not beg anyone to continue to be a part of my life and sometimes that is best.
What are your A’s?