He used to play the gravity album by Our last peace all the time while driving. I rode shotgun, as he’d blast the music, windows down, shades on, his hand intertwined with mine. I vividly remember hearing track #2 play and how uncomfortable the words made me feel that first time time I heard them. The voice singing sounded so tormented and conflicted over the love he thought he’d found. Somehow I seemed to identify with the voice, but I also shared a kindred connection to the source of his pain. I think understanding that truth is what made it so uncomfortable for me.
Of course years later the song still resonates strongly and I’ve seen the consequences of these toxic one sided relationships. Subconsciously, I have been drawn to the kind of relationships that are doomed from the start. It’s a pattern I started over a decade ago and it’s gotten harder and harder to break as the years have gone by. I’ve learned that the wrong kinds of men are just as much, if not more, drawn to me because we share the same brokenness. The saying, of opposites attracting isn’t true, it’s more so, misery loving company. It’s sad looking back now and realizing that the men that were so desperate to save me, were actually the ones in need of saving.
That being said, I think there’s a big misconception about relationships that most times doesn’t get addressed. Codependency comes in all shapes and forms. It masks itself behind tendencies and behaviors that most overlook or fail to recognize. Feeling trapped or controlled in your relationship is a sure sign of this. Red flags like having to hide, water down, lie, suppress or silence any part of yourself for your partner is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship. For instance, a person doesn’t have to hit you or blatantly disrespect you for your relationship to be considered unhealthy. A person might think they are being good to you, but in reality they can only do as much good as they’re capable of. It’s not a slam to anyone, but it’s the reality of dysfunctional relationships. There are so many people struggling with codependency issues and don’t even know it. I know I have for a really long time.
Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also results in symptoms such as low self esteem, people pleasing, poor boundaries, reactivity, caretaking, control, dysfunctional communication, obsessions, dependency, denial, problems with intimacy, and painful emotions.
The most important, longest lasting relationship you’ll ever have in life will be the relationship you have with yourself, Take the time to get to know yourself, love yourself and grow. Because the truth is, no one will ever be able to love you in the ways you need, if you don’t ever learn to love yourself first.