Monday, September 16, 2019

Abandoned, Abused, and Codependent

I’ve been abandoned, abused, and I’m codependent.

From the moment my father found out about me, he didn’t want me. Growing up I had always hoped my father would fight for me and tell me I’m wanted. I never met him until I was in 4th grade. My neighbor introduced us at the high school football game, they grew up together. I didn’t hear from him again until I was in 7th grade and he wanted me to come to his house on Christmas Eve. I didn’t see him again until high school. All that time I wondered what was wrong with me that he didn’t want or love me. My mom and I did not get along through my teen years, I was so mad at her one time that I had my grandparents call up my dad in hopes he would fight for custody for me then turn his rights over to them. They were home to me. He came out to my grandparents house and agreed to ask for visitation from my mom. For six months I spent time at his house every other weekend, except he was rarely there and I spent time with my stepsister and stepmom. On my sixteenth birthday he called and said he had a present for me. I stopped by his house, he handed me a card that had $100 in it and said Love, Dad. He then told me there in front of his house by his car that if I want to continue a relationship with him, then it’s up to me, the ball was in my court. I was crushed because again, I wasn’t wanted by him. A couple years later, while I was a senior in high school I wrote to him. I didn’t hear back so I called to make sure he got what I sent him. He never returned my call. His stepdaughter and I graduated together, but he never came to congratulate me.

Once I moved to Cincinnati and had a family of my own I thought surely, he would want to get to know his grandson and me now that I’m an adult. I emailed him in August, but didn’t get a reply until that Christmas. He said “well next time you’re up stop over.” Well my bold ass called him up right away and said “we are already up here can we stop by tomorrow?” He agreed. We stopped at their new house, they had presents for us. A couple toys for Joshua and a $50 gift card to Walmart for us. I didn’t know what to say, but just accepted it. I could tell he was nervous as was I. My husband had carried on most of the conversation, which was not surprising as he did that a lot anyways. When we left, he hugged me and told me to give him a call and we would talk.i called later that week, left a voicemail and didn’t hear back for about 5 years. When my husband and I got back together and newly remarried I had reached out to my stepsister and was asking her family history questions. She kept asking for us to stop by next time we are up and I told her I appreciated the invite, but I needed to hear it from my father. Within a week, he called and invited us over again. We stopped by, again around Christmas time with more awkward conversation. It was like deja vu except this time we brought presents. Again, they gave us a $50 gift card to Walmart and some toys for Joshua. We left, I didn’t hear from him again until 6 months later when I got a text wishing me a happy birthday. That became a regular 6 month thing, text me on my birthday and on Christmas. I don’t ever know what to say to him, so I keep it short. I haven’t spoken to him or seen him since that Christmas a few years ago, and honestly, I’m done reaching out. I got tired of wondering what was wrong with me that he didn’t want me in his life.

With the absence of my biological father, I had a stepfather who was abusive. He came into my life when I was about 5 years old. He was cold, harsh, and a bully. I never liked him, he always made me feel uncomfortable. Once we moved into the house I grew up in, he started to molest me as I slept. I think he thought I was asleep when he did it, but I would wake up when he came into my room after working second shift and taking off my underwear. I just closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. When he was finished, he would put my underwear back on me, cover me back up and get ready for bed. This was a regular routine of his for a few years. When I could, I would try to spend the night at my friends or grandparents house. I was too young to know a lot but I knew this wasn’t what dads were supposed to do. One day, I mustered up the courage to ask my best friend if her dad came in her room at night or came in on her when she was changing. She said no. I thought that this definitely couldn’t be right. I told my mom one night that he was touching me down there. I said it in front of my friend that lived next door. My mom was embarrassed I would say such a thing in front of my friend, but I didn’t know the proper etiquette of speaking my truth. That night when her husband came home she confronted him. He asked to speak to me privately and he threatened me and told me that I better tell my mom it was a lie and I only said it so I could see my real dad. When my mom came in, I lied and said I made it up because I wanted to see my real dad. I never spoke of this again until I was in the summer of my 6th grade year going into 7th. They were in the process of a divorce and he was harassing us, so I said “if he won’t stop harassing us then I will tell everyone what he did to me!” My mom wanted clarification so I told her. That confession started a whole slew of therapists and changes. I moved in with my grandparents because I felt safer there. Once he was on trial for sexual battery of a minor he pleaded guilty, and I felt relieved. My grandparents came by school to tell me the news. But I forgot that his nieces and nephew went to school with me. They spread rumors about me and said I was a fucking lying bitch. I couldn’t understand because he pleaded guilty, why would they defend him? Hiding my truth felt better than sharing it because I was ashamed that this happened to me, I felt like people wouldn’t want to be my friend because I was abused, like it was contagious or something.

As a teen, I kept trying to find someone who would want me. I wasn’t the pretty or popular girl, I was awkward, overweight, but at least I was funny. I wanted a boyfriend so bad, just to say I had one, but again, no one wanted me. In my immature stupid brain, I thought “if I do this with a boy, he may like me enough to ask me to be his girlfriend.” Well that didn’t happen, no matter how many times I tried. My senior year of high school, I finally got a boyfriend, he was from a different school, and I felt wanted for six months until he broke up with me for another girl.
After I graduated I moved to Cincinnati, seeking for someone to want me. I was trying to do the same thing I did in high school, which didn’t seem to work out this time either. Then my roommate pursued me even though he had a girlfriend. For some stupid reason I felt wanted and pursued and thought maybe he would break up with his girlfriend for me. Nope, she broke up with him. I assume it was because she was not of fan of our “friendship” and I don’t blame her. He became my husband, ex husband, husband again, and now soon to be ex husband again. This time for good. The only time I felt wanted by him was when I wasn’t his.

All of this fuckery has structured me in a way that I have a need to be reassured that I’m loved, wanted, funny, kind, admired, etc. it’s not just from love interests I need this from, but friends and family and hell even strangers. Even though i need this reassurance, I have a hard time accepting compliments. I think and sometimes say “are you sure you’re talking about me? I’m not that great.”
These needy codependent feelings have led me to the wrong person time and time again. I want the right person, for now I am working on becoming a recovering codependent. I don’t want my worth and happiness to depend on the admiration of others. I do good things, I love hard, I value my people, I am a good momma, and I love Jesus.