Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Regaining, Acquiring Clarity

I am in my 7th year of recovery from codependency. I’d like to share some of the treasures I have received from my journey with the loving Higher Power of my own understanding. The gifts come through interaction with others and the awareness, acceptance, and change that result.

Before recovery, I used to feel terrible and guilty when I triggered another person. I didn’t know about doing a 4th step and checking in with myself to examine whether I had done something truly offensive. This 4th step is an important part of my regaining and acquiring clarity. In recovery I found out that triggers are the memories and experiences of our own and not the problem of others. So now I know when someone has a reaction that is much stronger than the behavior I have exhibited, the problem lies within that person and isn’t mine. I let go and leave myself and the other person in the hands of the loving Higher Power of my own understanding. I wish them well.

Another gift of insight comes from my experience with other injured people. I relate well to those who have trauma issues from childhood. Sometimes I get blasted by a person who is triggered and who then ends our relationship for the time being. As this has happened a few times, I have found that by letting go in love, the other person gets to work on their own and finds clarity about 1 1/2 to 2 years later. I have had three apologies and each one says, “I am sorry for the way I treated you. I was unaware I was dealing with (fill in the blank) mother, abuser in childhood, etc. I find it is so easy to forgive, admit my part in the problem, (thank you step 4), and move forward. My forgiveness and humility came much earlier, when the incident occurred. By the time we have come full circle, I am beyond happy to share my own apologies and move on.

I am also grateful for the continuing awareness of my flaws and how I am being refined and healing. I am becoming more loving and supportive. I am learning to help others in a way that I hadn’t been helped before, or the help I didn’t accept at the time. Survival and unmet needs due to childhood neglect and abuse take a long time to heal. The more I know, the less I understand. I make mistakes; I am not a mistake. We are all works in progress, and no one is inferior or superior. I wish you all the treasures along the way and the eyes to see the gifts of love and healing on your journey. One last thing. The triggers pull me right back to the terror of the original losses and abuse in my childhood. They are terrifying. But they are only a memory and they do not last. I get to remember that now. It helps so much.

Debra W. 

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