Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Damaged Boundaries

I was born into a dysfunctional family. As a child I witnessed domestic violence. After my parents divorced I witnessed my mother engage in strings of unhealthy love affairs. She is definitely codependent and to this day practicing dysfunctional behaviors. I’ve come to realize, stemming from my childhood, I always felt worthless. I remember my father once lined up my 3 siblings and self along a fireplace. He was holding a large butcher knife and told us he was going to kill us in the order we were born if my mom didn’t take him back.
As a teenager I fell in the arms of the first guy who showed some attention and married him shortly after high school. My marriage quickly eroded to behaviors that were toxic. I experienced physical and mental abuse by my narcissistic ex. I went back to my ex-husband 8 times before I FINALLY divorced him. I wanted to fix the marriage and I wanted to fix him (it was my obsession). I believed if I truly loved him unconditionally, how could I walk away from my marriage? This man was begging for me to help him (not to mention that was his form of manipulation) and I was the only one who could do it.
The continuing cycle of physical/emotional abuse as well as the sex manipulation controlled me for 2 years after the divorce (I know it’s insane). I failed to mention his countless affairs he would engage in for several months at a time, each time he would broadcast the new girlfriend as better compared to me (publicly). I remember each time getting driven into the triangulations with his new girlfriend and him.
I am working on my damaged boundaries and since working with CoDA support I am able to identify the behaviors and learn how to engage in a healthier way with my ex-spouse. I am dedicated to recovery and I accept my reality. I am codependent but I will not let my codependency OR the label “codependent” define me. Labeling can cause a slippery-slope affect if one is not careful; we can easily believe we’re only as good as the label. I believed I was many negative labels my entire life, I know it’s time I release the hold of the labels (with help from CoDA/Higher Power/counseling). I am writing this in hopes of inspiring and encouraging new and old CoDA members. With faith in a Higher Power and dedication to recovery, self–love can and will be experienced. I give you all dandelions!

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