Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the stroller is outside

and so continues the saga of my battle with co-dependency.

My therapist suggested we both re-read Co-Dependent No More again together. Although neither of my parents were alcoholics or drug-users, I show many signs of the co-dependent personality as defined in this book. I read with interest the tendencies and issues of the co-dependent. But nothing is more telling than what happens day to day in my house.

For example, the stroller is outside. Since yesterday. I had been reminding her to bring it in, but today, as I see it damp and sitting in the rain at 10:30 pm, I realize that I am not helping. I so want to drag it into the house. Then it will dry and be safe. Or I want to remind her. Just my way of looking at the world.

Barbara Ruglio, Princess of Co-Dependent Kingdom.

Like the garbage at church, it started subtly. PJoe took out the garbage, and somehow, it became my job to remind him. Actually, we did it together every Wednesday after lunch as a kind of bonding experience only two dedicated church workers could understand, going through the building from top to bottom, collecting bags, replacing trash liners, dragging the big plastic trash containers to the curb. I would pay money actually, to do this with him again!

Then Joe went for his first liver transplant, Jeff had surgery on his wrist and somehow from a mistaken sense of wanting to help, I continued the chore on my own for way too long. I would point out that it was inappropriate for me to be needing to do this, but things would never change. No matter how many times I brought it up.

Finally, it occurred to me that even if the garbage stayed on the side of the church building for weeks, no one would really expect me to clean it up.

So I stopped. And that is exactly what happened. Several times it did pile up and no one asked me to clean it. And the people who did have to clean it, well, I guess it got them to remember to do it.

Last week, I looked and saw the garbage out on the curb and realized that I had forgotten even which day was garbage day. I'm healed! Yippeee! Until the next issue.

Now this may sound goofy to you. Actually, unless you think I work with meanies, no one ever asked me nor really expected me to take the garbage out. Only I did.

The same with the stroller. I love Gio but he is not my baby. It is not my stroller. If it gets wet or stolen, it is not my problem. No one asked for it to be my problem, and as long as I fix this for her, she will never remember to take it in. My daughter is not a meanie. Only a normal 19 year old girl with way too much responsibility for her slender shoulders. And as much as I want to help her, comfort her, console her, this is not the way.

The only way past this is a wet stroller.

Is there a Bible verse for this? If there is, please comment it back to me, I'd appreciate it!

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