“Big boys don’t cry.” “No pain no gain. Tough it out.” “Only sissies get hurt feelings.” “It’s a sign of weakness to let people know you’re hurting.” Men are cautioned to not discuss their feelings, to avoid feelings altogether and to not discuss love, sorrow or pain. Men will often make a joke out of a difficult situation rather than face it directly. Men are taught to be checked out toward the emotions of others, and keep their true feelings inside. All this is not to say that men are incapable of intimacy, dependency or vulnerability. They are quite able but our culture does not support it. One of the main reasons for drug and alcohol use is for medicating pain and that would include emotional pain. Men, who feel bottled up, sad, angry and depressed will often become workaholics, drink or do drugs to avoid feelings. For men to understand how to be intimate they must first learn more about who they are, what they want and what is truly important to them. Feelings tell us what we want and what we need so without them we are like a ship without a rudder. So many men lead lives of quiet desperation, never letting anyone in or themselves out. For men to take a look at who they really are and allow their essence to be known are actually far stronger than the burly silent types who live their lives in utter isolation. Taken from an on-line article by Bill Cloke http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-why-men-have-trouble-with-intimacy/
will never die.
They are buried alive
and will come forth later
in uglier ways.
Codependency comes in many forms. One aspect is doing for others what they should and need to do for themselves. It may make the other person feel good for the moment, and us important, but it keeps them over-dependent on us. This kind of relationship is extremely unhealthy. Another aspect of codependency is rescuing people from the logical consequences of their negative behavior patterns. This, too, keeps them immature and over-dependent on us. For every alcoholic (or other addict), who is already over-dependent on his alcohol, they say there are four codependent enablers supporting him and his addiction. As long as they are doing this, he never has to get better. If he refuses to acknowledge his issue, get into a recovery program, and resolve his problem, there comes a time when those who are enabling him need to say enough is enough! They need to exercise tough love, quit protecting him or her, get out of the way, and let him crash! This is the most loving thing they can do after they have tried every other avenue of tough love and found that none of it worked. The bottom line of codependency is that need is mistaken for love. The codependent needs to feel needed in order to feel loved. But it’s not love at all. It’s need. It may look like love and it may look very Christian but it’s neither. Furthermore, the codependent person wants to fix others to avoid facing his own issues. Taken from “The Counterfeit Love of Codependency” by Dr. Billy Kidd http://drbillykidd.hubpages.com/hub/codependents-r-us
A hot-tempered man
must pay the penalty;
if you rescue him,
you will have to do it again.
As a result of suppressing their emotions, men lose their connection with their families and wives and become vulnerable to addiction to drugs and alcohol. Women become depressed because they feel taken advantage of by husbands who do not supply their needs. Of course, they are part of the problem because they suppress their needs and wants in favor of children and husbands. They do not ask for what they want only what others want. Because of the fact that men learned, early on in their childhoods, that they must be aggressive to be masculine, they become arrogant, especially at home. It becomes easy for them to view their wives as weak. The relationship between men and women becomes one of the man believes he must be in control while expecting compliance from their wives. What husbands view as compliance is that, when they come home from work, the dinner table is set and the wife is warm and nurturing. If this is not fulfilled then he becomes verbally loud and verbally abusive. On the other hand, too many women give in to this scenario until they grow so depressed and unhappy with things that they fall out of love with their husbands. Then, husband and wife become silent, withdrawing from one another and becoming more distant. One example of this type of dynamic is that when the wife starts to assert her needs her husband withdraws into silence. Her frustration results in her, once again becoming silent. The road to divorce is then well paved. Part of the work of marriage counseling for these couples is to help men and women change in the way they interact. In other words, men must learn to give expression to their emotions rather than suppressing feelings until they become explosive and women must give voice to what they want and need rather than suppressing those things. Taken from a 2012 article by Dr. Allan Schwartz, Ph.D. http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=48706
Feelings are not supposed to be logical.
Dangerous is the man who has
rationalized his emotions.
The first and foremost factor that needs to be understood before one gets to the treatment phase is that the person has to realize that he is facing a problem and wants to change himself. After which, depending on the intensity of the disorder, the different treatment options can be looked into. The following are the varied steps that can be taken in this direction.
* Keep your distance. At least for a short period of time till the obsessive thoughts don’t threaten to take over and you end up slipping back.
* Do away with everything that is ‘them’. Get rid of all the things that reminds you of them. When the constant reminders are done away with, it is easier to forget.
* Join an activity. Replace the time you would spend obsessing over them or keeping a tab on them by doing something else.
* Talk to friends and family and ask them to be your standby. Tell them that you’ll need their help in overcoming this pattern.
* Join a support group. If opening up to friends or family does not seem like a viable option, then there is always the option of joining certain support groups.
The only way that one can deal with this disorder is to understand that this is not the way to live. It is important that you break this vicious cycle of obsession and fixation with a person and discover and address the underlying causes that support this obsessive behavior. To have someone else in your thoughts and obsess over them leaves you weak and vulnerable, and affects your sanity and productivity. The consequent step is to consciously take up the treatment options that have been provided for and help yourself heal. By Parul Solanki http://www.buzzle.com/articles/obsessive-love-disorder.html
Love is as much of an object as an obsession,
everybody wants it, everybody seeks it,
but few ever achieve it, those who do,
will cherish it, be lost in it, and among all,
will never…never forget it.
Probably the main question in the minds of most codependent people who seek help is this: Will my husband/wife/lover quit drinking or doping if I change? The only answer is a great big unequivocal maybe. There’s no guarantee and no exceptions to the rule. The fact is that addicts usually don’t change until addiction problems outweigh perceived pleasures or benefits. And it’s harder to shift that balance, still, when someone that a dependent person loves covers for them, makes excuses, and helps minimize the seriousness of plainly destructive behavior. Because of the denial associated with chemical dependency, addicts and alcoholics generally don’t go looking for help until they don’t see many other choices. The paradox is that codependents have two choices. They can remain accomplices to their partner’s addiction or they can love them enough to let them experience the effects of their chemical use, love them enough to let them feel the pain they create, love them enough to get them started getting well. Gayle Rosellini http://www.doitnow.org/pages/804.html
Oftentimes we say goodbye to the person
we love without wanting to.
Though that doesn’t mean that we’ve
stopped loving them or we’ve stopped to care.
Sometimes goodbye is a painful way to say I love you.
If you’re codependent and want to take control of your life, there are plenty of do’s to pay attention to, and at least as many don’ts. Do the following:
- Learn about chemical dependency. It’s a disease that thrives on ignorance.
- Talk to a therapist. Well-meaning friends and others untrained in the dynamics of addictions can do more harm than good.
- Contact Al-Anon or Codependents Anonymous. Attend several meetings before you decide if they’re for you. Each is listed in the white pages of the phone book.
- Be honest with your kids. They’re not deaf or blind when it comes to family problems. – Plain talk from you can relieve some of their fears and insecurities.
- Be patient. Change is difficult and slow. You won’t solve all your problems overnight, but you will improve your ability to cope and resolve problems with time.
Gayle Rosellini http://www.doitnow.org/pages/804.html
You’ll always get
what you’ve always gotten
until you become
the person you’ve never been!
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Children from highly dysfunctional households often feel that things will get better someday, that a ‘normal’ life may lie in the future. Indeed, some days things are fairly ‘normal’, but then the bad times return again. It’s the normal days that encourage the fantasy that all problems in the family might someday be solved. This is a common cycle in highly dysfunctional families. When they grow up, these adults carry the same types of fantasy into their relationships. They may portray to others the myth that they have the perfect relationship and they may believe, to themselves, that someday all of their relationship problems will somehow be solved. They ignore the abuse, manipulation, imbalance and control in the relationship. By ignoring the problems, they are unable to confront them and the fantasy of a happier future never comes to pass. Unhealthy boundaries, where we collude with our partner in believing the myth that everything is fine, make it difficult to come to terms with the troubles of the relationship. Healthy boundaries allow us to test reality rather than rely on fantasy. When problems are present, good emotional boundaries allow us to define the problems and to communicate with our partner in finding solutions. They encourage a healthy self-image, trust, consistency, stability and productive communication. John Stibbs http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/emotional_boundaries.html
There is only one thing more painful
than learning from experience
and that is not learning from experience.
People who grow up in a dysfunctional family may fail to learn the difference between love and sympathy. Children growing up in these conditions may learn to have sympathy for the emotional crippling in their parents lives and feel that the only time they get attention is when they show compassion for the parent. They feel that when they forgive, they are showing love. Actually, they are rescuing the parent and enabling abusive behavior to continue. They learn to give up their own protective boundaries in order to take care of the dysfunctioning parent, becoming a surrogate co-dependent spouse. In adulthood, they carry these learned behaviors into their own relationships. If they can rescue their partner from the consequences of their behavior, they feel that they are showing love. They get a warm, caring, sharing feeling from helping their partner, a feeling they call love. But this may actually encourage their partner to become needy and helpless enabling the negative behavior to continue. An imbalance can then occur in the relationship in which one partner becomes the rescuer or enabler and the other plays the role of the helpless victim. In this case, healthy boundaries which allow both partners to live complete lives are absent. Mature love requires the presence of healthy, flexible boundaries. Sympathy and compassion are worthy qualities, but they can be confused with love, especially when boundaries have become distorted or are virtually non-existent. Healthy boundaries lead to respect for the other and equality in a relationship, an appreciation for the aliveness and strength of the other person, and a mutual flow of feelings between the two partners, all features of mature love. When one partner is in control and the other is needy and helpless, there is no room for the give-and-take of a healthy relationship. John Stibbs http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/emotional_boundaries.html
I would cling to unhappiness
because it was a known, familiar state.
When I was happier, it was because
I knew I was on my way back to misery.
I often hear the word “depression” being used to explain feelings of sadness, but sadness is a healthy reaction to events in our life. Depression is much more than just sadness. Depression can be described as like ‘living in a black hole’ and carrying a sense of impending doom. But often depressed people don’t experience sadness at all and instead can simply feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. …depression is different from normal sadness as it can totally take over our day-to-day life, damaging our ability to function effectively in any capacity. We desperately look for relief from the intense and unrelenting feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. Depression has a number of different causes which will be different from person to person and can occur through a combination of factors. With the exception of manic depression, it does not seem to be inherited through genes although some of us are more prone to depression than others. This is because of the way we’re made, or how our emotional system has responded to experiences or family background. Past experiences can have a profound effect on how we feel about ourselves in the present, and if those feelings are very negative, they can be the start of a downward spiral. In many cases, the first time someone becomes depressed, it will be sparked off by an unwelcome or traumatic event, such as losing a job, going through divorce, being physically attacked… It’s not just the negative experience that causes the depression, but how we deal with it. If the feelings provoked are not expressed or explored at the time, they fester and contribute towards depression. It’s important to acknowledge and grieve over what we have lost in order to be able to move on successfully. Richard Gosling http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/recognising-and-overcoming-depression
There is no point treating a depressed person
as though (he or) she were just feeling sad, saying,
‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’
Sadness is more or less like a head cold
– with patience, it passes.
Depression is like cancer.
There are few disorders which can silently destroy the beauty of our being and gifts of our creation more than the multi-faceted and diverse symptoms of depression. Approximately 1 person in every 5 will become depressed at some point in their lives and one in 20 will be clinically depressed. Statistics suggest that women are more vulnerable to depression, but men generally find it harder to admit to or talk about their experiences. We should never try to dismiss the symptoms of depression and always take them seriously, they are never an inevitable part of growing up or growing old. It is possible to overcome depression, and to prevent its return. If we are suffering from depression it means that our brain and nervous system has reached a point where it has slowed down. In most cases it will do this because it is confronted with too much stress. Stress or imagined stress is very often the trigger for a panic attack. This stress may be related to current issues but far more likely an event has triggered a past experience which we have pushed down deeply within ourselves and which is not in our conscious self. When we are attacked by depression it seems impossible to function and to enjoy life as we should. Hobbies and friends don’t interest us as they used to, we feel exhausted all the time and just getting through the day can be massively overwhelming. Although, when we are depressed, things may feel hopeless, with help and support we can get better. Firstly we need the right tools and learning about depression, recognizing the signs, symptoms and causes, is the first step to beating this enemy. Richard Gosling http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/recognising-and-overcoming-depression
Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.