I was soaking in a hot bath. “Time out,” I referred to it.
I was grumpy, again. To the bath, then. Tout suite.
Unusually, it was late afternoon and I hadn’t yet read my daily meditation.
Sometimes, owning our power means we realize we are victimizing ourselves–and others are not doing anything to hurt us. They are living their lives, as they have a right to, and we are feeling victimized because we’re attempting to control their process, or we’re unreasonably expecting them to take care of us.
I took a picture of this passage and sent it to a CoDA friend.
I could have used this a week ago, I said.
And there’s the triangle again. That damn triangle. Caretaker-persecutor-martyr (or victim).
I remember feeling so small and insignificant when I was passed over for an appointment to the Planning Committee. He, however, was selected. And he was excited for it–this is his process. The one that he’s hoping takes him to mayor.
It felt like I was being ganged up, massively ignored by the “cool club.”
“But what about me?!” I wanted to cry.
This reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies, “Field of Dreams.” The lead character, Ray, plows under much of his cornfield to build a baseball field. Players long dead emerge from the stalks to play ball once more. Ray’s friend, a famous journalist is invited to go into the corn with the players–but Ray is not.
Ray has endured endless criticism for plowing under his field and is on the verge of having his home foreclosed for the lack of income his decision cost him. After angrily protesting the fact that he’s not invited, he’s prompted, “What are you saying?”
Ray exclaims, “What’s in this for me?!”
He’s asked, “Is that why you did this? For you?”
It’s a question that causes Ray to backdown. His shoulders fall, his head bows.
“I think you should stay here, Ray,” his friend cautions. What follows is the best speech of the movie. Ray has work yet undone, that will ultimately change the lives of thousands. He stays behind, and more miracles ensue.
When my boyfriend was chosen, and I was not, I felt much like Ray did. I felt like Ray when my boyfriend and I decided to leave our marriages, under the same terms, and everything fell apart…for me.
And when it did, my codependency reached a peak. I felt left out in everything, and though I’ve made progress, I still feel the pang of being excluded. I did when he was chosen. I did when he missed my CoDA meeting and went shopping with his daughter instead. I still do when he’s obsessively on Facebook, engaged in postings, reactions, and groups that I am (mostly by choice), not a part of.
What about me?
I’ve felt like the victim for a very long time. When my car breaks down. Victim. When he gets to see his kids often. Victim. When he gets chosen for the Planning Committee. Victim. When my ex-husband moved the kids 3,000 miles away. Victim.
Victim. Victim. Victim.
And yet, as the author states, in each of these situations, I was victimizing myself.
My boyfriend didn’t pull strings to have me intentionally excluded from the Planning Committee. He received an invitation and excitedly accepted, knowing this was the next step in his political career.
My car didn’t intentionally wear the rear brake pads the week after I paid off my credit card and was already feeling a financial pinch. It was just the natural process of wearing down, and the timing was what it was.
Even my ex-husband’s move across country was part of his process of healing, something he felt he needed to do surrounded by family and extra hands to help with the kids.
I think a part of feeling victimized–or, victimizing myself–is feeling as if I should have things figured out by now. Feeling as if I’ve missed the boat on happiness, financial security, and good decision making. Feeling as if I’m too deeply flawed to be part of the in-crowd, whoever that is when I’m feeling that way.
Sure, being truly victimized does happen, but playing victim is another way I’m giving up my own power, my control over me. And that only perpetuates the being stuck.
I need to remember that I have the ability to control myself. I have the ability to rise above making myself victimized. And in doing so, I have the ability to keep, regain, grow, strengthen my own power.