* This is Part II of my Group Therapy chapter book. If you missed Part I, you can find it here. Incidentally, these posts are getting a bit personal. They're revealing some stuff. If I get to the point where I've revealed waaaaay too much, just holler, kay? My social TMI meter doesn't work because of all those Group Therapy sessions.
And then there was Al-Anon.
After my three-month run-in with Group Therapy, also known as "Group," I found Al-Anon. Al-Anon is the Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotic Anonymous counterpart for family members of those currently infected with alcohol and/or drug addiction. It's really just more Group Therapy in the which there's more talk and more one-uppery. Al-Anon is where I spent a couple of lunch hours a week for a few months. The local Al-Anon group was held at noon in the basement of this old Presbyterian church. It was dark and dreary.
Oh Al-Anon, Al-Anon, how I miss you so!
Al-Anon managed to clearly illustrate the meaning of codependency. Before Al-Anon, I thought I was too smart and too independent to become codependent. Al-Anon showed the error of my codependent ways by hurling me into a room full of people just like me.
(I don't really miss Al-Anon, by the way.)
Codependent. Not sure what codependent is? Why, let me tell you! Codependent is what they call people who are in a relationship with an addict, but are too scared or committed to that person to get out. So there I was, once a week, in a room full of pathetic losers (myself included), trudging day-in and day-out through the feary muck and the firey mire that comes with living with an addict. These people would tell their stories, and I'd be all, like, "Just get out. Just move out. Just kick 'em out. Toss that squasher out!"
Yeah, right. It's easier said than done. Tossing the squashing out is like quitting. I'm no quitter, no-sir-eee for I see things through. And by golly, Rabid (before she was Rabid) never says "quit," just like Goonies never say "die."
Here's the interesting thing about these types of Jimmy people (Jimmy's the EX of 13 years): Somehow, those little addict rats manage to convince you that the whole situation -- their drug problem -- is all your fault. If only you loved me more. If only you did the dishes at 6:00am sharp. If only you supported my dreams. If only you'd lose weight. If only you weren't depressed. If only the house was cleaner. If only you'd let me have eight girlfriends. If only you'd put the precise amount of milk in my oatmeal. If only you made more money. If only you met my needs the way my mama meets my needs. If only you came from a family that spoke Vietnamese. The "if onlys" are miles -- and usually years -- long.
Trust me, after a couple of years of that "if only" crap, you honestly believe that the addict's situation is, without a doubt, all your fault. The addict has successfully manipulated you into thinking that you actually created the addict. And that you, not the addict, must take care of it.
So that's why I went to Al-Anon. To fix Jimmy's drug problem.