I know I have discussed in the past the fact that I used to be very co-dependent and now that used to be me is biting me back. I became a mother two weeks before my twenty-first birthday, I had been dating the father of my first born for roughly two years at that time. Four months after my daughter was born her father and I decided to split up, it was after a huge confrontation that we realized we wanted better for our child. Off I ventured, scared as hell to be a single mother and eventually had to live in low income housing condos on the outskirts of town.
As time went on I spent every other weekend out of my mind drunk, I would drink til throwing up and go back to the same thing the following night. My theory was when my daughter is with her father I could take my Mom hat off and be myself, however, looking back reality was that I was using alcohol to hide my feeling of insecurity. I was a co-dependent person and spent much of my daughter’s first years of life dating guys, having them move in with me way too fast and I was quick to “fall in love” which I now know can be considered “latching on” versus “love”.
Unfortunately after spending a majority of my daughters life latching onto relationships that I knew would not work out, I am now facing the consequences from my actions. It has taken me many years to become the independent person I am today, but I feel the damage has already been done to my daughter. I am not saying I was or am a horrible Mom, I have always loved my children and I have always placed them first but when you have a co-dependent personality you do not feel secure unless you have another person there.
After the divorce my daughter started missing my ex husband and I can completely understand why, a divorce is hard on anyone and usually the hardest hit by a divorce are the children. My daughter was used to having another person in the household almost her whole life, from simple room mates to a guy I was dating and then to my ex husband. My ex husband was the longest relationship I have held without a break up, he was the only person she knew as a “father type figure” in my house hold, this is not to say she doesn’t have a very involved father, because she does!
My point is that my ex husband was the only person who was a consistent in her life at my home besides me. My ex husband was the quiet type and super laid back. My daughter got used to having him around and grew comfortable with him over the years. When a person gets comfortable with living life a specific way and wakes up to see a completely different style of living it can take a toll on them emotionally and physically sometimes.
My daughter is only 7 years old and now is starting to ask me to have so and so move in or have my ex husband move back in. It’s like she is insecure with only having Mommy as the adult in the household. I was concerned and so I sat down to do some thinking and discussed this with a good friend of mine who asked me a few questions and determined that my daughter simply is not used to being alone with me in a household and needs to have her self confidence boosted. My daughter needs to know that Mommy is okay and that the kids are safe with just Mommy in the household, that no one is going to be living with us to keep us feeling secure or whole. We should feel whole on our own and when we meet a special person then they simply compliment that “whole” feeling.
So my mission is simple; to begin my path on showing my daughter the love and affection she needs, the alone time with Mommy she craves and to help boost her self esteem so that she ends up feeling secure in living in a household with only one parent and no other “father figure” or adult in the household. I will not be able to do this alone, I have already talked with her father who is very close to my children and I. I am looking forward to seeing my daughter become more confident and secure in the life we are now living.
Questions for thought: Are you codependent? There is a list online to help determine if you are co-dependent, click here to see it. What have you done to help your children feel more secure in who they are?