Being a bright child, I was always interested in learning. I graduated from high school and in my late teens and early twenties had achieved my Bachelor’s in Rescuing. I fell in love with a man with emotional problems and PTSD. I believed that if I loved him enough I could make him well. What a shock it was to find out that all of my love made almost no difference in his ability to get better.
Did that experience stop me from going on and getting my Masters as an Enabler? No, it didn’t! I had a step-brother who was an experienced alcoholic an expert manipulator. For a long time, I believed that all he needed was the right situation to turn his life around and that he really didn’t want to drink. Thousands of dollars and several years later, I finally realized that he was going to do exactly what he wanted and all the wringing of my hands and helping him was only enabling him to continue in his lifestyle.
At that point, I was well on my way to getting my Doctorate in Co-Dependency. I had three friends that I thought needed my help and I was continually there to meet their needs whenever they called. I had spent thousands of dollars on my Doctorate and was well into my Practicum when I realized that this might not be the career path I wanted to follow.
Thirty years had gone by while I was pursuing my education. I was in my mid-fifties when the light started to dawn. I realized I had spent my life helping many who didn’t really want my help; they just wanted my attention. For a while I felt hurt, used and manipulated by those around me. I blamed them until I realized that they were not the problem. I was.
I had not been able to say “No” to people who appeared to be in need but really weren’t. I had not been able to discern what was really going on behind the scenes in their lives. Now I am pursuing a different career path: Optometry.
My vision has always been poor and I am trying to see the world from a better perspective. I want to see people for who they really are and still have the ability to love them but not get involved in their lives to the detriment of my own. Starting on a new career path later in life is difficult but not impossible. It certainly doesn’t take the time and money my first one did and I feel quite a bit saner on this journey. I feel a lot more freedom and have more choices now that I can say “No.”
Can any of you relate? Are you on the same journey I am?
Note: I am on hiatus for the next few weeks, and am reposting a few faves from last year!