Oh man do I hear so much of myself in your share. My codependency was SO strong. I had such a mistaken sense of responsibility, feeling like I had to care for everyone else, they never said thank you, I felt so unappreciated and like everyone I tried to help was totally ungrateful. Then I learned about the Seven Deadly Needs...
Codependents often have the NEED to...
To Know (EVERYTHING our addict is doing, every second of every day)
To Be Right (And we'll tell you we were right, 1000 times, even if you don't want to hear it!)
To Get Even (You hurt me? I'll hurt you right back)
To Look Good (Hiding all the crap we're dealing with, helping others because 'that's what good people do', being a martyr)
To Judge (I'm not an addict so I know how to do everything better than they do, you're a bad person!)
To Keep Score (I drove so many miles, I helped you so many times while you were sick, etc)
To Control (Everything everyone else does because I know better than you!)
Expecting to be appreciated for doing things for others got thrown out the window when I finally learned to do things for others out of unconditional love, expecting nothing in return. Now, I only help people when *I* want to, when I am comfortable doing it, when it doesn't put me our or make me go out of my way, and when I can expect nothing in return. I don't do things anymore for people who don't appreciate them because it makes me resentful - and I know that having to swallow that bitter pill is my own fault!
What_A_Day wrote: some people try fighting with me to convince me their thought is the right one when how can any of our thoughts be correct about what somebody else wants when we are not that somebody?
Great point. This is exactly why we don't give advice here! It is also why we codependents have got to stop our own advice giving and controlling. It's not up to me to decide what is best for my addict or for anyone else.
My grandfather is really sick and his daughters have decided that it isn't good for him to be alone during the day in case he needs medical attention. He hired a company to send a certified nursing assistant each day to hang out with him. I am betting that companies like that could also do things like change dressings or whatever, twice a day after someone has surgery. If your sister is an adult then maybe she can learn to handle her own medical issues?
It was really hard for me to stop playing the martyr. "Oh poor me, I have to do alllllll these things for everyone else!" Except for I could have said no, handle it yourself. I drove my addict to 1000 meetings and moaned over the wasted time sitting in the car, the gas, the boredom... when I could have just stopped and given him the dignity to deal with his own business.
"If you're going through hell... keep going." -- Winston Churchill