I’m reading a beautiful book right now called Barking to the Choir by Father Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries. Homeboy is the largest gang rehabilitation program in the world. It’s smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles.
If you visit Homeboy, there’s a good chance you’ll be ushered into Father G’s office for a visit. He’s that kind of soul. The homies call him “G” and they love him deeply.
I came across a quote that arrested me.
“Now could be the moment when we fall apart or we become whole.”
Over this past year, I had many moments where I wanted to fall apart. Sometimes, I did! There has been much “death” and loss as I pursue health, wholeness, and face my freaking dysfunction, aka codependency. Yet, there is an OR. “Or we become whole.” There is a choice.
I choose to become whole, whatever it takes. It’ll take a lifetime, I am sure. There is hope for change.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend in which she asked me if I had ever heard of the Victim Triangle. I didn’t think I had. She proceeded to outline it for me and WHAM! light bulb. Over the next few days, I proceeded to do some research. I found that this cycle is called the Karpman Drama Triangle. I can’t tell you how much this triangle describes my life. #classiccodependent
I realized that throughout my life, I have moved through each role. However, I have one particular role that I play pretty much every single day. Can you guess?
If you chose Rescuer, you are correct! The Rescuer rescues the Victim from the Persecutor. The Persecutor can be a person, an organization, or anything that “persecutes” the victim. The Rescuer rescues the Victim from said Persecutor. Annnnndddd, IF the Rescuer doesn’t rescue in the correct way, they can shift to the role of the Persecutor (in the eyes of the Victim) lickety-split. As I said earlier, I have moved through each of these roles throughout my life. I always seem to land right back at Rescuer, unless I become the Persecutor due to not playing my Rescuer role correctly.
This past year, the DRAMA triangle has played out more tellingly than I can even describe in my life. I’ve moved from Rescuer to Persecutor to Victim back to Rescuer in one single day or event. Now I am beginning the process of figuring out why I am always the Rescuer. It’s just so fun to delve deep into the pain and chaos, right?
For some reason, I find comfort in knowing this is an actual thing. Knowing is half the battle. I do not want to live in denial. I’m excited for the day when I can permanently move out of the role of Rescuer and just be me.
Walk on eggshells.
Don’t rock the boat.
It’s quite a feat to stay light on my feet.
How little must I weigh to keep from breaking eggshells?
How still must I stand to not make any waves?
I became zero gravity to navigate life with you.
Internally, I volcanoed; outwardly, I floated along,
never daring to crunch those damn eggshells or rock that boat.
I HAVE THOUGHTS OF MY OWN.
I DON’T AGREE WITH YOU!
NO, I DON’T THINK SO.
Crunch, crunch, SPLASH!
I am me. I am weighty. I make waves.
August 4, 2018
I’ve lived my whole life concerned about what others think of me.
I care too much what others think!
Inny or Outy;
Internally directed or outwardly led?
Do I live outwardly, hungry for approval or inwardly, approving of myself?
Inny or Outy, what shall it be?
Will they like this poem?
Do I like this poem? is a better question.
I DON’T CARE WHAT OTHERS THINK, I yell vehemently!
Yet, I do.
Less and less, though.
Less and less.
June 28, 2018
Her words slip sweetly, serenely from her lips,
slicing me deeply as they glide by.
All becomes still as I let them sink in,
Pain searing; guilt and shame crowding as usual.
Shock pulses through my body yet I’m not surprised
by the familiar hurt.
Rage spurts forth, crimson in color.
It takes everything in me to sheath my tongue,
a steely weapon.
Words. Words carelessly (or not so carelessly)
slung inflict pain, tumble out easily.
Retracting them impossible.
Carefully, I lift out the dagger.
Gently, Truth binds my wound.
Healing flows as I let go.
June 30, 2018
As I reflect on my year, I see many tendencies about myself I never saw before. It’s empowering and daunting all at the same time. One thing I never knew about myself is how I orbit others (classic codependent move, darling!) I wrote a poem last Fall about this tendency. I am finally feeling courageous enough to post it.
I’m now aware of your gravitational pull.
The power, the force, the electromagnetism blinded me for years.
Orbiting you, obliterating myself.
Me, hardly conscious.
We were happy!
Until I saw the truth.
I fought to free myself.
I disrupted the flow.
I asserted my power.
You pulled harder; I resisted.
I plummeted, seemingly out of control.
Painfully, I slipped out of orbit.
Free! I’m free!
Freedom is lightness, incredible lightness.
Written by Megan Burmester
September 6, 2017
Writing poetry became a surprising way for me to process the pain and wonder of recovery from codependency or as I like to say, the process of becoming myself. Lately, I haven’t felt very poetic at all. Recovery is hard work, plain and simple; most of the time, it’s one day at a freaking time. One step forward, two steps back. Keep coming back.
One wrong step; I’m falling, falling, flailing.
I land hard on the flinty surface, wind knocked out of me.
Bedrock beneath my broken body,
the lowest point…
Shaken, I survey my surroundings.
I sense a solidity, a sure foundation.
Bedrock upon which to build.
May 27, 2018
I’ve been listening to an audio book by Russell Brand called Recovery. It’s effing brilliant and not only that, quite hilarious (has lots of F bombs). I recently heard a quote from him; it struck me to the core.
“The opposite of addiction is connection.“
As a codependent, my addiction is more subtle than drugs or alcohol but no less destructive. My addiction is people; my addiction is a love addiction. I have a love deficit! I try to heal this deficit through love from people. Addiction merely numbs (or masks) the love deficit or whatever pain I’m currently dealing with on a minutely/hourly/daily/weekly basis.
I try to avoid the pain by looking to other people for my value, worth and lovableness. Just so you know, this leads to more pain, not less. Instead, I’m learning to find my value, worth and lovableness from the Lord and from within. By connecting with the Lord at times when I feel shaky or uncertain or in pain, I can address the issue head on in a healthy way instead of trying to numb the pain. By reminding myself that I am indeed valuable, worthy and lovable, I connect with myself in a way I never have before. This leads to greater connection with others because my freaking love deficit/addiction isn’t getting in the way of true love and intimacy.
I’m grateful for those who have gone before me in recovery to lead the way to healthy, loving relationships. The journey is NO JOKE but entirely worth it because I am worth it. SO ARE YOU!
The Road may be smooth and easy to traverse; but often the terrain is rough, full of obstacles and effing painful. What I am learning right now is to keep moving forward, though I’m tempted to give up. One day at a time, towards health and wholeness. I love this line from the Serenity prayer, a prayer that’ s been my mantra these days: Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Oh yes.
Here’s the full version of the Serenity Prayer