Monday, June 21, 2004

Someone Else

My codependency tendencies are being tested again this week. I thought that I would have a hard time finding homes for all my puppies. How wrong I was. I’m actually having people beating down the doors to get to them. Well, that’s an exaggeration. But I do have a waiting list. For mutts. Isn’t that crazy?

One lady from Tulsa called me on Saturday wanting the littlest girl puppy. I had to tell her that she was spoken for. She was so brokenhearted that I promised to drive to the shelter and see if they had something similar there, which I did an hour later. Then another lady (who I thought was the new puppy owner) called and wanted to know more about her and when she could have her. I told her that I wanted to keep them with their mom until next weekend, and then I would take her as far as the town that is 30 minutes away. Somehow, in the course of the conversation, I ended up agreeing to drive to a town an hour and a half away on WEDNESDAY. After I got off the phone, I thought, “Now, how did that just happen?”

Today I actually found out that she was not the puppy’s future owner but an imposter trying to sneak one by me. I am calling her today and telling her nicely that I was misinformed and that her puppy was given to someone else. And even if the puppy wasn’t, she still won’t be getting her. Well, I won’t say that.

Codependents are a funny lot. The more I am reading my books, Grandchildren of Alcoholics and The Language of Letting Go, the more hopeful and the more depressed I get. Hopeful, because by realizing why I do what I do, and the traps and the hooks that I fall into, I can break from it and live a healthy life. AND I can break the cycle for my own future family. Depressed, because a problem that I thought was a puddle, I am now realizing is Lake Superior.

Another small codependent tendency that I am trying to break is being the force that drives group conversations. You know when there is a lag in the conversation (my sister calls them “Abraham Lincoln Moments,” for some reason) and it becomes obvious that it’s uncomfortable? Well, I’m always the one who tries to keep it flowing, even if I come off sounding like an idiot. (Example: [conversation lag, everyone looks around uncomfortably] Ellen: “…er, so I tried a new dishwashing soap yesterday.” This of course has nothing at all to do with the previous topic of conversation.) I have always HATED this. No more. I don’t care if everyone is sweating bullets, I’m not speaking up anymore. That’s a job for Someone Else.

I think that, as a struggling co-dependent, Someone Else is going to become my new best friend. Ellen, will you organize the next five wedding showers at work? No, that would be a job for Someone Else. Ellen, could you watch my annoying dog who constantly escapes from your yard, and generally makes your life more complicated for a week? No, you might want to talk to Someone Else about that. Ellen, would you work every Sunday at the animal shelter with the Brownie Troop, even though they only like to goo-goo over kittens while you clean the entire shelter by yourself? Hmmmm, I think Someone Else would be perfect for that job!


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