Have you ever experienced a gushing water leak in your home? Where was it? Was it underneath the kitchen sink? Was it in the basement where water pipes tend to run hidden in the dark? What did it cost you to repair this leak? In 2001, I bought a showroom townhouse. It had many upgrades like granite countertops, wooden kitchen cabinets, and so on. I loved this house house very much, it looked great on the surface… until the day I had my first water leak. The day it happened, I did not know where the water valve was, so I ran panicking to my next door neighbour. He calmly came over, turned the water valve off, and told me to call a plumber. I had never had to call a plumber before and it made me feel deeply anxious and stressed out. Ever been in that situation?
‘Out of the blue’ I get a text from a past client. I have not heard from her in a long, long time, so am quite surprised when I see her name pop up on my phone. The smile on my face, however, quickly fades as I get into what she is saying… “I do not have the money to see you, but I will find it.” “I can’t go on like this anymore! I am so unhappy!” “Can you imagine? I have pulled away from my partner and I love him!” “I must tell you now I have put on a lot of weight.” “I am sorry I did not contact you sooner, I was too ashamed.” …. Do you see now why I said ‘out of the blue’ in brackets? Because there was zero fluke or coincidence in her contacting me. Like
I used to think co-dependence was a good thing, that is fostered a sense of loyalty and belonging, as if co-dependence could fix all my insecurities, all my failed hopes, all my hopeless dreams. It has taken me decades to realize that, Co-dependence is like an extension cord controlling the lights on our Christmas tree. How so, you may ask? Every Christmas, I retrieve my Christmas tree along with a couple of boxes containing my favourite decorations. Do you do this too? I take my tree and straighten it. I pin it in its stool, hoping it remains solid without wobbling. I open up its branches one by one like a big fan. I want my tree to show a full rounded skirt without gapping holes. What can I say? I like my decorations to be balanced, just like in real life. I
IMAGINE…You just got the key to a brand new home. No one has ever lived in it before! There does not seem to be any visible scratches on the soft painted walls or the darker hardwood floors. Smiling to yourself, you say, “I’m in!” Five years go by. By now, you start noticing hard-to-pick-up spice crumbs in hard-to-reach cupboard corners, but you let it be. The high electric bill (lots of drafts it seems) is not what you had anticipated either. You start complaining about the cost of living there, but you keep staying. As you often say,‘This is what I know, this is my home.’ Ten more years go by. You are now sitting on the couch and take a quickly depressing look around. The grass outside needs to be mowed, but you cannot seem to be bothered, not yet. Why? Because you deeply believe it is