Saturday, December 15, 2007

Codependents R Us

Harley and I met on the Internet, back when AOL was charging by the hour and people ran up $1200 Internet bills. Me included. When I met Harley, I was in a disintegrating marriage, and he was a psychologist with a lot of knowledge about relationships. He tried to help me fix my marriage. Can you imagine? I think he's glad he failed. :)

After my marriage fell apart and Harley and I started noticing each other in a more-than-friendship sort of way, we did what any self-respecting fat person on the Internet does in this culture. We lied. I was a 5'5" redhead... and that's where the truth stopped. I was a svelte 120 pounds, long of leg and rather busty. Well, the latter is true, but I can thank overly developed adipose tissue for it rather than a propensity toward a D-cup. Harley claimed he was a 180 lb backpacker, hiker and camper. Welcome to the Internet World of Wishful Thinking.

We never thought it would go any further than a little Internet fling. We felt safe pretending to be who we weren't. Neither of us could have fathomed that we, in fact, lived only half an hour away from one another. Neither of us could have imagined that the other was dealing with the same issue, the same pain, the same fear of discovery and rejection. When Harley wrote me a long letter telling me why he couldn't ever meet me face to face -- because he was a 400 pound obese man who had lied to me -- I felt nothing but relief... and a great deal of love.

Long story short, we met, we married, we had two children together. We also fed each other's addiction and created a safe cocoon of codependence. My ex was one of those naturally skinny guys. The one time he wanted to lose a little weight, he cut out drinking regular Coke and switched to Diet. He lost ten pounds like he was just breathing room air. Easy peasy. He never understood the concept or idea of food as anything other than fuel.

But it isn't any easier living with a fellow addict. It may even be harder - because, while he understands and sees much more about me than a non-addict would - he also has the same or similar issues and problems he doesn't want to face any more than I do. We've both been very good at dissolving our boundaries, so much so that it becomes dangerous for both of us. I sabotage him, he sabotages me, and we slide back into the comfortable place we've always rested together.

I love Harley, and I'm blessed to have such an amazing man in my life. But sometimes I wish we weren't so much alike. I don't know how it's all going to work out - I wish a had a crystal ball. Are we meant to do this together? Is one of us meant to lead the other? Are we supposed to be buoyed up by community, by the universe, like two beached whales waiting for rescue, not sure how to find open water again? Ugh, how's that for a self-deprecating metaphor? I should quit while I'm ahead.

Some days I'd say being with Harley is what makes my life worth living. Some days, I wish for someone who wouldn't tolerate my addiction, who would call me out, force me to quit killing myself and hurting everyone around me with my pain. I know there's a middle ground between those two extremes. Story of my life. Getting there. It's painfully slow.

1 comment:

Linda said...

WOW! $1200 interent bill, money well spent if it brought you both together.

You have to just be there for each other, no matter what.

I met my OH when I was only 14 and he 20. I married him when I was 16yrs and he 22yrs.....was I mad?? Sometimes I have maybe thought so but we have now been married for 25years....WOW! And because we have been together so long we sometimes think we are linked like twins i.e. I pick up the phone to ring him and he is literally saying hello and vice versa, we must be ringing each other at that same split second.

I know what he is going to say as soon as he opens his mouth, we both have the same pains i.e. when one gets a headache the other does BUT usually it is on the other side of the body, and loads of others things....truly amazes me sometimes.

Snow, I have to say I don't like snow, the only time I like it is when I am snuggled up in the house and don't have to go out.

Post some pics of your Chrismassy

Hugs to you xx

Queen Bee's Buzzin' on Down

King Harley's Revvin' on Down