Looking for Recognition, Affirmation, To Be Heard

At my last appointment, my therapist said, as she was listening to me talk about my Bub (partner), how I sounded like I really wanted recognition…or to be heard, acknowledgment for my actions, my support, for doing and saying what they want, for not saying what they don’t want me to say…(?)

That is true. And I wish I could see myself right now as she did in that moment. I think I did for a moment in the appointment, but I am generally so buried in my own discontent that I could not hold on to perspective for long… In the moment that I did recognize myself from the outside, my reaction was to be gentle with myself, to let the rest of it come out, rather than turning ‘hard’ and looking disappointedly at myself… I wanted to hear or feel more, so that I could comfort myself, see the root of my desperate need for valuation. Allow myself the relief from waiting for it to come from these people in my life who seem to take me the most for granted, who seem to demonstrate the least appreciation for me in their lives…

Trying to remember exactly what I was talking about that day…as I write it begins to loosen up in my mind… I have been there and put it on myself to see ‘past’ all of the selfish, cruel, thoughtless, brainless, careless, deceptive, oblivious things my ex has said and done, I have always been certain that, regardless of his actions, I was right to show him I cared, that I love him, and i see him as more than those things…But what happens is that rather than believe he IS more than those things HIMSELF, and do things differently, his actions show that he just expects me to continue to accept those things as acceptable, as ‘who he is’. He is smoothly using me to rationalize his bad behavior, his bad habits, to tell himself that he is not doing THAT badly…Same scenario as my mother.  How she used me as affirmation and backup when I was a child and I did not know I had the option to refuse, disagree, excuse myself… (Parents are like Gods…we don’t know there is anything else until years and years later, if that…). When I am talking about how to change my behavior, I seem to still want recognition for this ‘kindness’, this ‘patience’, and ‘forgiveness’, and ‘unconditional love’ that was extorted from me by my mother as a little girl.

But therein lies the lie in the whole thing. The lie I learned from my mother, the lie I have been living with my Bub, and the lie I have been telling myself as I try to foolishly wait for one of these people to acknowledge me and my thoughts and feelings and do in return what I have been brainwashed into doing… It was not really ‘kindness’,  ‘patience’, and ‘forgiveness’, and ‘unconditional love’ that I was showing because…. I was FORCED.  I did not give that willingly. I did not feel I had a choice. I was coerced, through the power of the parent-child relationship. It was not my idea. It was, however, still complete sacrifice of self and spirit… But I was manipulated. Brainwashed.

I do deserve to be appreciated and acknowledged and valued and heard… But not within that pattern of feeling like I have no choice. What I gave as a child was not real. I am asking for recognition, support, love because I did things that I do not want to and never should have had to do! So it is illogical for me to be looking for acknowledgment for those things, or for someone to support me in the same way in return, because it is not kind or loving or healthy for anyone (including me) to coerce anyone into telling others what they want to hear or act as they say works for them. No one who can love someone in a healthy way asks or forces that person to lie to them and lie to themselves for them.

So, as I try to ‘excuse myself’ from supporting my Bub and my mother in hurting themselves, and say what I really feel and do what I really need, I feel very, very empty… I feel alone, because my Bub is not there for me while I put myself into taking care of myself and my responsibilities. He is literally absent while I try to finish my thesis. While I try to recover from bad habits and learn how to have more healthy relationships with alcoholics and para-alcoholics…(and other people too!) While I try to find peace. He has no interest in

So,there is this HUGE void in my life, in my spirit… as I am so spent from compensating for others, from lying to them about what I think about how they are doing and their words and actions, and what I really feel like, and what I feel like doing… all the while they never say thank you for helping them stay in their denial…(accept to tell me they love me when I do help them stay in their denial) and the void or vacuum is twice as big as I do things for myself. Being honest and responsible around my Bub and my mother always puts me WaaaaY in the red. So acknowledgment or reward for dysfunctional compensating, and even less for taking care of myself… I feel so empty that I feel like I am going to die from the pain in my gut… I really would like some instantaneous treatment for this. Really REALLY… It hurts.


About wonderfulshantelle

Journey To My Wonderful Self

Posted on July 16, 2013, in 12-step, AA, Addiction, Adult Children, codependence, emotional abuse, emotional sobriety, Meditation, recovery, Relationship, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow. I can relate. It doesn’t do any good to think “Oh maybe I’ve finally hit bottom” because sometimes we bounce along the bottom for awhile, hoping to heaven that we don’t cease to exist as we’re desperate to get help. The realization that we’re not bad off enough for that immediate help is disconcerting and somewhat terrifying. When I got to that point I actually wondered to myself what I would have to do to get to the point of where I could access that immediate help…and it was way too scary to consider it any further.

    One breath. One moment. One second. That’s all you can do. You will turn the corner as you have all of the tools and you’re actively using them. All of the things you’re battling are enormous and you’re dealing with all of them at once. This just means that once you’re finally, really back on your feet, you’ll be a completely different person and very satisfied with who She is. Grief is awful hard to deal with, let alone dealing with grief and many large, life-changing issues at once. Keep being gentle with yourself. I have all the faith in the world in you.



  2. BTW, the part about being heard…once I let go of the attachment to that outcome and decided that my hearing my own voice was enough, miraculous things happened. Progress took hold and it all depended on ME. Essentially, this was a moment of taking back my power. My life was so bad that I decided to look at everything from the “what’s the worst that can happen in this situation” perspective. The worst didn’t happen, but if it did, I decided it wouldn’t be any worse than my daily life in hell.

    Be well,


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