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Hi, my name is Ama and I'm a recovering Codependent

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Amazonia posted 8/13/2014 07:41 AM

Many of you know that I am an expat, working in an under-developed part of the world. Today my team got a new colleague, a single parent with three kids. When I first heard he was coming out, I thought, "oh, how cool, this guy must be an awesome parent to take his kids around the world with him alone like that!" Fortunately it's inexpensive (and supports the local economy) to hire household staff here, so we found him a nanny who started when he got here.

As it turns out, he is apparently only very recently a single parent.

I took him grocery shopping today. He bought two very small bags of stuff, and as we were paying, sheepishly admitted, "I didn't really know what to buy. I can't cook at all. I've never been responsible for feeding them before."

I gave him the number of a few restaurants that deliver and suggested he could hire a cook, and then backed slowly away, even though my good ol' codependent streak was screaming that I needed to march him back down the aisles and help him pick food to buy, and cook him a bunch of bulk meals, and feed these poor children.

I am going to make sure he meets some of the other families in our community with kids the same ages, but gees... what's the phrase? "Not my circus, not my monkeys!"

[This message edited by Amazonia at 8:09 AM, August 13th (Wednesday)]

Newlease posted 8/13/2014 08:03 AM

I can really relate. I was doing my normal over-functioning the other day and my SO said this: "When I find someone who needs you to manage their life, I will let you know." (it wasn't him that I was trying to manage) It really made me pause and step back.

Breaking that type of co-dependency is tough when it's so ingrained. Good for you to step back when your mind was telling you to take care of the situation.


better4me posted 8/13/2014 09:18 AM

yeh, you'd think he'd have done something about that "I can't cook at all" thing before he agreed to the job. Sheesh. The whole family will benefit from hiring a cook though. I think you should hire one too!

Good for you for backing off slowly...

nowiknow23 posted 8/13/2014 14:31 PM

Emphasis on the "recovering." Well done, you.

persevere posted 8/13/2014 16:52 PM

Nice job Ama - I tend to lean that way myself - feels good when you catch yourself.

Holly-Isis posted 8/13/2014 17:26 PM

MrH told me once he didn't know how to cut a tomato.

I handed him a knife and told him, "You're an adult, you'll figure it out."

That's pretty much what you did with this guy. I'm sure he knows how to read directions so he can follow recipes. Despite what some of the cooking shows portray, it's not rocket science.

Just a PITA IME. Like I read in a recent blog- they expect to be fed EVERY DAY.

Congrats on being aware and stopping yourself before you started. I know how hard it is.

I don't know his sitch but if he's never been involved enough to feed his kids, I feel sorry for them and the X. And him for that matter. That's an awful lot of missing out on their lives to not be involved in a single meal.

ETA- oops, thought I was in OT.

[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 5:28 PM, August 13th (Wednesday)]

Amazonia posted 8/13/2014 18:56 PM

Holly, you can always respond to my posts. You're practically family.

Holly-Isis posted 8/13/2014 20:32 PM

Thanks Ama- you "talk" to me more than my sister does so I'll agree and be thankful.

Bluebird26 posted 8/14/2014 05:37 AM

I would be the exact same.


Are you co-dependent or just being helpful I guess that's the fine line between the 2.

Me, I like to help people perhaps it is co-dependency ?

Amazonia posted 8/14/2014 05:57 AM

I do like to be helpful - if I didn't, I wouldn't have volunteered to take him grocery shopping, or given him the numbers of restaurants. I did those things.

But I think stepping in and mothering his children is over the line.

Kajem posted 8/14/2014 12:53 PM

I think I would have cooked him a welcome meal. But I make muffins for new neighbors.

Good for recognizing that it wasn't your circus.


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