Coping skills and co-dependency may be interchangable. For years people would pat me on the back for having great fortitude or the ability to stick with it. They had no idea that mentally I was going out of my mind. My friend Lou posted a statement the other day that has been rolling around in my thoughts.

Lou posted: "I did find one interesting statistic: the affected spouse/parent/loved one of an addict lives with the situation for an average of 7 years before seeking help." If this is true, I'm one messed up woman.

Somehow, through the upbringing of loving parents, I thought that I was supposed to handle all these problems because I was the one who made choices to marry young and encountered all that came with it. In a healthy marital relationship, this would be true. You know, for better, for worse...

Going home was not presented as an option. Talking about it wasn't a good idea either as you played the cards you're dealt. Misunderstanding my faith at times meant I should stick with it, all of it, "till death do us part" and as for parenting there is no concrete line to draw from. I don't think till death do us part meant abusive relationships.

Spending my early adult years with a mate who was raised by dual alcoholic parents opened my eyes to things I'd never seen nor heard before. The constant chaos was unimaginable. My parents were fairly awesome parents given all they had to deal with through their 53 years. One thing they didn't do is belittle or speak in derogatory ways to each other. But, when my mate spoke to me, I couldn't believe the things I heard or the names thrown at me. How could he say he loves me one minute and then talk to me like this the next? How was I not supposed to hear those words that played over and over again in my mind and still haunt me today?

"This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue—it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

My friends, this can't go on. A spring doesn't gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don't bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don't bear apples, do they? You're not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?"

James 3:9-11, The Message

More on coping to follow.....