Symbiosis


Symbiotic relationships simply put, are those with no boundaries. Often found with parent and child, a mother who eats off the child’s plate or goes through their things snooping. There are no boundaries and the child accepts it and feels guilt for having a life, so the cycle continues. Also many symbiotic relationships can morph from romantic bond to a brother and sister relationship or a rescuer and victim relationship or the partners may mother/father each other in a parent and child type of bond. The boundaries are so skewed that the couple cannot function without each other. It comes to mind the image of  the Ouroboros, the snake who eats its own tail, a very ancient symbol which means, that which feeds you kills you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

However the snake is constantly recreating itself. This is a more hopeful symbol than the images we get from Symbiosis which is constant feeding on each other to survive. It seems death represents change. The death of the bond creates the freedom to re-create.

Many people in symbiotic and co-dependent relationships say that they feel trapped by needy people, but perhaps they are trapped by their own neediness. You never know what’s going on in some one’s home, inside their marriage. Symbiotic and Co-dependent relationships end when one or both partners accept responsibility for their own emotional and physical well-being. Such people are then free to create healthier relationships …perhaps with each other.

From Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places by Jed Diamond

  • Healthy love is fluid and dynamic. Addictive love fears change.
  • Healthy love is gentle and comfortable. Addictive love is combative.
  • Healthy love encourages honesty. Addictive love encourages secrets.
  • Healthy love is unique. There are no ideal lovers. Addictive love is stereotyped.
  • Healthy love creates life and joy. Addictive love creates melodrama and suffering.
  • Healthy love is accepting the partner you have. Addictive love looks for more or better.
  • Healthy love is based on your desire to be with a person. Addictive love is based on need.
  • Healthy love is making yourself happy. Addictive love seeks someone to make you happy.
  • Healthy love develops after you feel safe. Addictive love tries to create bonds to avoid fear.
Secrets kill a relationship. Lack of trust and lack of faith are total deal killers. But many will accept this type of abuse, because they feel so bad about themselves they think they deserve nothing better. The intimacy dies and the two exist in faux existence perhaps living in their past successes and emotional ties which have long past.
Maybe they don’t deserve any better. Maybe they are a couple of losers who should just live with each other in a void and suffer their Karma forever LOL. Karma’s a Bitch. In any case, there is help to be had if the partners seek spiritual or psychological help. Without help and willingness to change and let go, it is doubtful that people who are embedded in these sick relationships have to tools to be honest and change their lives without outside help.
Leap of faith.. it takes fear to be courageous
Personally I believe, Twelve step programs are really good ways to start. As much as I resist Al-Anon, it has helped me tremendously.
I have learned a lot about myself through fucking up, but taking the lesson to the next level is what is in a Fool’s bag.
Note from a Sober Driver contributor:

There are 4 types of symbiosis

Mutualism- involves two species, both benefit

Commensalism- involves two species, one benefits the other is not harmed or helped

Parasitism- involves two species, one benefits the other is harmed

Amensalism- one species is inhibited or completely obliterated and one is unaffected.

For the time being we are going to discuss these types of symbiosis as they pertain to human relationships.

We all strive towards Mutualism. We strive to coexist with others in a manner that is not only enjoyable, but beneficial to both parties and neither party is harmed. Mutualism is also frequently a life long relationship between two species and weather obligate for one species or one is obligate(by necessity), the other facultative(optional). In the relationship both species are obligate, both need each other to survive. In the obligate/facultative relationship the obligate species needs the facultative species to survive, the facultative species does not necessarily need the obligate.

Commensalsim as stated previously, is a relationship between two species where one specie benefits, and the other is not harmed or helped by its presence. The extent by which the one is helped can be extended to things like housing and transportation. This sort of symbiosis in a human relationship is comparable to having a room-mate that pays rent and may or may not clean. Their presences are neither a hindrance or a help.

We are all very familiar with parasitism, one specie is harmed one benefits. A parasite is defined by its host and lifestyle, most parasites are obligate. They can invade your intestines, your blood, your integument, your brains. The harm they can cause can be minimal to severe, based on what body system they attack, and what they are going to take. A parasite can take one blood meal from its host and leave or it can latch on and continue to take blood meals for as long as they or we live. Animals and plants alike are both plagued by parasites and we are constantly as risk of becoming hosts. None of us are able to escape this in our personal dealings with other humans. Recovery  from this sort of symbiotic relationship starts with getting rid of the parasite in question. In order not to be drained of our life or at the very least irritated, we need to acquire some antiparasitic, i.e. some perspective. It is also important to recognize when one is the host in said parasitic relationship, which because of its many variations can be difficult. The best thing is to go with your first instinct, if you feel as though you are being used for someone else’s benefit, it’s surprising how often that little voice in the back of your mind is correct. It does how ever take recognition of self-worth to get out of a relationship that is parasitic. Sadly so few people do.

The most destructive symbiotic relationship is Amensalism. The host is completely drained or inhibited by another specie. The larger stronger specie drains the smaller and weaker specie till it die. When speaking on relationships, the hosts that do not find themselves a way out of parasitic symbiosis become victims of amensalism. The host has been used to the extent that they are weak and unable to sustain its own life. 

These relationships all represent different ways in which we as humans fight for life. 

Holly Go Lightly  and the Broke Offs

Clean in Two 2008


Micro-Manage


Yikes!! Do we really think we actually have control of another human being? 

Sometimes someone will play along and let you think you have them under control, but the truth is no one can control anyone. It is all smoke and mirrors, illusion.

Doubt, fear and making that person think they owe us something, giving, giving, giving ourselves over to them so they feel guilty about trying to separate and individualize. There are so many forms of micro-managing.

“Remember just because someone is opinionated doesn’t mean they are controlling. A good test to tell the difference between someone who is just very opinionated or controlling is if they willingly accept or tolerate differences between you and them and don’t try to change any part of your core person or personality.”

So complicated.

We are free and have free choice and that is what is so cool about being human.

Claim your power!

Go Ahead!

Big Boys

Complete Control 1983


Failure


If you give up the drink does that mean you are weak, that you can’t “handle” your liquor?

When you say alcohol is stronger than you are, does that mean you have failed?

Some of us have the disease of alcoholism and yes, alcohol is stronger than us if we put it in our bodies, but we are stronger than alcohol, if we don’t drink.

This goes for alcohol in other people’s bodies as well. I can’t stop you from drinking too much, but I can take care of myself and not be affected by what you ingest.

Is a relationship a failure if it does not stay together?

When a relationship breaks up, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t work out. It just means it worked out apart.

Trying to force a dead relationship to work is like trying to control drinking for an alcoholic.

Giving up alcohol was so much easier than trying to control it and act like all was fine. Those last few drinking years were the hardest of my life. It took all my energy to make it all look good on the outside so no one knew I was miserable. I even tried to make my relationship look like it was fine too and that was a huge joke.

I just didn’t want to admit powerlessness.

I thought I was in control.  Like I had some kind of mind control. Everything all in its place, looking the part, all neat and controlled, but inside, I was outa control for real. Besides I wasn’t fooling any one really.

False Pride is failure in my book.

Why be something that you’re not?

Now I choose the easier softer way…

It looks like quite a feat to give up alcohol for 21 years, but really it has been an amazing fun adventure.

Creep  1994

Radiohead

When you were here before
Couldn’t look you in the eye
You’re just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You’re so fucking special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here

I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice when I’m not around
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell I’m doing here?
I don’t belong here

She’s running out the door
She’s running out
She runs runs runs

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here


March the Third Step


Every month, some of our meetings focus on a step a month.

This month is Step Three.

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

The words in that step used to piss me off, because Bill W. and Dr. Bob already defined my Higher Power as “Him.”

However, over twenty one years, I have softened and remembered that the modern days have become more inclusive of all kinds of interpretations of who our Higher Power is to us, personally.

It makes it a lot easier for us to come into the rooms and allow something greater than ourselves run the show.

When I first got sober, I was in a relationship in which, I was so controlling of my partner that it made me physically sick. I had just started the steps and had come to Step Three. I was in the illusion I was calling the shots in the relationship and behind my back, my partner was lying about the affairs they were having.(I hope this person is happy. I pray for all to have the good will of our Higher Power in our lives, including this ex)

I began to wake up to all the shenanigans and my partner left. I like to think they left, because now, my Higher Power was running the show and lies could not stand in the light of truth. The truth all came out in a really magical way, thanks to two very good friends who helped me out of that bondage.

By myself, I believed what I wanted to hear. I was so busy trying to control every thing, spying on my partner, feeling the dishonesty, it took up a lot of my energy and creativity and time. Not to mention I was blocking a very important relationship with someone very special. When I let go and joined up with my Higher Power, the liar left and I began to really grow up. I lived alone for a while. In fact, I have been alone many times in sobriety and I learn a lot about myself. I don’t feel sorry for myself very long. I understand I am never alone with my AA family and my Higher Power as constant presence in my life. I do the work and it pays off.

There is beauty in the breakdown.

This Growing Up in Public thing takes a lot of courage. To admit defeat over alcohol and people and let go and trust my Higher Power was the biggest step I took. This step I practice daily, some times hourly and I don’t always get what I want, but I sure as HELL get what I need!

God laughs while we are busy making plans.

My sponsor says it’s like getting in a rowboat and letting go of the oars and going with the current.

I am super grateful for this step.

Trust, faith and surrender.

Let Go

Frou Frou

drink up, baby down
mmm, are you in or are you out
leave your things behind
’cause it’s all going off without you
excuse me, too busy you’re writing your tragedy
these mishaps
you bubble wrap
when you’ve no idea what you’re like

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
so let go, just get in
oh, it’s so amazing here
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

it gains the more it gives
and then it rises with the fall
so hand me that remote
can’t you see that all that stuff’s a sideshow

such boundless pleasure
we’ve no time for later now
you can’t await your own arrival
you’ve 20 seconds to comply

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
so let go, just get in
oh, it’s so amazing here
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown


Addiction to Whatevah, Whoevah is Around


I love this thought. It’s just so sick and real.

Any one can get familiar to one way of living or a person or a substance or a behavior or just any thing that it becomes unhealthy addiction.

Let’s make a list:

Blow up dolls comes to mind first, drugs, alcohol, food, “caring” for others, rescuing animals, people etc..,cleaning (I wish), cussing (that is a fun one), praying (it’s possible), money and things, collecting, perfectionism, fantasy, romantic love, sex, status, Let’s not forget Facebook, checking our phones or emails a million times a day, hating ourselves, guilt, narcissism, anger, worry and plenty of whatevah is in the world.

That is just so amazing to me, but it has happened to many of us over and over.

The word “familiar” rooted in “family” really says it all. How we grow up and  how we deal with living issues shapes our choices. If a child has not individuated from its parents, there will always be an unhealthy dependence not only with the parent, but with every one around. This will only stop if the healthy partner (if there is one) sets up clear boundaries.

Dependence is not a bad thing. Healthy dependence is how long-lasting relationships are shaped.

If there is not trust or respect and there is a need to hurt or get back at the other person, this is probably learned from an unhealthy experience that every thing else is measured by.

Not an easy thing to break.

Facing Co-dependence and other books on recovery are great to read, but drinking beer and reading self-help books lying on the couch was not really getting it for me.

I needed 12 step meetings. Hearing others who have the same issues and realizing there is a solution, works!

And a good 12 step counselor or therapist really helps the journey.

My friend and I are on our 47th day of  90 meetings in 90 days commitment. We don’t get to go to every meeting together, but it is so fun to have a friend on this journey when we can.

So that is how it works: The “WE” of the first step.

“WE admitted WE were powerless over _______and our lives had become unmanageable.”

(Fill in the blank as it applies to you.)

Here is a good song my meeting compadre picked on anger and road rage addiction:

Bad Habit

Offspring


Saving Face and Your Ass at the Same Time


Is it really possible to save face and get your self out of deep trouble?

Meetings, having a therapist or a sponsor to talk to or clergyman or a good friend give us the opportunity to admit our shortcomings and take action.

It is not always easy to admit when we are wrong or that some thing just isn’t working in our lives. In fact, most of us would like to just hide away and let it all go by, let it all take care of itself. Meanwhile, our problems are driving a Maserati and have gone ahead of us and eaten chile at truck stop and are waiting for us at our destination. There is no geographical cure and no other way out but to admit our powerlessness and the exact nature of our wrongs.

The trick is really seeing what those problems are. Denial is such a strong force.

So baby, Watch your face, I mean Watch your ass…

Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell


Love Addicts


Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Love Addicts Anonymous

40 Questions To Help You Determine If You Are a Love Addict

If you can answer yes to more than a few of the following questions, you are probably a love addict.

Remember that love addiction comes in many forms, so even if you don’t answer yes to all of the questions you may still be a love addict.

  1. You are very needy when it comes to relationships.
  2. You fall in love very easily and too quickly.
  3. When you fall in love, you can’t stop fantasizing—even to do important things. You can’t help yourself.
  4. Sometimes, when you are lonely and looking for companionship, you lower your standards and settle for less than you want or deserve.
  5. When you are in a relationship, you tend to smother your partner.
  6. More than once, you have gotten involved with someone who is unable to commit—hoping he or she will change.
  7. Once you have bonded with someone, you can’t let go.
  8. When you are attracted to someone, you will ignore all the warning signs that this person is not good for you.
  9. Initial attraction is more important to you than anything else when it comes to falling in love and choosing a partner. Falling in love over time does not appeal to you and is not an option.
  10. When you are in love, you trust people who are not trustworthy. The rest of the time you have a hard time trusting people.
  11. When a relationship ends, you feel your life is over and more than once you have thought about suicide because of a failed relationship.
  12. You take on more than your share of responsibility for the survival of a relationship.
  13. Love and relationships are the only things that interest you.
  14. In some of your relationships you were the only one in love.
  15. You are overwhelmed with loneliness when you are not in love or in a relationship.
  16. You cannot stand being alone. You do not enjoy your own company.
  17. More than once, you have gotten involved with the wrong person to avoid being lonely.
  18. You are terrified of never finding someone to love.
  19. You feel inadequate if you are not in a relationship.
  20. You cannot say no when you are in love or if your partner threatens to leave you.
  21. You try very hard to be who your partner wants you to be. You will do anything to please him or her—even abandon yourself (sacrifice what you want, need and value).
  22. When you are in love, you only see what you want to see. You distort reality to quell anxiety and feed your fantasies.
  23. You have a high tolerance for suffering in relationships. You are willing to suffer neglect, depression, loneliness, dishonesty—even abuse—to avoid the pain of separation anxiety (what you feel when you are not with someone you have bonded with).
  24. More than once, you have carried a torch for someone and it was agonizing.
  25. You love romance. You have had more than one romantic interest at a time even when it involved dishonesty.
  26. You have stayed with an abusive person.
  27. Fantasies about someone you love, even if he or she is unavailable, are more important to you than meeting someone who is available.
  28. You are terrified of being abandoned. Even the slightest rejection feels like abandonment and it makes you feel horrible.
  29. You chase after people who have rejected you and try desperately to change their minds.
  30. When you are in love, you are overly possessive and jealous.
  31. More than once, you have neglected family or friends because of your relationship.
  32. You have no impulse control when you are in love.
  33. You feel an overwhelming need to check up on someone you are in love with.
  34. More than once, you have spied on someone you are in love with.
  35. You pursue someone you are in love with even if he or she is with another person.
  36. If you are part of a love triangle (three people), you believe all is fair in love and war. You do not walk away.
  37. Love is the most important thing in the world to you.
  38. Even if you are not in a relationship, you still fantasize about love all the time— either someone you once loved or the perfect person who is going to come into your life someday.
  39. As far back as you can remember, you have been preoccupied with love and romantic fantasies.
  40. You feel powerless when you fall in love—as if you are in some kind of trance or under a spell. You lose your ability to make wise choices.

Here’s one of my fave bands with a little obsession song for Valentine’s Day..

Enjoy

Dandy Warhols I Love You

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

I only just met you before
But I can’t understand you don’t want me more
You maybe think I’m too smart and weird,
But that should only make you want to hear that…

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you,

You make me feel really unsure,
But that should just make you feel secure.
Although we’ve only known each other a bit
Already I can’t sleep at night and I feel like shit.
That’s right.

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/dandy+warhols/#share