Tag Archives: Co-Dependence

Finally on the way?

Am I finally on the way to success, to more happiness, or maybe just to happiness?

And I don’t know how to make this into an inspiring post, but I am discovering more and more that I am codependent. And a phone call with my mam tonight confirms some very dysfunctional stuff in our family, as she acts like she is fully helpless and ‘cannot do anything’, which is not true, as she did sign some very important papers as ‘she had no other option’. And the strange thing to me is still that she says she ‘does everything’ for her children, especially me, but when I want or need something from her ‘she cannot do it’.

Anyhow, I don’t want to talk about my mam, but it seems there is a lot of codependent behavior in my family, where probably I and my sister are the ‘target’ of my mams codependency. And somehow my dad was also a ‘target’, as I saw my mam do everything for him, instead of setting healthy boundaries. And my dad must have been part of the system that kept it all going also, ‘needing my mam’.

So I found myself in this weird discussion with my mam where I tried to settle some stuff related to the death of my sister last week. As my mam, my other sister and I are the heirs of my sister and responsible of arranging the legal stuff. And to me it is relatively simple to settle the inheritance of my sister as she was a special child living in a mental institution. This means she only has a few thing like a closet, a bed, clothes, some toys, etc and some money on the bank. And most of the financial stuff I know as I used to be her curator, being responsible for all the legal stuff.

The strange thing however was that I was no part of any arranging of her funeral as my mam ‘had to follow the undertaker’ and ‘there was no time to involve me’ as I live far away in The Philippines. So I tried to involve myself by asking if the undertaker could call me to set up a video connection as I was not able and willing to go to The Netherlands and with current technology it shouldn’t be that difficult to be present through some video conferencing system. Even the common Skype would do perfect for that purpose and only requires internet and a laptop or something. But no, nobody called me, even though there were two days available to arrange something like that. And as far as I know undertakers always work under time pressure, so my request or anything ‘there is no time’ doesn’t make any sense to me.

Anyhow, when Thursday afternoon and evening Philippine time, which is the Dutch morning and beginning of the afternoon nothing had happened, I knew nothing would be arranged anymore, as the funeral was Friday morning Dutch time. So I decided to just make my own plans and let the funeral be, even though it hurt a little, but not that much.

And right now I find myself in the same situation. As my mam somehow has instructed a notary public to deal with things like payment of the funeral and other bills. Which to me she does not even have the right to, at least not on behalf of the heirs, but that’s not the point. So I had this discussion with her yesterday, that Suzan, my other sister, she and I could just arrange the stuff ourselves and that I am even willing to do most of the work. And as she got very upset yesterday because  ‘bills have to be paid’ and ‘maybe there is not enough money’ to pay for the funeral, I decided to not push through yesterday with deciding who is going to do what.

But today I got the feeling to call her again, especially as I found out that my mams notary had been sending e-mails to third parties about legal stuff they don’t have the right to as far as I know. And again, they fully bypassed me, where I expected a phone call or e-mail from them to check with me how I thought things should be handled. And maybe also because I know all the details about Janneke’s finance. I mean, it’s easiest to check those things with me, as I have the overview.

But no, nothing, not even after I sent them an e-mail that I felt a bit bypassed, being the brother and one of the heirs.

So I called again. And ended up in the same discussion, my mam kind of blaming me that she can’t sleep because of, well, it seems money problems, where as far as I know Janneke has enough capital. So contrary to my mam I am more worried about inheritance tax that needs to be paid than about not enough money available for the funeral or stone repair as she is buried in a family grave. So while I was trying to get an answer how my mam, Suzan and I would like to have all these legal things arranged, my mam had only one solution: the notary public who is going to pay the bills. And in my opinion he can’t do that, as he would need the permission of all three of us to do that. But for my mam there is only one way: the notary is going to do this as ‘there is no other way’.

So I am trying to learn from this, like if my mam is also codependent and if I am a bit like my mam, do I behave the same in similar or other situations? And if so, how can I change that, so a ‘normal’ negotiation would be possible?

And another thing I am trying to learn is how to deal with this person who has only one solution in mind and doesn’t want to budge. As I also want something, and that is just a decision on how we are going to do all this. And yes, maybe there is a similarity, as I also want that ‘now, now, now’, where there is no real time pressure.

Ah, but one thing I think I learned, and that is not giving in to the sad stories of my mam. The ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do anything’ thing. As that is just not true, that is just victim behavior. And indeed, I am not responsible for my mams feelings as she chooses this behavior (which is not easy, as I know she is really worried and does not sleep).

So for now I decided just to lie low and do nothing, but somehow that feels like passive aggressive behavior. And this means I still have something to learn, similar to find a way to communicate with my sister, who at the moment only wants to communicate through WhatsApp, something I don’t use and yes, installed on one of our computers giving in to my sister.