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Author: slowlythere Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 14993  
Subject: People issues, codependency, etc. Date: 1/20/2014 5:03 AM
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Hello all, how is everyone?

Obviously still around. I feel like I'm using up the board the most, but I don't mind if others have their own posts!

Not surprisingly, I am still up and down. Winter is not my favorite mood time of year, but still getting by. Not drinking as much as I expectedly, LOL, so this is good. Sleep has been so-so, but mostly schedule. I am not up past 4:00 AM local time. Main reason for this, I had fallen asleep around 6:00 PM and then woke up about midnight. Have been exhausted mostly due to erratic sleep, of course, but activities too.

Right now, I am kicking myself over my codependency issues. Specifically, I have a bad habit of taking on needy people as so-called friends, a.k.a. needlings. I have been able to weed out, at least for now, several of my long-term needlings. Unfortunately within the last few weeks, I've ended up picking up another needling.

Background: cutting aside all the more polite terminology, I live in a working-poor neighborhood and my full, city residential street has all types of wackos, including me. And if unfamiliar with low income areas like this, it is par for the course a lot of unspoken rules of socialization, appropriate behavior, etc. Various levels of dysfunction common on my street, both social and other.

One of the new "neighbors" I met almost two years ago, is a live-in superintendent, a.k.a. the new needling. Nice guy, strong personality with anger issues sometimes, obstinate, but not too bright and very sensitive to rejection and perceived insult (this last, insult, an important aspect in poor neighborhoods like mine). He can be pleasant, wants to have more friends, but I suspect he doesn't have more friends because he is sometimes too thin-skinned and angry. He often has a protective and suspicious nature, but he is generous with time and interest with those he cares about.

And he's bad with money though he is also very low-paid (free rent, low actual pay, but he likes the building, landlord, etc.). Some of the neighborhood women tend to give him food and meals when they can. Also he doesn't have bus and train fare so others often help him get on the bus/train, when necessary.

Lately, since before Christmas, I started to buy his coffees in the morning (we're both morning people), then coffee plus something from the deli, gradually a couple of times to actual breakfast and lunch (started because it was snowing and he would come across the street and automatically help me shovel my building), and eventually to dinners, twice so far. In addition, I also often get him on the bus/train when he needs.

Earlier today, before 5:00 PM, I saw him earlier and he had asked if I could get him on the train again. While agreeing, I unfortunately couldn't help but offered if he wanted a bite to eat for dinner and he said yes. Misc. I note that he is dressed in a buttondown shirt and pants, but don't bother to inquire why/what.

I was going to use my credit card (normally I pay in cash since cash-based meals etc. much cheaper). And whatever, I decided on a sit-down place, instead of a cheaper take-out; most cheaper places in the neighborhood don't take credit card at all, so I was already limited to some of the more mid-range places that take cards. And I spontaneously selected an AYCE buffet instead of some of the other options. FWIW, on a weekend night, this AYCE is $15.99/per person, which for me, is easily double (even triple) what I would spend even for myself, when I buy take-out. And btw I did ask him if he had a really good appetite, or we could go somewhere else. He was excited and eager at this new (to him) place, so he really wanted to.

Okay, so I am making all these stupid, bad to worse financial decisions, etc. but admittedly I do like this guy socially and my big, okay, enormous, urge to be a codependent-caretaker kicks in. I have a really hard time stopping myself.

Anyway, as we sat down to our first plates each.

And it came out, where he was going this evening. It seems he was on the way to a wedding reception. Where, you know, they would have lots of food. Free, of course, to guests.

As I usually am, I just continued on pleasantly, we had another plate each of food, plus a plate of dessert. And he did mention being happy with the food, but he's not going to eat too much because there will be food later. You know, wedding reception thing. Yup, okay.

Anyway, we finished, I paid $33 and change, we walked and I got him on the train. And he was very sweet and grateful, for both the food and the company. As usual, of course, he has no idea I'm p.o.ed.

Frustration because I spent $33 because I wanted to feed someone who I know has trouble feeding himself. But that, really, if he was on the way to an ample and free meal, he could have just declined. $32 for me is easily at least one weeks' normal food budget for myself. BTW not counting that a few days ago, because he was in a bad mood and upset (and I couldn't avoid him on the street), I took him out to a local diner and ended up spending $32 (really weird, almost the same exact amount). He was genuinely hungry though, that time. So in the space of a few days, $65 I spent on unnecessary meals and food (cheaper options, really, cheaper alternatives). First was by cash, the second, on credit card.

No idea why the heck I keep doing things like this.

It isn't his fault. As usual, it is mine. I have no sense of personal control at all. But I am just seething inside, why I am such an incorrigible idiot. Not just with money, but with people. I keep getting myself into a hole, of different types.

Emotionally, I feel like I want to tell him off, but it would make no sense to him since I had offered each time and I've always been so nice to him. Without the risk of insulting him (very sensitive to perceived insult which is an issue in low-income neighborhood cultures like ours), there is a part of me that feels I should be direct with him.

Pragmatically, for weeks, I've been trying to avoid him on the street, but he's yelled at me from the windows of his building (LOL). And the day I took him to the diner, this was in the neighborhood elsewhere and I tried to cross streets and dodge him, but he spotted me. Reasons for avoiding him isn't just because I realize I'm feeling suckered into feeding him all the time, but also that I have become emotional support for him at times, when he is stressed out and angry. It frustrates me even as I support and counsel him since it takes a lot out of me to listen to someone else's emotional problems, especially when I realize they have little to no capacity for improving their own well-being, or not likely to seek, or want, actual help. In his case, as well, he has a rather rigid sense of justice and fairness and when he perceives someone has violated his codes of conduct and behavior (this includes littering), he can become incensed. And this code also extends to fairness, as he was insulted (in my opinion, reasonably) when he heard of gossip about him that a certain neighbor suspected him of being addict or alcoholic. He can be direct and confrontational.

My problem? I have a problem with creating more problems for myself by being around problem people. LOL. I think this is the problem with codependency. It begets more problems and further codependency. No wonder I can't seem to unburden myself.

Long vent, sorry. Tired even though I can't sleep, just yet. Probably will fall asleep by 6 AM and then have to figure out how my day will go. Fortunately, many activities on a usual Monday are closed for the holiday. I have a day to recupe.

Thanks,
ST
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