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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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Wow, ST, I think I understand a bit. I'm not, well, finding new people to help, but it looks like the friends I spend most time with are those needing help and or mmoney (well not so much the money except one but that is a complex relationship hwere she maybe has no one else or feels that way) and so I relate. and the more normal a person is it seems I spend less time with them (not Needed?) so, I get it.

hm.
you aren't as odd as you thought!

jts
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and the more normal a person is it seems I spend less time with them (not Needed?) so, I get it.

hm.
you aren't as odd as you thought!


You got it, joycets!

Regrettably I think you know where I am coming from. I don't consciously and deliberately looking for needlings, but I find myself enjoying their company and spending too much time and interest with them. fundamentally, I think us codependent types subconsciously are attracted to other codependents-needlings whereas most of the normals (LOL) which instinctively/subconsciously withdraw.

The thing is, this guy is clueless. I find him likeable (though I tend to find too many people likeable) and though I don't really want to spend every available hour with him, I don't mind the rare and infrequent 5-minute (or less) chat etc. say maybe limited to once a week. As of now, sometimes it is consecutive days, or alternate days. I've known him now almost two years (will be two years in the spring) and I guess because of the holidays and weather, he got more clingy recently.

For me, he is just indicative to me that I haven't kicked most of my codependent habits with other people and relationships. Much like my sometimes excessive (to normals) alcoholic drinking, I have a hard time knowing what is normal limits and boundaries of acceptable drinking habits and when it crosses the line. Not a good metaphor since most advise is to completely abstain from alcohol whereas people and social interaction is generally considered necessary, or critical.

A separate issue, but a stronger factor with some codependent relationships is to avoid more obvious and direct abusive relationships, which includes traditional views of "domestic violence" abusive relationships (severe physical, sexual, emotional, and/or other abuse issues) and just extremely unhealthy and dysfunctional relationships. My own history of adult relationships include at least one DV relationship with all the elements to significant, if not critical, levels with the exception of physical abuse. And though my dealings and relationships have been somewhat better, a theme of dangerously abusive (not physically, but psychologically) people have remained in my life at many levels.

The main difference for me is that I finally can - and do - pushback, but often only when things have gotten to the figurative "when push comes to shove" point, I tend to go overboard. Not always though. My main problem is not knowing how to clearly and effectively communicate with people if I need/want something, or if I am conflicted with something. I am still a doormat, if less than a doormat. And when this doormat gets pooped on too much, this is a doormat that will seemingly abruptly grow teeth and bite.

Thus I still have that annoying passive-aggressive nature that I have learned to recognize in others, but not sure how to get to the healthy ground of being assertive, and neither passive nor aggressive.

All this is hard to explain without giving examples right now, except for my current needling. Emotionally, I know I should be able to communicate with him, or at least modify my behavior and responses directly so I don't get to the point that I feel used and abused.

My ideal, I guess, is knowing how to healthily and safely manage this so-called friendship and communicate effectively and directly to him. The main element though is controlling my kneejerk instincts to take care of others, or in this situation, automatically offer him a meal, etc.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to think and process this a bit.

ST
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Emotionally, I know I should be able to communicate with him, or at least modify my behavior and responses directly so I don't get to the point that I feel used and abused.

Yes, this makes sense. And yes, it is hard to set boundaries with interesting but needy people.
Maybe explaining that you "have to be [somewhere] in a few minutes" would help? or other phrases you could memorize ahead of time?
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Thanks everyone for comments. I really need to come in and read more enthusiastically.

For now, an update on my friend, the "needling." I had been successfully reducing our contacts in recent two months except for the Superbowl (he caught me, LOL) and some related things.

This morning, he called me. I hadn't seen him in more than a week. It seems he had to be rushed to the E.R. five days ago, he nearly had a fatal asthma-related crisis. He was in the hospital for four days, released yesterday, but then went back to the E.R. late last night, released this morning. He has nine medications he needs to take until his situation is stabilized and he is seeing a doctor. It seems his recently widowed landlady (he is a live-in super) has been doing her best to keep an eye on him and making sure he gets adequate care, but he is a man who does not always understand instructions and situations.

He is at times somewhat feeble-minded and unable to understand instructions and does not communicate well, despite being pigheaded and aggressive at times. Though he has talked about it, he clearly does not quite know what the diagnoses are that he needs treatment for, other than something asthma-related and high blood pressure issues. It seems he has other problems (diabetes, maybe glaucoma, among others) and he just does not understand how and if they are related. He continues talking in ways that are borderline paranoid-aggression issues (sometimes he thinks everyone is out to get him or trying to hurt/kill him due to either neglect, or malfeasance) and though I don't doubt he has some minor psychiatric issues, his physical health are significant now and need serious and immediate follow-up.

Honestly this guy might end up dying due to medical problems, either because of inability to understand medical treatment recommendations and prescription medication issues, or simply ignoring them.

Frustrated and sad today because I just feel helpless in doing anything for him as he seems fundamentally incapable of knowing how to take care of himself and few, if anyone other than the landlady, is able to get him to take specific actions and guidance. All I can think of is that I resent having to get my funeral clothing cleaned again.

Having a really hard time pushing myself to function when I've got "friends" like this who are on the fast track to their own demise.

ST
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