On the advice of friends, I attended an Al-Anon meeting. The occasion for this recommendation stems from my history with relationships with alcoholics; however, by no means could all of my relationships be characterized this way. Rather, I believe that my baggage is with narcissists, who, incidentally, may be more presupposed to alcoholism than the general population, and from whom, unfortunately, the bulk of self-actualized “sadists” can be found.
The way that I define narcissism (and its codependents) these days is that it is essentially a failure of differentiation of “self” from primary caregiver. While such a thing may occur during “The Terrible Twos” it can also arise as a direct consequence of inebriation from any narcotic or neurological degeneration.
This failure of self differentiation can result in two or more ways, but generally, it is either a refusal to recognize the personal boundaries of others or to have poor boundaries of one’s self. This is also classic “drunk” behavior. There is also a problem with uncomfortable feelings such as shame, which are unmanageable to the narcissist but yet “fitting punishment” for the codependent, who may decide to identify as narcissist eventually, as a backlash from a life of shaming, even if the shaming is imaginary (such as for a Feminist).
But I digress.
At my first Al-Anon meeting the majority of the participants were female. Of those males, one had boobs and most of the others appeared to me to me to be otherwise emasculated or over self-deprecatory.
The women however were suspiciously “empowered”.
Statements such as, “us women take care of everyone before ourselves,” belied the presence of expensive hairstyles, manicures, and outfits, and the apparent love of hearing one’s own voice, drone on and on and on.
My half-baked theory is this:
1. Women with alcoholic boyfriends/husbands/lovers/sons are embarrassed in front of their “sisters” that they haven’t adequately “shaped him up” or “kept him in line”, and therefore require validation when they “stop trying to fix him”.
2. Affirmation from their sisters that they did the right thing, “leaving the bastard” and “looking after myself” compensates for that loss of status in their eyes for “choosing the bum in the first place.”
3. “Self-medication” is about the only thing left for many men in a culture which shames them for merely existing.
4. Persons tired of being “shamed” tend to do a lot of “shaming” themselves.
5. Men and women who feel “victimized” by alcoholics aren’t particularly compatible with each other except as “sisters” but that doesn’t stop emasculated men from thinking that “they’ll be the one” who can persuade a female codependent to try “emasculated” as a change from “narcissistic”. Yes. I got hit on. No. I didn’t parlay in kind.
I think that I will continue to find solace and comfort among cigar aficionados (and aficionadas) more so than self-actualized “victims”.
If you or someone you know has been helped by Al-Anon, I’m delighted. However, that does not make Al-Anon a one-size-fits-all solution to codependency.
I think I would like to try hypnosis as a way of breaking out of patterns conditioned into me under duress and by repetition. I think it would also be helpful if I were to find a way to happiness that did not involve massaging my own masochism. As I get older, the pool of prospective partners is looking so dim that I am afraid that I might relax my standards and end up with a psycho. Celibacy is also an option. It is fortunate that I’m repulsed by the mere smell of alcoholism and prefer men who have all their wits about them (such as is necessary if one wishes to engage in exotic or risky activity). Men who are in charge of themselves and their environment turn me on. However, I also understand why one might want to let it all hang out and otherwise act the fool with their nonjudgmental male buddies. Although I might be confused for a male or transwoman at times due to my size, muscularity, or fondness for cigars, mistaking me for a father figure or male confidant is bound to backfire. Like most women, I prefer to see my hero uncompromised. A broken hero is deeply disconcerting or at the least causes my sex drive to vanish in favor of my maternalism. Yes of course I’d like to help him, but that “help” does not include submission.
Meanwhile, I hope to serve as an inspiration for all those who are beginning to question the narratives of Feminism, Equalism, Cultural Marxism, Health-Nazism, and Gynocentrism. Perhaps that is the sex substitute that will be the facilitator of my recovery from codependence.