• Jasmine Mendiola

Co-Dependency is synonymous to Motherhood

or at least in this Mom’s case.

Co-dependency, if i’m not mistaken, is that unhealthy relationship where both people involved in a relationship can’t live with and without each other. I thought I had a relationship just like that.

– I can’t stand his kuyakoy but I can’t not sit next to him; I can’t dance to his preferred music but I can’t dance with anyone else; a day doesn’t go by without the petty arguments yet a does a day does not pass without the i love yous; a can’t stand his whiteheads-infested face and his dirty greasy ears but (or maybe, so) i love giving him a facial and cleaning his ears; i can’t stand him.

The point is, this co-dependent feeling which eventually led to unhealthy things, errupted when I became a mother. And this ex’s theory was that single mom are all psycho. Perhaps he was right. Because at some point, like tonight, I feel so co-dependent of Mio:

– I can’t stand his whining and crying but I can’t do without him pining on my attention; I can’t stand it when he refuses to brush his teeth but I love smelling his un-brushed mouth while he sleeps with the scent of his milk breathing down on my nose; I can’t stand how unfriendly he can be but I can’t not show him off whenever I can; I seriously hate coming home to a whiny little brat but I miss him to death when I’m not…

I am guilty of being a bad parent if I am the only mom who felt like throwing her own child out the door. and it’s such a huge dilemma if i should hit him or not when he’s misbehaved. Its really tiring when you have to think of how a simple reprimand or “don’t do this-don’t do that” and answers to why questions can affect his immediate reaction and his life 10 years from now. I tell him to ask nicely, but I find myself screaming at the top of my lungs pleading him to stop crying. This is exactly why i was told that he was so difficult to be accepted as their own.

But when he greets me in the dining table with “you haven’t eaten momma? you sit here ok?” or “look mom, i can eat by myself!” and his wit would bargain with my punishment that he won’t get any more new toys until Christmas because he cried so hard and threw an intolerable tantrum over those rings that light up by saying, “ok, you’ll buy me mcdo nlng with toy, no toy from toy store”; he’s so hard to resist.

i know my son is a good boy when i’m not around and that i should understand that he’s just seeking attention from his mom who he ardently asks “working again, momma? no work anymore, stay home, don’t work here at home”–

and i end up telling him things like, “stop crying over spilled milk. not because you want it now means you can get it. be realistic, don’t ask for impossible things. i don’t want you crying this much over frustrations you get from toys you can’t fix. you’ll have to learn to understand that some things are just not meant to be fixed and you just have to let it go and appreciate the fact that you have so much more toys compared to other boys.” in one breath.

i also told him after 5 minutes of hitting the toilet and taking a quick wash while bearing the sound of him whining by the door “no wash momma! tagal momma e!” uttering those words a million times with that punchy voice of his because i told him that he’s arleady a big boy and he cant’ stay in the bathroom to watch mom wash or keep the door open while he’s outside because obviously, others will see me naked in broad daylight! — “mio naman. just 5 minutes? can’t mom have a little time to herself?! i come home and you cry, i’d rather stay at work or be out knowing you’re a good boy than come home and keep arguing with you! understand naman anak that its hard enough to do everything by myself that’s why i have to ask help from yaya and grandmom, so when i’m at home, give me time to rest or at least go to the bathroom without you crying that you cant’ see me! please! understand naman that i’m already having a hard time and all i ask is for you to be a good boy!”

yes. i talked to him like that. and my 38 yo boy trapped in a 3yo’s body nodded and said, “sorry momma.” i honestly put him to sleep right after so i can go about with my irregular beauty regimen and start packing away his loitering toys and work. but i found myself procrastinating for 5 to 10 minutes just lying beside him and pulling him to embrace me and touch my face. then i thought, “he seriously needs a bed of his own.” then another thought came to me, “but i can’t come home to an empty bed anymore and not smell wiwi-filled diapers.” i think i am co-dependent on mio.

co-dependency as most would further describe however, is like two people just eating off each other’s energy and keeping it together only because they need each other for reasons that inferiorate themselves in one way or another, in which case, does not allow for each individual’s growth.

in this case however, having these thoughts on being co-dependent, i whispered to mio, “i love you, Mio. I hope you believe me when I say that I love you more than anything in this world. Even when Mommy’s angry I need you to understand that I love you that’s why I’m angry. I will never hurt you… but if ever i do, i’m sorry. and i hope that’s enough. because i love you and i will never leave you.”

i wish that co-dependent relationships can be like that of a mother-and-child. when you can scream at each other in frustration and after that sincerely be happy with a positive response to the bickering. when after getting hurt, one can just say sorry and everything will be and should be ok. I hope that its not just a matter of having a choice to be in that kind of relationship in the first place, but don’t you wish that even if it hurts so bad, you can say and actually love and never leave? in a relationship like this, no matter how a mom would say, “enough is enough” (like my mom used to say, aside from the lines she snickers at hearing from me such as “nagtanong ka pa mio kung ung gusto mo rin naman ung masusunod?”) …. when can an ordinary relationship become extraordinary rather than stupid and co-dependent by making enough synonymous to infinite love.

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