February 22, 2010 (learning from a COSA workshop)

February 22, 2010


I went to a COSA workshop today [Co-dependents of Sex Addicts, Anonymous], from 9–5. It was led by 2 people who are certified professionals, but also they have had COSA types of experiences with their husbands.

I didn’t tell too much of my story, but the others did. They all have husbands or ex-husbands who were sex addicts. Sometimes I feel isolated and alone, because I am currently single and I don’t know if Matt was a sex addict. But I certainly have displayed co-addictive behavior in multiple relationships.


The relationship I’m trying to figure out the most right now is the relationship with my new boss, Jean, and how to deal with her. I do not feel good when I interact with her. It seems like there are hidden secrets at this company, but no one wants to, or can, name them. It’s like a cloud of denial. We can feel something is wrong, but instead of digging deep to the root of problems, they pick out surface problems and point fingers. Everyone wants to blame someone else.

I want to be able to recognize my own responsibilities, but be able to stand up for myself when it’s not my fault. It feels so dysfunctional at work and I wish I could leave. I want to be able to leave all the dysfunctional relationships, but sometimes I feel like I almost need to interact with dysfunctional people.

I am able to learn lessons and grow and become stronger. I am healing. Although I wish I could work in a friendlier environment (around plants?), still maybe it’s good for me—this company could help me develop bravery and courage to set boundaries in the face of enemies. After all, an enemy can be a good teacher.

SETTING BOUNDARIES (a practice letter)

Dear Nikki, When you tell me that you want me to tell you about any problems I encounter at work, but then later after I tell you about problems, you tell me to talk to Jean about them. Then I feel confused. What I need to know is who I should be talking to, when there is a problem at work. If you continue to tell me that you want me to come to you with problems, yet later tell me that you want me to go to Jean with problems, then I will …. (insert a specific action to take care of myself). …

Hmm… What do I write, next? What will I do? I don’t want to threaten or manipulate, but I have to stand up for myself. What can I do to nurture myself when that happens?

[Note: This is the basic format, if I recall correctly: “Dear ____, When you _____, I feel _______. What I need is _________. If you continue to (do the undesired activities), I will (specific action to take care of myself).]



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