This is Reverend SASSY SHORTS here with another SASSY SUNDAY!
Today I want to talk about an emerging awareness I’m getting when it comes to people who are healing from CPTSR, CPTSD or severe codependency. Which means, in essence, you’re overgiving and you can’t stop. You overgive to the point of resentment. You overgive to the point of weakening the people you love because you are “the strong one.”
Here’s what I’ve learned. I’m going to spell it out in a nutshell and then, if you have questions, please ask and we can take it from there.
When you ask a compulsive overgiver to do something, the answer is usually YES. As often as possible, it’s YES YES YES. What they value most is
- Putting others in the spotlight
Compulsive overgivers are stubborn about these two points to the point of inarguable, unchangeable and fanatical. If you try to get them to change through rationale or logic, you will hit a wall. And if you knock down the wall, there will be one right behind it. Trust me.
PSA is what I call this compulsive habit. PSA stands for
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS.
They’ll do a zillion of those.
They’ll be as energized as an energizer bunny.
And they can fool themselves because they’ll be okay with the spotlight AS LONG AS it’s on someone else’s behalf. A nonprofit. Someone they love. Etc.
Compulsive overgivers are AMAZING advocates. For them, advocacy is a SUPERPOWER.
What they SUCK at is S.P.A. On one hand, yes, S.P.A. stands for a self-care ritual of going to a spa. Massages, skin treatments, manicures, mud baths, etc. Which a compulsive overgiver may or may not avoid.
What they DO avoid like it’s the plague is this kind of S.P.A.:
SOVEREIGNTY, POWER AND AGENCY.
The avoidance of S.P.A. is compulsively driven by deep seated fear. You can see their ceilings when it comes to business, money, and being truly authentic with their needs and desires within their communities.
The fear that drives this avoidance is the reason it is related to emotional trauma, also known as #cptsr #cptsd #codependency.
Compulsive overgivers will avoid-like-the-plague anything that hints at the idea of them being in their full power. They will run so fast, you would think that SPEEDY GONZALES himself was in charge of their lives.
They will abandon themselves like hot potatoes. They will betray themselves. And they will shame themselves. Like it was nothing.
If they make a promise to YOU that they will be there for a S.P.A.-like experience that includes them on the menu, they are likely to abandon YOU and/or betray YOU by making promises and not keeping them. They may have a million and one REAL excuses. REAL situations. REAL illnesses. REAL emergencies. And they will shame themselves. Sabotage at its worst.
On top of all that, they will feel horribly guilty.
How do I know? Because I’ve been there. Done that. I’ve healed in so many ways. And I’ve helped other people through to the other side.
It seems so heavy, eh?
Maybe, but living under the weight of compulsive overgiving is so much worse. Best to peel the bandaid off and just heal the sucker, don’t you think?
What’s the healing balm?
Balancing PSA and S.P.A. Balancing Public Service Announcements with Sovereignty, Power and Agency.
How do you do you balance the two?
My dear friend Michele Stone and I just had a great conversation about this: the superpowers and kryptonite of compulsive overgivers. We offer strategies as well as tactics. You can check it out right here. It’s excellent.
For now, I just want you to know, if you are a compulsive overgiver:
- You are not alone.
- I believe in you.
- YOU ARE SO WORTHY. Worthy of receiving. And worthy of freedom.
- YOU ARE INHERENTLY WORTHY.
I view emotional trauma as inner shackles that keep us chained in prisons of fear. Chains whose purpose is to keep us smaller than our spirits wish to be. Chains hold us back and keep us down.
It’s just not okay.
I VALUE FREEDOM SO MUCH. Maybe because I’m a first gen. Jewish American whose family escaped from Iraq in the 1960’s due to Hussein’s madness – yes, way back then.
Maybe I value freedom so much because I’m a woman, a first-born to a very patriarchal system whose ways demanded obedience from me. Not true freedom.
I love our freedoms. I love our liberties. I want to use them as powerfully and beautifully and as joyfully as I can.
Here’s the thing: it wouldn’t be the same without you. One musician doesn’t make an orchestra.
One person having true personal freedom isn’t the same as being surrounded by other people to enjoy the world with. It’s our playground. Our bonfire. Our dance.
My wish for you is to experience the gorgeous breeze, the most refreshing empowerment, which comes with true freedom. You deserve it.
Debbie Happy Cohen
Also known as REVEREND SASSY SHORTS! and HAPPY D!
ps. I wonder… If you could have it all your way, what would you do with YOUR freedom?
Debbie Happy Cohen, author and coach, is also the founder of Joy-Based Living. Her Master’s Degree is in counseling, specializing in family systems, healing emotional trauma, and practical spirituality.
Also affectionately known as Happy D! and Reverend SASSY SHORTS!, she lives on Lookout Mountain in Alabama, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Her books include Reach Your Stars!, SANCTUARY,It’s All About Kids: Every Child Deserves a Teacher of the Year, and I Don’t Think So! You can find her blogging at http://www.joybasedliving.com.