As I mentioned, this Step is a partner to Step Eight. And once again, I am imagining Earl Hickey crossing people off his list.
This Step takes us a major leap forward in establishing boundaries-the differences between us and another person, the differences between our behavior and another's. It also grounds us in what will become a new way of life: allowing other people to have their paths and issues and learning to have our own. In this Step we learn to own our power to take responsibility for ourselves and our conduct in relationships.
If you have done your work in the other Steps, you have a list of people. The list should include the person you have probably harmed the most....yourself.
When I take this Step and make my list I will definitely include myself. My obsession with control and the frustration I feel when others don't behave the way I think they should has hurt me far more than it's hurt anyone else.
There are other people that I'll include on the list but will probably never make contact with, like poor Todd; a guy I dated shortly after my divorce in 1990. He was a nice guy and I think he really liked me and wanted a chance to get to know me. He was way too normal and healthy for me. He took me out on a couple of dates, then one night we went to a nice dinner. When we got back to my house I cried and told him I just couldn't go out with him any more because there's no way I'd ever love anyone the way I'd loved my ex-husband. And at the time, I really meant it.
It's too bad someone didn't hand me a copy of "Codependent No More" right then and there.