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Co-Dependent Forgives Self, Eats Cake

Woman forgives self, eats cake

Co-Dependent Cooks

Co-Dependent Forgives Self, Eats Cake

Co-Dependent Forgives Self, Eats Cake

When my son was two, he was a biter. One day he bit my sister-in-law. She told him if it happened again, she’d bite him back. Of course, he bit her again, and she bit him back. Here’s how I finally learned to forgive this incident.

Just thinking about that day, now nine years later, still makes my blood boil.

Each time we recall an angry memory, the anger starts the same bio-chemical reactions with the same intensity even if it was an incident from long ago.

My remembering this doesn’t hurt her, or my son, but it hurts me.

I watched in horror, then I said nothing. Not a word. I was shocked, but I was also afraid of hurting her feelings. I hate that about myself. My people pleasing ran deep. I didn’t protect my innocent, adorable little biter because I was afraid I might hurt her feelings?!?

Somebody owes me an apology, but it’s not my sister-in-law. The person I really need to forgive here is me. I need to let myself of the hook for not protecting him from her. I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.

My Higher Power tells me I’m not the horrible mom I think I am for letting this happen. Wise friends remind me that I’m not responsible for her behavior, and I don’t have to ever accept that behavior again. They reassure me that her opinion of me or my son is none of my business.

I really want my sister-in-law to love my son as much as I love him. I think she owes us love, but she doesn’t have the ability to pay the love she owes. It’s time for me to write off her debt.

Why Forgive?

I’ve lived in fear most of my life. I hope forgiveness will set me free to enjoy life. I want to live without regrets, and I want to be free to speak my mind.

Back in my days of unforgiveness, I used to make this tropical coffee cake all the time for friends and family because I wanted them to love me. The love I gave wasn’t returned. The unreturned love hurt my feelings, and the hurt feelings put a lot of people on a list to forgive.

As I recovered, I learned the most frequent offender on my list of people to forgive is me. I had expectations, and I put myself in unsafe situations. Now I no longer use this cake as a bargaining chip for forgiveness. Instead, it’s a sweet reward.

Tropical Coffee Cake


  • ¼ cup (1 stick) of melted butter
  • 3 over-ripe bananas
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple and juice
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved into a tablespoon of water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups tropical trail mix, chopped

The base of this recipe is really my Grandma’s banana bread with a tropical twist. First, melt butter in a mixing bowl. Then add the sugar, bananas, pineapple, flavorings and salt. Mix on medium until well combined.

Add baking soda, egg, and flour. Mix again on medium.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt cake pan with coconut oil and dust with sugar.  Pour half of the batter into the pan, then top with half of the chopped tropical trail mix. Add the remaining batter then top with the remaining trail mix.

Bake for 45 minutes. The cake will start to crack when done. You can also check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. It should come out clean – not goopy.

Best shared with friends from recovery; don’t you dare fix this for someone you need to forgive.



Pam is the author of Co-dependent In The Kitchen, and she’s a contributing editor for Recovery Guidance. She’s a recovery advocate who likes long walks on the beach and chocolate.

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