What is Codependency?
“Codependency is living the myth that you can make yourself happy by trying to control people and events outside yourself. A sense of control, or the lack of it, is central to everything you do and think.
ie. Jennifer Fortisi is the ultimate supermom. She’s the president of the PTA, Brownie leader, and teachers aide. At church she leads a Bible study and coordinates meals for shut-ins. Her house is spotless, she volunteers at the library, and runs a veritable taxi service from her shining-clean station wagon, shuttling kids to and from ballet, karate, church, clubs, and school activities.
Why would anyone create such a hopelessly overwhelming schedule? Jennifer’s father was an alcoholic. She never knew what love and security felt like. Her parents never attended a single school function. Their house was always full of chaos and confusion. And now Jennifer is trying to fix all those things in her past by being the perfect wife and mother. All her frantic activity leaves her exhausted and depressed, with little emotional energy left for the kind of nurturance and love her children really need. Ironically, unless Jennifer deals with her compulsive need to control everything about her family’s life, her children will grow up with the same sense of abandonment and neglect that marred her own childhood.
Codependency is a generational and cultural epidemic. No less than tens of millions of Americans across two concurrent generations suffer problems of codependency. You are not exempt from the problem. The despair codependency has caused in your life is the reason you decided to pick up this workbook. The term codependency is a tool for your recovery. It is NOT a label or stigma of shame.”
I’m going to list below the 10 common traits of codependency:
1. The codependent is driven by one or more compulsions.
2. The codependent is bound and tormented by the way things were in the dysfunctional family of origin.
3. The codependent’s self-esteem is very low.
4. The codependent is certain his or her happiness hinges on others.
5. The codependent feels inordinately responsible for others.
6. The codependent’s relationship with a spouse or significant other person is marred by a damaging, unstable lack of balance between dependence and independence.
7. The codependent is a master of denial and repression.
8. The codependent worries about things he or she can’t change and may well keep on trying to change them.
9. The codependent’s life is punctuated by extremes.
10. The codependent is continually looking for something that is missing in life.
Do any of these traits apply to you?
Is time a great healer?
“Codependency usually will not improve with time. It will not get better tomorrow. It may get worse. Codependency is a vicious cycle. Low self-value drives compulsive relationship patterns. These compulsive patterns ultimately drive away the very persons whose love you so desperately desire. There are steps you can take to help you reverse your descent into misery, but you must take them. They won’t just happen. Much depends on your desire to free yourself from the ghosts of your past – the causes of codependency.”
-Love is a Choice by Dr. Robert Hemfelt
Personally– I am a very codependent person due to my past and dysfunctional family, don’t get me wrong, I love them but growing up was not easy with alcoholic and tempered parents. I find myself in codependent relationships and seeking attention from others more than I should, and I have absolutely no self-esteem. I’m continually working on these issues everyday, I go to therapy every week, my women’s group twice a month and doing a lot of self-help, self-care, self-improvement reading. I’m taking these small steps out of misery.
Below is a video us ladies watched in our women’s group (Sisters Seeking Serenity) yesterday, about codependency.