Fighting For Your Identity
For those who've struggled with addiction in their own life or in that of a loved one, they've witnessed the confusing and sometimes twisted family dynamics that develop. In the name of loving and caring is an underbelly or codependence, manipulation, and enabling that having run its course, produces nothing but pain and resentment… and maybe the worst, “what ifs.”
In the book entitled, Beautiful Boy, author David Sheff speaks from the heart about the torture of living through “addiction hell” helping his son find recovery.
That book had struck a painful nerve in me, especially the twisted co-dependency that complicated an already complicated picture. Imagine: you’ve just had a stroke, and the one thought coursing through your mind is “How is my child? How is my child? How is my child?” That warped sense of priorities seems all too familiar to parents of addicts who often assume second position behind the incessant demands of their child’s substance chemical dependency. More Here…
Development of a Codependent
Understanding how codependency becomes a part of someone's personality is highly related to patterns seen in their early development. Self-esteem blogger Savannah Grey explains well in her article Kicking Codependency to The Curb:
As children codependents were powerless to change any of their circumstances. They had to sit idly by, unable to do anything significant to change their reality. Now as adults and faced with the same type of abuse the codependent will create elaborate plans to help and change their abuser. Their partner’s healing, changing, and morphing into their perfect prince or princess becomes their sole focus. This feels so natural to the codependent and so they wrap up all their hopes and dreams into another, only to become disappointed again and again, as an abuser’s natural tendency is to exploit and frustrate. Read More…
Video About What It's Like to Be in Codependency
The speaker in this video is Darlene Lancer is a lawyer and author who struggled with a codependent mother. Her book “Codependency for Dummies” and “Conquering Shame and Codependency,” are both well received and easy to understand.
She defines a person struggling with this as someone with a loss self, and can't function within their innate self, and instead lives reactionary to another person, a substance, or a process.
If you can relate with the speaker or any other information on this page, here are some helpful tips to beating codependency, but as always it is not a bad idea to speak to a counselor or church leader to seek more personal advice or professional help.
- You get what you tolerate. As mentioned in a previous article (Malignant Niceness) codependents are the nicest people in the world. They are too nice. They will give a person so much rope that they end up hanging themselves with it. Growing up in horrific abuse and neglect we had no choice but to tolerate huge amounts of pain. We don’t have to do it now. I tell my students a quick way to judge if a relationship is worth keeping is after your time visiting is over ask yourself the question, “Did this person give me life or did they take it away?” Do I feel refreshed, built up, nurtured? Did we have fun? Even if I learned something negative about my character or behavior was the truth said in love? On the other hand, have I walked away frustrated, misunderstood, angry, drained? That is a good sign that a continued relationship is not life enhancing, and you need to walk or run away right now.
- You don’t reward bad behavior. Using, abusing people are master manipulators. They lie. They can pour on the drama thick as molasses. If you don’t come back to them they will kill themselves. If you don’t give them money then DP&L is going to come and turn off the heat, and their baby will die. If you don’t cheer them up they will never stop being depressed. I am not talking here about charity. We need to help the unfortunate with our time, love, and resources. This is a different group. These are people who will keep coming back to the well, your well, until you have nothing left to give. Then they will move on to the next person. I find this one the hardest of the three for codependents to do because they are so compassionate, don’t want to see anyone suffer, and have been groomed to be professional rescuers since day 1 on earth.
- You deserve good treatment. Codependents know how to give. They have given to everyone, all the time, for years. Sadly they don’t know how to receive because no one has given them much. It isn’t even on their radar that they should expect to be treated with dignity, respect, and care. You are a valuable human being. God doesn’t make junk. Don’t let anyone treat you as anything less than someone worthy of kindness. Read More About these Tips Here…
Biblical Answers for Codependency