Meeting yourself in Codependency
13 May, 2013
What is codependency anyway?
I reached a crisis in my life recently and, much as I’d convinced myself that I had it ‘all together’, I didn’t at all, my life had become unmanageable. Once I admitted that (and boy was that a hard thing to admit as a severe control addict!) it was rather refreshing and relieving to boot. And then things started to unravel…
I went to visit a friend, we got chatting, she gave me a book and said “This might interest you”. Taking a look at the title ‘Breaking Free of the Co-Dependency Trap’ I thought ‘what the hell did I say to get this book?.’
Anyhow, as an avid reader, it joined the ranks of the five books from my recently joined support group, which were helping me to meet myself (for the first time may I add.)
Riane Eisler’s book The Chalice and the Blade illustrates a worldwide codependent culture. Early civilizations, which embraced partnership and the female deity were later replaced with Dominator societies which now exalt lifetaking and destructive activities such as war. I felt weirdly comforted that the entire planet was a little codependent.
Barry and Janae Weinhold identify Co-Dependency as “the failure to complete the early task of separation” in infancy. I liked their view that this was not a primary disease which could not be cured but is “caused by early trauma that can be overcome with the proper information, tools and support”. There was hope for me yet!
Was I codependent? I began to read about the patterns of low self esteem, denial, compliance and control and avoidance.
It’s said people with codependency issues try to control others. ‘They nag, scream, beg, bribe, protect, rescue, accuse, cry, run after you, run away from you, seek revenge,whine, act, hurt, lie, threaten suicide, lecture, insult, try to please, act helpless, never admit they are wrong, leave, come back, leave again, drive recklessly, take drugs, work long hours, fail to get out of bed…anything else they can think of to try to control the behavior of someone else.’ Sounded familiar to me and the people I brought closest to me.
Painful as it was I could see myself clearly in all these negative patterns, it’s how I’ve mis-managed my life thus far. I ticked all the boxes, so what to do now? I felt extremely low at the thought of even acknowledging my dysfunctional behavior. I continued to read the list of symptoms in the books, hey, I even did a quiz on the severity of my co-dependency (chronic I believe!). It should have had me running for the hills. But I didn’t.
I went to a support meeting called CODA and I sat and listened to a group of wonderful human beings with similar experiences and behaviors. I was not insanely alone, there was hope for me. I have begun a journey towards knowledge and love of myself and a future of healthier relationships with those around me.
Knowing that I have character defects and beginning to acknowledge them leads me one step closer to finding self love and inner peace.
Shared by a Codependent who is grateful to remain Anonymous
If you’d like to know more about CODA : www.coda.org
Melody Beattie writes great self help books: hear her story here http://melodybeattie.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/melody-talks.mp3
Melody’s books on Co-Dependency: http://melodybeattie.com/codependency/
Barry and Janae Weinhold: http://weinholds.org/