What’s Codependency, and Who’s Got It?
Chapter 1 & 2: Jessica’s Story & Other Stories
I did not identify with any specific stories in this chapter but I have identified with aspects of their codependency. I have sought relationships with people with food addiction, so we can either validate or succeed together. I have often tried to help addicts and many times I have based my wants and needs on the wants and needs of my main relationships. I often feel like my friends need me more than I need them – all my friends need something from me. Most people don’t enjoy me and I am cynical about their motives. People make me tired.
Relationships that I think of while reading these stories are my parents and sisters and current and past friends. I see codependency in all my relationships.
Chapter 3: Codependency
I define codependency as depending on other’s energy to define actions, motives and decisions in order to control myself and others.
The main relationship is my life that has molded my responses and thoughts processes is my mother. While I lived with her, it seemed she was not able to handle life alone and depended on me for nearly everything. Her own mental illness defined much of our experiences and behaviors. Every special event was more stressful than it needed to be; she has unrealistic expectations and needs. She required me to be a parent but did not give me the respect, in fact she used every situation to manipulate and control me so I could be bad and she could be good (I do not believe she did this intentionally). Every good thing I did, she took credit for and she and my sisters abused and neglected me always. She often had friends that she would try to fix – she would give too much and then feel taken advantage of and abused until they disappeared…then she would find a new project. I learned to not talk to her because she would tell everyone in her world so she could be a victim or a hero – but often I wasn’t cared for. She never wanted to take responsibility for her behaviors or shopping or food additions. She is a workaholic and doesn’t really have her own life outside of being a worker, mother or grandmother. She is so busy taking care of there that her health and home are usually a mess. No matter what I have done to help her, she is not able to maintain healthy balance in her life and she is never satisfied.
Many things in my life are just like her or complete opposite by design. This makes me feel sad, angry and tired.
Chapter 4: Codependent Characteristics
There are MANY Codependent Characteristics the following are characteristics that I relate to.
CARETAKING CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I sometimes feel responsible for others thoughts, feelings, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being or lack of…
- I often feel compelled to help people solve their problems through giving advice.
- I have felt angry that my help didn’t help.
- I tend to anticipate other’s needs.
- I often wonder why people don’t anticipate my needs.
- I have trouble saying no to people.
- I sometimes have trouble knowing what I need and often discount that my needs are important.
- I am getting better at pleasing myself instead of others.
- I feel unsafe and out of control when people give to me. I feel much safer when I am able to give.
- I no longer give my whole life to people, but I have old hurts from this behavior, in the past that I can’ seem to get over.
- I used to be attracted to needy people. I am now repulsed by those who need too much – however all my relationships are with people who need a lot – even thought they also give to some extent.
- I am disgusted with drama and want to run from people who create drama.
- I often abandon my routine when people need me.
- I used to overcommit myself. If my body did not revolt, I would still do this all the time.
- I feel hurried and pressured when my mom shows up and wants me to do something for her. Answering phones and website design does this for me as well. I try to avoid all of those activities.
- I have blamed my family for my inability to succeed – They tend to show up and need me when I can’t focus on them and they usually win the fight over my time. I have had to cut them off.
- I often blame my family for my feelings.
- I often feel victimized, abused, angry and unappreciated by my family.
- My family feels angered when I share these feelings with them.
LOW SELF WORTH CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I come from a troubled, repressed, dysfunctional family.
- I sometimes pick on myself for the way I feel, think, act or look.
- I sometimes get defensive when I am criticized or blamed for past events or behaviors.
- I often reject or even fail to register compliments or praise.
- I feel different from the rest of the world.
- I often feel like I m a failure.
- I often fear rejections.
- I often take things personal.
- I have ben the victim of physical and emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment, food/shopping/sex addiction.
- I sometimes have trouble making decision about myself.
- I expect myself to maintain some level of perfection.
- I have feelings of guilt when I am lazy or make poor wellness decisions.
- I wish my family liked me.
- I like being needed but it feels better to be wanted. I don’t usually feel wanted.
REPRESSION CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- Fear tends to push my other emotions out of my awareness.
- Other people who show sings of codependency have too doe I am rigid and controlling. I am rigid and controlling about some aspects of my life
OBSESSION CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I tend to be extremely anxious about people and problems.
- I worry about unimportant or silly things.
- I lose sleep over problems and my worries about what others might do.
- I often abandon my routine when I am upset about other people’s actions.
CONTROLLING CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I have lived through events and people who were out of control which has caused me sorrow and disappointment.
- I am very nervous about losing control over myself.
- I have no problem controlling others through emotional manipulation. I am learning to not do that as a self-defense mechanism.
DENIAL CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I tend to ignore problems I can’t change.
- I tend to get confused, depressed or sick.
- I take several pills a day to help me stay on track intellectually and mentally.
- I overeat or starve myself, can overwork or overspend if I am not regulated.
DEPENDENCY CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I don’t feel love or acceptance from my family/parents.
- I do center my life around Karen.
POOR COMMUNICATION CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- When I feel defenseless I might blame, threaten, coerce, beg, bribe, advise or say things I don’t mean.
- I tend to take myself too seriously.
- I sometimes gauge my words to get the desired effect.
- I sometimes talk too much.
- I often think my opinion doesn’t matter.
- I often don’t express my emotions appropriately.
WEAK BOUNDARIES CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I often say I wont tolerate certain behaviors and then adjust my tolerance levels to accommodate.
- I let people hurt me.
- I complain, blame, and attempt to control while I let people hurt me.
LACK OF TRUST CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I don’t always trust myself or my decisions.
- I usually don’t trust my feelings or memory.
- I trust very few people.
ANGER CODEPENDENT CHARACTERISTICS
- I sometimes feel very angry, scared and hurt.
- I am afraid of my anger.
- I am afraid of being controlled by others’ anger.
- I can become depressed, cry and show hostility when I am angry. I can also be very verbally violent.
- I have a lot of anger, resentment and bitterness I can’t seem to let go of.
- I have been overly responsible.
- I have become irresponsible.
- I have martyred myself in unnecessary situations.
- I don’t feel close to most people.
- I have trouble being spontaneous.
- I combine assertive and passive aggression.
- I stay loyal to my compulsions and people even when it hurts.
- I sometimes isolate myself.
I have changed a lot over the years. I am healthier now than I used to be and I am excited to overcome more. I am nervous about rebuilding family relationships because my family doesn’t see a problem. But as I am now choosing new behaviors and building my own family, it is time for me to grow beyond my perceptions and bad habits. I don’t want to pass Anxiety and Panic Disorder and OCD onto my children.
It is time for my wife and me to soar!
Feel free to leave your comments below!
My name is Summer. That is how you can call me. I hope that I am a blessing to you. I am not perfect. I will fall again. But I am forgiven.
Do you know Jesus? Do want the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you understanding and salvation? Ask Him. Want someone to pray with you? Contact me.
If you would like to know Jesus as your friend, but want to make this amazing commitment by yourself please pray something like this:
Thank you Jesus that You are the Son of God, the God that created heaven and earth. Thank you Jesus that You came to earth in the form of a man so that You would be able to empathize with my humanity. Thank You that You did this in order to fulfill the promises You made at the foundation of the world.
I realize that I am a sinner and do things that hurt myself and keep myself away from you. Thank You that You died for my sins so that You could defeat death and bring me into Your life. Please forgive me.
I ask You to be Lord of my life. I ask you to heal my hurts and show me what my new life, empowered by You looks like. Thank You for Your mercy.
The Lord is with you always.