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Codependency – A personal account

You know you are codependent when you get resentful whenever someone forgets to acknowledge how much you have sacrificed for them.

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This is a personal account in first person of a relative who is Codependent basically this is from the mind of a Codependent person I have known for years.

I am so weak, fragile, and delicate that even glass will not break in front of me.

It is never my fault. I am always victimised. I am always made to look bad or say bad things. I am always forced into negativity. I am always forced into a trap of penance for something I don’t commit. So you know what I do with all of this?

I self- create it. I make myself the victim.  I enjoy that. It is the only way I gain some perspective in my otherwise mundane, boring, meaningless and drab life. I devalue and underestimate myself so much in fact I loathe myself so much that the only way I feel good is when I make someone else react to situations which are created by me. 

I love reactions; the more the people react the happier I feel. The reactions are like an energy capsule for me. I thrive and in fact co-exist for them.  My biggest bet becomes my immediate family as they are the ones I totally seep into my sleeves of unsought of savoury. I create situations and say things to control people and obviously nobody listens to me and that is not something I can handle.

It is when I catch hold of a sensitive, empathetic and honest person and turn the wheel around. It makes me feel liberated. The more genuine the person, the more garbage turns out to be my orientation. However, it’s my relationships which really matter the most to me, they have to fall in line to create my workflow and my thought process which is like I said already garage.

They say I am not capable of a healthy relationship and call me codependent.

This is how they say I churn out my behaviour:

Dependent: Two people rely on each other for support and love. Both find value in the relationship.

Codependent: The co-dependent person feels worthless unless they are needed by — and making drastic sacrifices for — the enabler. The enabler gets satisfaction from getting their needs met by the other person.

The codependent is only happy when making extreme sacrifices for their partner. They feel they must be needed by this other person to have any purpose.

Dependent: Both parties make their relationship a priority, but can find joy in outside interests, other friends, and hobbies.

Codependent: The co-dependent has no personal identity, interests, or values outside of their codependent relationship.

Dependent: Both people can express their emotions and needs and find ways to make the relationship beneficial for both of them.

Codependent: One person feels that their desires and needs are unimportant and will not express them. They may have difficulty recognizing their own feelings or needs at all.

Symptoms of codependency

  • Find no satisfaction or happiness in life outside of doing things for the other person.
  • Stay in the relationship even if they are aware that their partner does hurtful things.
  • Do anything to please and satisfy their enabler no matter what the expense to themselves.
  • Feel constant anxiety about their relationship due to their desire to always be making the other person happy.
  • Use all their time and energy to give their partner everything they ask for.
  • Feel guilty about thinking of themselves in the relationship and will not express any personal needs or desires.
  • Ignore their own morals or conscience to do what the other person wants.

Breaking it down further; Signs of Codependency

  • Low self-esteem;
  • Low levels of narcissism;
  • Familial dysfunction;
  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Stress;
  • Low emotional expressivity.
  • Having a hard time saying no;
  • Having poor boundaries;
  • Showing emotional reactivity;
  • Feeling compelled to take care of people;
  • Having a need for control, especially over others;
  • Having trouble communicating honestly;
  • Fixating on mistakes;
  • Feeling the need to be liked by everyone;
  • Feeling the need to always be in a relationship;
  • Denying one’s own needs, thoughts, and feelings;
  • Having intimacy issues;
  • Confusing love and pity;
  • Displaying fear of abandonment.

What Does Codependency Look Like?

In psychology, codependency describes one person’s behaviours and attitudes rather than the relationship as a whole. Someone who is codependent often builds their identity around helping others. They may “depend” on others to validate their self-worth. A codependent person may deny their own desires or emotions to get this approval.

Other people may try to talk to the co-dependent about their concerns. But even if others suggest that the person is too dependent, a person in a codependent relationship will find it difficult to leave the relationship.

The codependent person will feel extreme conflict about separating themselves from the enabler because their own identity is centred upon sacrificing themselves for the other person. Codependency refers to a psychological construct involving an unhealthy relationship that people might share with those closest to them.

Characteristics Of Codependent People Are:

  • An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others
  • A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue
  • A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time
  • A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts
  • An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment
  • An extreme need for approval and recognition
  • A sense of guilt when asserting themselves
  • A compelling need to control others
  • Lack of trust in self and/or others
  • Fear of being abandoned or alone
  • Difficulty identifying feelings
  • Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change
  • Problems with intimacy/boundaries
  • Chronic anger
  • Lying/dishonesty
  • Poor communications
  • Difficulty making decisions

How Is Codependency Treated?

Because codependency is usually rooted in a person’s childhood, treatment often involves exploration into early childhood issues and their relationship to current destructive behaviour patterns. Treatment includes education, experiential groups, and individual and group therapy through which co-dependents rediscover themselves and identify self-defeating behaviour patterns. Treatment also focuses on helping patients get in touch with feelings that have been buried during childhood and on reconstructing family dynamics. The goal is to allow them to experience their full range of feelings again.

Remember, as a codependent, you can only control your own actions

Trying to control someone else’s actions generally never works. But if you feel validated by your ability to support and care for your partner, failing at this can make you feel pretty miserable.

Their lack of change might frustrate you. You might feel resentful or disappointed that your helpful efforts had little effect. These emotions can either leave you feeling worthless or more determined to try even harder and begin the cycle again.

How can you stop this pattern?

Remind yourself you can only control yourself. You have a responsibility to manage your own behaviours and reactions. You aren’t responsible for your partner’s behaviour, or anyone else’s.

Giving up control involves accepting uncertainty. No one knows what the future holds. This can be scary, especially if fears of being alone or losing your relationship contribute to co-dependent behaviours. But the healthier your relationship is, the more likely it is to last.

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