Codependency: Common and Insidious - Fall Series Part II
Codependency is a learned behavior passed down from one generation to another. It is a type of unhealthy relationship that people share with those close to them. Codependency was originally thought to involve families of substance abuse; however, it includes other types of dysfunctional relationships.
The conflict and pain with codependency are almost constant, however recognizing the problem is very hard because it is just the way things are and always have been. It’s like being a fish in a fishbowl and the water is the problem. The fish doesn't examine how the water affects her, she merely swims through it, every moment of her life. That is how codependency is insidious and remains unrecognized and thus unhealed.
Codependents have difficulty:
Experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem
Setting functional boundaries
Owning and expressing their own reality
Taking care of their adult needs and wants
Experiencing and expressing their reality moderately
If you think that none of the above applies to you or anyone you know, then continue to read part 3 of the fall series for some examples that clarify the above issues. For a long time, I thought that none of the above applied to me, or that only one of them did; however, when I dove into the explanations and examples, I knew they were all me and I had some healing to do.
In this fall series, I hope to help you discover if the dysfunctional adult relationships you are experiencing now, result from growing up in a codependent family system. Towards the latter half of this series, I will expound upon changes you can make to experience the self-love and joy that comes with functional, loving adult relationships.
Some of the above ideas were clarified by Pia Mellody in her book "Facing Codependence" 1989 & 2003, revised and updated (400,000 copies sold) and "Codependent No More" by Mellody Beattie