Co-Dependency

I Is a dysfunctional pattern of living and problem solving. It is also a dysfunctional pattern in the way a person focuses their attention and where they place their priorities. It is a condition in consciousness which sometimes places greater importance on the object of attention, (the other person), then their own personal health, well-being, and economic circumstance.

It is a control pattern which can motivate an individual to take extreme measures to hold on to a person or a particular behavior. “They believe they cannot live without them or the object.” They do not realize that their actions are dysfunctional; they have irrational attachments even with extreme pain and hurt.

They cannot see or they refuse to see that their own faulty reasoning is precipitating the dysfunction. They hold a view or belief, that if they can just change the other person or circumstance, “hang in there”,  overlook what is there, work harder, make more, have more things, buy more, do more, that their emptiness will be filled and their expectations will be met. Of course they cannot be further from the truth and in their own denial have the exact opposite manifest.

Much of what we call Co-dependency is an often attributed to an issue of early childhood attachment and bonding with parents which have roots in developmental wounds

The individual as an adult is acting out in many ways as they had as children toward their love objects, all with the belief they will have their needs and wants fulfilled. Remember beliefs are automatic assumptions, With out a way to know the consequences or results of beliefs we left up to behaving the same way until our wants are met.

Sometimes  those who are involved in this cycle are called enablers, they allow the pattern to continue with the notion they are being helpful. Irrespective if the pattern has it’s cause in early childhood, it is essentially important not to blame the past for what is occurring now. Nothing can be done about the past. What is important now is to begin to recognize the faulty pattern, admit that you are being highjacked by impulsivity, and are not in control even thought wanting control is the way you always operated.

Only when I am aware of this problem, will I be serious in tackling the problem”

Only when i come to understand the seriousness of my own involuntary thinking, that is the degree to which I have been confused and ignorant, will I commit to resolving the problem

“Stress means involuntary thoughts that are continuously running in my mind at a very fast pace and I am trying to get away from them. ” I do not really know what to do with them”

Of course the more you attempt to deny them, avoid them the more intense they can become… More often then not I do not always say and do the right thing, I act in negative ways,

One is upset with being upset… Most if not all people fear not knowing what to do. In fact, until you fully understand the nature of this characteristic and are committed to your own understanding, things can get worse.

Admitting one does not know, is a healing action particularly if you really do not know… It takes a lot of understanding to see the error of your ways. If your way was meant to work, it would have.

If you perceive (falsely or imagine, or unconsciously) that love or approval is going to be withheld you might will do almost anything to hold onto the love object, even at the expense of their own health and well being.

All of one’s energies may go to obtaining the object, when in fact that energy is needed for their own well being. The negative behaviors we often associate with this issue, Anger, Fear, worry, Depression, anxiety, Control issues, Addictions: Pornography, sex addiction, Alcohol, drug abuse, gambling, spending money, having lots of money, lying, cheating, denying, hiding. Anything and everything to hide or use to get what is wanted.

When this pattern occurs over time, an individual’s own immune system can collapse resulting in illness.

They can also act in just the opposite way and may push everyone away out of the notion that no one can satisfy their needs and wants. “Why bother”, they may say to themselves. They infact may be independent and dependent at the same time. Pushing away anyone who may be there to love them, yet fearing not being loved or supported.  To them they are challenged with intimacy and vulnerability.

For some when the love object moves away they feel a greater degree of safety and suddenly move towards the love object or person fearing they are being abandoned and then they are triggered again and a range of feelings come up.

The Goal for the individual, is to learn to let go of the of self judgments, particularly to release the disapproving energy, not only for the object that they seek approval from but also for disapproving of themselves for not getting  what they think they wanted  from the other person.

By letting go of the energy or feelings of disapproval and the self judgments and beginning to approve  of themselves they are releasing  the emotions that they maybe suppressing or pushing down.  Their feelings are there to released, accepted and approved of.

What we need to understand, is that those close to us who we seek approval from or who seek approval from us are in many cases unable to  give approval because they are challenged to give it to themselves.

We truly are the only ones who can give ourselves the loving approval that we so often sought from the world and others.

When an individual learns self care, they are being responsible with themselves and will have a greater capacity to take care of others. It is not the other way around. Learning self trust is  paramount to developing and replacing outdated models presented  in one’s family or origin.  The characteristics for Co-dependency are not limited  to but  includes those in personal relationships where chemical dependency  is prevalent and includes one’s own preconceived notions of success, failure, self care, or absence of.

Additional Characteristics of Co-Dependency

1. Difficulty in actually identifying feelings, Am I angry? Am I lonely, Am I sad? Do I feel hurt? Or what?

2. Difficulty expressing feelings: I am feeling hurt, but how might others act toward me if they knew how I feel? And worse, what might they think of me if they knew my true feelings?

3. Difficulty in forming or maintaining close relationships: I want to be close to others but I am afraid of being hurt or rejected by them.

4. Perfectionism: too many expectations for self and others.

5. Rigid or stuck in attitudes and behaviors: even though it hurts to love this way, it’s the only way I know.

6. Difficulty adjusting to change.

7. Feeling overly responsible for other people’s behavior or feelings: I am embarrassed by what someone else does.

8. Constant need for others’ approval in order to feel good about oneself.

9. Difficulty making decisions: worrying or thinking so much that you get “stuck”

10. General feelings of powerlessness over one’s life: nothing I do makes any Difference.

11. A basic sense of shame and low self-esteem over perceived failures in one’s Life.

12. Knowing internally what one needs to do, say, or behave and does just the opposite, has little or control over one’s actions.

13. Thoughts filled with judgments and self limiting self talk.

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