Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What Is Codependency?

Codependency is a term that was coined a few decades ago. Among addiction counselors it was noticed that the caretakers of alcoholics as well as drug addicts all had very similar emotional symptoms.  Further research indicated that caretakers share traits of enabling personalities, in that they tend to lose themselves while engaging in the care of another addicted person.

Codependent then implies that one is dependent psychologically on one who is dependent on a substance, behavior or other thing.

Codependents are those amongst us who worry obsessively about others.  Most codependents were emotionally abused as children.  They were made to feel psychologically invisible, and very often suffered various forms of abuse, including physical, sexual, verbal or psychological.  The consistent theme amongst codependents is that they can think for others, but not for themselves.

Codependents pair off in relationships.  It is not possible to have a codependent relationship with one who is not codependent.  Non codependents do not appreciate feeling smothered, overly relied upon for their partners sense of satisfaction, and do not enjoy empty praise.

Codependents tend to whine and complain rather than act on their behalf.  They complain about how sorry they feel for themselves, and wallow on sounding as if they prefer the world see them as the martyrs they falsely believe that they are.

On a deep unconscious level, codependents are manipulators who are seeking a sense of validation from others.  They manipulate others by their insatiable need to please others.  In the pleasing of others, the codependent is in search of a return.  The return is the notion that the object of their attention now 'owes' them.  The object of the codependents attention is seen as a source of a much needed sense of self.

Codependents do not cope well.  Because they do not understand how to nurture their own self, and because their childhood wounds are very deep, codependents are blind to the idea that their intentions are skewed and manipulative.  Because in their minds they view themselves as being one who is giving, they are unable to see the error of their manipulative ways.

Codependents are flustered souls, who ultimately wind up feeling exasperated.  Nothing that they thought might help them feel loved has worked.  They have smothered others to the point of draining the ones that they loved, and wind up blaming others for their inability to love the codependent no matter how hard the codependent tries to love them.

The codependent relationship is a trap.  And until the underlying dynamic is exposed, codependents leave trails of chaos behind them.