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Michelle4871

Co-Dependancy

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Would you say that people that have been in co dependant relationships always end up in one of these kinds of relationships?

Taytay, Not all end-up in a CoDA group....I actually only foud CoDA by accident...I didn't even know it existed. I've enjoyed my time in CoDA, and have learned a lot about both myself and my ex's behaviors...It really explained a lot of the dynamics that ecventually ended our marriage. For ME, it has been great. CD

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Fides,

lad to hear that you've been keeping up with the CoDA group....you'll find that there is an ebb & flow to the meetings, and sometimes they will appear to offer you nothing new, yet other times walk away amazed at the revelations you've witnessed by hearing others' anecdotal stories of their journey to wellness. Stick with it as long as you feel comfortable doing-so... I'm gald and proud for you ! CD

never knew what it was until it was suggested to me then i read some of the signs..................yup thats me.

It has been interesting and i will stick with it. I have to. It will help in my current relationship situation. It has to.

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Arm bone has knitted, insured to drive and have a tiny car to rag into the ground :P Tomorrow i'm going to my first CoDa meeting, although i have been trapped in a room for 3 weeks i fear my social skills will be a little... fluxuating :P

Hoping it gives some new revelations in my head, if not it will be soething to observe and experience, and a reason to leave the house, anymore simpsons or old apprentice shows and my brain will scramble.

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A lot of co-dependent relationships do start with having a dysfunctional family that is for sure. My mother was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I got married at the age of 17 to the guy that I thought was different than everyone else. I was so wrong... The relationship became so co-dependent(Me being the one to depend on him for literally everything) It took a few years of therapy after we divorced to even see it. But I am re-married now and there is a major change in the way things are now and the way things were then.

If I ask my husband if I should do something or not, his response is "do you want to do it or not?, its not up to me" Which at first was so weird to deal with, heck even now its a little weird to do, but I have kind of gotten used to it. But there is a website that I think is also a good place to go to if you want insight on things to do with relationships and depression and co- dependency.

http://www.mentalfeel.com/

This site actually have many things you can look into, not just relationship and what not. It even has ways to deal with depression naturally. It works for some but not for others. It depends.

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I went to another meeting this week. Interesting the topics that come up. ALWAYS seem to hit the nail on the head of whatever is going on for me that week.

I will miss a few meetings since my sport has started up again, but i will go as many times as i can.

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Well THIS hit home pretty hard.

it is something to look into. I never heard of if until i came here and a poster recommended it.

Last night was my 6th or 7th meeting.

Went out after the meeting with a guy for some food and a alcohol and talk. There are three of us that have gone out at various times. its good for me to get input, to be able to talk, and to hear very similar stories from other people that have lived it, are living it, and how they dealt with it.

It has taught me a lot about myself

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I will miss the meeting this week. But there are 4 of us that keep in touch regularly. It has been a great help. I am glad i stuck with it

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Thought i made progress, but met a girl, whirlwinded it, felt it back, and then got 2 weeks isolated in a house, and I really got very heel nippy to see her again, and text her far too much. Made no time for her to miss me. She has not text me, but we ended on that she wanted to meet and to let her know when her day off is coming. i know i tisn't coming. i accept that. but the sting of rejection so recent to a break up of 5 years has been hard and a lesson of what i need to do for myself first. But its a journey i don't want to do by myself. which says how little i've learnt :(

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I will miss the meeting this week. But there are 4 of us that keep in touch regularly. It has been a great help. I am glad i stuck with it

Fides, I am glad that you've stuck with it...as I said it takes a bit to get used to sharing & the group dynamics...BUT well-worth the effort to become involved! Keep up the great working on yourself - BoneSpur

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Thought i made progress, but met a girl, whirlwinded it, felt it back, and then got 2 weeks isolated in a house, and I really got very heel nippy to see her again, and text her far too much. Made no time for her to miss me. She has not text me, but we ended on that she wanted to meet and to let her know when her day off is coming. i know i tisn't coming. i accept that. but the sting of rejection so recent to a break up of 5 years has been hard and a lesson of what i need to do for myself first. But its a journey i don't want to do by myself. which says how little i've learnt :(

Used,

Do NOT beat yourself-up over this... I have found that for myself, there are moments of "Two steps forward, one step back"...IT'S CALLED PRRSONAL GROWTH. You are self-aware, and that is half of the battle!

Throttling-back can be difficult, but you can do it.

As the Brits say: "Keep Calm and Carry On"

You'll be fine - Bone Spur

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I will miss the meeting this week. But there are 4 of us that keep in touch regularly. It has been a great help. I am glad i stuck with it

Fides, I am glad that you've stuck with it...as I said it takes a bit to get used to sharing & the group dynamics...BUT well-worth the effort to become involved! Keep up the great working on yourself - BoneSpur

it has worked out that i can make every other meeting. This past meeting there was a new woman and she sat there and shared and i heard the same words come out of her mouth. "I am completely lost, i do not know who i am, i have no idea which way to go" and it hit home.

When it was my turn to speak i did not have much to say, but she was on my mind. I told her that i was in the exact position when i first started and that anyone who was there for my first meeting saw me break down and literally cry. So please keep coming to the meetings, they work.

I also took the time to thank each and every member of the group. Because they all have a part in helping me on my journey.

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I came across this on a website - perhaps this might help with some of your co-dependancy questions. There are many good websites where you can read up on Co-Dependancy. I myself have come to the realization over the past few months that I find myself in co-dependant relationships - me being the co-dependant one. I have yet to really accept this for some reason.

Co-Dependencies

The definition of co-dependency is more of an understanding of a concept. As a result of its complexities, a simple definition is not suitable. However, when one is able to understand the many concepts, then a definition becomes clear. Simply stated, co-dependency/co-dependencies is a pattern of habitual self-defeating coping mechanisms. This is a result of coming out of an alcoholic or drug addicted home or otherwise preoccupied family. In these types of homes there are three messages:

a. don't talk

b. don't feel

c. don't trust

In a healthy family, members can talk, can feel, and they can tell the truth. Living in an environment where one feels as if they're constantly "walking on egg shells" and "waiting for the other shoe to drop" causes a great deal of stress and anxiety. This stress/anxiety is heightened when there are rigid, inflexible rules and belief systems imposed on people trapped in one of these families. As a result, the co-dependent develops habitual self-defeating coping mechanisms in an attempt to survive: such as - my fear of rejection determines what I say or do or, I like to avoid your anger. Further to this, these mechanisms cause the co-dependent to be out of touch with who they are because they have been in a mind altering experience.

Co-dependency is multi-generational and can be present even when there is no active drinking. The alcoholism and alcoholic traits plus the co-dependent's behaviour can be passed from one generation to another until an addiction and/or another co-dependency will develop.

Co-dependency is a disease which has, as its basis, a dysfunctional family of origin.

Who Can Become a Co-dependent?

Where do we need to look for this dysfunctional behaviour of emerging patterns of co-dependency? We will find it in a person who is alcoholic or non-alcoholic who has been adversely influenced by the following people:

a. Alcoholic or drug dependent parent

b. Co-dependent parent

c. The alcoholic or non-alcoholic who has an addicted spouse

d. Someone who has an addicted child

e. A co-dependent spouse

The end result is an inability to maintain functional relationships. In fact, co-dependents don't have relationships so much as they take "hostages". This latter statement will become more clear as we later examine characteristics of co-dependency.

Most co-dependents have been searching for ways to overcome the dilemmas of the conflicts in their relationships and their childhood. Many were raised in families where addictions existed - some were not. Many were later influenced by an addicted or co-dependent person. In either case, the reality in co-dependent's lives is that co-dependency is a most deeply rooted compulsive behaviour and that it is borne out of sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional family systems.

Co-dependents have each experienced in their own ways the painful trauma of the emptiness of their childhood and relationships throughout their lives. They attempted to use others, their mates, friends and even their children as their sole source of identity, value and well being and, as a way of trying to restore within themselves the emotional losses from their childhood. Their histories may include other powerful addictions, which at times, they have used to cope with their co-dependencies. The bottom line here is that the addictions that manifest themselves may possibly be, symptoms of a co-dependent personality.

Stages of Co-Dependency

The three stages of co-dependency are as follows:

1. Early: In this early stage, the co-dependent learns how to cope, and here the acceptance of drinking as normal takes place. They constantly try to help out a sick or addicted person.

2. Middle: Here there is habitual self defeating coping mechanisms, when the coping mechanisms don't work the co-dependent does more, takes on more responsibility. They adopt their behaviour to accommodate the heavy drinking. The focus is on the drinking.

3. Control: Here there is total family collapse and family degeneration. There is continual self-defeating behaviour.

The whole process is circular and rotate within the family from person to person. What we want to do in treatment is help each other to get out of this circular motion.

We need to look at stress and how we react to it. Stress is a non specific demand on the body by positive and negative forces. It is not bad by itself and it cannot be avoided, but we can understand the cycle of stress. Initially, an event takes place and we go down and don't cope so we have a dip or a valley. Then when we over cope and later come back down to some sort of normal state, we never reach the same base line again. Something we need to remember is that stress is like the wind, you do not see it, but you see its effects as it passes by.

Dynamics of Co-Dependents

1. Out of touch with their own experience: They have been in a mood altering experience, and this leads to neglect of their needs. We normally say things such as "I used to do that at one time", etc.

2. Their feelings are discounted: They do not know how they have the right to feel. They show anger a great deal which protects them from exhibiting other feelings.

3. A great deal of emotional pain.

4. Learned not to ask for help: They have overwhelming feelings of being on their own and you should never ask for help because then you really are on your own.

5. Not able to get needs met: Not only are they not able to get their needs met, they can't even identify

their needs.

6. They mistake feelings: They mistake feelings such as control for security, intensity for intimacy

and obsession for fear.

7. They have extreme high tolerance for inappropriate behaviour.

8. Co-dependents feel terrible with their feelings of anger that they need to suppress all the time.

9. They do recognize what has happened to their own health. They believe the alcoholic has the problem.

10. Co-dependents adjust constantly but never make any real changes.

11. Co-dependents are compulsive about pretending: They do not tell the truth, they react constantly to the alcoholic and other people and always put up the front that everything is OK.

12. They get very defensive about trying to control their feelings.

13. Co-dependencies are infectious: Others that are vulnerable will get pulled in easily.

14. They come to know that the reason things are bad is because of them: Co-Dependent Characteristics

a. My good feelings about who I am stem from being liked by you.

b. My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval by you.

c. Your struggle affects my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving your problems or relieving your pain.

d. My mental attention is focused on pleasing and protecting you.

e. My mental attention is focused on manipulating you (to do it my way)

f. My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems and relieving your pain.

g. My own hobbies and interests are put aside. My time is spent sharing your interests and hobbies.

h. Our clothing and personal appearance are dictated by my desires as I feel you are a reflection of me.

i. Your behaviour is dictated by my desires as I feel you are a reflection of me.

j. I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel.

k. I am not aware of what I want. I ask what you want. I am not aware - I assume.

l. The dreams I have for the future are linked to you.

m. My fear of rejection determines what I say or do.

n. I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship.

o. My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you.

p. I put my values aside in order to connect with you.

q. I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own.

r. The quality of my life is in relation to the quality of yours.

Thank you!

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I posted this on the Co-depency thread already, but I have a feeling that not a lot of people goes to see it, because the last person that replied was in february, so I am posting here:



I am acutally reading "co dependent no more". She says that co denpency does not necessary applies to someone living with someone having a chemincal substance problem, having a problem with substance or was raised with by family where you had chemical substance abuser. (I hope it's clear, I'm french so bare with me please)!



She said that if you were raised in a very controlled environment or by someone who critisized you a lot, you can become co-dependant. This is my situation.



My husband is not an alcoholic and nobody in my family is. BUT, I have all the signs and symptoms of a co-dependent. ALL OF THEM!



But when I read on internet and in here, people seems to say that if you are co-dependent, you live with an alcoholic or you are one yourself.



Even if i don't live with an alcoholic, I try to save him (from his anger, control,...), to control him (I want him to act in a way that will make me feel happy), to change him (negativism, anger, ...). If he's not happy, i'm not happy. If I try to think for me ant put boundaries, I feel so guilty. And the list goes on and on and on...



What do you think?


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It was almost offhanded when a marriage counselor suggested I was exhibiting signs of codependency. Though we didn’t keep seeing that counselor, I picked up a book on codependency and found myself described in its pages more than I wanted to admit.

I find it extremely difficult to accept the idea that I might be codependent. No one in my family abused substances. Contemplating the idea that my family might have been more controlling than usual makes my insides clench up with the shame of blaming them for my own problems. And besides, shouldn’t codependency help be given to the people who really need it, instead of some pretender like me? (Whatever that means.)

If he's not happy, i'm not happy. If I try to think for me ant put boundaries, I feel so guilty.

That’s me, too, Valgomoms. Thoroughly. I don’t have an answer for you, but I can certainly empathize with your uncertainty.

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It was almost offhanded when a marriage counselor suggested I was exhibiting signs of codependency. Though we didn’t keep seeing that counselor, I picked up a book on codependency and found myself described in its pages more than I wanted to admit.

I find it extremely difficult to accept the idea that I might be codependent. No one in my family abused substances. Contemplating the idea that my family might have been more controlling than usual makes my insides clench up with the shame of blaming them for my own problems. And besides, shouldn’t codependency help be given to the people who really need it, instead of some pretender like me? (Whatever that means.)

No one in my family abused anything. My family was not controlling at all. It was suggested to me by someone on here. When i read about it, most things described me to my amazement. I do not find that at all difficult to accept.

I started going to meetings, i started hearing other people's stories and thoughts and I stuck with it and I am very glad i did. It has helped me greatly. I have noticed changes in the way i deal with people, changes in my relationships, met new friends, and it also helped me realize I am not alone.

So i would suggest going to a meeting. At first I questioned how in the world it would ever help me but they always say go to at least six meetings and THEN make the decision. They were right.

Give it a try and see what happens.

Edited by Fides

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I went through a lot destructive relationships before someone who went to the 12 steps program pointed out I have a codependency issue. And there it was. My answer to everything. Ive done quite a bit of reading, research and speaking to people going through the same thing.

I picked up the book co dependency no more. I read the entire book but was a bit disappointed. There was a lot of writing but I didnt find a lot of tips/help. Just a lot of examples of codependency. By the end of the book, it tells you that in order to heal, you need to follow a 12 step program and go to recovery. Well if that is my only way to healing, then why did I read this book? lol. It almost made me feel hopeless... like the only way to recover is to surrender to a higher power? I have always been determined to do everything on my own and Ill never believe in a higher power.

I also dont know if I can agree that all codependents are control freaks and do not truly want to HELP people and only care about themselves. That to me was a very harsh judgement, I actually took that personally. I am a very caring person by nature. I love helping people, it makes me feel good, as it would any healthy human being. I do not believe in controlling others or situations. If I was truly a controlling person, I would be controlling all around. Do I feel the need to help people to gain feelings of self worth? Absolutely 100%. But I feel like that is much different from control. Trying to change someone to help them and yourself does not mean you are a controlling person. That just sounds ridiculous to me. I dont see how control is relevant to the codependency world at all.

Many codependents grow up in a addicted household. I did not. As the original post says.. we are raised with these messages: not to talk, feel or trust. I got slammed with all 3 and it destroyed me. Its interesting because I have 3 brothers in their 20s and 30s who were raised the same way and I reacted much differently to our upbringing. I am codependent, I latch onto people. All 3 of them? Severely depressed, unable to work, unable to cope with life and very alone/isolated. My dark is a different kind of dark but I suppose I should be thankful I am not in the dark place they are at. I am able to work and at least make attempts at life in a healthy way. I have been depressed for many years and have admittedly lost a few screws along the way but I am somehow managing to keep it together.

Where am I now after this epiphany? On my way to healing! Before I could not bear to be single and alone. Now I embrace being alone. I am happy being alone and learning to love myself. Its a slow, difficult process but Im getting there. Good luck to everyone in their recovery!

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Thank you for this post. It is shocking to me that none of my therapists over the years has brought this information to my attention. I have found myself in many co-dependent relationships, but always attributed the phenomenon to my depression alone. Reading this now, I am connecing many dots between my romantic relationships and my upbringing in a house with a depressive and alcoholic mother. There was surely very little talking, feeling, or trusting there.

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Every example, a thru r, are true for me.

Does the depression cause the co-dependency or does the co-dependency cause the depression?

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I am adding this after reading the previous post by Mine_rva. I feel that if I help others or care about others, then I will have that caring returned to me.

Instead, they soak up my caring, return none, so I try HARDER to 'do' and give.

I feel if I can one day 'get it right', I'll finally get the love, concern, and caring returned. But it never happens...

I have gotten into a deeply ingrained pattern of blaming myself for not showing and giving enough - and that is why I don't receive or deserve it. Instead of seeing that I am attracted to narcissistic people who have no idea that they should or are even capable of returning.

That last sentence was kind of an epiphany for me.... Wow...

I think I am attracted to narcissists because I want to feel good about myself the way they do. They are my role models, maybe? How ironic that I choose people to be role models that are the exact type of people who love to have people like me around them. I am a willing minion, and I see that. But I do not know, and perhaps do not want, to break that cycle...

Edited by Lexie57

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I'm the child of an Adult Child of Alcoholics.

Sorry but the way ACoA's describe themselves is not the way their children experience them;

Lies

Denial

Self righteousness

Invalidation of my emotions and experiences

Playing the victim (c'mon, even when I was a child??)

Scapegoating

Defending abuse

The inability to show love

That's really all I experienced from the ACoA.

And misunderstanding of my medical conditions (if anything is to blame it's your medical conditions..)

Authority blaming, such as, "your therapists are trying to turn you against your family". Oh sure, without motivation to do so...

Causing problems, then wallowing in self pity over anger or even assertiveness.

Her ego being the center of the universe. Other-centeredness of anyone "like me" doesn't count as other-centeredness.

Fear of healthy communication.

Wanting to believe they are good, and you are bad. The ACoA is perfect, you are imperfect.

Being raised by an ACoA is

Edited by Walking_dead_girl

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I have a friend who helped me through a difficult experience in my life. I spent two years very close to her in an online relationship, sharing intimate details of my life. She was very supportive and responsive, emailing me daily or multiple times per day. I grew to respect her a lot because of her Christian values. She constantly challenged my bad behaviors, which I really needed. But when I started to heal from my behaviors, I noticed that she never really seemed to believe that I was getting better, and she always seemed to find more and more to criticize me for. I felt very insecure in that relationship. Then I noticed her pulling back from social media, excluding me from her small groups which were mostly friends. She got angry when I asked her to include me. She wanted to keep writing, she said, but only via email. Often I felt my email account was overrun with her quick-fire responses. I knew I was hooked on her friendship, but it really became toxic when I would complain about the way she was treating me... with disrespect.

We went round and round about this for several months, and I finally figured out that she was using me to feel good about herself by "helping" me, but she also has a control problem. I am needy, clingy and hungry for one-on-one friendship, so she attracted me to her and I hung around far too long, but couldn't seem to get away. She became sick and tired of my complaints... I was afraid she would leave me, but I couldn't ever rest in the relationship because she was always putting me down or making me feel bad about the way I live my life. I finally told her all about what I thought she was doing, and I ended up telling her that I don't really trust that her friendship is real, even though she has repeatedly told me how much she cares about me. I told her twice that if she didn't "need" me, she should just let me go. So... She blocked my email address from reaching her. It isn't exactly what I had in mind... and I think she is cruel to have done this. I am pretty sure she did this out of anger because she didn't want to see her own faults, or take responsibility for encouraging my "clingyness," but I'm not absolutely sure. Maybe she just finally "got" that I needed her to be the one to break it... maybe she was sick to death of me... or maybe she really does care and just did what I couldn't. Either way, it feels horrible to have all the control taken away from me.

I can't quite wrap my mind around how much of this was my fault and how much of it was her fault. She wanted to blame me for the whole thing, but I wouldn't let her... and that made her angry. I've been told that "it takes two to tango," but her reasoning was/is so good and seems so solid that I could almost believe everything she ever said about me. I'm wavering back and forth right now... feeling I did the right thing and thinking I probably made a terrible mistake.

Does it sound like she has a co-dependency too? She can be as sweet as sugar and as cold as ice...

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I dont know about always being codependent. I dont believe i was until my husband became an addict. no history or signs from my childhood or parents.I never tried controlling him or being in his business until he started heavily using meth. Now im a basket case I didnt know what to do so I apparently did everything wrong. First off i thought if he loved me and the kids he would quit, then i started searching anything and everything, then i tried raging at him to get him to quit. Now years later after deep depression and panic attacks and him hitting rock bottom (really hard) we both are getting help. I have guilt i did all the wrong things and probably made things worse (though we will never know, it is what it is now). He has been clean 2 weeks the longest in over 10 yrs. he never tried before he seems like he really wants sobriety. I am on zoloft no more panic attacks and am trying to let him find his own way. We have been married 24 years and i dont know if we can make it together but regardless there is hope for him to stay clean now and have a life and that is more important than our relationship. I am just trying to work on myself to see what life is like without being in fear.

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