Codependency is the Engine Under the Addiction

“Most Adult Children report that they have always felt that they were a “mess” deep down and have protected themselves and others from the embarrassment of seeing or feeling that “mess.” They have felt alone in a crowd or isolated all their lives. They have taken care of others compulsively, but never let others care for them. They have sought out relationships where needs weren’t possible, or intimacy could never be achieved. Children of Alcoholics tend to have caseloads, not friends, and feel that they have to work harder than anyone else—to be more perfect, tougher, or more independent and in control. They feel they must hide the craziness they feel inside, and they must earn the right to have relationships or merely live in the world like everyone else.”      Jane Middelton-Moz

Codependency helps to create and foster addiction as well as addiction creates and fosters codependency. This is a family system experience. The addiction/codependency relationship needs each other to complete the cycle.

“Codependence means we are depending on something outside of ourselves to provide our sense of wellbeing and are not being true to ourselves and our own feelings. As long as we keep believing that we can make someone else happy or that someone else has the power to make us happy, we are setting ourselves up for frustration, failure, and possibly victimization.”      Roz Van Meter

Codependency–the addiction of power–begins in childhood. Over 34 million Americans grow up in an alcoholic home. Add to those the millions who grew up with families dominated by an adult with another addiction: power, control, money, work, sex, food, etc. All addictions do the same to the families of the addict.

We develop being codependent by becoming the parent to an emotionally needy parent. When I was home from school at lunch and my parents would have violent fights, the whole way walking back to school I used to cry that I couldn’t rescue my mom. But I was a child. Why wasn’t she rescuing me?

The children learn to discount their own feelings; they learn to be the parent to the addict’s child; they learn not to trust; they learn to be ashamed. But, most of all, they learn they are not important. Any good feelings from the parents come from dwelling on the obsessions of the adults–bound together in the whirlwind of addiction.

1.From “Confusing Love”:

“So, on my journey to self-discovery, I came across this tidbit the other day. You can read it here…

“People of the emotionally unavailable species are always seemingly impossible to quit because of their ‘unpredictability’, which we mistake for ‘chemistry’ or ‘true love’”.

Oh. I see…

“These are the mysterious, ambiguous guys that will always keep you guessing and keep you ‘on your toes’ (aka in a perpetual state of mixed signals, mind fucking and the questioning-everything-kind-of-insecurity, insanity, WTF-is-wrong-with-me-I-must-be-going-crazy, miserable existence that you’d rather be in and try to ‘fix’ than be out and alone”

Interesting…

“You know you can’t fully have all of him, and there lies the ‘chemistry’. Emotionally unavailable guys are so luring because even when you ‘have’ them, it never really feels like you do. It gets all your validation seeking antennae all amped up because you’re addicted to this perpetual cycle of tying your worth to trying to turn the reluctant project into an emotionally reformed, responsible guy that’s capable of an authentic connection”.

Bingo! And there we have it, folks.  Of course I confuse love with other things. Of course I do. This perpetual cycle started when I was 9 years old with the man I loved the most and it hasn’t stopped. Each man I encounter with his energy keeps it going. Even when I have him, it never really feels like I do. Yes. This is it. This is how I have always felt. Always. I have no idea what love is. I only know how to chaselove. And I certainly know enough to not trust love. That shit can be yanked away at any time, with no warning. Hence, the chase. It doesn’t matter who. I gotta be on my toes…

I only know how to chase love.

I confuse love with trying to make the unavailable available. It’s all I know.

Scratch that. It’s all I knew. Just wait.”

MORE.

2. From “The Undoing of My Codependency”:

“I overlooked the damaging parts of the people I chose to love and assumed I could compensate for it. If they were depressed, I thought I could be the ray of light. If they weren’t ambitious, they just hadn’t found their life’s purpose. If they had a terrible relationship history, I was going to be everything their last girlfriend wasn’t. I was the answer to their every problem. I put them on my back and carried them along on the road of life.

I was the coach, cheerleader, I ran the concession stand, the fan and the player passing them the ball and determined to win the game whether they were playing or not. But, eventually I got tired.

When you don’t have a strong sense of self and clear boundaries, it makes you very hard to love and it makes it very hard to love others. Seething anger beneath the surface of any relationship damages it. Giving more than your fair share always puts the other person in a deficit. Not communicating your needs guarantees they won’t be met.

It took the crumbling of my last relationship for me to really look at myself. I felt like a failure, but it would have been very easy to look at all that he had done wrong and make him the problem. I had to knock myself off my pedestal as the long-suffering martyr and get real about all the ways I sabotaged any opportunities at intimacy with my choices and need for control.”

MORE.

3. From “What is healing codependency more specifically? What does it look and feel like?”:

“A lady, who is in an online group I am in, asked me, “I was wondering if you can go into how specifically you have healed your codependency?” This blog post is my response to her question.

I will begin with my response to her in the group post, and then continue with more:

“…healing codependency to me is about taking my power back one choice at a time, replacing the urge to compromise my integrity by seeking outside validation, rather than looking for validation from within by acting in accordance with my own values and needs (choosing me). Major healing of codependency started for me with setting healthy boundaries with family and friends, and finally setting healthy boundaries with my twin flame. It was the interaction with my twin flame early on that brought my codependency to light. I have struggled for a long time with my twin in regards to my healing. Sorry, I am getting off on a tangent a little. Essentially, every time I choose what is best for me, instead of succumbing to the desire to please others at my expense, to me is placing more and more of the codependent part of my personality into healing. I am not sure if we ever manage to “heal” codependency. I believe it is a process, and the further along and the deeper we go into our healing process, the more aware we become when this aspect arises. It is this awareness that allows us to choose, where once all we were able to do is respond in a codependent way. I hope this answers your question.”

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