We Live in a Codependent Society
“Because of the pervasive nature of the problem, our whole culture can be called codependent. When one looks at the problem from a cultural perspective, it becomes obvious that major institutions in our society support codependent behavior. The social structure we have created may be actually dependent upon this behavior continuing.”
“Throughout modern history, most societies have been structured so that some groups are ranked above others, such as men over women and management over labor. With one group more powerful and in control of the resources, codependent relationships can be easily created and maintained. If people begin to change their codependent patterns, it will bring changes to the larger social structure.” Barry and Janae Weinhold
Everyone can benefit from codependency recovery. All you need in the beginning is a willingness to learn more about it. Anyone who has ever loved has given more than they have received in a relationship. If this is a pattern in several relationships throughout your life, you need to look at how you get hooked into this treatment. When you are receiving less than you need and/or want, your self-esteem and confidence suffers.
Codependency recovery basics are:
- having healthy boundaries,
- learning assertiveness,
- identifying your core issue,
- finding out what hooks you,
- learning that care taking is a control issue,
- developing compassionate detachment,
- adding self nurturing activities,
- using relaxation techniques,
- developing mindfulness techniques to live in the moment,
- identifying your triggers.
From the ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) Red Book; Chapter 1
“The adult child syndrome is somewhat interchangeable with the diagnosis of codependence. There are many definitions for codependence; however, the general consensus is that codependent people tend to focus on the wants and needs of others rather than on their own. by doing so, the codependent or adult child can avoid his or her own feelings of low self-worth. This is the sixth trait of the 14 traits. A codependent focuses on others and their problems to such an extent that the codependent’s life is often adversely affected. In addition to emotional suffering, codependents can suffer from serious or chronic physical illnesses. The illnesses include stomach problems, severe headaches, insomnia, colon problems, and skin ailments in addition to other physical problems.”
“In ACA, we realize we could not have reacted another way given our dysfunctional upbringing. As children, we focused on the odd or neglectful nature of our parents’ behavior. We mistakenly thought we cause their moods or attitudes or could do something to change circumstances. We did not realize that we were children and that adults were responsible for their own feelings and actions. Many of us thought we cause our parents’ addiction. We took responsibility for their drinking and drugging, thinking we could make them stop, slow down, and eventually love us. As children, we took responsibility for our parents’ anger, rage, blame, or pitifulness. We were children, but we unknowingly took responsibility for our parents’ feelings and poor behavior. This mistaken perception, born in childhood, is the root of our codependent behavior as adults. By living with a blaming or shaming parent, we developed a dependent, false self. Our false self constantly seeks outward affection, recognition, or praise, but we secretly believe we don’t deserve it. Meanwhile, the Inner Child is driven inward into hiding. The false self is the adult child personality expressed in the 14 Traits of The Laundry List.”
Healing childhood trauma can lead to overcoming addiction, depression, anxiety, or any debilitating condition which benefits from redefining who you are. According to US Dept of Health & Human Services: Child Welfare, childhood trauma effects are persistent fear response, hyperarousal, increased internalizing symptoms, diminished executive functioning, delayed developmental milestones, weakened response to positive feedback, and complicated social interactions.
“You survived by seizing every tiny drop of love you could find anywhere, and milking it, relishing it, for all it was worth. And as you grew up, you sought love, anywhere you could find it, whether it was a teacher or a coach or a friend or a friend’s parents. You sought those tiny droplets of love, basking in them when you found them. They sustained you. For all these years, you’ve lived under the illusion that somehow, you made it because you were tough enough to overpower the abuse, the hatred, the hard knocks of life. But really you made it because love is so powerful that tiny little doses of it are enough to overcome the pain of the worst things life can dish out. Toughness was a faulty coping mechanism you devised to get by. But, in reality, it has been your ability to never give up, to keep seeking love, and your resourcefulness to make that love last long enough to sustain you. That is what has gotten you by.” Rachel Reiland