Many people either deny being codependent or misunderstand what the term means. One way to define codependency is when your focus is on everyone else but you. Their needs, wants, desires, and agendas are placed above your own at every turn. Your goal is usually to gain love and acceptance, but what often happens is you end up feeling used and alone.
Many codependents come from households where one or more of the following were present:
Extreme religious rules
Children are usually resilient and find a way to survive; some even thrive in such homes. However, as adults they often find the coping skills they developed as children turn into destructive forces in their adult lives.
Adults who have experienced such childhoods can often relate to some of the following descriptions found in the book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.
Don't know what they want and need or, if they do, tell themselves what they want or need is not important.
Find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others, rather than injustices done to themselves.
Feel safest when giving.
Feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives to them.
Feel bored, empty, and worthless if they don't have a crisis in their lives, a problem to solve, or someone to help.
Feel different from the rest of the world.
Reject compliments or praise.
Feel a lot of guilt.
Try to prove they're good enough for other people.
Settle for being needed.
These are just a few of the many ways codependency plays out in the lives of adults from troubled or dysfunctional homes. If you recognize yourself in these statements, we need to talk.
Call me at 678-626-7013 to schedule an appointment today.