Hey everyone, do you think you are co-dependent???
I know there are a million different definitions out there, but thought I would post off of another website about this subject....
Here is an overview of Codependency, according to allaboutcounseling.com's website.....
What is codependency? What's the definition?
There are many definitions used to talk about codependency today. The original concept of codependency was developed to acknowledge the responses and behaviors people develop from living with an alcoholic or substance abuser. A number of attributes can be developed as a result of those conditions.
However, over the years, codependency has expanded into a definition which describes a dysfunctional pattern of living and problem solving developed during childhood by family rules.
One of many definitions of codependency is: a set of *maladaptive, *compulsive behaviors learned by family members in order to survive in a family which is experiencing *great emotional pain and stress.
*maladaptive - inability for a person to develop behaviors which get needs met.
*compulsive - psychological state where a person acts against their own will or conscious desires in which to behave.
*sources of great emotional pain and stress - chemical dependency; chronic mental illness; chronic physical illness; physical abuse; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; divorce; hypercritical or non-loving environment.
As adults, codependent people have a greater tendency to get involved in relationships with people who are perhaps unreliable, emotionally unavailable, or needy. And the codependent person tries to provide and control everything within the relationship without addressing their own needs or desires; setting themselves up for continued unfulfillment.
Even when a codependent person encounters someone with healthy boundaries, the codependent person still operates in their own system; theyíre not likely to get too involved with people who have healthy boundaries. This of course creates problems that continue to recycle; if codependent people canít get involved with people who have healthy behaviors and coping skills, then the problems continue into each new relationship.
How do I know if Iím codependent?
Generally, if youíre feeling unfulfilled consistently in relationships, you tend to be indirect, donít assert yourself when you have a need, if youíre able to recognize you donít play as much as others, or other people point out you could be more playful. Things like this can indicate youíre codependent.
What are some of the symptoms?
avoidance of feelings
hypervigilance (a heightened awareness for potential threat/danger)
physical illness related to stress
Isnít everyone codependent?
There are some natural and healthy behaviors mothers do with children that look like codependency. Are people mutually interdependent on each other? Yes. There is perhaps a continuum of codependency, that most people might fall on. Maybe this continuum exists because so many people are taught not to be assertive, or to ask directly for their needs to be met? We probably canít say though that everyone is codependent. Many people probably donít feel fulfilled because of other things going on in the system at large.
Anne Wilson Schaef believes the whole society is addicted; the object of addiction isn't the important issue, but rather that the environment sets us up to be addicted to something, i.e. food, sex, drugs, power, etc.
If that is true, then all of us are either addicts or codependents. From this perspective, society produces a pattern making it hard not to be codependent. But it still doesnít change that weíre not getting what we need and weíre not feeling fulfilled. Then the question is, how do I become more fulfilled and feel better about myself and the life Iím living?
To find out, please take a mini test.
Instructions: Give yourself one point for each yes answer.
1. When you get anxious, do you attempt to control the behavior or feelings of others?
2. Do you feel responsible for making sure the needs of others are met?
3. Do you put your own needs aside in an attempt to meet the needs of others?
4. Do you allow others to determine how you (one point each):
5. Do you try to control how others (one point each):
6. Do you have difficulty setting healthy boundaries in any of the following areas (one point each):
touching or being touched
giving or receiving sexual advances
stating clearly your thoughts, beliefs, opinions
blaming and/or being blamed for your feelings ("you make me feel...")
blaming and/or being blamed for your actions ("you made me do...")
blaming and/or being blamed for the actions of others ("it's your fault that...")
7. Do you get into relationships with people who (one point each):
physically abuse you or your children
emotionally abuse you or your children
verbally abuse you or your children
are chemically dependent (substance abusers)
are emotionally unresponsive
are physically unresponsive
are sexually unresponsive
are rage-a-holics so that you must walk on eggshells
are perfectionists that you can never please
are jealous and/or controlling of you or your time
are emotionally immature
are sexually addicted, overly demanding, emotionally or sexually unfaithful
8. Do you find yourself (one point each):
unable to remember much of your childhood
dissociating or daydreaming when strong emotions are being expressed
dissociating during whoopi
minimizing your addictive behaviors
minimizing your unhealthy relationships
minimizing or denying your family of origin issues
denying your own or your spouse's addictive behaviors
denying the unhealthy nature of your relationships
denying the dysfunction in your family of origin
denying that you have made the same mistakes as your parents
9. Do you have difficulty with healthy emotional expression, such as (one point each):
tending to fly off the handle and dump anger on others
tending to repress anger and/or cover it with a smile
feeling embarrassed or ashamed about crying in front of others
minimizing your feelings and talking yourself out of them
experiencing panic attacks
experiencing generalized anxiety
feeling out of control emotionally
feeling uncomfortable when others express strong emotions
10. Are you addicted to (one point each):
chaos or drama
11. Has there been any of the following abuse in your family of origin or your previous relationships (one point each):
overt sexual abuse with physical contact
overt sexual abuse without physical contact (voyeurism, exhibitionism)
verbal sexual abuse
being "spousified" by either parent
social abuse (shaming you about your friends, keeping you isolated)
physical neglect or abandonment
emotional neglect or abandonment
spiritual or religious abuse
12. Are you a caretaker, such as (one point each):
doing more than your fair share of the work
saying "yes" when you want to say "no"
feeling compelled to help others solve their problems
offering unsolicited advice, giving rapid fire solutions to others
doing for others what they are quite able to do for themselves, and resenting it
feeling attracted to needy people
over-committing yourself and feeling pressured and overwhelmed
feeling powerless to change these patterns
13. Does your fear of abandonment have any of the following consequences (one point each):
hold onto unhealthy relationships rather than risk being alone
seek approval so the other person won't leave
lie rather than confront the truth
become jealous when your spouse has outside interests
engage in sexual acts that are uncomfortable for you
compulsively diet, purge, or risk an eating disorder to look good
get upset when your spouse, lover, children are late
abandon or leave people before they can leave you
have difficulty being without a relationship
14. Do you or your family have a large investment in looking good, such as (one point each):
doing or not doing things because of what others might think
achieving or performing more for approval than for personal satisfaction
never expressing any strong emotions
believing that what others think is more important than your own wants, needs, or feelings
following the unspoken or spoken rule of "we don't air our dirty laundry in public"
15. Were/are the following rules (spoken or not) enforced in your family (one point each):
don't speak (children should be seen and nor heard)
don't communicate directly (tell mom and she'll tell dad)
don't express your anger or frustration (shame on you...you're being disrespectful)
don't have needs (you're selfish)
don't ask for what you want
don't be yourself
don't confront our behavior, don't make waves
don't trust your intuition, don't trust anyone
Scoring is simple: The higher the score, the greater the likelihood of codependency. Any "yes" answer is a wake-up call. Yes, codependency is widespread.
When I found out that I was co-dependent, I have read "Co-dependent no more" "Beyond Co-dependent" "Language of letting go" by Melody Beattie. It really helped me overcome.
AN ELUSIVE SUBJECT.
Sobriety for a sexually codependent woman is difficult to define because codependency is often about what a woman is not doing in order to be an acceptable female. She is not speaking up for herself. She is not alive to her sexuality. She is not focusing on her needs. She is not creating goals for herself. She is not saying no when she needs to.
A codependent woman lacks a sense of self, which leads her to control others, whom she mistakes for herself. "If my husband is important, I am important. If my children fail, then I fail. I'm responsible for everyone." Codependent sobriety is a process of creating an internal identity by learning to listen to signals coming from deep within you. When a woman understands fully who she is and accepts that knowledge, her need to control others automatically diminishes.
It is important to adopt the mind-set that recovery is for you. There is no schedule, no such thing as doing it perfectly. You are not doing it to please your therapist, to impress a friend, to get back at someone, to fix a relationship, or to be a good person. You are doing it because you want to feel alive.
GUIDELINES FOR CODEPENDENT SOBRIETY.
1. Be willing to know what you know, or be willing to feel whatever is inside of you, or be willing to know whatever true for you.
2. Learn to listen inside. what is true for me? What do I want?(not for someone else to be different! Not for someone else to love you. But what do you want to be?)
3. Ask no advice. Codependent woman keep themselves feeling little and others big by asking advice. They play innocent.
4. Think no advice, give no advice. Because the self-esteem of a codependent woman is tied up with other people, her mind is constantly humming with plans to change others to fit script. Resist the temptation to tell or hint to other people what's best for them.
5. Don't make fix it statement. codependents often attempt to smooth things over when people are upset.
6. Let yourself have a good gripe session.
7. Stop telling stories that could be titled that he (she) did to me
8. Stop giving reasons for everything you do. ĀEYou don't have to bring in an army of reason to support your stand.
9. Stop making excuses for others or rationalizing situations. -
10. Take your emotional temperature after visiting various people in your life.
11. Learn when to talk and when not to talk.
12. Don't give gifts you can't afford.
13. Change the question Will they like me? to Will I like them?
14. Learn to keep your energy inside
15. Pay attention to behavior, not words. Codependent women are easily seduced by words. But talk is cheap; behavior is the true measure of a person.
16. Learn to walk though fear. It is important to say "That was then, this is now. I am not a powerless child. I can make choices. My parents abandoned me, but that doesn't mean everyone else will. My parents betrayed me, but I don't have to betray myself."
17. Accept that being human is messy. Most codependent women want everything to be clean, clear, and under control. No sloppy feelings, no getting upset.
18. Stomachaches usually signify anger.
19. Protect yourself.
20. Become powerful rather than being righteous and superior to others.
CODEPENDENT SOBRIETY IN RELATIONSHIPS
1. Let relationship find their own level. - Codependent women typically put much more energy into relationships than their friends or partners do, which leaves them exhausted, irritated, and feeling ripped off. And because thy usually repress the anger that comes from giving much more than then get, they get depressed. Don't call more than you are called. Don't spend more money on friends than they do on you. Don't listen to them more than they listen to you. If you initiate one event, wait for your friend to initiate the next. It may be weeks or months, or not at all, but you will find the true energy level of the relationship. Not all your friendship will work out, but the relationship you form will be equal, honest, and satisfying. You won't have to wonder if your friends really care and feel angry because you are doing too much.
2. Anything besides yes means no.- If he says, "Sure" press for a time and place. Remember, when the addict says, "I want to,"it is often an expression of avoidance. Commitment phrases are "Yes, I will","Let's set a date," "l start making arrangements." Anything muddy or low-energy means no. So don't set yourself up by expecting the addict to come through. People who want to keep you on the hook will let you think they are saying yes without really saying yes. Codependents are afraid to press for a clear answer because they subconsciously know the answer and don't want to hear it. They would have to face the truth, possibly have a fight, and hear that the addict is not committed or truly involved. It sometimes helps to remember that if you give up an unsatisfying relationship or friendship, you will have more energy to find one that feels better.
3. Define relationships. - After an initial getting-acquainted process, or if a relationship is murky and you are getting the runaround, press to define the relationship. Addicts side step this issue and want to keep things foggy. It is important to define for yourself what you want. If you ask your partner to define the relationship first, you put yourself in a victim role. You become powerful and raise self-esteem by taking the lead.
From "Women, Sex, and addiction (A search for love and power)
Author - Charlotte Davis Kasl