Codependency Recovery Plan: Understanding the Missing Family Links
by Lisa A. Romano
When someone is brainwashed, they don't know it. What has been accepted by the subconscious mind becomes an unconscious script the minimally conscious mind never questions.
What I think at the subconscious level, I become, like it or not.
Knowing what I know now about negative childhood brainwashing, perfectionism, and the fear of making a mistake, it seems so clear that as a child, I never felt safe. It was not safe to laugh or cry, jump, run, or rest. My childhood home was so rigid, that I had no choice but to remain on guard.
My codependency recovery plan required that I begin understanding the missing links and that meant, I needed to become conscious of that which was subconscious.
Codependent Mothers Narcissistic Fathers
My mother lived in fear of upsetting my father, although she would have told you she loved him. However, my siblings and I knew her mind was preoccupied with what my father needed, felt, thought, and required to remain calm. Dinner was always warm, the milk in the refrigerator never spoiled, and our home was near sterile, yet my mother would have told you she was happy.
A codependent mother who is unconsciously enmeshed with a narcissistic husband is unaware that her subconscious wounds have designed her mind to laser focus on avoiding pain as opposed to seeking pleasure. Mom, whether she ever acknowledged it or not, lived in fear of disappointing my father, which meant she had little bandwidth to question how her laser-like focus on our father, resulted in my siblings and me feeling invisible, unseen, and unworthy of her attention, as well as affection.
My mom swore, as many adult children of alcoholics do, that the life she offered her children would be different than her own, which was, however, the invisible magic ingredient my siblings and I needed to develop a positive sense of self was missing. My mother never embraced any codependency recovery plan, and I often wonder what her life as well as ours, would have looked like if she had.
Breaking the Cycle
It took me decades to unravel the layers of my mind, false beliefs, and mind-twisting misconceptions regarding my value as a human being. There was a time of isolation much like the dark cocoon a crawling caterpillar must encapsulate itself in while they endure its metamorphosis. It took me years to sift through what was negative brainwashing versus what was true about my divinity as a soul.
It was not my fault, I was void of a healthy sense of self, and that feeling unworthy was my base emotional setpoint. It was not my fault I felt bad, ugly, broken, ashamed, and unworthy of love. It was not my fault, that I stepped into my mother's role as a young mother and ached for my ex-husband's approval so much it blinded me to the innumerable innocuous ways I had failed to attune as securely as I could have to my own innocent children, had I not been addicted to needing to be needed.
Climbing Up and Out of the Subconscious Mind
Healing from codependency is a sobering experience. Love, acceptance, pleasing others, feeling needed, and fixing other people's problems are ways we as codependents get our 'fix'. We scan our environments for ways to feel worthy unaware that doing so is the cause of deep childhood trauma.
Sobering up meant I needed to stop acting like nothing was my fault, even if the cause of why I was codependent wasn't. As a mother, it meant accountability was necessary if I were going to push recovery further than my mom had in her time. It meant I had to play the role of detective and retrace my footsteps so I could figure out what ill thinking caused me to remain codependent, as well as attract unhealthy relationships well after my divorce. It meant that I needed to retrain my brain to refocus on attuning myself to the emotional needs of my children, which required many dark nights of the soul.
And of course, somehow I would have to learn to love myself regardless of who rejected, disliked, or abandoned me along the way.
Codependency Recovery Plan: Finding the True Self
Ending my addiction to people, relationships, and feeling loved required that I FIND MYSELF...within MYSELF rather than in the reflection of the worth others found within my relationship with them. I had to STOP looking for people with problems I could fix and I had to learn to FEEL the lack of control choosing NOT to people-please created within.
If you are healing from codependency, I wish to send you a giant virtual hug! I get it...I know how addictive feeling loved by someone who needs you can feel...and how the hormone oxytocin can pull you away from the invisible wounds of the aching inner child...You're not crazy because you love a narcissist or because you haven't yet found the ability to end a toxic relationship...You're human...you're wounded...you're in pain...and you're afraid...
I wish someone told me that the many times I failed at listening to those RED FLAGS were all NECESSARY steps I needed to experience in order to FINALLY BREAKTHROUGH CHILDHOOD BRAINWASHING.
Dear One, it does not matter how many times you fail to set a boundary, or how often you ignore those red flags as long as you STAY on the path to HEALING the aching wounds of your INNER CHILD.
Seeing the cracks negative childhood brainwashing has created is to STARE fear in the face and to REFUSE to look away.
Codependency Recovery is a path for emotional, mental, and spiritual warriors who know that in order to flip their outer reality, they must do the grunge work first.
Please know, that I am right there with you, holding a mirror to my own defects and knowing that beyond them is a divine soul here to heal the illusions created by generations after generations of living below the veil of consciousness.