If you have found yourself reading this article, then more than likely you are struggling with possibly identifying with issues associated with your perception of what it is to be codependent or what codependency is.
If you are like I was when I first began toying with the idea that maybe 'I had a problem--since I was the common denominator' at the root of all my dysfunctional relationships, I was overwhelmed by the information I found. What confused me the most was, my parents were not addicts or alcoholics. I remember thinking, 'Codependency is for people who are in love with drug addicts--or who were raised by drug addicts--and neither my parents nor my spouse at the time drank or did drugs-so how can I possibly be codependent?'
This was my greatest stumbling block, and had I understood what codependency really was I would not have wasted so much time denying that I possibly could actually be codependent.
Okay--enough belly aching about what could have or should have been. Let's get on with it.
What is Codependency?
Codependency isn't like cancer. You cannot point at it on a screen, or see it on a lab slide. Codependency is a dysfunctional perception of the Self that skews all future perceptions of Self in relation to all that is.
Does this sound overwhelming? Well, it is.
What the heck does that mean?
What this means is, how you see Self is damaged. If you were raised by people who ignored you, lied to you, manipulated you, embarrassed you publicly repeatedly and on purpose, if they guilted or shamed you to get you to do what they wanted you to do, if they programmed you to care more about what they thought about you than what you thought about you, if you were treated poorly in comparison to other siblings, if your parents could not love you unconditionally, if you felt like their love was conditional, if you never ever felt good enough--then your perception of Self is--dysfunctional and ill.
Why is it so important to grasp this concept?
It is important to grasp this concept because unless you understand that the very lens from which you view Self, the world, others, your career, relationships, diet-- and even your health--is cracked, your understanding of codependency will be limited which will impede your ability to embrace a healing modality completely.
What does codependency look and feel like?
Codependency has many faces. Some of the most wealthy, popular and beautiful people out there are codependent. Whenever a being relies on validation from the outside in order to feel worthy--they are exemplifying codependency. The idea that a being is dependent upon something outside of Self for a sense of Self is the issue.
Codependency can show up in what appears to be the best marriages from the outside, where there are no drug issues whatsoever. Perhaps a woman has married a man because she felt she could not take care of herself and so marriage was the fix to her fear of independency. She may have become co-dependent upon a man to support her (unconsciously of course). This co-dependent dynamic shows up in all facets of the relationship. The wife wonders, 'Will he praise me for this good dinner? Will he acknowledge how nice the house looks?' and so on. Her unconscious goal will be to feel 'seen' by him and validated externally.
Another deep twist in the above scenario is that the harder the wife pushes to be validated, the further the husband sometimes resists. A codependent dance ensues.
Below the surface is a man who needs to be needed who settles for being depended upon rather than loved for who he is--and a woman who needs to be dependent upon someone else for her financial security and any sense of self.
There are many facets to this dynamic called codependency, and if you believe you are struggling with any of them, please leave your contact information.
I encourage you to take advantage or my free sample coaching session, no strings attached.
NAMASTE and may you be blessed with clarity today!
Lisa A. Romano
ACoA Life Coach/Mentor
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