Codependency and the Fallout From It

Being raised in a family where there is addiction, mental illness, or any problems that cause an inordinate amount of stress, creates codependency and children learn:

  • That you are not important enough to be cared for properly.
  • That it is better to lie and steal than to say something adults do not want to hear.
  • That they could be severely punished if they are caught lying and stealing.
  • That adults are not to be trusted.
  • That it is not okay to care about yourself.
  • That you are expected to take care of yourself.
  • That other people's problems are more important than yours.
  • That the only way to get your needs met is to learn how to be manipulative and seductive.
  • That the only way to get approval and attention is by listening to other people’s problems and trying to solve them for them.
  • That if you have a problem or are in pain no one cares.
  • That accepting personal responsibility will only get you into trouble therefore it is best to blame someone or something else when things go wrong.
  • That it is safer to live a parent's dream than to have one of your own.
  • That you will feel lost, empty, and free floating much of the time causing you to feel different from other people.
  • That it is best to deny having feelings, neglect your own needs and develop a false persona.
  • That being helpless and victim-like will sometimes get you some sympathy, but the sympathy will never be based on the real problem.
  • That shame will be your constant companion and will hold you back from great accomplishments or cause you to over-work, over-produce and become compulsive about 'doing'.
  • That you will be a loner or accumulate followers who do not really know you.
  • That conflict is dangerous and therefore it is best to keep quiet and not stick-up for yourself.
  • That the only way to kill your pain or feel alive is to use alcohol, drugs, sex, work, religion or some other activity compulsively.
  • That perpetual anger colors every decision and action.
  • That as you grow older you will become cynical, intolerant, impetuous and controlling, or you will seek to go unnoticed and perform for others without complaint.
  • That you will feel like an outcast socially or become a social butterfly and neither will satisfy you.
  • That constant crisis is a way of life and without it you are bored.
  • That having been betrayed by the people who brought you into the world has set you up for a life-time of trusting the wrong people and listening to advice from inappropriate sources.
  • That you set up a grandiose way of thinking that says "I can do it all, be it all, and take care of others" and then develop self-hate when you can't "do it all, be it all, and take care of others".
  • That you will either idealize people places and things or negate them.
  • That the thing about you that no one knows or would ever guess is that you just want someone to take care of you.

This page may not be reproduced without express permission of the author.
© Evelyn Leite, MHR, LPC

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Just Do It - Part 3

Ultimately, we are our own worst critic and persecutor. To meet the challenge that fears present is a giant hurdle and requires a huge shift in thoughts and beliefs. Fear resides inside of self and behavior resides outside of self.

How many times have you been extremely afraid to do something and so put it off until it was too late? How many times have you faked illness, told a little white lie, and avoided doing things that made you feel fearful? Fear is like a monster that feeds on itself the more you put off doing something the bigger the monster grows. Have you ever considered yourself a loser?

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Just Do It - Part 2

How many times have you said to yourself or someone that you care about “for Pete’s sake stop talking about it and just do it?” This simple statement is often a complex problem in many lives.

Do you really want to know what is holding you back from doing the things you want to do with your life? If so, do a bold and courageous inventory of your life, your assets and your shortcomings. Give your friends a piece of paper with the questions written on it and ask them to be totally honest without fear of reprisal.

  1. Who are you when you are alone? (Who do they think you are when you’re alone?)
  2. What do you stand for? (What do your friends think you stand for?)
  3. What are your strengths? (What do your friends say your strengths are?)
  4. What are your limitations? (What do your friends say your limitations are?)
  5. What 3 things do you value most in the world? (What 3 things do your friends say?)

If you can’t answer these questions easily it is time for reflection and perhaps counseling.

Do not read any farther until you have answered these questions and asked at least two friends for their answers.

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Just Do It - Part 1

How many times have you said to yourself or someone that you care about “for Pete’s sake stop talking about it and just do it?” Or how many times have you beat yourself up because you have been planning to do something for days, weeks, or even months or years and you just never quite get to it?

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Help Me! I Think I am Going to Die - Part 3

People suffer from various kinds of anxiety and it often gets unbearable around holidays or special occasions. When you are feeling anxious it is hard to think and hard to know what to do about it. Know that what you are feeling is either fear of the unknown or fear of being exposed. Examine this fear and ask yourself how practical is it? Don’t try to talk yourself out of what you are feeling but learn some of the ways you can manage your anxiety.

To manage your anxiety there are three areas to look into: Physically, Mentally & Spiritually. In part one we discuss physical aspects and in part two we discussed mentally and in part three we will look into how your spiritual life can reduce your anxiety.

Spiritually:

  • Do you have a spiritual component in your life? If so, what do you do to honor it? Everyone must have someone or something in their life is that he/she can look up to. If you don't know God perhaps now is the time to explore who He is and what He stands for.
  • Have you tried meditation or yoga for calming and relaxation? Formerly the school of thought was that meditation and yoga was of the occult, now we know that is not true. Both are widely accepted as a superior way to combat anxiety.
  • Do you suffer from shame or guilt that does not belong to you, but has been passed on to you by parents or others? If so, how long do you want to carry it?
  • Have you sought counseling or spiritual direction guidance from someone you trust? Is misery a companion that you are willing to give up. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to find peace of mind? Some people have used anxiety as a crutch for many years, giving it up involves facing your reasons for keeping it. Just like leaving an abusive relationship opens one up to a whole new world so can leaving your anxiety. Are you willing? Are tired of being controlled? Have you suffered long enough? Only you can answer these questions.

Help is available and is as close as your phone or email. If you need it, get it!

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