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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