16 thoughts on “The Two-Sided Hell of Codependency

  • October 16, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    A great read Lenora! My husband used to say after a visit with my mother and sister I would be a “nervous wreck” for two week afterwards. Prior to the visits I was also a “nervous wreck”. So I had a double whammy with these two people. Taken me decades to untangle myself.

  • October 17, 2017 at 5:22 am

    Thank you. Needed to hear that 🙂

  • October 18, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Thank you!! I have seven kids and I do feel soo much guilt when I ask them to do anything. When I do they have to without an attitude. I realize I was being codependent, which I got from my mother who is terribly codependent. I never want to be anything like her and awareness is key. I can change it. This was very helpful!

  • October 18, 2017 at 10:33 am

    very interesting. for what it’s worth, I suspect, like most thing, ‘anything in moderation’. to wit; maybe there is a ‘healthy’ aspect of co-dependency… no man (or woman) is an island, right. one more cliche’, the devil is in the details. being co-dependent is Ok… perhaps even natural – if it’s something we learn. my experience – and I can’t figure out which side (which “co-dependent”, as it were) I am. I guess I just accept it’s part of my DNA and approach it with awareness

    • October 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      Me too !! 🤔🤔

  • October 18, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Well written article, so true, but you did it with a bit of laughter. And we both know it isn’t always funny. I think maybe that’s another co-dependent thing, making a joke about ourselves to deflect how we really feel sometimes, we certainly don’t want to offend anyone, right? And we are so easily led into a narcissist trap because we just can’t let anyone not like us. We are the perfect match for them and believe me, it’s a trap that no one would willingly fall into if they see it coming. I’m finding that the only way to truly become the healthy people we want to be is to address the old injuries we received as children including what we did to ourselves by allowing these things to happen, and the only true was to do that is to go deep inside ourselves and face all those scary things. Not easy but incredibly helpful in the long run. Slowly we can learn to stand up for ourselves and still be likable to most. And to the ones that can’t deal with it, we can let them have their feelings but not depend on them to like us. I’m tired of dancing that dance myself, it makes me feel like one of those dogs you see who are so desperate for love they will crawl to you on their belly just praying you won’t hurt them. But willing to take the chance just so you will maybe like them a little bit. We let ourselves be hurt by others and then take the blame! How crazy is that?

    • October 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      You nailed it, Hawk. I wrote an article about being complicit in my own abuse. Here’s the link. You might like it.

      Funny you mentioned dogs. My doxiepoo is exactly how you describe. I adopted her from the Animal Humane Society and call her my Codependent Puppy. You can get mad at her puddles, yell at her and she’ll crawl to you on her belly, flip over vulnerably and grin, lick, kiss you right afterwards. But boy does she have a temper! We figure she was abused by her previous owner. If you even point at her, she cowers.

      Thanks for commenting!


      • October 18, 2017 at 7:24 pm

        Wow! Hawk this really helps me better understand my codependency and it also
        Helps me understand why I have no tolerance for abuse toward animals.

      • October 18, 2017 at 10:42 pm

        I agree with you on that one for sure, no tolerance for animal abuse, even hearing about it makes me nuts. It’s just unreal to me and I will never understand it.

      • October 20, 2017 at 8:58 am

        We feel their helplessness – I wouldn’t want to have a gun in my hand when witnessing any animal abuse. The sadder part is that I don’t have this same empathy for my fellow humans. I am working on it because while I would never tolerate animal abuse we were created to love one another. Another side of codependency is that we spend time trying to fix others because we feel so helpless to fix ourselves. Our victims intuitively know that even though they can’t put their finger on the problem, they just tune us out and they should– we’re trying to take their control because we don’t have any ourselves and in a way we’re abusing them. There in lies the circle of abuse that we received from our parents and in turn pass on to our children. Madness unless we are deliberate and honest with ourselves which most people seriously can’t handle. We would just rather pass the buck.

  • October 19, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This article has given me insights and strategies that I have sorely needed. So much so that I felt an immediate sense of relief while still reading it. A feeling of camaraderie and ‘you are not alone’ release. For I too have such a mother as you describe here, and it has been years of torture, especially since my father died. I’ve always had a secret thought that he had died just to get away from mum). I guess because he and I (and my brother) have always still loved her. And my brother once admitted that when visiting mum alone, he couldn’t stand to be there more than an hour. Again thank you for your wonderful insights and advice. So much appreciated.

    • October 20, 2017 at 9:07 am

      With all the compassion I can muster through this cyber space, we have to quit beating up on mom because in all reality your great granddaughter can very well say the same thing about you. It’s in our DNA and it’s in most of us. We’ve all got a little bit or a lot of something. When we blame mom we’re actually giving her our control which is madness. She only did what she learned from her great grandmother…and the cycle continues. The only control you have is that which you take with deliberate conviction that you are going to brake the cycle. Get real with yourself and actually loving your mum because you’ve forgiving her taken back your power and control — is actually very therapeutic.

      • October 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm

        Of course you are right SAd, the more time we spend thinking about all the wrongs and the sad and hurt emotions, and how we felt so victimized, the longer we are letting those things keep on hurting us. It is then that we are actually causing the pain ourselves by reliving it. Somewhere in there, between the need to be able to share it and vent, and then to the healing part, is a lot of things to think about. At first we are so caught up in the hurt and just wanting some validation from someone, anyone, we run the chance of being stuck in that mode. I almost did, but now at last I realized that I don’t want to be that bitter old woman that no one can stand to be around. No one wants to be around bitterness and sadness if they don’t have to. And then you realize after a bit, you don’t want to be around it either, even if it is your own pain. I think when you start to gain some of your self worth back and start remembering that your whole life doesn’t have to be taken up with the abuse, you can finally start the true path back to sanity and health. And when you get to that point, you can almost, almost, start to thank your abuser because at least for me, it took all that sorrow and pain to wake me up to myself. That is when I started to learn who I really am and what it is that causes the triggers that set me back. What was it inside of me that kept me locked in that trap? Or that made me think I deserved that treatment? And then onto taking responsibility for my part in allowing it to go on. That is what gives you back your own power. You can forgive yourself, and let go of the hurts. You can forgive your abuser, which in no way condones what they did to you, but rather you admit that there isnt a thing you can do to change what happened and that you can’t fix them, but you can make your life better which in turn will stop that cycle of abuse from going forward. Our abusers were hurt too and caught up in that cycle, but we are now aware of it and can stop it, one person at a time. One person, one small ripple on a big pond, but that ripple goes further than even we can imagine. And by being the best people we can be, we can now hand that value down to our children, grandchildren, and on and on. That is the legacy we can all leave this world.

        I do’t know about everyone but I always thought if there was just something I could do to help the abusers, then I should keep trying and the guilt of feeling you are deserting them, that is also a thing that you have to accept. WE can’t fix them, but we can keep it from happening on down the line.

      • October 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        I so enjoyed reading that comment . It takes a long time to get where we are now. I still let narcissist get up in my business and control me to a certain extent but I’m getting much stronger. And on the flip side I can be the gentle manipulating narcissist to get my needs met. It just all depends on the man. It’s sorta crazy so I’m single at 56 but see the destruction is my siblings as well. I have 2 brothers that simply can not make connections with women and I know it’s because of the relationship they had with our mom. I feel badly for all of them. It’s hard for me to make a connection with my man it can take years!!

  • October 20, 2017 at 5:42 am

    This was an excellent read! Thank you. I grew up this way, and, yes, continue to battle codependency. So hard not to give advice to my sons when they are just calling to sound off!


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