Denial is one of the most difficult human conditions to deal with. The more old pain and feelings we have “stuffed”, the more difficult denial is to break through. It is important to look truthfully at our past and our parents to realize that everyone did the best they knew how. That way, we don’t get stuck in blaming. It is also important to develop skills in conflict resolution so that we can work through the conflicts that emerge from telling the truth and breaking the “happy family” illusion. With good tools and skills, these conflicts can become doorways to creating real intimacy in a family. Weinhold and Weinhold
If you cannot get rid
of the family skeleton,
you may as well make it dance.
George Bernard Shaw
Codependency is rampant in this society. Like cancer is to the body, codependency is to relationships. Codependency refers to a state of being that is centered around the unconscious desires an individual has towards catering to the needs of others at the expense of themselves. People with unclear boundaries, who lack the ability to say “no” often times are victims of codependent thinking. Codependency shows up in relationships that include partners suffering an addiction to substance abuse, as well as other forms of addiction. When people are in love with alcoholics, they tend to find themselves worrying obsessively about their addicted loved one. They worry about them physically, financially and emotionally. They worry about them so often, that they lose touch with their own needs because so much of their attention has been paid to trying to fix the alcoholic. The alcoholic is dependent upon the alcohol, and the alcoholics partner is dependent upon the fixing the alcoholic. Whenever people find themselves trying to fix someone else, to the point where they have lost touch with their own needs, they are engaging in codependent behavior. On the other side of the equation, whenever people behave like victims to get their selfish needs met, they are engaging in codependent behavior. When people are unable to be honest in relationships, because they fear hurting the feelings of the other person, they are engaging in codependent behavior. Any behavior that disallows the full, honest expression of one human being to another, can be considered codependent in nature. From an article by Lisa A. Romano http://www.examiner.com/article/codependency-and-how-it-destroys-relationships
The only person that can ever
truly make you happy is yourself.
Stop depending on everyone else.
If your usage of a substance like alcohol or drugs, or habit like excessive shopping or sports-watching, ever prompted someone you love to say to you, “Too much,” listen up. The biggest mistake people make with addictions, alcohol and otherwise, is that they deny that they are over-doing it. They get defensive. They insist “I’m only drinking so much because …” They claim, “You do it too..” or “Everyone drinks like that..” They minimize, “I just drink….” Denial is tempting, and extremely self-defeating. Resist this temptation, and you have a chance at averting the potentially marriage-threatening consequences of an addiction that you persist in sustaining. The remedy: Take your loved one’s concern seriously. Seriously reassess your habit. Ask yourself, “If I look at my drinking in the best possible light, what is it meant to accomplish?” If the answer is that drinking enables you to escape from stresses in your life, it’s time to face those stresses head on. Addictions usually are an alternative to addressing and resolving problems, marital and otherwise. Replace running away with talking about your problems with someone you trust. By clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author Susan Heitler, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201110/resisting-the-3-main-temptations-destroy-marriages
Sometimes I feel
as if I’m racing
with my own shadow…
But that’s one thing
I’ll never be able to outrun.
Nobody can shake off
their own shadow.
Less than half of the men with mental health challenges ever get help for them. The reasons for this are many, including lack of information, stigma associated with mental illness, and masculine ideals. Men who adhere steadfastly to masculine norms, such as power, strength, and emotional control, may be most at risk for negative psychological outcomes. In fact, because so few men seek help for their problems, they are more vulnerable to suicide and substance abuse than females. Joshua L. Berger of Clark University’s Department of Psychology in Massachusetts wanted to examine the factors that prevent men from getting the help they need. In a recent study, Berger assessed the help seeking attitudes and avenues of men in need. He also looked at how they reacted to two common clinical terms: depression and anxiety. Overall, Berger found that the men who had the strongest affinity toward masculine norms were the least likely to seek help. They reacted the most dramatically to anxiety and depression, and were the least likely to consider medication as a treatment option. Berger also found that the men were more inclined to going to therapy if a psychotherapist recommended it rather than if it was suggested by a romantic partner or a family practitioner. They also cited individual talk therapy as their preferred mode of treatment. These findings demonstrate that even though friends and family members may mean well when offering help to their loved men in need of psychological treatment, suggestions from mental health professionals will have the most impact. Lowering men’s risk for suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and other negative behaviors is paramount, and the evidence revealed in this study may bring the mental health profession one step closer toward achieving that goal. “Generally speaking, these results underscore the importance of considering the specific type of help under consideration when discussing men’s attitudes toward help-seeking,” Berger said.
Every man has his secret sorrows
which the world knows not;
and often times we call a man cold
when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When you date a narcissist, they can be very charming and this is a trap. It’s really up to you to avoid this trap because the narcissist can’t help it. This is an incurable untreatable personality disorder. If you run across a spider who bites you, you can’t blame the spider. It’s your job to avoid the spider as best you can. It’s extremely difficult to avoid a charming narcissist because this is their one huge talent. In the beginning of a relationship, few people are as compelling as a narcissist. It will look as if all your dreams are coming true. Look beyond the charm. How many times has the narcissist been married? How many hearts has this person broken in the past? What are the reasons for the break ups? Question closely, and listen even more closely. In the end, only you can protect yourself from the trap a narcissist will lay. Just remember, once you enter a relationship with a narcissist, you will never get out unless that narcissist gets tired of you. Since you don’t really exist for the narcissist as a human being, it will be nothing for this person to drop you like a stone without looking back even once. No ties, no money, no children, no history, certainly no begging or crying will get this person back. This person will view you with nothing less than contempt and annoyance. You are less than nothing to a narcissist and in danger of becoming less than nothing to yourself. http://www.ehow.com/how_4818960_not-love-naricissitic-personality-disorder.html
So many times it seemed like
there were chances to stop things
before they started. Or even
stop them in midstream.
But it was even worse when
you knew in that very moment
that there was still time
to save yourself, and yet
you couldn’t even budge.
When a Codependent starts a romantic relationship they tend to put too many eggs in that one basket. They invest their whole lives in a guy/girl who ultimately turns out to be an addict, a betrayer, a little boy/girl, a rager, a controller, weak, lost, little, and otherwise not coming as originally advertised. Early on the Codependent is way too emotionally dependent way too quickly. Before too many years go by Codependents learn that the relationship they have arranged for themselves does not include a whole lot of goodies for them. Prince charming who put the full court press on to secure her generally is only interested in her these days to try to extract some sex from her. He is too busy and important to take the time and energy to really get to know her on an intimate and daily basis. That simply isn’t who he is. Codependents also tend to arrange their worlds so that they are financially dependent on a man. Mom is taking care of the kids so that Superman can go out and take over the world. In the mean time each year that passes by is another year that she is out of her career field, not developing her earning power and many times feeling not good enough because they aren’t earning their own money directly. Codependents have big hearts – too big. They rescue men, children, puppies, strangers, neighbors and friends. Their first thought is ‘what does my spouse or my kids need, what will work best for them’. They do not think about their own needs enough. A huge part of their Recovery process is learning to take good care of their own needs. Codependents get lost for decades in the meeting of others needs while ignoring what their own hearts were trying to say to them. Codependents many times don’t have much going on in the hobby department. They have no time devoted to what makes themselves happy. Their lives aren’t really about them. They are rest starved, fun starved and inspiration starved. They need to learn to be selfish in a healthy way. They are parched ground lacking in color and joy. http://www.familytreecounseling.com/marksblog/?s=When+a+Codependent+starts+a+romantic+relationship+
… it’s a lot easier to be lost than found.
It’s the reason we’re always searching,
and rarely discovered…
so many locks, not enough keys.
Dysfunctional Relationships are relationships that do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication among them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare or fortify them for life in the larger world. Codependency means that one or both people in a relationship are making the relationship more important than they are to themselves. A classic codependent is hopelessly entangled with a partner who is out of control through alcoholism, addiction or violent behavior; but the term has been more recently used to mean anyone who feel dependent, helpless and out of control in a relationship; or unable to leave an unsatisfying or abusive one. Toxic Family Systems are relationships (beginning with childhood families, and carried into adulthood) that are mentally, emotionally or physically harmful to some or all of the participants. Codependent relationships can also be toxic relationships, although the term “toxic” is usually used to mean the more abusive varieties. In short, all three of these terms refer to relationships that contain unhealthy interaction, and do not effectively enhance the lives of the people involved. People in these relationships are not taking responsibility for making their own lives or the relationship work. Adapted from “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage” by Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. http://www.tinatessina.com/dysfunctional_relationship.html
We are all prompted by the same motives,
all deceived by the same fallacies,
all animated by hope, obstructed by danger,
entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.