Being dependent in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s a component of healthy relationships. Some people fear dependency, interpreting it as a sign of weakness or helplessness, or out of a fear of intimacy. If we grew up in a family that encouraged a sense of autonomy and independent growth, with parents who praised our achievements and showed us love, we will reach adulthood with a sense of security about ourselves and our internal worth and our ability to move through the world as successful people… Sometimes things don’t go the way described above, and what’s experienced growing up is criticism, rejection, conditional love (often based on achievement that validates the parents’, not the child’s, sense of self-worth), [and] over dependence promoted as valuable, making it impossible to feel adequate without another person around to shore up self-worth. In this scenario you are unable to take responsibility for your own sense of adequacy. You expect your good feelings about yourself to be validated from outside yourself – usually from another person. You feel weak and vulnerable. You depend on someone else to feel secure, comforted, nurtured, supported, lovable, or worthy. A codependent relationship is one in which someone else’s needs are met before your own. Everything becomes about looking after the other person, at your expense. It tends to be learned behavior, starting either as a coping mechanism to survive painful experiences in a severely dysfunctional family, or in imitation of other family members in your generation or the one above you, who are caught in the same trap. It is a coping mechanism gone to an illogical extreme and has become maladaptivee. By Katherine Rabinowitz, LP, M.A., NCPsyA http://www.therapycanwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=99
If you need encouragement,
praise, pats on the back from everybody,
then you make everybody your judge.
Nursing resentments toward a parent does more than keep that parent in the doghouse. We get stuck there, too, forever the child, the victim, the have-not in the realm of love. Strange as it may seem, a grudge is a kind of clinging, a way of not separating, and when we hold a grudge against a parent, we are clinging not just to the parent, but more specifically to the bad part of the parent. It’s as if we don’t want to live our lives until we have this resolved and feel the security of their unconditional love. We do so for good reasons psychologically. But the result is just the opposite: We stay locked into the badness and we don’t grow up. From May 2003 issue of “O”, the Oprah Magazine
Slide the weight
from your shoulders
and move forward.
You are afraid
you might forget,
but you never will.
You will forgive and remember.
Codependence is an emotional & behavioural defense system which was adopted by our egos in order to meet our need to survive as a child. Because we had no tools for reprogramming our egos & healing our emotional wounds (culturally approved grieving, training and initiation rites, healthy role models, etc.) the effect is that as an adult we keep reacting to the programming of our childhood & do not get our needs met; our emotional, mental, Spiritual, or physical needs. Codependence allows us to survive physically but causes us to feel empty and dead inside. Codependence is a defence system that causes us to wound ourselves.
(from http://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/joy2meu/learning-to-love-our-self/ )
The meaning of good and bad,
of better and worse,
is simply helping or hurting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the mind of the child within I grew up to believe love and pain were somehow attached together. Especially when there is overt physical, sexual or emotional abuse this happens, but my experience of more covert mistreatment like feelings of abandonment and lack of care brought me to conclude love and pain were but mirror reflections of the same thing. Suffering became a misplaced way to show caring. Such a perspective caused me to enter and stay in a number of relationships that were anything but healthy. The emotional roller coaster led me to falsely believe the intense emotions I was feeling came from true love. One can change this behavior I have come to know. It’s a slow process of learning awareness driven by a consistent desire to grow past old behaviors; difficult, but worth every ounce of effort.
There can be wounds that never show on the body
that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.
Laurell K. Hamilton