Codependency is a term that originated in work with addicts. It has become a cultural phenomena, way beyond relationships with addicts. Daughters are codependent with mentally ill mothers, sons with fathers who won’t let go and insist on adherence to their own value systems. Codependency is about mushy relationships to keep the scary world of anxiety at bay. Sadly enough, the ultimate outcome of codependency is the damage done by a lack of respect in these relationships. Codependency is about being unhappily enmeshed with someone else’s agenda. Codependency means that you have a lack of imagination for yourself and your are too focused on others. One example would be the wife who is a martyr to an alcoholic husband. He numbs his anxiety/dread with the obliviousness of drinking and she is in hyper drive by controlling all the details of living that he ignores. So she becomes entitled and self-righteous with all her vigilance. It’s important to recognize that interrupting codependent behavior requires that you define yourself and your wants. So many people scramble to fill the empty hole within, by focusing on the care-taking of others while ignoring themselves. So where does someone begin, to build their own identity? Fill the emptiness with more and more layers of authenticity. Risk disagreement which makes things more interesting. Practice the truth with your therapist or your best friend. Stop swallowing your real opinions, choose when to go along, instead of always being a pushover. From “Anxiety, Control & Codependency” by Rhoda Mills Sommer, L.C.S.W. http://therapyideas.net/anxiety.htm
is a 200 lb. shield.