Understanding Codependency

“Eighty-two percent of the world are probably somewhat, codependent. People are trying to control others, instead of taking care of themselves. ” (William Yarroll, interview) The term codependency came about in treatment centers in the 1970’s. “The heartland of chemical dependency treatment and twelve-step programs for compulsive disorders, discovered it. ” (Beattie 33) By 1979, women from alcohol anonymous made a meeting for codependence with a twelve-step program.

There are many reasons why and how people became codependent. The people they share environments with, unless they have good boundaries directly affect people. Codependency has many definitions and meanings. “The definition of chemical dependency means being dependent psychologically and/or physically on alcohol or other drugs. ” (Beattie 31) Drugs and alcohol are the most common. “A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.

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” (Beattie 36) Other definitions describe symptoms. There were two stories of examples, I read of other types of codependency. One lady married the man of her dreams and found out later he was a sex addict. Even though he cheated on her, she stayed with him and became obsessed with where and what he was doing. Another lady let other people’s mood control her emotions. If they were unhappy, she wasn’t and it felt like she had something to do with it. She would drive herself nuts, until they felt better.

These are only just two of many examples of stories of codependency. There are many more that you hear about through friends and by reading books. Codependents tend to put on fronts in order to deal with the stuff that is happening to and around them. “They have said yes when they meant to say no. They have tried to make other people see things their way. They have bent over backwards to avoid hurting people’s feelings and in doing so have hurt themselves, . . .

They have wanted to get even and punish others. ” (Beattie 37) Some of these things may seem minor to others, but these are the common things codependents have to deal with all day every day. Codependents react to almost anything and everything in their environment. “These behaviors can prevent us from finding peace and happiness with the most important person in our lives, ourselves. ” (Beattie 39) All of these emotions are going on inside their head and they try to react the only way they know how.

Whether people react in a positive or negative behavior, it is not a healthy way to live, being codependent. ”Codependent behaviors are self-destructive. ” (Beattie 38) Here are some of the codependent symptoms and affects. Codependents influenced by care taking behaviors, may feel they are forced to help, try to please others instead of themselves, abandon their routine to respond to or do something for somebody else, feel unappreciated and or used and find other people become impatient or angry with them for all preceding characteristics.

Low self-worth codependents tend to, come from troubled or dysfunctional families and blame themselves for everything. They give themselves a hard time for everything, including the way they look, feel, think, act, and behave. Codependents dislike it when people blame and criticize them, which they regularly do to themselves. Life is difficult when codependents take things personally, especially lack of praise and compliments. “Their decision making process has a lot of should or should not.

” (John Bradshaw, interview) Codependents influenced by controlling behaviors, have lived through situations with people that were out of control causing them sorrow and disappointment. They try to control everyone and everything around them in any way they know how. William Yarroll says, “they eventually fail in their efforts and or provoke people’s anger. ” Codependents who have denial tend to ignore problems and or pretend they are not happening, and stay busy so they do not have to think about things.

The most common thing that happens is they feel confused, depressed, or sick. The most commonly used phrase codependents use is; “things will be better tomorrow,” rather than live in the moment. John Bradshaw says, “that when codependents have obsession, they overeat, loose sleep over problems, and worry about the silliest things. ” These things can be very damaging to their health. “When codependents feel repressed they push their thoughts and feelings out of their awareness because of fear and guilt. ” (NCC, http://nccod. netgate. net/signsof.

htm) It is sad, a lot of things are going on inside of them, and they are just reacting to everything. The most awful thing codependents go through is desperately seeking love and approval because they do not love themselves. This will be a constant battle for them, until they realize ! they have to find it within themselves. “Codependents feel that love equals pain, and tolerate abuse to keep people loving them. ” (http://www2. addr. com/~sariaa/codep-rl/codep-rl. htm) That explains why abusive relationships normally end where the victim has learned to value himself or herself.