THE CODEPENDENCY MAZE - T.P. McAtamney
Codependency. It's a term which often gets confused, and more worse, comes with an underseved stimga. The fact is that codependency is nothing more than a negative coping mechanism borne out of a need to cope with a significant other, family member or even friend who has addiction or mental health issues.
First at the outset let me tell you that the day I discovered I was codependent was the day that my life began to change. It was the day that I decided that I would not be in the relationship with the narcissist I was with, and further that I would never been in such a relationship again.
So to get to that point the stigma needs to drop. If you are codependent the first step is to acknowledge that you are. If you are having problems with that, just ask yourself in relation to the abusive relationship you're in. "Why are you still there?"
Fact is that a non-codependent wouldn't put up with the crap of a narcissist for five seconds. Especially if it involved emotional and physical abuse. I know people like that and they got involved with someone with narcissism, borderline personality disorder, psychopthic/sociopathic tendencies and they were out of there is no time flat.
Fact is that non-codependents have a sort of radar for "crazy", while codependents flock to the crazy, almost like moths to a flame. Why is this?
Well part of it is because of the nature of codependency itself. It is almost always a coping mechanism that formed in childhood, usually from growing up in a household of substance abuse, and/or physical, emotional abuse.
If you are like me, a middle child, you grew up in a family where there was emotional abuse, along with alcohol abuse. Being the middle child I felt the need to play the referee whenever there was chaos, only to find it made things worse for me, yet I took that into life. I took into life a sense of "neediness" and lack of self-worth that I carried with me for many, many years.
I even had it during a 30-year marriage to a wonderful woman who died of cancer in 2013. Thinking back of all the relationships prior it was the most stable, yet even in that marriage I had flaming codependency. In fact I believe my wife knew it because all she had to do was yell at me and I would cowar into a corner.
However during the final years, partially because I began to become aware of my codependency, and partially because I began to incorporate it into my teachings, and lean more about it, I began to adjust to it.
That fact alone made the last years of our marriage especially sweet because I no longer clinged, or cringed when she got mad, but felt impowered to open dialog to quell our disagreements.
But that all changed up meeting up with a female narcissist just weeks after my wife died. It was as if I'd never came aware of codependency, as within weeks I was trapped again in the maze of it all.
Narcissists are especially adapt at playing the codepdent like a fiddle. They actually thrive at getting off pushing those buttons that make the codependent jump, leap, cry, whatever, so they can exert control in the relationship.
Again, the first step in getting free from the codependency maze is to acknowledge you're in it and then take the next steps to heal from it so you can begin to gain freedom from abuse.
A good beginning is knowledge, and this link should get you started on the road to awareness and recovery.
There is nothing wrong with you if you are codependent, it's the way you developed, but it's also why you've gotten involved with an abusive personality. Break the chains that bind you to the abuser by beginning to "retrain" your attitudes, behaviors about you and others and what makes a true trusting, loving relationship. You can do it, I did and so have thousands more.
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