What is codependency
Codependency is a survival strategy. It is a way of seeking validation by being nice to others, it is a skill individuals who did not received emotional care, approval and love during childhood develop to care for others in order to receive praise to feel validated and needed. This however provide them with a relief and tend to soothe them emotionally.
Causes of codependency
Seeking to care for others is a way to secure attachment, even if it is unhealthy attachment. The codependent lack compassion, empathy and love as children, in adulthood they start to engage in certain behaviour to enable them cope. Codependents feel it’s their responsibility to make others happy and to fix their lives. You may not recognise how emershed you have become and how lost you are to the needs of others.
Codependency can result from emotional, physical and sexual abuse. You either grew up in an alcoholic home for example, children of alcoholics- your parents or one of your parents is a narcissist.
You were often punished for expressing an emotion.
You may have grew up in a home where other of your relatives were indifferent to you.
You come from a turbulent, unstable home where parents were always involved in raging and shouting matches.
You were raised in placement and unstable homes like foster care. Or
You had codependent parents who were playing out this codependent and narcissistic pattern and enabling dynamic.
You have abandonment trauma, you were probably abandoned or exposed to unhealthy practices or you were sexually exploited by your care giver, maybe one of your parents left when you were very young, either your mother separated from your father or your father divorced your mother, whatever the case maybe, you feel a sense of abandonment, you may have been abandoned by someone you love.
You grew up from an unsafe unpredictable home with your parents yelling at you at the slightest provocation, or that there was no money to meet your basic needs or that you were ignored and had no one to nurture you and show concern about your emotional needs.
Codependency is a way of finding a sense of worth. We often don’t feel good about ourselves, we look to others to make us feel good, our happiness is actually tied to something in the third world, our sense of self is tied to something outside of us.
1. Always apologizing even when you are not wrong is a sign of codependent behaviour.
2. Saying yes to the needs of others when it’s not convenient for you.
3. Begging to be accepted or approved of.
When a codependent jump to accept the role to take care of other people, they are taking the right of others to learn to take care of themselves. On a healing path, when you start saying no, you are going to loose validation, people stop seeing you as a nice person though it’s difficult but hang in there because it does get better. Awareness is key, it helps in healing. Raise your level of consciousness and merge the polarities of light and dark within us to stop creating karmic patterns of the pass, karma is pattern of cost and effect.
How to stop being codependent
1. Self love is key. Identify what you love most about yourself.
2. Acknowledge the codependent pattern within you.
3. Get clear about your childhood, you must acknowledge how your unconscious parents raised you and how that caused the why you show up in the world. How was it like growing up? Were you validated or ignored? Did you witness domestic violence by your parents growing up? Were you sexually abused? Were your parents narcissistic or codependents? Did your parents struggle with drugs and alcohol? What did you witnessed in your childhood?
4. Allow people to suffer the consequences of their actions, don’t jump into helping when it’s not necessary and stop being the heroes of other people’s lives because we don’t feel good in our own skin.
Feeling good in solving other people’s problems is not a healthy way to live.
5. Make a list of the people you are enabling and the times you wanted to say no and you said yes, reframe the conversation and stop playing back unhealthy dynamics. Codependency is an addiction. Raise your conscious awareness around your co-dependence behavior.
6. Develope strategies that can help you shut that out, stop trying to become what other people want you to be. Your care giver at your early childhood were highly critical and abusive. You weren’t able to have your own reality and losing yourself in the process, two polarities now we’re trying to reconcile and integrate them.
Childhood emotional problems are issues that if not properly managed affect how we show up in the world in adulthood. It is therefore important for parents to nurture their children and pay close attention to their childhood emotional needs to enable them develop a sense of self and worth to impact on their self confidence and purpose for living.