From “An Open Letter to Codependency“:
“You have controlled me for years. You have forced me to constantly doubt where I stand with the people around me and to always put myself second. Serving people is a pure thing, until it becomes toxic. The problem with putting everyone else first constantly is that people learn you come second. And you begin to believe you come second. The problem with you, codependency, is that you make me stand in the flames to keep the people around me warm at night.
You have caused me to live my life as a rescuer. Rescuing people can be a good thing… until that person never asked to be rescued.”
“A codependent relationship is nothing else than relationship addiction.
This means we are unable to function without this relationship in our life as we use it as a coping mechanism. It is no different than the drug addict needing his substance every time he is getting close to an unpleasant feeling. We have normalized codependent relationships yet we are putting the drug addict in jail or rehabilitation centers. Human beings are a social species so it goes without saying that we need each other to survive and thrive. However, codependency is relationship addiction that is not driven by either necessity or a conscious desire. It is like someone believing they need a steak every day to survive while vegetables can give them all the necessary nutrients. At the same time, someone who eats steak every day is not a danger to society, and can be a positive contributor, though some may reproach their higher carbon footprint and apathy to animal cruelty. In the same way, many codependent relationships are not frowned upon as they involve high-functioning people that participate to the betterment of the collective. Actually, we enter this world co-dependent and we leave this world co-dependent if we are able to live a long life. People with special needs are co-dependent and there is nothing wrong with this. Autonomy is actually a very high state of being that few are able to achieve in their lifetime. It is a form of self-actualization that is rare and precious. Codependency is the normality but would you like to experience an abnormal extraordinary life through autonomy?”
“I think it’s only human to want our journeys to be a straight shot, a smooth, flat, uncomplicated road to our goals. I don’t know where that expectation comes from. We see it in many of our endeavors, especially long term goals. We expect relationships to be easy and relatively free from major twists and turns. We see marriage as the culminating event when we decide to commit to a person, when in reality, it’s just a signifier to friends and family, to ourselves and our new spouse, that we are taking that next step. After we say “I do”, the real work begins. The day after we decide to start a new business, the real work begins. The day after we decide to give up an addiction or have our first session with a therapist, the real work begins. And none of us have a map for how to navigate these new journeys.”