One of My Firefighters in IFS (Internal Family Therapy) is My Codependent Part

IFS is changing me. I awaken to listen to my parts struggling for control. My exiled part is the one carrying my sadness. I have not cried in years–more than 20 years, I believe, although that is just a guess. For over 3 years, I have reached out for every suggestion and aid to get in touch with sadness. No luck. So I let it go. Then IFS found me.

One of my firefighters is always ready to divert my attention into “helping” someone else. But my helping is often a disguise to run someone else’s life rather than living my own. Ah, ain’t codependency grand. I immediately see this ruse for what it is. A delaying and avoiding tactic.

Codependency is always lying below my conscious to rescue me from reality. But accepting reality means I am living in the moment and not in a dream.

From “Codependency, Adult Children & Self Abandonment“:

“I fit in a clear pattern of codependency. I inherited it from my parents, grandparents, and probably great grandparents. What do these relationships have in common? People act in a tyrannical, capricious and toxic way thanks to some sort of addictive behaviour be it towards aggressiveness, sex, food, work, gambling or drugs with the unconscious goal of controlling or manipulating the other person. From what I observed and noticed, codependent couples tend to be passive-aggressive towards each other with one of them being more prone to show explosive behaviours and the other more prone to implosive ones.

Children raised in dysfunctional families (families in which physical safety and/or the psychological process of individuation were at risk) tend to either identify with or adapt to the ‘tyrant’. Children who adapt tend to develop a codependent role in future relationships and they become adults who only know the burden of adulthood but not the joy of it. Sadly, they were forced to become ‘the adult’ at an early age and therefore they know very little about enjoying themselves and life in general. That’s why they are called “adult children”.”

From “Hacking codependency“:

“If you’re codependent – if compulsive overgiving is a problem in your life, and you’re out of balance as a result, try on these 3 practices and watch yourself grow into the true you which is radiant, brilliant and simply AWESOME.

  1. self-acceptance – hold yourself with deep regard, regardless of what you’re feeling or needing or experiencing or wanting

2. let others accept you and hold you in regard, regardless of what you’re feeling or needing or experiencing or wanting. If you have CPTSD, this will require inner work on your part. You’ll have to grieve and also let go of deep seated anger – so you can let in the love that is available to you RIGHT NOW.

3. celebrate others who you believe in and who would love to celebrate you in return. This will require you to let others see the “true you”… not the false self that you portray to the world which stands for everyone else but which shrinks when it comes time to spotlight YOU.”

From “Healing from Codependency“:

“After admitting that I am indeed, codependent (it gets easier each time I say it), I had to undo the art of blame. This is the tricky thing about codependency. So much harm was caused at the hands of another, yet, at some point we must begin to take full responsibility for ourselves. Yes, they hurt us. Yes, they left us devastated. Yes, often we left without knowing who we are or who they are. Often we are left in financial ruin. Often we are left without anything to our name. But in order to heal fully we have to step out of the sinking swamp. We can’t swim in the muck any longer. We have to stop pulling others in with us. And, something extremely important: we can’t allow other’s to rescue us.

Now, let me be clear about something. There is a point that we allow people to help us upon leaving abuse. Often asking for help is the most challenging thing we have ever done. After all, many of us have not even discussed the abuse when we finally ask for help. In fact, we are use to living our life caring only for others. But, when we begin to feel like we need to be rescued, it’s time to take a deep breath and critically think about how we can solve our problems. AND WOW is this hard for a codependent to do! Someone else destroyed our life and now, without their help, we must rebuild from nothing.”

Illustration is from Internal Family Systems Therapy


  1. Oh you hit on so many

    Hell we do not even know we were abused or how damaged we were leaving home the first time

    We hardwired our brain in survival

    I have done the j tern
    Family system

    It helps
    Identify the characters inside

    I did a lot of ego work

    It is our ego that judges and decides our attitude

    All betrayal trauma has the ego squarely in charge

    When we get angry our ego is in control

    Strong emotions are ego centric and can take over

    Just think with codependency, actually you could name it childhood abuse our need for approval is our ego lacking something

    Our ego does not know good from bad

    He/she wants control

    We get 60,000 thoughts a day on a adage neuroscientist say
    So why do we grab negative or worthless ones

    Why do
    We ruminate so

    It is the ego that always feels
    Disrespected or not good enough

    Less ego more wellbeing I believe


      • Observer role by Buddhist definition is our true self

        It is that person who
        Comes to our conscious when we are focused and thoughts have cleared

        It is the only time zone that happiness can be found

        This present moment

        Manager has no
        In our brain

        If we
        Follow a
        Thought back
        Or try
        Our ego

        Will not find him or her

        We create that manager and unfortunately follow him or her like the captain of
        Our ship

        That ego
        Severely damage for abused kids as it is formed

        That is our issue

        Our self
        Image (ego) for wellbeing is our goal

        Thanks for the insight


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