“At its heart, Codependency is a set of behaviors developed to manage the anxiety that comes when our primary attachments are formed with people who are inconsistent or unavailable in their response to us. Our anxiety-based responses to life can include over-reactivity, image management, unrealistic beliefs about our limits, and attempts to control the reality of others to the point where we lose our boundaries, self-esteem, and even our own reality. Ultimately, Codependency is a chronic stress disease, which can devastate our immune system and lead to systemic and even life-threatening illness.”
I” was hurt over and over again volunteering to give over my life to a cause and then being surprised that it wasn’t appreciated in the least. Now I know my mind just really likes complicated things. It gets bored and starts looking around for entertainment. I use to just do whatever anyone wanted me to do just to stay busy and keep my mind distracted.
I would find myself doing things that I really had no interest whatsoever in doing. I blamed others for sucking me in I guess I thought I couldn’t say no. Now I just do what I want and sometimes there isn’t anything I really want to do and I have to accept that this is where I am. It is at times like these that my mind causes me a lot misery looking here an there to point out things that need to be done. I hear those words “what is wrong with you? Look at all that needs to be done and you are doing nothing.”
I can and have done a lot in my life. Getting things done can give you a moment of happiness but then what is next? Luckily my job keeps me plenty busy and keeps my mind off my back. It is only when I am home alone to long that things get ugly. Sometimes I am not interested in being productive and the battle begins.
I always know that this conflict will pass and tomorrow I will be back to work. Thank God for work.”
“He’d earned a full scholarship and was studying at a college in a town about an hour away. Pursuing an engineering degree, he had committed to a heavy and intense heavy class load. Jill didn’t yet appreciate that. Her focus was on dating and the fun of that whole high school experience.
The constant texts, phone calls, and running up and down the road to see her had cut into his focus and study time—or so he said. It had begun to affect his grades. Based on this, he’d made the decision to regroup and focus on his goals.
He’d broken the news and explained that she deserved someone who could be there every day and give her the time attention she wanted. Unable to truly ‘hear’ what he was saying, she went off the reservation with hysteria.”
I’ve Looked At Love From Both Sides Now
The process of growing up can be painful. Their relationship was forcing both of them out of their comfort zones.
It was hard for him to have to do something that he knew would hurt her, and it was equally hard for her to have hear that he was bowing out gracefully. Yet, by the process of breaking up, both of them were presented with opposing opportunities to do their own self-work.”
“However, there are some cases where codependents become involved with other codependents, sometimes without initially realizing it. As the relationship grows, codependency on both sides takes place. Like two polarizing magnets, the relationship has a dynamic of pushing against forces that are in effect a mirror. Both partners compete to give, to sacrifice, and frustration builds, when it is not received.
Remembering that codependency is a lot about control, it can be soul-destroying for a codependent to lose this control, or not be able to control. Having this control means an expectation of return, of sacrifice, of eternal devotion. The same process is expected on the other side. Something has to give and often does.
What generally happens leaves the relationship in limbo. One partner invariably becomes counter-dependent, resisting attempts at control and manipulation by distancing themselves emotionally and sometimes physically. For the “chasing’ codependent, this might mirror previous relationships where they were the pursuer and they increase focus on their object of codependency, trying to compel and commit them. For the counter-dependent, life becomes very confusing. They are not used to being chased and while it could increase self-esteem in the initial phases, in the long run, it is not sustainable. So the push-pull continues, neither willing to face the issues at hand, leaving the relationship uncertain and the participants drained. The fact is that if codependency issues are identified and present, they need to be worked through before becoming involved in a relationship. This is valuable work and much needed. How many are prepared to do that? The relationship in itself will be hard to maintain and will probably end in a break-up, leading to more issues.
When a relationship breaks up, it is never easy. Feelings naturally run high and emotions can be overwhelming. How quickly one gets back on track depends a lot on the person. When that person is a codependent, it can be a lot worse. Codependents in relationships have an object of codependency to whom they are attached and fixated on. I have previously written on the sacrifice and martyrdom from codependents that keep their object in place.”