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Am I in the Right Place?
April 21, 2006
12:13 pm
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dja
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A close friend of mine told me I sound like his codependent family members. I've been really stressed out lately trying to juggle college, work, family and friends (and all of my alone time that I should spend on myself is wasted worrying about one of the above or something else).

No one in my family or close network of friends are substance abusers, except my older brother is quietly winning his battle against cocaine (I think?) I have a small group of very close friends that I am trying to hold toether right now. They look @ me somewhat as the leader of our group and even though there are only 6 of us, they are currently factionalizing. I'm the middle man.
I was diagnosed with a stress-induced stomach ulcer recently and was wondering if anybody could answer a couple of questions for me.

First, Though my details are few, are they signs of codependency? Could these codependent feelings cause physical maladies such as mine?

I'm looking for a few answers. I could elaborate on the situation if needed. Please let me know if I should further inquire, or not be worried about it. THANKS.

April 21, 2006
12:21 pm
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Randomwomen2
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Welcome to this site. There are a lot of people here dealing with co dependency. I think you might have to go into a few more details to find out if your co dependant or not. THe ulcer is one thing though Do you obsesivly worry about your family and friends? I think having an drug abuser in the family would cause anyone stress. MY mother is a drug abuser. I am glad to hear that you think that hes winning his battle though. Please write more sweetie. We would love to get to know you better.

April 21, 2006
2:40 pm
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smarterone
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welcome, I do have this feeling you probably belong here because of your concerns. Let us know more awe are all one big family, no problem is too small. GoodLuck

April 21, 2006
4:27 pm
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dja
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Thanks, I feel very welcomed.

I read a little while ago that codependency is stemmed from a dysfunctional family. I never thought of my family as dysfunctional, my only complaint is that we are not very open to emotion. But we all see each other everyday and I make sure I at least engage in small-talk w/ everyone. All in all I can say that i have a healthy, though inconsistent, relationship with all my family members.

My mom is always there for me, but I never have the guts to talk to her about my feelings or inner-problems. My dad is the strong, silent type. And although he says little I feel close to him.

I am always squeamish to approach my friends w/ my problems b/c I don’t want them to worry about me and disinclude me from their lives because of my insecurities.

To answer your question, my feelings of responsibility toward my family and friends are overwhelming at times. And when I get stressed out from that, I start thinking about the next test at school or the next strory I have to write for the newspaper I work for. I have my good and bad days but it’s like the old cliche “When it rains it pours” for me.

I know everybody has stress but why is it that my stress affects me this way? What do I do to lift the weight of responsibility off of my shoulders? (Sorry I'm so long-winded)

April 21, 2006
7:11 pm
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Hi, dja

It sounds like you are willing to do some self-exploration, and that's a good thing. There's a pretty good capsule description of codependency on the entrance page of this website, did you read it? That's a good place to start.

But based on what you've written, about your overwhelming feelings of responsibility for family and friends, and feeling that you experience stress more intensely than you think others do, I think you might also find it worth looking into whether you're highly sensitive. An excellent resource is the book, "The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine Aron.

And, of course, it's possible to be both HSP and codependent. However, if you are HSP as well, there are specific things that you can do to manage the trait above and beyond the advice that applies to other codeps.

Good luck with it all. You're searching, and you're on your way to understanding yourself better and improving your life 🙂 Take care, kroika.

April 21, 2006
7:59 pm
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readyforachange
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hey, dja....welcome. I just have one thing to add. I am codependent, my ex husband is an alcoholic with anxiety disorder, and maybe some other things that haven't been diagnosed 🙂

My family had no substance abusers either; however, my dad was a workaholic who was addicted to food. He had an explosive personality, and we all walked on eggshells around him. I started at Alanon meetings, then reading Codependent No More, and realized that I was codependent.

You are in the right place...you have started to explore, which is the first step toward change. Good luck on your journey!

April 22, 2006
7:21 am
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Borboleta
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Welcome Dj,

We both share the type of family. At the beginning i didn´t think that my family is disfunctional because they seem to be more normal and solid than myself. But in fact when time passes i´m realising that we were a disfunctionnal family because we had strict rules and these strict rules didn´t include to speak about emotions or feelings...Everyone had to play the own rol. Sometimes i feel even guilty for thinking like that about my family but...

Now, when we take lunch all together i see how my mum has to be the center of attention, how she and my dad are always arguing meanwhile we eat, how they don´t know love each other in a good way (they express their love arguing).

And all these things have something to do with my search of someone to love, someone to argue with...

XXXX and my love and support
N

April 22, 2006
10:06 am
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dja
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Borboleta you hit the nail on the head. I do feel guilty saying that my family may be the source of the problem, more or less b/c, it is I that has the problem not them. Approaching my family with this would only make me feel more guilty.
But I introduced the idea of me being codependent to my mother last night, she was interested but didn't quite take me seriously. Being that I never talk about emotions with her she doesn't realize how long this has been going on. She sees me and sees no problems.
I just want to say thanks to you all for being so supportive. I am anxious to begin my search of who I am. I feel motivated enough to finally realize that there may be a problem and its not the end of the world!

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