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Codependent behavior is not easy. It requires a lot of work…….
May 29, 2009
8:59 am
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atalose
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And it hurts. We typically suffer with low self esteem, depression, anxiety, and guilt as well as painful thoughts and feelings. We judge ourselves using far stricter criteria then we use to measure the performances of others. While we are brutally critical of our own behavior, we justify and excuse the misbehavior of others.

We have little contact with our inner world and thus very little idea about how we feel. Usually we don’t want to know because it gives rise to painful emotions. So we find it easier to stay on the surface and pretend things are peachy keen rather then deal with the stuff going on inside.

We misplace anger, we get angry when we shouldn’t and don’t get angry when we should. We tolerate and put up with abusive relationships or relationships that are not fulfilling because any warm body beats no warm body. Being alone is perceived as scary, empty, depressing, etc. AFTER ALL, who will deliver our emotional supplies? Who will distract us so there is no time to deal with our inner life? Even an abusive relationship is better then no relationship at all.

We rationalize our loved ones disrespectful behavior by making excuses for them “He doesn’t mean it.” "It was not done with malice.” “It is the best he can do.” “They had such an awful childhood.” Like waiting for brownie points in heaven, or for our loved one to be magically healed through our persistent love and care taking, we accept disrespect from others, it never occurs to us that it is NOT ok to “take it” or “put up with it”.

The side effect of our willingness to ignore, excuse or other wise allow our partners abuse or disrespect, enables that behavior to continue and intensify. We give implicit or explicit permission for that behavior to continue.

We are approval-driven, we cannot stand it when others are angry at or disappointed with us. As such, we unwittingly place ourselves in a position to be taken advantage of. The more approval we need the less likely we will realize the extent of our self-sacrifice in favor of tending to the needs of others.

While abuse, disrespect, or unrequited sacrifice angers us, as it should, we do not realize how angry we are and at whom we are angry. Targeting the appropriate person may jeopardize our source of approval and self-esteem. So we avoid facing that reality and we distort it. We are likely to somehow blame ourselves and rationalize our being “over-sensitive”. Instead of us asking ourselves why we put up with_______(fill in the blank)
we tend to ask ourselves how WE could have behaved differently to obtain a more favorable reaction from our partner.

Since we are experts at controlling other people’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior, we feel hurt that others don’t reciprocate and “KNOW” what we need. Our thoughts go like this “If they really loved me, they would know” NOT so!! Since we do not have self-esteem to ask for what we want, we are unlikely going to get it. If we do make a request, it is often a roundabout hint that no one can decipher so we continue to feel hurt and unloved. We believe we have conveyed our desires, when, in fact, we have not!

We are addiction prone, we may drink too much, shop too much, eat too much, etc. Dulling our senses is a great way to avoid knowing ourselves and dealing with our feelings. Intimacy is avoided. Intimate behavior requires familiarity and comfort with one’s internal world. Since we regard ordinary human needs as shameful, embarrassing, dangerous, or otherwise uncomfortable, meeting basic needs are often dismissed.

Any relationship that ignores the self is superficial. Unfortunately, superficial relationships are safe……but empty and un-filling.

Control is our “MO”, we control our self-esteem by catering to others needs, we control by over-responsible performance, picking up where others leave off. We control by avoiding intimacy or by clouding our minds. We control by advising others on what to do. We work hard to control everything and everybody. Yet, we neglect the one person we do have control over, OURSELVES.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

May 29, 2009
11:58 am
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Zebra
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Atalose,

Thank you my friend. This is profound and yes we neglect ourselves.

I am working on taking care of me, myself and I.

Love, Z

May 30, 2009
12:06 pm
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peace4all
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(((Atalose))))

Wow, thanks..
This is as good as it gets...you hit the nail right on the head. It's almost as good as reading a Melody Beattie book....you have my respect today for posting this for those you have not yet found their answers.... from a recoverying codependent...who finally learned that
NO..is a complete sentence..
Blessings to you today,
Love in recovery,Peace4all/ grammie

May 30, 2009
6:20 pm
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CAMER
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thanks Atalose...i ahve this thread saved to my favorites, and yes, i have done all the above, and sometimes slip on the way and could do the same again down the road.

Good piece of reading!!!

thank you!

May 31, 2009
10:49 am
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atalose
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(((zebra))) (((peace4all))) (((CAMER)))

Thank you all for being apart of my journey of recovery…..

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 1, 2009
5:20 am
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BrokenAngel
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Thank you soooo much for this. It really helps knowing that my pain is real and I'm not alone.

June 1, 2009
1:02 pm
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caraway
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((atalose)),

Thanks for sharing that. You put into words so many of the emotions and thoughts that I have been through.

Especially true for me: "Control is our “MO”, we control our self-esteem by catering to others needs, we control by over-responsible performance, picking up where others leave off. We control by avoiding intimacy or by clouding our minds. We control by advising others on what to do. We work hard to control everything and everybody. Yet, we neglect the one person we do have control over, OURSELVES."

Your post really made a difference and got through to me!

Thanks agian,

Cary

June 1, 2009
4:08 pm
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caraway
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PS. I also shared this with my friend that is going through a break-up and who was physically attacked yesterday; I really think he heard what you said and was able to relate to it!

You're the best!

Cary

June 1, 2009
4:24 pm
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caraway
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PS. I also shared this with my friend that is going through a break-up and who was physically attacked yesterday; I really think he heard what you said and was able to relate to it!

You're the best!

Cary

June 1, 2009
6:06 pm
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adult child of alcoholic
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atalose

Thank you.Most of that is me,but not
for long.I'm on a mission for myself.
I know this wont be easy,but I'm ready to fight.

I've noticed you have alot of good advice and insight.How long have you
been recovering?

June 2, 2009
7:24 pm
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atalose
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No recovery is not easy. I have learned that my own mind was the thing that caused me so much pain and so many problems. So, how in the world could the same mind that got me into this mess “think” my way out of it? It couldn’t. I needed help. I needed someone to gently point me in another direction where I could see things from a different angle. Al-anon, therapy and coming to sites like this has reaped me more rewards then I could have ever imagined. Reading book was not going to really help me because I could not “think” my way out of my dysfunction. I needed to get past my rationalization and justifications first before I could begin to move forward. I needed people to call me on that and point me in another direction.

I would like to say I have been in recovery for almost 10 years but the real truth is it’s only been in the last 5 that “I get it” and apply it to my life every day.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 5, 2009
11:53 am
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peace4all
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(((Atalose)))

I just knew you were a fellow Ala-nut LOL..
Your words and ES&H bring much wisdom to many here. Thanks for sharing all your hard work with me and others,and you are so right, ours is a thinking disease, and we do need others to call us out and to help us look at things differently..
Love in recovery, Peace4all/ grammie

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