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Codependent, or low self-esteem. What's the diff?
February 20, 2006
1:55 pm
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WisdomSeeker
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Thanks Garfield

I hope I haven't given you the mistaken impression that I judge people who are co-dep. I don't. At the same time, I don't want to think of myself as co-dep unless I truly am. With all of your help, I'm figuring this out, and for that I'm grateful.

This board is great in that we have collective experience in a multitude of life issues, and I hope to learn from it all.

I'm so glad to have found this site, as the advice given here is priceless .

Thank you! :0)

February 20, 2006
5:28 pm
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pathwalker
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WisdomSeeker, I'm new to this board also. I just recently realized I'm codependent...and I've been giving my husband second chances for the past 12 years! If you're addicted to trying to help this man, and you're worried you might be codependent, there's a good chance you are (both). Save yourself 12 years of heartache.

If you don't see patterns of codependence in all your relationships (I do, now that I can recognize it), maybe this is something temporary brought on by a very real fear of being alone. You could try to "build" your own family of friends with common interests.

February 20, 2006
6:32 pm
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Thanks Pathwalker - your advice brings to mind that scene in Jerry McGuire. Did you see it? Remember when Rene Zellweiger (sp?) "breaks up" with Jerry? She said she'd prefer some pain now to the same pain 10 years later...I've often thought this too.

Thanks for the kind words. A very dear friend just left visiting with me with similar advice, to build up my life with my friends, starting with her. :0)

February 21, 2006
6:58 am
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hopeful for change
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well if you are or aren't codependent you still have feelings emotions and problems and happiness. This site is helpful to me in many areas. Abandonment has always been a key issue to my problems. I think realizing the problem and trying to work on it..is the only way to solve it. Good Luck to you and I am glad you've came here. It's been a blessing for me to be able to talk to others, regaurless of the time or day.

February 21, 2006
9:00 am
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Cjazz
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WS, thank you for sharing your self with us on here. My take on the co dependency is that we are all codependent to some degree. The key is whether or not you let the codependency control you. It will if you let it.
If you have low self esteem then you will let the codepencecy control you. If you have high self esteem you are in control because you feel good about yourself and you love yourself enough to take care of yourself.
If you feel good about yourself your strengths will help you make the right decisions.
As for your man who you can not help. If you still want to be with him, give him the space he needs and let him take care of himself. Meanwhile you are taking care of yourself. It works out for both of you.
I wish you happiness.

February 21, 2006
10:45 am
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hi wisdom seeker

>> I know I have low self-esteem about my looks, but this doesn't necessarily make me co-dep, does it. But you know what, it doesn't really matter if I'm co-dep or not. I'm a human being trying my best to live a good, God-lead life. As all of you are too I believe. << I guess it doesnt, if its just about the looks. If you have high self-esteem, you're able to be yourself around people, listen to your needs at all times and be in touch with yourself alone and around people. On the home page of this site, click on "information", then under symptoms, click on "codependencey". The symptoms are: controlling behavior distrust perfectionism avoidance of feelings intimacy problems caretaking behavior hypervigilance (a heightened awareness for potential threat/danger) physical illness related to stress All these things come if you generally have low self-esteem. I have good moods and bad ones where the low self-esteem kicks in. argh. But in good ones, I'm feeling nice. That page is good info on Coda. Anyway good luck, its a struggle yes. And yes we're all humans, thats right, no one is perfect.

February 21, 2006
11:49 pm
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Thanks everyone for the kind, and wise words. It's been very helpful to hear about co-dependency and self-esteem issues. It is so healing to be able to "converse" about it.

Because I lost all of my nuclear family by the time I was 27, it's understandable that I have a fear of being alone. I'm sure I have abandonment issues too, Hopeful. I don't blame myself for this, rather, because of it, I'm gonna cut myself some slack when it comes to wanting to have a partner in life. But I also want to, be content being alone, but that seems to me like a Herculean (rather: Super Woman sized) feat at this present time.

Thanks Cjazz for the good advice about giving my bf space.

QUESTION:
I'd like to learn how to let him wallow, or self-flaggelate, or flail...and not get all plugged in about it. But when he goes on and on and doesn't get the concept of taking personal responsibility for one's life/outcomes (amongst other really important concepts....), how is it possible NOT to offer unsolicited advice?

I'd LOVE y'all's feedback on this!

So I hope you'll all still speak to me because I'm not quite ready to give up on him. Well, dinner tomorrow anyway. I'll keep you posted.

As far as the symptoms, Guest, thanks for the helpful list. Bf says I'm controlling (what does a controlling person do?) I myself admit I am caretaking, distrustful, and probably have some perfectionist tendencies too.

Thanks for all your continued input - I LOVE being amongst you. :0)

February 22, 2006
9:38 am
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I might be controlling too, not sure about that. A controlling person wants to have things done their way? Trying to manipulate outcomes. I dont know.

February 22, 2006
11:01 am
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caraway
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Wisdom,

I understand how you feel. I considered a Valentines's break-up. I think that I obsessed with an end to a realtionship as soon as it begins.

I HATE to have to agree with some of the others here (Garfield) who pointed out the control aspect of things. Who wants to have to admit that "we" are the problem. I don't want to be codependent, have low self-esteem, etc. I just want to have a normal life and relationships. I am tired of the constant struggle. I have no doubt that all of this is challenging for the guy that I am dating. Something inside me drives me question every move that he makes. I read more into the most innocent of comments and actions.

Thank you for sharing your story. It is not so far from my current situation and know that someone else is going through this today is comforting.

Cary

February 22, 2006
11:08 am
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mj
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Its not your job to take care of anyone but yourself. You aren't letting him wallow....he is. When he figures out that you are taking care of you, he might want to do some changing but then again, he might now. You get to take care of you and live life fully independently from what he chooses for himself!

February 22, 2006
6:40 pm
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Thanks all.

g_g: I do like things my way, not sure I try to manipulate. Will introspect on this....

Caraway - is it your opinion that I am the problem (if you think so, pls. share, I'm open) as I'm not sure what you meant by agreeing with Garfield re: the control aspect.

re: sharing: I'm glad to find a forum in which I can be honest about what I'm going through with people who want the same, as well as be a comfort to others.

mj- THANKS for checking back in. You're AWESOME and obviously have your head screwed on straight. Y'all are great, actually!

I'm going to approach this from this standpoint: he has made his decision, not to seek professional help. This tells me he isn't serious about digging out of the mess he is in. So, I'm gonna dig out myself, he can stay there if he wants. I'm not ending our friendship, but I am ending our relationship.

Like you said, mj, he needs to figure things out for himself and I need to get on with my life. I'm tired of throwing pearls to the swine, so to speak.

My heart is pulling back but I'll see if I can handle the walks on the beach, occasional movies and, well, friendship.

IS THIS POSSIBLE or am I just postponing the inevitable? i.e., Can ex's be friends?

February 22, 2006
10:47 pm
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after reading the definition of codependent i just have one thing to say. my name should have been part of the def.

February 22, 2006
10:54 pm
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i have read bunches of codependent books, boundrie books, on and on and on. and yes i am making baby steps to change. but it doesn't seem to ever go away. and just when i am patting myself on the back for progress, the next thing i know i just rolled back down the hill.....

February 23, 2006
12:14 am
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Hi Guppy. Welcome to this thread, however, I'm not sure how your comments fit into what is being discussed. Tie it in if you can! WS :0)

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