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Codependent Personality Disorder
January 11, 2007
6:29 pm
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luvgrl
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I can't even tell you all how happy I am to have discovered all of this. I was never given enough attention or encouragement or love as a child. It created a whole slew of problems on going until now. Now that I know. Now that I can understand all of this... why I am the way I am. I feel so free... I can finally put myself first and make myself happy. I can worry about ME!!! I dont need approval from anyone. I can be alone and be ok. I actually believe this now.
Its hard still... I've only begun to realize all this for a few months now.
I still don't seem to know who I am.
I am a work in progress.
I have learned most importantly that no matter what you need to have FUN!! Something I never did before.
I thought depression was the problem and so did the doctor.
You walk in their door and 5 minutes later you walk out with Prozac. They think its a cure all. If they would have given me the time of day they would have realized depression is not the underlying issue at all. I mean, i have been depressed many times. But... its all stemmed from this underlying issue.
I've had a good life... i've never been raped or abused.... just was never given the attention i needed. "I love you" was never said. Hugs never happened. Growing up I tried getting the love i never got through other people. No matter what it took...Lying even. I could go on and on about this. But overall I wanted advice from you all about your experiences, and how you are getting over any codependence issues you may have.

-luvgrl

January 11, 2007
6:34 pm
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islavida
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January 11, 2007
6:36 pm
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islavida
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Hey luvgrl,

Just want to say that what you have written, sounds exactly like my life. I just found this place and have found some solice in reading and learning about others' situations and how many recommend dealing with the situations. I finally have some semblance of understanding to why I may be getting into the type of relationships I get into. Thanks for your post too.

January 11, 2007
6:41 pm
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luvgrl
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Islavida,
It really does help to relate to people and see that you aren't alone, doesn't it?
Here is me to a T: (or what I'm trying to leave)
Codependent Personality Disorder is a dysfunctional relationship with ourselves. The codependent is characterized by their obsessive and repeated attempts to live their life through another, or to live their life for another. To enable this 'switch' they attempt to control another and to control circumstances. The codependent may often feel like they are a victim, or that everything wrong in their life is another's fault. They have the tendency to blame others for wrongness within themselves, or to be hypervigilant to other's actions and opinions. They may attempt to 'fix' others, or feel an intense anxiety in a relationship. They fear intimacy, yet - self-contradicting - have an intense fear of being alone or abandoned.
Ironically, as much as a codependent person may feel responsible for others, may feel the need to take care of others, or may overly relate to another's moods, they still harbor the false belief that it is the other person that is responsible for him. He often will blame others for his unhappiness or his problems. If he has an issue it is almost always because of something another person said or did, or didn't say or do. Additionally, where the codependent may feel that it is other's in their life that are 'over-controlling', it is in fact they, themselves, that are the overly controlling person. He is afraid that by allowing others to be who they are, or by allowing events to unfold as they will, that he will somehow, himself, be out of control. The codependent man believe only he knows best, he believes those around him should behave as he thinks they should behave, and he uses all kinds of little ways to get that person to do and think as he believes they should. He then becomes very controlling and if the other person fights this control, refuses to change, or remains adamant in their own beliefs the codependent will attempt to control and manipulate them even more - all the while claiming that the other one is the controlling one. He will use force, threats, coercion, advice giving, helplessness, guilt, insulting, shame, remove assets, neediness, selfishness, denial, manipulation, or domination - anything he can in his attempt to gain control over another. Emotional problems are common in the codependent. Depression, anxiety, dysfunctional relationships, insomnia, addictions, or over possessiveness in relationships are all common traits among codependents. Additionally, a codependent often has a driven compulsion for 'more', yet an anxious feeling of incompleteness or emptiness will remain - no matter what he has accomplished.
Common signs that you may be a codependent abuser:
• Constantly seek approval and affirmation from your mate, having no sense of self identity outside a relationship
• Inability to feel comfortable when alone
• Feelings of being different or not like others
• Confusion, or a deep sense of inadequacy
• Feeling either totally responsible or completely without blame
• Extreme dependency on your mate, and an intense fear of abandonment
• Unyielding and in need of constant control over all aspects of the relationship
• Extremely low self esteem and may be very self-critical
• Difficulty in developing or sustaining meaningful relationships. Long line of failed relationships of which the codependent believes the other partner was always to blame
• Lies for no reason. Creates a 'false self' that the outside world sees
• Denies or refuses to recognize that his actions are not 'normal' behaviors
• Denies feelings of fear, insecurity, inadequacy, guilt, hurt, or shame with self
• Gets bored easily, needs to feel excitement

Do you feel this as well?

January 11, 2007
6:53 pm
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startingover
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Hi Luvgrl

I am still learning a lot about codependency, too; it was finding this site a year ago that got me on the road to recovery. My own codependency roots were similar to yours - an unloving family, not abusive, just neglectful. I was always told I would be sent away, always felt unloved and abandoned and invisible. My parents were both alcoholics, too, so what did I do but marry one? Then my most disastrous recent breakup with an alcoholic heroin and crack addict. Wonderful man.

I am educated, have a decent, stable job, have a lot going for me, but that underlying huge loneliness is what gets me into bad relationships. Yes, I have tried to fix others, to my own financial, mental, and physical downfall.

I , too, was diagnosed as depressed, then bipolar, however the meds never worked. I was just extremely anxious and desperately lonely. Now I have ME back, I'm not so lonely anymore.

I am learning a lot, through this site and all the wonderful people here. I also attend AlAnon, as alcoholics have greatly affected my life.

Good luck to you.

SO

January 11, 2007
7:17 pm
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islavida
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luvgrl,

As of late, I have felt like I have been living my life for another, and that many of the things that I feel made me who I am, have fell to the wayside. Was not asked to give them up, just kind of did, because my mate wanted the attention, and I guess I felt obligated to give her the attention. I guess mostly to avoid an incident. I have slowly slipped into this codependency over time and now find it excruciatingly painful. I don't like where I am, and don't like who I am. I fear perpetuating my codependent cycle, but do not know how to get the hell off the ride.

A lot of the description of what you have written really hits home. Like you, I have been in many failed relationships, not understanding why the relationships fail or rather why I may set them up to fail. One thing that would always happen is my boredom with the relationship and not feeling like myself or the relationship is growing. Then start with my own destructive patterns of the relationship. Basically going out and finding another mate who is just a cut and paste from the previous relationship. ugh... frustrating.

January 12, 2007
11:22 am
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luvgrl
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Islavida,
Its amazing to me how you describe things. Its mostly exactly how I feel. Do you know the reason you are this way?
I find myself in the same situation. I will be in a completely "loving" relationship, yet i get bored and search out other people for the excitement and to complete the empty feeling I have. Once you've been in a relationship long enough and the infatuation stage is over... when the other person no longer thinks its important to hug you, kiss you, and show as much affection, then where are you? I find myself needing something more.. .so being self-destructive I go find it. It makes me feel terrible at times... no one deserves that. I have never felt normal. But sometimes I think its everyone else that is not "normal". I feel like everyone else is blind... I think so much more than the average person. I think, worry, about everything! If i'm sitting next to a boyfriend, and he moves his leg 3 inches from mine, I think "omg why did he just do that? does he not want me here?" I know thats crazy. But i can't help but feel that way about many little things in day to day life. every relationship I have feels the same... amazing in the beginning... but once the infatuation fades and we learn more and more about each other its a struggle..... i always thought it was the people I have been with... but its me. I know that now.

January 12, 2007
5:19 pm
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islavida
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Yes, yes, that is almost exactly how it goes with me! For me, I tend to do the same self-destructive pattern of seeking another out, just to increase my excitement level, but feel like total crap, and spring back to my current relationship. Most the time I just have this constant battle in my mind of leaving or staying, or resenting little things the other person does. Even though they are essentially good and kind. All of which could be talked out and solved but I just close off and resent until I explode and the argument/breakup ensues.

January 12, 2007
6:48 pm
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luvgrl
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islavida,
why are you the way you are? just curious. are you a guy? thats really cool if you are... i never thought i'd relate to a guy so much.

January 13, 2007
11:33 am
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gracenotes
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islavida,

I can relate to a lot of this, although I am over a lot of this too. It is interesting that you labeled it "codependent abuse" because it really is a way of being abusive with another, maybe not knowingly, but a way of having a lot of behavior that is offensive to others in violating their boundaries. I don't know if I agree this is technically a personality disorder though, but that's just a side issue.

Luvgirl,

Why are people codependents? I can only answer for myself.

I think it has a lot with this need to reenact old wounds and have a different outcome. Unfortunately, codependents pick the least likely people who would be capable of allowing a different outcome. For example, I got into a major codependency problem with someone who dumped me and made statements that I was lacking and worthless. This brought up old wounds for me and, for a while, instead of facing the pain the dealing with it, I kind of went into my own fantasties about having this person back in my life and tried to get this person back, which is kind of absurd now because this person didn't want to be in my life anyway. This person reminded me of my father in many ways too, I wanted it to be different. In this process I really was unknowlingly offensive to this person, and, of course, received offensive behavior back and set myself up as some kind of victim. I spent a lot of energy telling everyone how much I was victimized and got into a blaming thing. I am not proud of my offensive behavior. It took me a long time to understand how offensive my behavior was to the other party. I let their opinions of me rule my life. These days I am not overly concerned with another's opinion either.

The solution to my codependency was never about so-called getting the person back. It was about understanding the dynamics, working on my own self care and going for my own personal dreams (not others' dreams) and doing good things for me that empower me. I am not in a relationship at present, but I am getting ready, and my next relationship is going to be a healthy one, I am sure, but, again, I am in no rush, because I am working on my own personal goals and that is taking a lot of work. I am also seeking my own clarify to make sure I have healed this stuff.

I learned so much from Pia Mellody's books, from participating here on this site, and seeing a therapist for a short time about self-worth issues and used EMDR to help me heal these old traums. I think I have healed enough of the original pain so I do not have to be stuck ever again in codependency. My relationships have changed greatly with my friends, I am more self-confident and I feel good about me.

It is worth healing this codependency just as it was totally worth it starting No Contact. Thank goodness.

January 15, 2007
1:01 pm
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gracenotes
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Bump.

January 15, 2007
5:07 pm
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red raven
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luvgirl
it feels like you are describing me in relationships. i always start by finding someone i think is worse off than me and trying to fix them. i just recently learned it was because i myself have issues with codependancy. i have been having a hard time finding out who i am now that i am alone but am still trying.

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