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Why do most codependents end of with alcoholics/drug addicts?
December 29, 2005
9:39 pm
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Lostrose
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I'm very curious why most of us end up with alcoholics/drug addicts? I've been taking a look at my past & I realized each relationship they used drugs. I will say the last one WOW was he a drug addict.

December 29, 2005
9:55 pm
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Philmore Bowles
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Maybe it's because this is the quality of relationship that you believe you are worthy of?

Could it be one dependency attracted to another?

December 29, 2005
10:03 pm
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Lostrose
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Hmm it could be either or. I know I have thought about it alot & I really don't know the answer.

December 29, 2005
10:46 pm
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Philmore Bowles
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As I recently learned, I have experience being Codependant. (The addiction is old news . . .)

From my perspective, healthy, "normal" people can be kinda scary when my head isn't right. Like they can see right through me - especially those closest to me.

It looks like a codep's and an addict's "programs" would mesh perfectly. They are safe with each other, because neither can afford to call the other out on their problems.

December 29, 2005
11:01 pm
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addicts wife
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for me.. from my expreiences at least it was a need((SUBconscously)) to identify my fathers persona..((abscentee addict/abuser father)) and then came the over nurturing want to help, wanna fix what's broken thingy..and later realizing that I was choosing many similar people in "different" uniforms... Like I was only receptive to a certin dysfunction, the "bad boy" the aloof, gearhead who liked old cars, tinkering, and ignoring women becasue they were "too cool." ... NOT all of them were like this but I had found myself quickly bored ((Scared)) of the ones that were "too nice" or too attentive and wanted to take care of me too much.. it was o unfamiliar, although probably better, that i stuck with the familiar.
I had some real huge deep realizations and moments of clarity right beofre deciding to take a vow of celibacy, excluded my self from all forms of unhealthy bad influences figureing that "If i couldnt stand strong on my own, and trust((develop my own needs with clarity)) that I couldnt possibly stand strong with some one else...

I still ended up wit han addict, but I really believe he is "the one." and IF i felt he wasnt I totally would have left years ago. I even thought andseriously was packing and ready to leave about 2 months ago.. but didnt feel that that was right either, and we're working on our issues, issues with "us" and individually.... still have a long way to go, but I can say that although I am stil lwiht an addict, he is working his recovery, and I am working my better health, mentally and physically.

December 29, 2005
11:19 pm
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turnabout
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Codependents tend to be rescuers by nature. We tend to use our relationships to feed our sense of worth, and we feed it by choosing people who "need" us. We're reaching for that (superficial) ego boost that comes from feeling we are so good/pious/worthy that we can pull another out of their self-destruction. And it's always low self-esteem of some sort that makes anyone try attaining a sense of worth from another person.

And who needs rescuing more than self-abusive?

December 29, 2005
11:22 pm
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addicts wife
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good pont turnabout(((Thanks)))
;)~AW

December 30, 2005
12:49 am
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Lostrose
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WOW I didn't realize but everyone is right. I always felt safe with the addicts & it made me feel good to be able to help. But what I didn't realize is it was unhealthy for them and for me. And I've still be struggling with why I became codependent. Both my parents never used drugs & they weren't alcoholics. The only thing I can think of is they always argued & yelled, I never seen any affection, and excuse me on this one, they didn't have sex for around 20 years & lived in separate bedrooms. Also, my mom was the oldest of seven kids & her father was an abusive alcoholic.

December 30, 2005
1:31 am
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Lass
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The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, it says in the Bible. This is a family legacy. Unless someone really works to do recovery and breaks the chain, it simply repeats. Usually it appears to get worse, but then it also hits bottom and starts to climb back out, too. All the more reason to do the work involved in healing.

December 30, 2005
8:54 am
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lollipop3
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Hi Lost,

Our parents don't have to be alcoholics to suffer the "isms" of alcoholism. If your mother was raised by an alcoholic, it matters not if she herself drank or didn't drink. The behavior is learned and passed down from generation to generation, unless and until, someone (such as yourself) becomes AWARE and breaks the cycle.

I think those of us raised in that environment tend to seek out what is familiar to us. Sometimes, addiction, abuse, and/or emotional unavialibilty are familiar to us. I also agree that "helping" gives us a sense of control and self worth. The only problem with that is that most of us codeps have fairly low self esteem, so when we base our self worth on emotionally unavailable people, we fail....proving to ourselves that we are unworthy, further damaging our already damaged self esteem. A self fulfilling prophecy, if you will.

You are on the right track with the title of this thread. The idea is not to ask why the addict is an addict but to ask why WE are drawn to them. And let the healing begin!

Take care,
Lolli

December 30, 2005
9:56 am
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reese26
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I think it is the "power to change" someone that draws us into people who are addicts or just "bad boys or bad girls". For me, I never am into a nice guy... they are no challenge. I have had numerous relationships with these type of guys. The first couple were with guys that slept around a lot and were just assholes to girls in general. The fact that they wanted me for something else was just like a high for me. It was telling me that these guys changed their behavior FOR me. I just recently broke up with my boyfriend about a month ago, who was a drug addict. I tried so hard to change him and to make him better ultimately realizing it will never work. I thought I was in love with him, but really I was in love with the fact that I could possibly change him. Now we have a baby together, and I am always tied to him, yet I don't believe I love him or ever did love him. The sad part is that even though I know I do this, it's like I can't stop the pattern. When I figure out how to stop the pattern, that will be one miraculous day.

December 30, 2005
11:03 am
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addicts wife
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sorry... I meant good poInt...
Lostrose, my mom was the oldest of NINe, in an emotionaly affectionately void household. Her father was considered a "Tyrant"she states regularly that she left her hometown with her diploma in her hand" and was terribly naive, her 1st husband was as she puts it" a control freak" who used to "Make her" do all kinds of odd things, down to doing at least 200 sit ups a day....then there was my father who was addicted to anything he touched, and was brutally physically/verbally/emotionally abusive. we left him when he was arrwsted for the umteenth time, and moved frequently when he found out where we were....anywaaay...
my need to identify withthis "mystery man" was brought out in puberty... I was attracted to guys That fit the description of my lst father, and it filled a twisted/unhealthy void. I did realize though, that just becasue I needed /wanted a "Daddy" that the one I hadbiologically was not the one I needed or craved.

I remember being a "sucker" for the violins that played of these "troubled youths" and was so eager t ohelp them, to be the one that they could turn to when everyone else abandoned them... Becasue iKNEw what it was like to be abandoned, and wanted to spare others from that kind of pain in absence of a parent.
My mom has a LOT of issues too, some of which I have picked up from growing up withher, and only her. She is codependant, neurotic,controlling, and overprotective..but she is also a strong woman who sacrificed quite a bit for her only childs benefit((me)) and t oensure that i "grew up bwetter than she did."
Her biggest "issue" is lack of being able tocommunicate, and have a real conversation with. When ever I attempt to talk about issues, and things I have as goals, etc.. she blurts out rather off the wall things, and says things like "you cant do that."
"you're not capable of that" ..granted she HAS gotten a lot better in the past few years, and has shown quite a bit of growth especially since Ive moved out ((I didnt move out until I was about 26, for financial reasons, and becasue she kind of made it that way.((Im now 34))and she STILL says things like "You couldnt hae done that without me."
"Being a mom is a thankless job, dont have kids,ever" and she invites herself over, showering me with things, telling me what a slob I am, telling me how things should be set up/ arranged/ how i should clen, put this here, put that there... can I please do this, that... and before I can say no, shes done it.
The christmas dinner with her and her brothers and sisters ,and my J was a little disturing tosay the least, but i bit my tongue A LOT, and squeezed J's hand under the table a few times that stopped me from speaking out in the tangent that was going on around the dining room table. my mom verbally attacked her sister numerous times about how fat she is, about how "it's easy t olose weight" ((BULLSH**... mom you were on a diet for HOW many years, crying about your clothes being too tight?!?!!? who the hell are you?!?!?!?)))she literally got up, and did this little dance thing like "Look at me, Im skinny, you're NOT" my aunt was silent... shoving food in her mouth to stop herself from speaking.. and my mom was totally embarrased when we were done with dinner and my auint showered us, with presents.. she even got J a really nice shirt,((she NEVER met him)) and she even got Jaocb((my step son)) a really cool, nice sweatshirt, even though she never met him, and he wasnt with us that afternoon.
I was embarassed, and ashamed of my mom and her behavior at tis dinner, but I realized, I cannot do a thing about HER, I can only control how I choose to respond to it, and handle it. my mom looked like Cruella deville with every peice of jewelry she owned on, a tight little outfit and some NASTY carcass skin FUR coat on to impress her brothers and sister.. who could care less, and also saw right through her sharade, but were too polite to comment, although we shared knowing glances, and when I was blushing in embarrassment, my uncle joe came and gave me a hug, as J was sitting next to me squeezing my hand.

I KNOW Im still working hard on my own growth, and I guess Ive grown a lot to see just how "odd" my mom really is, for wat it is, as painful as it is, but the power of growth and changing ourselves is quite refreshing, and giving me the strength to keep going , because although I have stumbled and fallen numerous times, I am still picking myself up, dusting myself off, and going towards the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Being able to let myself acknowlegde things that are unhealthy is a great first step forward... it takes a lot Of work, and looking t all the ugly parts of ourselves that we dont wanna see, but when you can/do, things do get a little better one day at a time.

December 30, 2005
11:56 am
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kathygy
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lostrose,

you answered your own question when you described your parents relationship.

Also, take an honest look at how they treated you and the things you didn't get that a child needs to b4e happy and well-adjusted.

December 30, 2005
12:06 pm
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Lostrose
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Kathygy...That's one of my questions. I don't know what a child needs to be happy. They always showed me affection, love, caring, was always there when I needed them. That is why I'm confused cause I overall I had a great childhood.

May 30, 2006
9:00 pm
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Miss Understood
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I am new to this group, as well as new to the realization that I am codependent. My boyfriend, who is an alcoholic, is now in recovery. He recently confronted me with the fact that he was not the only one with a PROBLEM. I know it took courage for him to talk to me about this: he knew that making me aware of this might mean the end of our relationship. I moved in with him a year ago because he needed help financially. He was frequently unemployed, he was lonely, and he insisted that he needed me there. He went so far as to threaten to break up with me. He said that it was the 'next step' in our relationship, and that if I wasn't willing to make the next step, we should break up. We had been together less than a year at this point. I spent the last year believing that I was trying my hardest to help him, but I was only enabling him. He drank nearly every night. When he couldn't afford his own drinks, I bought them. I paid the majority of our shared bills while drowning in my own personal debt. He often went without work because he knew I would be there to cover the rent. Now that he is sober, he is overwhelmed with guilt and I'm wondering how I could have made the same mistake I made with every other man. We've decided to get separate apartments. It's the first step in mending our wounds. I'm very scared, as is he. This will be the first time I've ever lived on my own. As a child I lived with my alcoholic father and manic-depressive mother. After my mother died, my father began drinking even more, dating drug-addicted women. My father was simultaneously alcoholic and codependent. Then I moved in with two alcoholic friends. When I moved back home, my Dad was sober and married to a neurotic, needy woman, and it was my little brother who was the alcoholic, as well as exhibiting symptoms of manic-depression. My stepsister also mover back in with her three children: she was dying of AIDS. It was a terrible environment, and living with my boyfriend was probably better at first. But having me there only enabled him to continue his self-abusive behavior. For the first time in my life, I feel like my eyes are open. But I've been living to take care of others for so long that I feel like I don't even know who I am. I'm so scared. I really have no idea where to start.

May 30, 2006
9:07 pm
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Anonymous
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W,e as codependents, are "fixers". My goodness, have you been thru alot. But at least you are AWARE of most of what is going on with yourself.

I'm going to search for my story, somewhere floating around. I have a couple of threads that you might be able to relate to. I'll see if I can find them. I always post my name next to the title, so you know who is posting.

Hang in there, honey, and please read the threads! Let me know if you can understand it.

Take Care,

Jennifer

May 30, 2006
9:15 pm
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Anonymous
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Ok, Miss Understood, I bumped a couple of threads for you. One of them doesn't have my name next to it. It is titled "Was it really happiness, TRUE happiness?" That might not be the exact wording, but close enough.

When you click into it, go the the top of the screen, where it says "view first post" or "view all posts". Either one will pull it up for ya'!

Take Care, Honey! And know that you are NOT alone, here!

Jen

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