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bookstudy - Codependent No More - EVERYONE WELCOME
January 11, 2007
10:39 pm
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mamacinnamon
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OK. We are gonna do a study of Codependent No More here on Thursday nights 9:30 cst/7:30 pst.

January 11, 2007
10:44 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Good evening ladies, and gents if any are here.

GG: How much would you like scanned? We have the introduction and then 3 stories of folks. Then the characteristics of codependency. Where would you like to start?

January 11, 2007
10:45 pm
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ggfred4
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The intro and/or characteristics sound good to me..whatever you want...(see how codependent i am!)

January 11, 2007
10:46 pm
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mamacinnamon
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In looking... chapter 3 describes what codependency is, etc. I'm gonna start there.

Will take me just a couple minutes.

January 11, 2007
10:49 pm
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ggfred4
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armygirl, did you get a chance to read the 12 promises of coda?

January 11, 2007
10:51 pm
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armyleo
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I did, I got on the site you mentioned, and sort of scanned it all. Going to go back and look tommorrow.

January 11, 2007
10:52 pm
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ggfred4
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just read the 12 promises...it it nice..

January 11, 2007
10:53 pm
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ggfred4
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Here they are:

1. I know a new sense of belonging. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness will disappear.
2. I am no longer controlled by my fears. I overcome my fears and act with courage, integrity and dignity.
3. I know a new freedom.
4. I release myself from worry, guilt, and regret about my past and present. I am aware enough not to repeat it.
5. I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others. I feel genuinely lovable, loving and loved.
6. I learn to see myself as equal to others. My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners.
7. I am capable of developing and maintaining healthy and loving relationships. The need to control and manipulate others will disappear as I learn to trust those who are trustworthy.
8. I learn that it is possible to mend - to become more loving, intimate and supportive. I have the choice of communicating with my family in a way which is safe for me and respectful of them.
9. I acknowledge that I am a unique and precious creation.
10. I no longer need to rely solely on others to provide my sense of worth.
11. I trust a guidance I receive from my higher power and come to believe in my own capabilities.
12. I gradually experience serenity, strength, and spiritual growth in my daily life.

January 11, 2007
10:57 pm
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armyleo
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Thanks gg...If only I can change 1/2 I will be happy...

January 11, 2007
10:58 pm
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ggfred4
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One day at a time army...just read one at a time also...I just wanted you to read them, because they gave me hope...

January 11, 2007
11:00 pm
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mamacinnamon
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3

CODEPENDENCY

Relationships are like a dance, with visible energy racing back and forth between the partners. Some relationships are the slow, dark dance of death. I

-Colette Dowling

Up to this point, I have been using the words codependent and codepen¬dency as lucid terms. However, the definitions of these words remain vague.

The definition of chemical dependency means being dependent (psychologically and/or physically) on alcohol or other drugs. Overeating and garribling are also words that bring specific ideas to mind. But what is codependency?

The obvious definition would be: being a partner in dependency.
This definition is close to the truth but still unclear. It brings no specific image to mind. Codependency is part of treatment center jargon, profes¬sional slang that's probably unintelligible to people outside that profes¬sion and gibb.erish to some inside the trade.

Jargon mayor may not mean anything in particular. Jargon may mean different things to different people. Or, people may sense what a term means but not be able to clearly define it, because it's never been clearly defined.

Those are some of the problems I've encountered with researching and attempting to define codependency and codependent. Many people haven't heard the terms. Others, who are familiar with the words, can't
define them. If they can, each definition is different. Or people define the words by using more jargon. To complicate matters, I can't find the words in any dictionaries. My computer keeps tagging the words as misspelled, trying to convince me they're not words.

Yet, codependency does mean something in particular, something particularly important to me and millions of people. Let's get rid of the jargon and look at that meaning.

What's Codependency?

I have heard and read many definitions of codependency.
In an article from the book Co-Dependency, An Emerging Issue, Robert Subby wrote codependency is: "An emotional, psychological, and behav¬ioral condition that develops as a result of an individual's prolonged ex¬posure to, and practice of, a set of oppressive rules-rules which prevent the open expression of feeling as well as the direct discussion of personal and interpersonal problems."l

Earnie Larsen, another codependency specialist and a pioneer in that field, defines codependency as: 'Those self-defeating, learned behaviors or character defects that result in a diminished capacity to initiate or to participate in loving relationships."

Some less professional definitions follow.

"Codependency means," said one woman, "that I'm a caretaker."

"Being codependent means I'm married to an alcoholic," responded
one woman. "It also means I need to go to AI-Anon."

"Codependency," replied another, "means I'm up to my elbows in alcoholics."

"It means I'm always looking for someone to glob onto."

"Codependency? It means I know any man I'm attracted to, fall in love with, or marry will be chemically dependent or have some other equally serious problem."

"Codependency," explained one person, "is knowing all your rela¬tionships will either go on and on the same way (painfully), or end the same way (disastrously). Or both."

There are almost as many definitions of codependency as there are experiences that represent it. In desperation (or perhaps enlightenment), some therapists have proclaimed: "Codependency is anything, and every¬one is codependent." So, who's got the inside story? Which definition is accurate? A brief history of codependency will help answer this question.

Question: How would you define codependency??

Do you know anyone who has significantly affected your life. Somebody whom you worry about and wish you could change? Who? Talk about thqt person and your relationship. What are your feelings?

January 11, 2007
11:00 pm
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armyleo
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I think thats my problem, I want to change, years of stuff in days..

January 11, 2007
11:02 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Thanks for the 12 steps. I didn't have those.

Yes, if we could change everything at once, but it does take time. One day at a time; one thing at a time.

January 11, 2007
11:04 pm
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ggfred4
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mamac, those are not the 12 steps...Those are the 12 promises that come after working the program...

January 11, 2007
11:05 pm
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mamacinnamon
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oh, ok GG. I'm sorry. Glanced as I was scanning.

OK, Do we want to discus the part up or do you want me to scan the characteristics also?

January 11, 2007
11:07 pm
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ggfred4
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I got this book after I was diagnosed by a therapist. I didn't understand the term or how it related to me. I don't drink, not married to one...I just didn't get it. Until I got to the checklists and got to pages 98 or so in this book, did I begin to start seeing the picture...

How about you?

January 11, 2007
11:08 pm
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mamacinnamon
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OK I'm not sure how I would specifically define codependency for myself, but the who and what I csn answer. I'm gonna answer regarding my evil x coz it's better, more extreme exmple.

Typing..

January 11, 2007
11:09 pm
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ggfred4
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good mamac...don't won't you to have to spend time scanning anymore...just talk and armygirl, just talk when you want from your heart...not a big deal here...

January 11, 2007
11:13 pm
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mamacinnamon
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I wasn't raised to be codependent. I don't know how I got there, but I did. I think the night that I got totally sucked in and he had control from that time forward was when I was 17. I had gone out to his house and he was acting weird. Didn't make sense, etc. Long story short he had slept w/ the landlord's wife "because" she was gonna tarnish my name and make my family look bad. That was big deal back then.

I told him I didn't care and that it was NO excuse for what he did and I was breaking up w/ him. I turned and started walking out the house nd I heard a gun cock and he said IF I walked out the door he'd kill himself. I stopped dead in my tracks and I remember reasoning out in my head what would happen. "I was the last one there" "they might blame me" "what about my family if I went to jail". Stupid thoughts yes, but I was only 17 and raised very sheltered.

That was the beginning of my life as a codependent. Thinking if I was good enough he'd change, wondering what I did to make him like he was, doin my best to keep the peace, lieing to protect him but even more to protect those he threatened to hurt if I talked.

done.

January 11, 2007
11:14 pm
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ggfred4
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(((mamac)))

January 11, 2007
11:15 pm
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ggfred4
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okay, I will type about my codependency or at least what i know...army and anyone else,feel free to post...typing

January 11, 2007
11:18 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Some of the things a codependent does is try to survive the threats made to her/him. Try to make things better so the other person won't keep goin off or doin the things they did.

I think when we do this it gives them even more insight as to how to hurt us and keep us under their thumbs.

I know the guilt put on me was horrible. My food got fed to the dogs coz it was shit. He's take me downtown and tell me he was gonna rent me out to a pimp for the night so I could recoop some of the money I spent. Every car wreck he had was because of me and he was trying to die to get away from me coz I was psycho. Ya know lookin back I can see times I thought I was psycho. They make you believe the things you fear.

January 11, 2007
11:20 pm
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armyleo
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I'll define it by what I read that applies to me that I was surprised by.

It's a disease - our self destructive behaviors become habitual. It's progressive, takes years. Our behaviors and habits are self destructive.

Behaviors prevents us from finding peace and happiness...I always told myself I was happy, when I really wasn't...The hardest the only person we can change is ourselves.

I want to change my H and my kids. My kids are easier to write about because they are young and I see them, already developing habits, characteristics that are not good. Such as fear, bad habits...

I don't know my H I would like to change. Have him be the H I always thought Husbands should be. If I could just get him to participate more as a family member, be involved more with us. I don't know what I'm suppose to write....I've written this before. My dreams of a family (happy family). It's affected me, because I have always stuffed inside, my wants, and desires, and have gone along with what H has wanted.

Am I doing this right?

January 11, 2007
11:22 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Doin great Army

January 11, 2007
11:24 pm
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ggfred4
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Like I said before, I denied my codependency for about 6 mos. after diagnosis....Having surgery and being laid up, really proved it for me. I don't know how long I have been codependent..At first, I thought the last few years only, but I think that is when it only progressed.

As a child, I didn't want to make my dad mad, wanted to please my mom...I feared my dad's anger and wanted love from my mom plus her protection. Neatness was mandatory at our house as my dad was an army officer; we had weekly inspections as children. I always kept my room the best, worked hard and school, stayed out of trouble in general...not for myself, but to avoid the wrath of dad and to please my mom and get attention from her. As a teen, I would go out of my way to clean, rearrange rooms, etc. just to please my mom. So I guess it started back then...With my own family, I just seem to do everything I could to make everyone's life easier. I wanted my kids to excel in school, so I did whatever it took. If they forgot to tell me when they went to bed that they needed a posterboard for school, I was up and at Wal Mart when it opened to get it. But in the last five years, things have gotten worse. I wanted peace in the household with 4 teenagers. So, I did whatever it took to keep the peace, to keep someone from griping, fighting, etc.

I realized this year that I have trouble making decisions...I don't want to make anyone mad or start any issues. I can't even pick out a restaurant to go eat at. I just follow along...

But this is not me, the real me inside...I do not like this codependent person I have become...

done

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