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Codependency No More CHAPTER 3
January 20, 2007
9:25 am
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ggfred4
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bev, thanks for understanding and identifying...

garfield, totally identify with how our parents affect our lives; but now I ponder this: I have four children, what have I done to them?

January 20, 2007
9:52 am
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garfield9547
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gg

What a question and yes. From my side there has been damage.

My firstborn was 3 when I entered therapy for the first time. Thank goodness I did.

That year (10 years ago) was a huge changing point in my life.

The first 3 years might not sound significant, but it is.

I am forever working on myself and on my relationship with my husband and children. I had to break the chain.

Love

Garfield

January 20, 2007
12:55 pm
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mj
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I need to get my book out again. I get so distracted by all the codependency issues that focusing on a chapter at a time seems overwhelming. Now I understand why the principle of crosstalk is so important in meetings. Focusing on sharing our experience, strength, and hope, using I statements, keep it simple.

January 20, 2007
1:06 pm
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mj
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Pg. 36 Codependent No More

"A codependent person is one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior."

"But the heart of the definition and recovery lies not in the other person-no matter how much we believe it does."

"It lies in ourselves, in the ways we have let other people's behavior affect us and in the ways we try go affect them."

"the obsessing, the controlling, the obsessive helping, caretaking, low self worth bordering on self-hatred, self repression, abundance of anger and guilt, peculiar dependency on peculiar people, attraction to and tolerance for the bizzare, other-centeredness that results in abandonment of self, communication problems, intimacy problems, and an ongoing whirlwind trip throught thre five-stage grief process."

"Is Codependency an illness? Some professionals say it isn't a disease; they say it's a normal reaction to abnormal people."

January 20, 2007
1:08 pm
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mj
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In the ways we try TO not go affect them.
"It lies in ourselves, in the ways we have let other people's behavior affect us and in the ways we try TO affect them."

January 20, 2007
1:13 pm
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bevdee
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Garfield

Thank you for posting that excerpt.

Two things jumped out at me.

"Having no self except as defined in relationship to the other. "

When I was younger, I did this in that I began to dress like my friends. I focused so much on the person I chose to enmesh with, I began to talk like him or her- one at a time, of course. (I am actually a really good mimic of facial expressions, tone of voice. I suppose this is because I am able to focus so intently on a person I am speaking with.)

Once I realised this, in trying to maintain my individuality, I have gone to this-

"The counterdependent is the other extreme of the spectrum. If our behavior patterns have been primarily counterdependent it means that we were wounded so badly in childhood that in order to survive we had to convince ourselves that we don't need other people, that it is never safe to get close to other people."

And I am stuck knowing it - but sometimes feel unsure where to go from here.

Bevdee

January 20, 2007
1:13 pm
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mj
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I obsess, I have low self worth bordering on self hatred. I have an abundance of anger and guilt. I am learning to not tolerate the bizzare. I am learning where I begin so I am not other focussed resulting in abandonment of my self. I still have communication problems and intimacy problems and can totally relate to ongoing whirlwind of unhealed grief. I have a lot of character defects to work on. Yes, I have and do the caretaking control trip. I want to stop that behavior as well.

January 20, 2007
1:15 pm
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garfield9547
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mj

'"Is Codependency an illness? Some professionals say it isn't a disease; they say it's a normal reaction to abnormal people"

What does this mean?

Garfield

January 20, 2007
1:30 pm
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mj
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Hey Garfield, It is taken from page 36. Not my words!

What I read it to mean is that codependency is not a disease you can get. Its a way of behaving when you are in relationships with people displaying addictive personalities or ?. Further down the page it says other professionals think it is a disease. Its kind of like the arguement is alcoholism a disease?

January 20, 2007
1:54 pm
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garfield9547
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bevdee

have crossed posts

I get what you are saying. I hated my mother and sometimes my children or husband would directly say: This sounds like grandma.

I wanted to kill them. Just kept my emotions for myself and thought about it.

Realising it was true I hated myself.

This was my biggest motivation to change.

I never wanted to be like my mother or father,

Thanks

Garfield

January 20, 2007
2:02 pm
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garfield9547
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Hi Mama

Looks like its time for part 4.

Where are you? You said you are still here. I answered your questions, but are waiting a response.

Did I push a button?

Garfield

January 20, 2007
2:15 pm
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garfield9547
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bevdee

Looking back at your thread I do not think I answered you.

Let me start agian. Because we never had healthy roll models in our life's we had to mimic from others as to what normal is.

I had to do this as well. Made me feel very insecure, but i never showed it.

I could not trust my parents so I do not trust others.

Mainly i realised that I cannot trust myself or shall I say my own justments.

I had to grow emotionally and it tool time

Garfield

January 20, 2007
3:58 pm
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bevdee
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Garfield

Ok- I mimicked abnormal to. It's what I was taught. And also, my mother needed the flattery of imitation- possibly for self-justification- OR, in her world, she could not handle anyone being different from her. Because her validation came from the outside,

She trained me - I watched her for cues.

January 20, 2007
4:58 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Garfield:

No, still here off and on. Have to many kids, and huby is home so he wants attention and cakes for a funeral. I just now at 3:30 got my hair washed. I am sorry, I will be answering, not blowing you off. Just wanted to be able to read and "think" before posting back. I will today, promise.

Chapter 4 will be posted soon... today.

January 21, 2007
2:26 am
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mamacinnamon
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Hi Garfield:

I again apologize for not getting back to you sooner. It's been a week from hell here. Anyway...

My sister's contact w/ mom is daily. It is a relationship where my sister says to me "I don't want her to go w/ me" so I say don't ask her to go. My mom then says "I don't want to go w/ your sister" and I say tell her you have something to do, say no, whatever. Next thing I know sister called mom and asked her to go and mom said sure. I finally told them both not to fuss at me coz I'm not in the middle of this one. I told them what I would do and they chose differently, it's ok, but I'm not gettin sucked in.

My sister is constantly saying "I will not be like mom" yet she is mom in the mirror. She is selfish, condescending at times she is sarcastic. She will call folks and use me as an excuse as to why she didn't show or cannot do something because she had to take me to the doc. Yes she drives me to the doc but that is maybe 3 times a month. I am not the reason she cannot clean her house or get to her obligations on time.

I am not afraid to confront her. In fact when I do or even when I am talking to her about something that is goin on she wants to know how I know and who I heard it from and usually blows it off outloud or tries to discredit my source. Tries to make me wrong, or look stupid, not sure what her motive is there.
She takes everything personally. she usually acts like she is listening and then goes home and cries.

She has not shown this anger to anyone in the family I don't think. I know she goes off on the twins a lot. She either ignores them or screams at them. She has become more aggressive toward me. She has to put on an aire of perfectionism. Like I complimented her one day on how good the twins were in church. She just hatefully said "well they weren't as good as I expected them to be".

I am not cutting my sister down. I'd love nothing more than to asee her get this all straightened up. For her to take control of her life again and be happy.

January 21, 2007
6:11 am
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garfield9547
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mamacinnamon

Thanks for your reply. I saw you post on another thread and just thought I might of said something. But I have known you long enough now, not to have these thoughts.

Anyway.

You said your sister's contact with your mother is daily. This to me is a big part of the problem.

Nobody can heal themselves while in the mists of the negative. She will not be able to see herself or be able to have a objective view if she is so enmeshed with your mother.

Your sister needs to make a emotional break with your mom. Unfortunately I doubt it that she will listen to you. She shows no respect for you. Somebody in her life that she looks up to (if there is such a person)

What I can see is that she does not even have respect for the counselor. I mean Mama 8 years is a very long time. This is going nowhere. She does not see herself for who she is.

Being so enmeshed the first thing I had to do was break contact. It was difficult, but I did it. I can tell you now if i didn't listen to my therapist he would of told me straight that he thinks i am waisting my time.

I had no sense of self and think this is the same with your sister. But do you think she wants to work on her problems? or do you think counseling has just became n ritual in her life?

Looks like your sister saw how you grew emotionally and are much more on top of your emotions than she is. This she would hate as she loves to be in control and you are more in control than her. I think deep inside she envies you and thats why she would project most of her anger on you.

This might of had the effect she wanted years ago, but its not working for her anymore bc you have moved forward, Emotionally you are at a VERY different level now than say even 3 years ago. Does this make sense? Like you take less of her sh..

Thats why you would see her becoming more and more aggresive towards you.

Her relationship with the twins are like they say a ambivalent one. You never know whats coming you way.

Now looking back at myself years ago before i had children I started therapy and working on my problems.

Here is n tip for you Mama. It worked for me and I cannot say it would work for her, but here goes.

Do NOT take any sh... from her. If I acted like a idiot and got out of hand my husband would give it straight back to me. This was the only way I would sit up straight and listen. This was the only way to get me to think, like hang on. What the hell I am doing?

Hope this helps

Love

Garfield

January 21, 2007
8:03 am
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bevdee
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MJ and Garfield,

As far as I can tell from looking in the ICD9 CM International Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems, there is no diagnosis code for codependency.

I believe it is simply a description of maladaptive relationships. Although I suppose other classifiable conditions could arise from this -- behaviour pattern?? From the stress of living in this thought and behaviour pattern.

January 21, 2007
2:26 pm
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armyleo
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"One tries to protect against abandonment by avoiding confrontation and pleasing the other - while the second tries to avoid abandonment by pretending we donít need anyone else. Both are dysfunctional and dishonest."

Can a person be both counter and co-dependent? at once or are they 1 in a certain stage in life and then become the opposite?

When he joined the military full time in our first year of marriage I was left behind, to save money etc, he didn't want to take me said he was low on the totem pole, so I stayed behind to work. I got use to being on my own.

After he returned early on in my marriage I worked, full time had kids, sitter, volunteered at the school etc... I always considered myself very independent, I could do everthing on my own....run the household, take care of kids, run the school carnival and silent auction etc...My husband and I worked opposite shifts, so it's wasn't like I wasn't home when he was home. Maybe sometimes, but not always...I kept busy so I didn't have to be home, justified all saying I was involved with the kids.

Then I think somewhere along the line things changed. I don't know how or when, but I didn't work full time, husband wanted me home more. Life became stressful at home, or harder. I don't know...

But I do know that I'm finding all this frustrating and confusing, wondering at the begining why I was so counterdependent and then became so co-dependent. I would have been better off always being counterdependent.

January 21, 2007
2:44 pm
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armyleo
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I logged off but realized something, I am the complete opposite of who I was...I don't care about who I am anymore...sad, depressed....

January 21, 2007
3:46 pm
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mamacinnamon
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((((army))))

I look at who I was before vs. during the marriage vs. now. Three totally different persons. I was raised to stand up for myself, to think for myself. I got married and soon became a shell that nobody was home in. Sad, scared, depressed, suicidal, very suicidal. Now I look at myself and wonder who was that girl and why did she not stand up for herself or walk anyway. I don't know the answer to that. I have pondered this thought off and on for many years and still cannot tell you what happened to me that I wound up in that state of mind or that relationship. I think sometimes we just have to accept that we are/were/could be that person and run w/ it. Keep trying; strive; try to move forward even when it seems we are taking two steps back. Make sense?

January 21, 2007
8:36 pm
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soprano2
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armyleo--
did you read through this whole thread? If you didn't, you should scroll up and look at the definition that I wrote in here, it's near the top.

You are talking about sacrificing who and what you are.

Tough to believe that this is not healthy sometimes. It feels so easy, and it is such an easy trap to fall into.

Can you tell, I, too, have lost who I am

But I keep looking.

May you enjoy your journey to finding youself again.

Knowing to look is at least part of the battle.

s2

March 1, 2007
10:52 pm
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mj
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Second week

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