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Codependent No More CHAPTER 4
January 23, 2007
10:02 pm
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mj
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((((Armyleo)))) You Can Do This! You just did!!!!

January 24, 2007
3:18 pm
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CARETAKING

Codependents may:

_1__ think and feel responsible for other people - for other peoples feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being, lack of well-being, and ultimate destiny.[br]
_1__ feel anxiety, pity and guilt when other people have a problem.[br]
_1__ feel compelled-almost forced-to help that person solve the problem, such as offering unwanted advice, giving a rapid-fire series of suggestions, or fixing feelings.[br]

January 24, 2007
3:22 pm
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I see you are making good use of the book. So glad.

Hope that you get some good insights. I remember when I first read it, I kept saying--"that sounds like me" or "that sounds like my situation."

Happy reading and looking forward to seeing what you think.

s2

January 24, 2007
3:30 pm
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_1__ feel angry when their help isn't effective.

_2__anticipate other people's needs.
_1__ wonder why others don't do the same for them.
_2__find themselves saying yes when they mean no, doing things they don't really want to be doing, doing more than their fair share of the work, and doing things other people are capable of doing for themselves.
_1__not know what they want and need or, if they do, tell themselves what they want and need is not important.

_1__ try to please others instead of themselves.
_1__find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others, rather than injustices done to themselves.
_2__ feel safest when giving.
_2__ feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives to them.
_1__ feel sad because they spend their whole lives giving to other people and nobody gives to them.
_1__ find themselves attracted to needy people.
_1__ find needy people attracted to them
_1__ feel bored, empty, and worthless if they don't have a crisis in their lives, a problem to solve, or someone to help.
_2__ abandon their routine to respond to or do something for somebody else.
_1__ over commit themselves
_2__ feel harried and pressured.
_1__ believe deep inside other people are somehow responsible for them.
_1__ blame others for the spot the codependents are in,
_1__ say other people make the codependents feel the way they do.
_1__ believe other people are making them crazy.
_2__ feel angry, victimized, unappreciated, and used.
_2__ find other people become impatient or angry with them for all the preceding characteristics.

January 24, 2007
4:19 pm
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LOW SELF WORTH

Codependents tend to:
_2__ come from troubled, repressed, or dysfunctional families.
_0__deny their family was troubled, repressed, or dysfunctional.
_1__ blame themselves for everything.
_1__ pick on themselves for everything, including the way they think, feel, look, act, and behave.
_2__get angry, defensive, self-righteous, and indignant when others blame and criticize the codependents-something codependents regularly do to themselves.
_1__reject compliments or praise.
_0__get depressed from a lack of compliments and praise (stroke deprivation)
_2__ feel different from the rest of the world.
_2__think they're not quite good enough.
_1__ feel guilty about spending money on themselves or doing unnecessary or fun things for themselves.
_1__ fear rejection.
_2__take things personally
_2__have been victims of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, or alcoholism.
_1__ feel like victims.
_1__tell themselves they can't do anything right.
_1__ be afraid of making mistakes.
_1__ wonder why they have a tough time making decisions.
_1__ expect themselves to do everything perfectly.
_1__ wonder why they can't get anything done to their satisfaction.
_1__ have a lot of "shoulds."
_1__ feel a lot of guilt.
_0__feel ashamed of who they are.
_0_think their lives aren't worth living.
_1__ try to help other people live their lives instead.
_1__ get artificial feelings of self-worth from helping others.
_1__ get strong feelings of low self-worth-embarrassment, failure, etc. from other people's failures and problems.
_2__wish good things would happen to them.
_0__believe good things never will happen.
_0__believe they don't deserve good things and happiness.
_2__wish other people would like and love them.
_1__believe other people couldn't possibly like and love them.
_1__try to prove they're good enough for other people.
_1__ settle for being needed.

REPRESSION

Many codependents:
_1__ push their thoughts and feelings out of their awareness because of fear and guilt.
_1__ become afraid to let themselves be who they are.
_1__ appear rigid and controlled.

OBSESSION

Codependents tend to:
_2__ feel terribly anxious about problems and people.
_1__ worry about the silliest things.
_2__ think and talk a lot about other people.
_2__ lose sleep over problems or other people's behavior.
_2__ worry.
_1__ never find answers.
_1__ check on people.
_0__ try to catch people in acts of misbehavior.
_2__ feel unable to quit talking, thinking, and worrying about other people or problems.
_2__ abandon their routine because they are so upset about somebody or something.
_2__ focus all their energy on other people and problems.
_1__ wonder why they never have any energy
_2__ wonder why they aren't get things done.

CONTROLLING

Many codependents:
_2__ have lived through events and with people that were out of control, causing the codependents sorrow and disappointment.
_2__ become afraid to let other people be who they are and allow events to happen naturally.
_0__ don't see or deal with their fear of loss of control.
_2__ think they know best how things should turn out and how people should behave.
_1__ try to control events and people through helplessness, guilt, coercion, threats, advice-giving, manipulation, or domination.
_1__ eventually fail in their efforts or provoke people's anger.
_2__ get frustrated and angry.
_1__ feel controlled by events and people.

DENIAL

Codependents tend to:
_1__ ignore problems or pretend they aren't happening.
_1__ pretend circumstances aren't as bad as they are.
_1__ tell themselves things will be better tomorrow.
_2__ stay busy so they don't have to think about things.
_1__ get confused.
_2__ get depressed or sick.
_0__ go to doctors and get tranquilizers.
_2__ become workaholics.
_1__ spend money compulsively.
_2__ overeat.
_2__ pretend those things aren't happening, either.
_2__ watch problems get worse.
_1__ believe lies.
_1__ lie to themselves.
_1__ wonder why they feel like they're going crazy.

DEPENDENCY

Many codependents:
_1__ don't feel happy, content, or peaceful with themselves.
_2__ look for happiness outside themselves.
_2__ latch onto whoever or whatever they think can provide happiness.
_2__ feel terribly threatened by the loss of any thing or person they think provides their happiness.
_2__ didn't feel love and approval from their parents.
_1__ don't love themselves.
_1__ believe other people can't or don't love them.
_1__ desperately seek love and approval.
_2__ often seek love from people incapable of loving.
_1__ believe other people are never there for them.
_2__ equate love with pain.
_1__ feel they need people more than they want them.
_2__ try to prove they're good enough to be loved.
_2__ don't take time to see if other people are good for them.
_1__ worry whether other people love or like them.
_2__ don't take time to figure out if they love or like other people.
_2__ center their lives around other people.
_2__ look to relationships to provide all their good feelings.
_1__ lose interest in their own lives when they love.
_1__ worry other people will leave them.
_0__ don't believe they can take care of themselves.
_2__ stay in relationships that don't work.
_2__ tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.
_2__ feel trapped in relationships.
_1__ leave bad relationships and form new ones that don't work either.
_2__ wonder if they will ever find love.

POOR COMMUNICATION

Codependents frequently:
_2__ blame.
_1__ threaten.
_0__ coerce.
_2__ beg.
_2__ bribe.
_2__ advise.
_2__ don't say what they mean.
_2__ don't mean what they say.
_0__ don't know what they mean.
_1__ don't take themselves seriously.
_1__ think other people don't take the codependents seriously.
_0__ take themselves too seriously.
_2__ ask for what they want and need indirectly-sighing, for example.
_2__ find it difficult to get to the point.
_2__ aren't sure what the point is.
_2__ gauge their words carefully to achieve a desired effect.
_2__ try to say what they think will please people.
_2__ try to say what they think will provoke people.
_2__ try to say what they hope will make people do what they want them to do.
_1__ eliminate the word no from their vocabulary.
_2__ talk too much.
_2__ talk about other people.
_2__ avoid talking about themselves, their problems, feelings, and thoughts.
_1__ say everything is their fault.
_1__ say nothing is their fault.
_1__ believe their opinions don't matter.
_1__ wait to express their opinions until they know other people's opinions.
_1__ lie to protect and cover up for people they love.
_0__ lie to protect themselves.
_2__ have a difficult time asserting their rights.
_2__ have a difficult time expressing their emotions honestly, openly, and appropriately.
_1__ think most of what they have to say is unimportant.
_1__ begin to talk in cynical, self-degrading, or hostile ways.
_2__ apologize for bothering people.

WEAK BOUNDARIES

C-dependents frequently:
_0__ say they won't tolerate certain behaviors from other people.
_1__ gradually increase their tolerance until they can tolerate and do things they said they never would.
_1__ let others hurt them.
_2__ keep letting people hurt them.
_1__ wonder why they hurt so badly.
_2__ complain, blame, and try to control while they continue to stand there.
_2__ finally get angry.
_2__ become totally intolerant.

LACK Of TRUST

Codependents:
_1__don't trust themselves.
_1__ don't trust their feelings.
_2__ don't trust their decisions.
_1__ don't trust other people.
_1__ try to trust untrustworthy people.
_1__ think God has abandoned them.
_1__ lose faith and trust in God.

ANGER

Many codependents:
_2__ feel very scared, hurt, and angry.
_2__ live with people who are very scared, hurt, and angry.
_2__ are afraid of their own anger.
_2__ are frightened of other people's anger
.
_0__ think people will go away if anger enters the picture.
_2__ think other people make them feel angry.
_2__ are afraid to make other people feel anger.
_2__ feel controlled by other people's anger.
_1__ repress their angry feelings.
_2__ cry a lot, get depressed, overeat, get sick, do mean and nasty things to get even, act hostile, or have violent temper outbursts.
_1__ punish other people for making the codependents angry.
_2__ have been shamed for feeling angry.
_2__ place guilt and shame on themselves for feeling angry.
_2__ feel increasing amounts of anger, resentment, and bitterness.
_1__ feel safer with their anger than with hurt feelings.
_1__ wonder if they'll ever not be angry.

SEX PROBLEMS

Some codependents:
_2__ are caretakers in the bedroom.
_0__ have sex when they don't want to.
_0__ have sex when they'd rather be held,
nurtured, and loved.
_0__ try to have sex when they're angry or hurt.
_2__ refuse to enjoy sex because they're so angry at their partner.
_0___ are afraid of losing control.
_2__ have a difficult time asking for what they need in bed.
_2___ withdraw emotionally from their partner.
_2___ feel sexual revulsion toward their partner.
_2__ don't talk about it.
_0__ force themselves to have sex, anyway.
_0__ reduce sex to a technical act.
_2__ wonder why they don't enjoy sex.
_2__ lose interest in sex.
_2__ make up reasons to abstain.
_2__ wish their sex partner would die, go away, or sense the codependent's feelings.
_2__ have strong sexual fantasies about other people.
_1__ consider or have an extramarital affair.

MISCELLANEOUS

Codependents tend to:
_2__ be extremely responsible.
_2__ be extremely irresponsible.
_2__ become martyrs, sacrificing their happiness and that of others for causes that don't require sacrifice.
_0__ find it difficult to feel close to people.
_0__ find it difficult to have fun and be spontaneous.
_0__ have an overall passive response to codependency-crying, hurt, helplessness.
_2__ have an overall aggressive response to codependency - violence, anger, dominance.
_2__ combine passive and aggressive responses.
_2__ vacillate in decisions and emotions.
_2__ laugh when they feel like crying.
_2__ stay loyal to their compulsions and people even when it hurts.
_2__ be ashamed about family, personal, or relationship problems.
_2__ be confused about the nature of the problem.
_1__ cover up, lie, and protect the problem.
_1__ not seek help because they tell themselves the problem isn't bad enough, or they aren't important enough.
_1__ wonder why the problem doesn't go away.

PROGRESSIVE

In the later, stages of codependency, codependents may:
_1__ feel lethargic.
_1__ feel depressed.
_1__ become withdrawn and isolated.
_2__ experience a complete loss of daily routine and structure.
_1__ abuse or neglect their children and other responsibilities.
_1__ feel hopeless.
_2__ begin to plan their escape from a relationship they feel trapped in.
_0__ think about suicide.
_0__ become violent.
_1__ become seriously emotionally, mentally, or physically ill.
_2__ experience an eating disorder (over- or under eating).
_0__ become addicted to alcohol and other drugs.

January 24, 2007
4:24 pm
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Yeeha! I did it. 🙂

If you don't have Codependent No More....

Check out NetLibrary.com

This is where I am reading it...you have to keep signing it to read if you take a break, but hey my library didn't have a hard copy...so no problemo with this if you have the internet. 🙂

January 24, 2007
4:30 pm
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Very proud of you. It is hard to do that list the first time I think. It takes a lot of soul searching and honesty for it to work right.

I remember thinking when I finished doing the same thing that you did "Oh my God--I am really screwed up." I felt overwhelmed a little bit.

But then I realized that if I continue working on some of these things little by little, eventually it won't be such a huge undertaking.

Thanks for putting that website on here too. Hopefully that info will help other visitors as well.

s2

January 24, 2007
4:44 pm
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How do you feel about changing yourself? What do you think would happen if you began to change? Do you think you can change?

I am excited to change myself because it is getting old an miserable and I want something else.

It might be uncomfortable to change, but I think I will get used to being the new me as akward and stumbly as I might be at first. I do think I can change because I think about my answers years or months ago and know some of the answers would be different.

So I have changed even if it is for better or for worse in some cases as my relationship with my husband has become worse and so have some of my thoughts, choices and feelings.

January 24, 2007
5:34 pm
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mj
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AG, YOU Rock!

So what is the secret to loggin on? You continue to teach this old dog new tricks!

Codependency affects families! The craziness we experience affects all of our relationships. I was starting again at the first of the book today. I am a highlighter. There were so many things that I had not seem before in the book before. MAYBE I wasn't ready to see them.

January 24, 2007
10:35 pm
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Hey all:

I didn't get thru the whole list. Went to see my gramma today. She will be 100 tomorrow. Anyway, I am comparing where I was in the bad relationsihp as to where I am now. So far the difference is huge. Am working on it and will return in just a bit.

January 25, 2007
11:39 am
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soprano2
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Mama--

I am looking forward to reading your list. It is going to be a great example of what can happen when you decide to make a change.

s2

January 25, 2007
12:33 pm
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How do you feel about changing yourself? I am ready for this change. I am 50 years old and do not want to spend the rest of my life like I have; to think of it is depressing enough.

What do you think would happen if you begin to change? I think I am going to have a lot of problems with my immediate family, especially my husband. They are very comfortable with their codependent mother and wife who does without to give them everything she can. I feel like I am in preparation for war with the few times I have taken baby steps to stand up for myself.

Do you think you can change? The thought of not changing brings me to tears. I have never had so much desire as I have had in the last 3-4 months. Guess I should think like that little train that could..."I think I can, I think I can..."

Army mentioned awareness. The more I become aware of how codependent I am, the more I know I need to change. I am realizing now that I am more codependent than I originally accepted. I finished my checklist...ooh the 2's....

I recommend that everyone do the checklist...it was a wakeup call for me...and yes, quite depressing.

But, there is hope; we can change!!!

January 25, 2007
8:32 pm
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Yes, We Can and we don't have to change alone. Tonight is the Book Study!!! I hope to attend!

January 25, 2007
10:29 pm
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Today when I summarized my characteristics, I had 18 2's! I am aware now and I accept that!

January 25, 2007
10:33 pm
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mj
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Is anyone else here for the book study tonight?

January 25, 2007
10:35 pm
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Hey MJ:

Just got signed on and am getting situated.

I'm here

January 25, 2007
10:36 pm
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mj
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🙂

January 25, 2007
10:39 pm
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Today I have identified some of my frequent codependent characteristics. The first step towards change is Awareness. The second step is Acceptance. My most predominate character defects/behaviors lie in the area of Weak Boundaries and Low Self-Worth.

Caretaking- I find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others, rather than injustices down to myself.

Ex. Growing up the youngest, I admired my older siblings. My sis was a grade ahead of me in school. She was overweight. I felt bad when she was teased and always jumped to her defense. I did this out of love.

Today I recognize this as codependent behavior. As an adult, I am still doing this 🙂 I need to learn that others are able to take care of themselves and this is a form of enabling. I need to trust in their ability to fight their own battles. I need to pick and choose my own battles. I am a very loyal friend. I don't want anyone hurting someone I care about. It is interesting that I can care about my friends injustices more than I can stand up for my own.

Next is the Low Self-Worth Characteristics.

Come from a troubled, repressed, or dysfunctional family.

Fear Rejection.

Take Things Personally.

Have been a victim of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, and alcoholism.

Feel like a Victim.

Tell myself that I can't do anything right.

Be Afraid of making mistakes.

Get artifical feelings of self-worth from helping others.

Try to prove I am good enough for others.

Repression Category: Push my thoughts and feelings out of my awareness because of fear and guilt.

Become afraid to let myself be who I am.

Weak Boundaries; I say I won't tolerate certain behaviors from other people then gradually increase my tolerance until I can tolerate and do things that I said I never would.

Let others hurt me. Keep letting people hurt me.

Lack of Trust: Don't trust other people.

Anger: Am frightened of other people's anger.

January 25, 2007
10:44 pm
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MJ: Great posting. You took a real hard look at yourself. That is obvious. Also, I think you did great at identifying and putting a solution to things.

January 25, 2007
10:47 pm
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mj
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Thanks MamaCinnamon

How are you doing with yours?

January 25, 2007
10:48 pm
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I almost have my list completed. Just the last 2 subjects to complete. I am working on mine as in when I was married to evil x and now. I'll be right w/ you. My sis just got here to pick up her kids.

🙂

Excuse the interruption please.

January 25, 2007
10:49 pm
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Ok

January 25, 2007
10:54 pm
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Is anyone else here to participate this evening?

January 25, 2007
10:58 pm
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I'm here, had problem with the keyboard. Don'[t know why they keep disconnecting the wire from the computer. Anyways I happened to have an old keyboard!!! Yea I can type.

Give me a sec to catch up..

January 25, 2007
11:02 pm
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Glad you came armyleo!

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