Codependency

It’s amazing what you learn when you do a bit of research.  I always thought codependency was when two people in a relationship were so dependent on each other that they were willing to put up with just about any unhealthy behavior, simply for the sake of being together.

Apparently, this is not the case, and apparently, I have problems with this.

From the Codependency Wiki:

“Codependency or codependence is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one’s needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.  Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including in families, at work, in friendships, and also in romantic, peer or community relationships.  Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, and/or control patterns.”

Denial patterns:

  • I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
  • I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
  • I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.

Low self-esteem patterns:

  • I have difficulty making decisions.
  • I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never “good enough.”
  • I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
  • I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
  • I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
  • I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.

Compliance patterns:

  • I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger.
  • I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
  • I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
  • I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
  • I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
  • I accept sex when I want love.

Control patterns:

  • I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
  • I attempt to convince others of what they “should” think and how they “truly” feel.
  • I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
  • I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
  • I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
  • I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
  • I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others.

I exhibit about 95% of these behaviors.

Mine stems from my abuse, just like everything else, it seems.  It’s really frustrating to go through this recovery process, and find out how much my abusers really messed me up.  How people can have such little regard for the long-term effects of their abusive behavior is beyond me.  But then again, if they were any kind of decent human beings, they wouldn’t be abusive in the first place.

I guess I’ll just keep adding to my list of things I need to fix.  I think I need to find a good therapist.

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