Did you find yourself nodding in agreement?
Do you see yourself in those questions? Are you saying, "oh yeah, that's me!"?
If so, you've been coping in your relationships through codependency.
What is codependency?
I define it as: defining one's value based through the eyes of another.
The codependent only values themselves as much as another values them. They haven't been taught to see and feel their own brilliance and worth. This is not surprising considering that they've only been valued for what they do. Its rare they've experienced being valued for their presence or existence.
Codependency is also not an identity. You're not codependent because of who you are. You developed codependent habits to survive neglect and abuse. Its a result of your brilliance and deep attentiveness. Its most literally a coping mechanism that helped you get through deep pain and abandonment.
Codependency is a result of childhood emotional neglect and profound rejection. The child experiences their needs, wants, boundaries, values, and sense of self as being a burden, being unwanted, and ultimately only useful in the service of someone else's needs. The very essence of who they are is rejected by the first, most important source of identity in their lives: their parents.
This occurs when the parents are absorbed in their worlds to the extent that they cannot see the child in their unique individuality. Instead, the toxic parent "parentifies" the child, giving them responsibility and expectations that the child cannot realistically fulfill.
The child quickly discovers that when they properly anticipate the needs of the toxic parent, they get an emotional reward through the parent's approval, attention, and validation. This begins to teach the child that their worth is in what they produce, not in who they are.
The child starts to model this in their friendships and later in their intimate and romantic relationships.
The inner child is starved for nourishing love, meaning, and belonging. They act out by rescuing others, fixing others, and care-taking. When they grow too close to another, though, they paradoxically withdrawal. Their internalized shame from their childhood experiences threatens them with further rejection. This is why codependent adults choose partners that they feel they can fix and rescue and avoid the discomfort and "boredom" of healthy partners.
The narcissistic predators in the world are keen on such persons. They know that love-bombing the codependent will cause the codependent to feel euphoric and to chemically bond with them. The codependent will finally be feeling loved, seen, adored, and appreciated (they're greatest dream!). This sets them up to experience the rejection they've been running from since childhood.
It takes a combination of bring closure to the unresolved rejection and neglect and living from a new framework that empowers your natural happiness and belonging.
If codependency is giving up who you are and what you want and need in order to get love, interdependency is standing in who you are and getting your needs and wants fulfilled in safe, reciprocal connections.
Achieving this requires a deliberate, simple, and flexible framework to handling life. This framework I call, "The 10 Laws of Thriving Beyond Codependent Coping and Narcissistic Abuse".
These Laws empower you in:
The 10 Laws came from my personal journey out of codependent coping and into interdependent, thriving connection with others. Adopting the 10 Laws requires a commitment to experiment and exploration of the outcomes of new action, new thinking, and new feeling.
Take your next step in thriving beyond codependency by the Blueprint (its free!) below:
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