From a codependent perspective, one’s worth is dependent on what an external authority or person says or does, or doesn’t say or do. Sometimes the codependent brain makes everyone an equal authority on their worth. Sometimes it narrows it down to one person (often “the one” person they feel destined to be loved by).
This is because the codependent brain distrusts its own sense of reality and perception of self. This distrust and self-doubt was taught to the codependent through gaslighting, punishment and harm. These responses happened when the pre-codependent brain trusted itself and questioned the other person.
Those acts of abuse and harm caused the person to question and doubt their perception, their feelings, and their legitimacy. This is where the person lost their sense of self-trust. They had to in order to feel safe and preserve connection (this is known as the fawn response).
To fill that vacuum, the brain looked outward towards others. This is how it became other-oriented rather than self-trusting and self-aware.
You see, we are born trusting ourselves. Its our first natural state. We didn’t question our impulse to cry or to laugh or to try to wiggle, crawl, walk, or put that rock in one’s mouth. We just did it.
Self-trust is natural. Self-doubt is taught.
You were taught, by experience, to doubt yourself, your innate value, your very experience and existence – especially if you suffered through abuse and neglect.
Now, the work is to begin to trust, bit by bit, your experience, its legitimacy, and its value.
I started with trusting that the reactions I felt towards trusting myself were legitimate and valid and real. This is where I started experiencing my sense of value again.When I value my pain, I value me.
It happened this way for me because I believed my pain and hurt to be signals of being flawed, worthless, selfish, and wrong.
Now I am my pain’s ally, guide, and caregiver. I trust deeply the validity and legitimacy of all my pain – even when it doesn’t appear to make sense.
My fellow survivors, consider trusting, just for now, that your pain is legit and valid. What shifts when you do?