Part of my codependency was the habit of “prevention”.
This habit is a fawn response tangled a bit with flight and fight, depending on the situation.
Prevention is all about doing whatever one thinks will stop the scary, startling, harmful things from happening again.
This is where people-pleasing behaviors emerge. This is where hyper-vigilance takes the wheel. This is where the low hum of anticipatory anxiety shows up.
For me, it would show up like this:
1) Cleaning the home before they get back so my step-mother and father would be “pleased” and there would be no yelling, screaming, or accusations
2) Trying to get all the right answers in school so the teacher wouldn’t be “disappointed” and scold me for “not doing my best”
3) Trying to be invisible around my peers so they wouldn’t make fun of me or bully me
4) Staying to myself, in my room, so I wouldn’t accidentally upset the parents
“Prevention” taught me to try to control outcomes so I could feel “safe”. Yet, there is no safety in a place where you have to control outcomes. Safety is the opposite of that.
Real safety is found in relationships, environments, and internal states where the outcome is not a concern; we’re held in warmth, care and regard for our well-being. We’re seen and valued as a person, not a product or utility. We experience the shelter of interdependence.
As I’ve healed the traumas of being unsheltered and unhomed, the prevention impulse has been a honest challenge to get to know, to allow it to take up space, and to allow all that energy to thaw through expansion and contraction (fun with pedulation!).
Trusting the legitimacy of my prevention impulse and its brilliance has helped bring it home into the warmth of my inner unconditional embrace. THIS IS NOT EASY.
Unconditional embrace is a result of pure orientation to the part that is expressing the sensations and feelings. This space is simply me embracing the part without any agenda or end in mind.
That trust in its legitimacy makes this step so much easier.
This is where the prevention impulse starts to reveal itself as the small boy who wanted to play, be cantankerous, mischievous, and darling. This is what emerges when you allow your inner protectors to give up that job and come back to their natural purpose.
What you will find as your body re-learns its natural purposes is that all those painful parts are also the parts of you that you’ve been seeking all this time.
This is why I approach healing codependency from self-trust, personal legitimacy, and innate value. They reveal the true nature of our beingness.