Posts Tagged ‘codependent’


https://applyingmybeliefs.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/relapse-for-the-codependent/

by applyingmybeliefs

Relapse for an addict is relatively easy to understand.  It is a reversion to the old coping mechanisms such as drinking, drugging, or otherwise acting out.  This reversion is usually preceded by some form of negative mental state, painful emotions, or difficulty in a life situation.

Relapse for a codependent is the same.  They experience a hard time in life, a negative thought life or emotional pain, and they start to act out.  However their acting out looks somewhat different to an alcoholic or drug addict, because they revert back to behaviors that are sometimes difficult to spot.  They re-indulge in controlling others and neglecting their own needs for example.

For a codependent that lives with an addict, the relapse of their addict is highly likely to trigger a relapse.  Both partners are then caught in a spiral downward.  This is one reason that it is smart for addicts and codependents to both be part of a larger recovery group or program.

We have already said that it is hard for a person, let alone the codependent, to see when they are slipping back into their old ways.  How can a codependent identify when this might be happening?  Here is a list of “I” statements that are helpful in becoming aware of a slide that is in place; or one that is coming.

  • I’ve started saying bad things again about my partner behind their back.
  • I’ve stopped giving my partner the benefit of the doubt.
  • I’ve lost interest in doing the things I know make my partner happy.
  • I’ve stopped hugging my partner goodbye in the morning.
  • I’ve stopped using my recovery tools.
  • I’ve stopped feeling grateful for my partner.
  • I’ve gone back to indifference in my attitude to my partner.
  • I’ve become rude toward my partner.
  • I’ve reverted back to trying to control everything my partner does.
  • I’ve stopped taking care of myself.
  • I’ve started to break promises I made to my partner.

If a codependent finds themselves in agreement with say 3 or more of these statements an orange warning light ought to go off in their head, 7 or more ought to result in a trip back to the therapist.

This kind of list, if honestly worked through on a frequent basis, can help a codependent identify when something is going wrong.  The list is a tool, it is a “symptom identifier”, a way of discovering that something is happening inside that is not easily seen.  It uses affirmative answers to ask the question, “Am I being triggered toward a relapse by something?”

As a topic today, let’s talk about our own emotional relapses as codependents and answer the question, “What else can a codependent do to protect themselves from going back to their self-centered and relationship destructive ways?”

 


https://applyingmybeliefs.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/codependents-and-boundary-violations/
by applyingmybeliefs

(Authors’s note – Although this is not overtly Christian, godly principles are embedded in it.  This is going to be included in my Christian support group topic book when I finish it.)

One of the ways a person can know they struggle with codependency is by how people treat them.  A characteristic of a codependent person is that they are frequently having their personal boundaries violated, broken, and ignored by those around them.  This is especially true if the codependent is in relationship with a highly compulsive person or an addict.

Here is a long list of ways a person can thoroughly disrespect and take advantage of codependents:

  • They won’t let you get a word in edgewise in conversation.
  • They sometimes threaten to break up the relationship.
  • They seem to always change the subject of a conversation.
  • They throw objects against the wall.
  • They abuse you psychologically or physically.
  • They roll their eyes when you speak.
  • They mock you sometimes, even in public.
  • They frequently sulk or frown.
  • They are often condescending or patronizing.
  • They laugh at you, not with you.
  • They shut you off in mid-conversation.
  • They often act confused at the things you say.
  • They recall your past as a weapon against you.
  • They accuse you of being oversensitive.
  • They accuse you of being controlling.
  • They bully you from time-to-time.
  • They ask you to stop talking or shut-up.
  • They overtly sigh, making sure you hear it.
  • They beg you to stay when they are afraid you’ll leave.
  • They falsely accuse you of things.
  • They don’t want you to go anywhere without them.
  • They throw physical or psychological tantrums.

Before a codependent is in recovery they may have accepted any or all of this list as normal, and gone along with them by changing their behavior to suit the person they are with.  Once a codependent starts to get healthy, these behaviors from a partner or friend start to appear as what they are, violations of a person’s boundaries.  At his point the codependent finally comes face to face with the results of their own dysfunction.

Discuss if you connect with any of the boundary breaking statements we’ve listed.  Maybe you’ve received or maybe you’ve made them, or maybe you just realized the you must be a codependent at some level.

 


Usually adult males who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they choose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them. If the first woman they passionately loved, the mother, was not true to her bond of love, then how can they trust that their partner will be true to love. Often in their adult relationships these men act out again and again to test their partner’s love. While the rejected adolescent boy imagines that he can no longer receive his mother’s love because he is not worthy, as a grown man he may act out in ways that are unworthy and yet demand of the woman in his life that she offer him unconditional love. This testing does not heal the wound of the past, it merely reenacts it, for ultimately the woman will become weary of being tested and end the relationship, thus reenacting the abandonment. This drama confirms for many men that they cannot put their trust in love. They decide that it is better to put their faith in being powerful, in being dominant. Bell Hooks

Sometimes we have to
behave indifferent towards
people who proclaim
their love for us,
just to see if they
are really different.
Michael Bassey Johnson


Relationships can break your connection to your family. Relationships can be the ultimate symbol of growing up. They represent starting our own lives as independent, autonomous individuals. This development can also represent a parting from our family. Much like breaking from an old identity, this separation isn’t physical. It doesn’t mean literally giving up our family, but rather letting go on an emotional level – no longer feeling like a kid and differentiating from the more negative dynamics that plagued our early relationships and shaped our identity. Love stirs up existential fears. The more we have, the more we have to lose. The more someone means to us, the more afraid we are of losing that person. When we fall in love, we not only face the fear of losing our partner, but we become more aware of our mortality. Our life now holds more value and meaning, so the thought of losing it becomes more frightening. In an attempt to cover over this fear, we may focus on more superficial concerns, pick fights with our partner or, in extreme cases, completely give up the relationship. We are rarely fully aware of how we defend against these existential fears. We may even try to rationalize to ourselves a million reasons we shouldn’t be in the relationship. However, the reasons we give may have workable solutions, and what’s really driving us are those deeper fears of loss. Most relationships bring up an onslaught of challenges. Getting to know our fears of intimacy and how they inform our behavior is an important step to having a fulfilling, long-term relationship. These fears can be masked by various justifications for why things aren’t working out—but we may be surprised to learn about all of the ways that we self-sabotage when we get close to someone else. By getting to know ourselves, we give ourselves the best chance of finding and maintaining lasting love.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201401/7-reasons-most-people-are-afraid-love
Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone at
http://www.psychalive.org/author/dr-lisa-firestone/

In the arithmetic of love,
one plus one equals everything,
and two minus one equals nothing.
Mignon McLaughlin


Real love makes us feel vulnerable. A new relationship is uncharted territory, and most of us have natural fears of the unknown. Letting ourselves fall in love means taking a real risk. We are placing a great amount of trust in another person, allowing them to affect us, which makes us feel exposed and vulnerable. Our core defenses are challenged. Any habits we’ve long had that allow us to feel self-focused or self-contained start to fall by the wayside. We tend to believe that the more we care, the more we can get hurt. When we enter into a relationship, we are rarely fully aware of how we’ve been impacted by our history. The ways we were hurt in previous relationships, starting from our childhood, have a strong influence on how we perceive the people we get close to as well as how we act in our romantic relationships. Old, negative dynamics may make us wary of opening ourselves up to someone new. We may steer away from intimacy, because it stirs up old feelings of hurt, loss, anger or rejection. As Dr. Pat Love said in an interview with PsychAlive, “when you long for something, like love, it becomes associated with pain,” the pain you felt at not having it in the past.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201401/7-reasons-most-people-are-afraid-love Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone at http://www.psychalive.org/author/dr-lisa-firestone/

Love takes off masks
that we fear we
cannot live without
and know we cannot
live within.
James Arthur Baldwin


This is the finale of the previous two Anakin Skywalker movies, Star Wars: The Fall and Star Wars: Tribulation.  One of the most fundamental items to understand about the Star Wars Saga is that it is not just a battle between rebels and an empire, it is all about the redemption of one man, Anakin Skywalker. 

The Star Wars Saga was probably one of the best film series ever created and had an amazing recovery theme.  Below is a short summary of the overall movie from Wikipedia:

Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of various characters “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, mostly involving, but not limited to, the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker.

In this final part of the Star Wars Redemption Trilogy, we see Darth Vader continue to struggle with the fact that he has a son and the Emperor (the addiction) wants to cause harm to his son after years of tormenting Darth Vader.  Many of us in recovery have felt the Holy Spirit speak to us about our children and the effects that our addiction had on them.  For Darth Vader, it is just the same.  A struggle continues inside of Darth Vader.  He knows he has lost a lot to the Dark Side, his first master, Qui-Gon Jinn murdered by a Sith, his mother, Schmi Skywalker murdered by evil Sand People, and even his wife, Padmé Amedala who dies from a broken heart after Anakin chooses the Dark Side.  Now there is a possibility of losing his son Luke to the Dark Side, aka the unhealthy lifestyle.  Will he draw the line and say this problem ends with him, or will he allow the addiction to continue and pass on to his son?  Can someone so vile and evil be redeemed or is he destined to live a life of anger and rage?

One of the things I explain to my daughters is that my own personal story is a lot like Anakin Skywalker’s.  A lot of bad stuff happened to me when I was a child that formed me into an unhealthy individual that made a lot of bad choices.  For 30 years, I was involved in unhealthy behaviors.  But like Anakin, I was redeemed from my past with the help of the “Son” Jesus Christ and now do good for the Lord.  My small children seem to understand this and have compassion on Darth Vader rather than fear him.  Maybe we should all have compassion on those that have fallen into the pit.  After all, if I, “Darth Vader” can be redeemed than anyone can.  I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I enjoyed creating it.  As always, take what you like and leave the rest.

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for purposes such as criticism, comment, teaching, & education, etc. This constitutes a ’fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED! All trademarks and copyrights remain the property of their owners.


This is a continuation of the previous Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader movie, Star Wars: The Fall.  One of the most fundamental items to understand about the Star Wars Saga is that it is not just a battle between rebels and an empire, it is all about the redemption of one man, Anakin Skywalker. 

The Star Wars Saga was probably one of the best film series ever created and had an amazing recovery theme.  Below is a short summary of the overall movie from Wikipedia:

Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas. It depicts the adventures of various characters “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, mostly involving, but not limited to, the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker.

In this part of the Star Wars Redemption Trilogy, we see Darth Vader begin to struggle with the fact that he has a son and the Emperor (the addiction) wants to cause harm to his son.  Many of us in recovery have felt the Holy Spirit speak to us about our children and the effects that our addiction had on them.  For Darth Vader, it is just the same.  A struggle begins inside of Darth Vader causing him great internal suffering or tribulation.  Another part of this movie is where Luke Skywalker trains in the ways of the Force in order to be able to “fight” Darth Vader, but more importantly in order to help Darth Vader turn back to the Light Side of the Force.  Yoda is introduced in this movie as the “ultra sponsor” that helps Luke work his own recovery steps so that he can later help his father, Anakin Skywalker, through his own recovery program and ultimate redemption by the Lord.

I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I enjoyed creating it.  As always, take what you like and leave the rest.

 

FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for purposes such as criticism, comment, teaching, & education, etc. This constitutes a ’fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED! All trademarks and copyrights remain the property of their owners.