I was talking to Dave and Triple_Phoenix last night about co-dependency and isolation, because all of us have experience with both and Dave is still involved in a deeply co-dependent relationship with his girldriend, although I have to admit he's improved his circumstances a lot, considering how bad they were just two years ago, but there's still huge room for improvement. Two years ago he couldn't do anything with me without being manipulated in to a huge, screaming, emotionally draining argument by S, his girlfriend, but he's worked with her enough that he can actually do things with us again; still, I suggest that he go to therapy without her, since she refuses to go to therapy, so that he can better deal with their lingering issues, although I doubt that he will, because he just doesn't seem ready for that. If nothing else I'm thankful that the emotional abuse in their relationship has mellowed to the point that S is no longer isolating Dave from half of his friends. I'd love to be able to get to know their daughter better, too, but I don't think that will be able to happen unless S does finally go to therapy or they separate.

Isolation can also be healthy, like when we limit ourselves to a certain genre of art or music for a while or use it to escape from the everyday and connect with ourselves again. After all, Aborigine and Japanese culture wouldn't have developed their most unique customs and beliefs if not for their isolation, voluntary and involuntary, respectively. However, isolation should always come to an end, I believe, because we can only come so far without exploring new concepts and influences.

My mom was raised in a very co-dependent way, which she has overcome a great deal, although obviously not completely, and she raised me to be as far from co-dependent as she was able, but I still have co-dependent tendencies with which I struggle. Carl does, too, especially when it comes to not being able to express or understand what he's feeling, which gives me a lot of control that I don't really want, because I'm naturally controlling. I think it helps to be aware of it, but it's really frustrating to have something I'm trying to overcome that my friends and family just go along with for their own co-dependent reasons.

http://www.codependents.org/foundation-docs-patterns.php

From: [identity profile] whatgiraffe.livejournal.com


Thank you for posting this. Something I struggle with is my co-depedency, emotionally controlling side. I am glad to hear things are going better for S - it is a slow process.

From: [identity profile] perfectcherry.livejournal.com


You're very welcome! If my introspection and navelgazing can help anyone along on their own self-help journey, I'm thrilled. :)

From: [identity profile] chickbrarian.livejournal.com


Honestly, I am exhausted by trying to work on co-dependency. I feel like it's bigger than I am and so much part of my personality that I don't know who I am without it.

And my boundaries are so poor that I feel like it's easier for me to avoid people all together.

I can't trust myself to be honest about what I need or to look out for myself. I sell myself out all the time. :/

From: [identity profile] perfectcherry.livejournal.com


"I sell myself out all the time."

I tend to do this most when I'm dealing with authority figures, especially men, so I really have to watch myself; I can't even imagine doing something like shopping for a car or appliances by myself, because I get so damn eager to agree with the salesman! Oddly enough, I'm the "bad cop" if I go with someone else and don't succumb to this bizarre tendency.

Co-dependency is hard, but you'll get to a healthier place as long as you keep working on it. I don't necessarily consider myself co-dependent anymore, but I do still have some lingering co-dependency issues, so I guess I'm a work in progress.

I hope you won't isolate yourself too much while you're intensely working through your co-denpendency issues, because you're a very cool person and just from reading your LJ I feel you have a lot to offer others, but you're absolutely right about the importance of having good boundaries.
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