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
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