Chapter 4 has me excited to continue this book Going to post my take on Part I next.
Book discussion: "Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself"
Skipping Chpt. 1…
Chpt. 2 I identified/related most to Patty and Kristen’s stories. I can see myself in Patty before and after marriage and motherhood and Kristen growing up as kid/teen. “Good ol’ dependable Patty, always there, in control and ready to help”, but feeling depressed and falling apart inside due to many reasons… her life before and now- struggling with caregiver fatigue. Always carrying guilt and feeling like she should be able to solve her own problems. Kristen in losing herself in people and feeling responsible for everyone’s emotions and feelings around her. I think this stems from me being raised by a single parent who struggled with untreated depression. There were times I took it personally/couldn’t do anything to help.
Chpt. 3 Although there are several definitions listed on Codependency I agree most with what was quoted on pg. 30, 3rd paragraph “an emotional, psychological, and behavioral condition that develops as a result of an individual’s prolonged exposure to, and practice of, a set of oppressive rules-rules which prevent the open expression of feelings as well the direct discussion of personal and interpersonal problems.” This hits home when I think of being raised by a parent of a certain religion (not gonna say which, but I’m sure you can guess). In this religion personal problems were/are handled a certain way, but because my mom was declared from this religion, we had to disconnect from the “church” and all relatives involved. It was heart breaking and personal struggles got worse and were never addressed, etc. This was miserable and fueled my anxiety for many, many years.
Chpt. 4 “… first step toward change is awareness. The second is acceptance.” When reading the codependent characteristics, I was able to mark several (understatement) that are either occasional or frequent problems for me. I’ll share some of these as it applies to each chapter moving forward. Was happy/relieved to read on this last page of this chapter that getting back from codependency is more liberating than grueling compared to other types of recovery. YAY. lol
I was exposed to a religion that was not mainstream, per se, as a child that I somehow felt I needed to hide from the world/was judged for being a part of through no fault of my own. I still identify with it from a certain value perspective but find it also generally oppressive. Man, I didn’t even think of it until you posted this!! I feel in general most religion is oppressive in some way, especially for women. Women as servants = co-dependent? Hmm.
Growing up I would have never told anyone for that reason, so I always identified as “undecided” or “spiritual” or just avoided the subject all together, because it gave me such bad anxiety. This group was extremely aggressive, had so much control over its members and negatively affected my family’s life for such a long time. It was crazy.
Hi friends. Status check - how is everyone getting on?
All the copies at my local library were checked out with multiple holds still placed on them
I’ll start the second part today
I’m waiting for folks to catch up, I blew through the second part already. I am LOVING this book, and the discussions thus far.
I can scan pages and send to you. DM me your contact info.
I’m just reading people’s reflections. For now, feels like that’s all I can do.
Whoa whoa whoa, part II (have read through ch. 9 so far) is so illuminating, I felt like I wanted to eat the book lolol. The patterns described, the “victim” mentality … oh the drama. So many lightbulbs going off. I’m trying to suss out the “living centered in myself” concept - most “centering yourself” advice focuses on in the moment techniques vs. lifestyle. I suppose I should continue reading lol
Hahahahahaha. So many lolz.
Last night I listened to a couple more chapters, made some notes and plan to continue this weekend and then give some more reflections.
Aaaaaand I hyperventilated this morning, definitely due to yesterdays weirdness with the mirror effect. I’m codependent because in part, I grew up with a raging alcoholic. He would always drink, and every single day there was hostility. He would get angry for no reason. I grew up thinking every suffering was my fault, and I was responsible for solving problems. Today, I have an acute ability to read non-verbals because I used to be able to read them to survive anger, threats. I solve some complexe problems because problems don’t frighten me (except my own, I’m not that skilled yet).
But, I’m also intimidating because this has also been a survival technique. I’m smart, fast and think quick. I assume, protect and would go at great lengths to protect. Essentially, I’m doing what I would have needed. I needed protection* affection, support and safety. I did not have this growing up.
I also repulse, I call on behavior I don’t want from others, I’m burned by taking on so much responsibility, I’m hurting at the heart. Honestly, I’m the softest person inside, who just wants peace on Earth, kindness & love. But I have not gotten this, and still get the type of treatment I don’t want. To say the least, I’m confused, sad.
This is not a victim post, I just needed to write this out. Figure it out.
First I write this, then I want to relate to book. I just needed a space to write. It’s all rooted in codependency…
I think what happened with that woman really got to you. How she feels about you (and most likely it was something else going on with her tbh and she was taking it out on you) does not determine your worth. Your opinions, feelings, sense of self, right to happiness, are not any less valid because she doesn’t see in the same way you do. Her experiences have made her how she is today and yours have done the same.
I think now that you have more awareness and stability of who you are as a person, this will give you the confidence to grow from the situation, but not let it define you.
I really appreciate you sharing your story about this woman… It’s made me do a lot of reflecting, so thank you.
Well, last night I downloaded the audio book. I started listening today. Just now I went for a walk to the post office and I heard the first story…Jessica.
I started crying. I AM Jessica. Okay, I’m not a SAHM and my husband is not an alcoholic (though I would call him a workaholic…maybe that is similar?), but every feeling she described was exactly what I have been feeling…for years. I found myself at the post office at the mall holding back my tears. I can’t believe all this time I never realised my feelings were so common…and also so wrong. I felt like I was entitled to be angry with everyone because I WAS doing so much for them all with not a thank you in return. I even gave a sob when she talked about not letting her son go to the park but then giving in “like she always did”. DAMMIT!!
I never really would have thought as myself as a codependent because I don’t feel like I’m actually trying to “control” others like the title says. I’m also not married to the alcoholic…which so often seems to be the person they are talking about. But I do try to “fix” everything at home. I yell at the kids all the time to clean up because “your daddy’s is going to be home at any time and he’ll be so angry if he sees this mess”. I guess that is my “controlling”. I’m trying to control HIS moods by trying to make home time the least stressful time of his day…and then I resent him for it.
I’m still listening to the stories so I don’t know what it is I should do yet. Every story seems to indicate I should go to al anon which won’t really apply to me. Maybe there is an al anon for workaholics??? Definitly I need therapy.
Curious, how common is it that the codependent IS the alcoholic??? While I know I’ve ALWAYS had an addictive personality and I was drinking in an unhealthy manner before I even MET my husband, I do think that my resentment towards him often is what leads me to the “fuck it, I’m going to drink”. Sometimes to numb the feelings, sometimes to get even with him.
Hey lady. Just keep listening and keep absorbing. No need to do anything yet. The answers will present themselves at the right time. When I first read this book it was so shocking to me as I had NO IDEA. it took me a while to just absorb and process wtf was going on.