Way back when the ex and I went to marriage counseling, our first counselor gave me a book titled “Codependent No More.” At the time I didn’t see a whole lot of myself in the book. Sure, there was a thing or two I could relate to but as far as my marriage went, I didn’t relate to the book.
Fast forward a couple of years and I’m beginning to reexamine that notion. And it’s scary.
– Feel most comfortable when they are giving
– Find needy people to take care of
– Try to please others instead of themselves
– Have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility
– Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem
– Wonder why people don’t do for them
– Feel victimized by the “selfishness” of others
– Try to be all things to all people all the time
– Have difficulty saying “no” and/or setting boundaries
– Feel empty and bored when they are not involved in a crisis
– Seek out chaos and then complain about it
– Get angry when somebody refuses their help or doesn’t take their advice
– Tend of have a self-esteem that is connected to “doing”
– Try to prove that they are good enough to be loved
– Are afraid of making mistakes
– Are easily offended by other’s “rudeness” or “insincerity” or “uncaring attitude”
– Can become self-righteous with phrases like “I would NEVER do that….”
– Try to be perfect, and expect others to be perfect
– Have self-blame and put themselves down
– Must be in control at all times
I took the liberty of making all the ones I relate to bold. I’ve often referred to myself as a “caretaker” and while I find a lot of pride in my ability to respond to the needs of others, I wonder if the reasoning behind it is a need to fulfill my own self worth. I also struggle with the idea that I am worthy of being loved. Love seems a difficult subject for me. I don’t always feel like I deserve it and I always feel as though one wrong move could lead to the end of a relationship. I put a lot of pressure on myself, feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility for nearly everything (especially at work), and I try to be perfect. I also have this habit of taking charge of everything I have my hands in. If I’m not going to be in control of it, I usually take a very minimal role.
I don’t know if these things mean I have some of the signs of being codependent or if they mean I have some personality traits that are compatible with being codependent. I just know that, when it comes to a romantic relationship, I like being able to take care of someone, and I am constantly surprised when I find they want to give something back to me.
Whatever the case, this is the issue I’m currently mulling over in my head. Being more aware can’t hurt, right? In the meantime I am going out of town to celebrate the arrival of my new nephew who is entering the world via scheduled c-section tomorrow morning. I am super excited!
Is anyone out there codependent? Does anyone else out there suspect they are? Anybody working through it?