Are you co-dependent?
by N J Howell
How do we allow those we love to be responsible for their life choices without feeling we are abandoning them?
Related Inner Child Healing Articles:
Releasing Rejection and Abandonment Fears
Expressing Anger in a Progressive Way
One of the byproducts of growing up in a dysfunctional home is that, as children, we often feel responsible for things that are not at all our responsibility.
This is especially true if there is an alcoholic parent, as there was in my own case, or if there is mental imbalance in one or both parents.
When divorce happens, children often feel they must choose between their father and mother. Parents who are less than healthy themselves may intensify this struggle for their children without knowing they are doing so, if there are battles over childcare and child support.
What is co-dependency?
According to the The National Mental Health Association, Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another.
It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual's ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship.
Co-dependence is also known as "relationship addiction" because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive.
The emotional and mental state which is known as co-dependency was first given a name as the result of years of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics.
This imbalance of responsibility is learned. We learn to be co-dependent and to take responsibility for others by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior.
How do you know if you are co-dependent? One of the best ways to tell is to pay attention to how often during the day you are focused on someone else and concerned about them, feeling you must do something about or for them.
If you are often called on to sort out problems that are someone elses, this is another signal. You feel obligated to help even though part of you knows the situation was created by the other person and not your responsibility.
You may also feel that, if you don't take care of the other person, something terrible will happen to them and then it will be your fault.
If you feel you may be dealing with codependency issues, seek help through mental health counseling.
Holistically, I'd recommend inner child healing, cellular release work, Reiki and other holistic wellbeing modalities as adjunctive therapies because they provide safe, sacred space for you to retrieve those innocent parts of your life and bring them back to wholeness.
Emotional Health Disclaimer: The information on healing the inner child presented in this mental health / emotional healing article is not intended to take the place of needed counseling of medication. If you have, or suspect you have, childhood abuse issues, or emotional trauma from your past that is affecting your present, please consult with your chosen healthcare professional, to assess your needs with regard to emotional health and mental well-being.