I was on a website trying, as I have been for what seems like eons, to work out what is wrong with me. My activity here today is the culmination of that work with this being my first story here.
I found an immense list of characteristics of codependent people (http://www.drirene.com/codepend1.htm) but I will list here the ones with greater interest and/or significance to me (although I could tick nearly every single one in the list):
- Come from troubled, repressed, or dysfunctional families.
- Deny their family was troubled, repressed or dysfunctional.
- Have been victims of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, or alcoholism.
- Check on people.
- Try to control events and people through helplessness, guilt, coercion, threats, advice-giving, manipulation, or domination.
- Eventually fail in their efforts or provoke people's anger.
- Tell themselves things will be better tomorrow.
- Feel terribly threatened by the loss of any thing or person they think proves their happiness.
- Tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.
- Ask for what they want and need indirectly --- sighing, for example.
- Gauge their words carefully to achieve a desired effect.
- Try to say what they think will please people.
- Try to say what they think will provoke people.
- Try to say what they hope will make people do what they want them to do.
- Say they won't tolerate certain behaviors from other people.
- Gradually increase their tolerance until they can tolerate and do things they said they would never do.
- Let others hurt them.
- Are afraid of their own anger.
- Are frightened of other people's anger.
- Cry a lot, get depressed, overact, get sick, do mean and nasty things to get even, act hostile, or have violent temper outbursts.
- Have sex when they'd rather be held, nurtured, and loved.
- Combine passive and aggressive responses.
- Vacillate in decisions and emotions.
I find this interesting because I have always considered myself to be an extremely self-aware person.
I am strong, independent, loving and generally optimistic.
Now I am realising that many of my problems are related to this codependency and seriously passive-aggressive behaviour. It's no wonder I've spent my entire adult life being unhappy.
Well. At least I can start working on it now. I wanted to go to counselling but I just can't afford it. I'm going to a meeting of Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) next week and I will see if I think it will help me learn to correct my behaviour.
All I know is my relationships are perilously screwed and I'm on the verge of chucking myself under a bus, so something needs to be done.
I'm glad I found this website today.