I thought I was going to write two articles on codependency, but I think I need to write at least three. So here is part two of our three part series. I am going to deal with how a codependent reacts to situations they are in and why. Maybe, just maybe, I can help you learn to live with the codependent person you are living with.
Codependent people have two very distinct personality traits: controlling individuals with unreasonable reactions to situations. Usually their reaction is so out of line, of course they are overreacting, because they had no control over the situation. We already know how codependents become the way they are. Somewhere along the way, when they were children they were not getting the love, approval and emotional security they needed. They were failed and have spent a lifetime searching for acceptance and beating anyone who got in the way on their path on their journey to find the one person or persons that could feed their inner child the love, and nurturing they so crave and need! You see living with an alcoholic creates emotionally insecure people and turns them into victims. Not just alcoholics, any type of serious dysfunction and abuse.
Here is a list of controlling traits that a codependent exhibits right out of the book titled, Codependent No More.
Many codependents have:
-lived through events and with people that were out of control, causing the codependent sorrow and disappointment
-become afraid to let other people be who they are and allow events to happen naturally
-don’t see or deal with their fear of loss of control
-think they know best how things should turn out and how people should behave
-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
-feel controlled by events and people
Before I go on I have to say something in defense of the codependent. The mistake the codependent seems to make over and over again is they seem to get themselves in relationships where they have to rescue, nurture, love, and save the alcoholic or abuser. They don’t usually pick normal mates. They have to be with someone that needs rescuing. Once they rescue them, they want to control them, and when the victim won’t be controlled, the codependent reacts in anger and resentment. It is a viscous cycle the codependent gets themselves in. Until the codependent learns to love themselves they will continue to have relationships with people they can manipulate and control. It is what they are used to. With that being said, if you are “normal” and don’t need rescuing and you are in a relationship with a codependent, unless you want to help this person through therapy and figure out how to live normally, get out now!
Ok, with that being said I will use myself as an example with the scenario I will give you. I lived through much sorrow and disappointment like many of you out there. I have a hard time letting events happen naturally. What if the event that I should just let happen naturally didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to? If I just let life happen that means I am not in control and things can turn out in a bad way! That loss of control over the situation causes me great anxiety and pressure on my heart and soul. In my mind I truly believe I know how the situation should turn out and how the person that is involved in the event should behave! If things start to get out of control what am I to do? I will become helpless, I will guilt you into seeing it my way, I will threaten to walk out on you, I will tell why you need to do or see it my way, and if all else fails I will manipulate the situation to make sure the end result is what I want. Sooner or later you are going to get pissed at me and then your anger will surface, and then I will give in to you. But I will be so resentful for bowing down to you and feeling like you control me that I will resent the hell out of you until I make sure you hurt as much as you hurt me!
Now, what I just described is the way a codependent has lived their life since they were small children and looking for acceptance. The worst part is, the codependent never has peace of mind or peace in their heart. They are always thinking, worrying, and contemplating their next move. Their next move is the reaction stage!
A codependent overreacts all the time. Every thing is a crisis. Nothing is a small problem. Here is a list of how a codependent reacts:
We react too quickly and with so much intensity and urgency you would think we were just told we would die in ten minutes if this problem wasn’t resolved within the time frame. We don’t know to be happy because we allow other people to determine when we will be happy. We are so worried about what they are doing and what they need and how we are going to punish them for putting us in the position we are in we don’t stop to think about ourselves.
A codependent takes everything personally and the wrong way. And most of the things a codependent reacts to is nothing, zilch, zero, not a big deal and most people wouldn’t even have noticed the attack that the codependent was supposedly under!
The sick cycle really begins when the person the codependent is closest to realizes what buttons to push to bring the codependent to the edge of cliff and eventually the mate of codependent will push the final button and watch the codependent fall over the cliff where they will be swimming foolishly while free falling into the deep dark abyss of depression and self-hate.
Part three will deal with how and what the codependent needs to do, and what I had to do, to change their life and from darkness to light, and live with angels instead of in their own evil!
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