You’re Fine. I’m Fine. We’re Fine. Breaking the code of co-dependency.
This month we are exploring authenticity. It’s impossible to be your true self and be co-dependent. You’re either one or the other. Before you slip into self-judgement or fear, let’s further examine this together.
Imagine this. You are at a party. You’ve worked all week. You’ve met impossible deadlines. Your two children both had sporting events and choir recitals. You rushed from work, fought traffic, bought fast food, changed clothes in the car. Your spouse showed up at the last minute to every event escaping the long to-do list and near impossible tasks associated with managing your family. When someone makes a comment about how difficult it must be for the both of you to run around town, never missing a beat, you smile and nod, allowing him to take the credit. This is co-dependence.
Most people are confused by co-dependence believing that it’s only present when a partner is struggling with addiction. This simply isn’t true. It can show up in any person, at any time, in any family or relationship.
How do you know if you are co-dependent?
If you can say, “That’s me!” to four, or more, of these co-dependent traits, then you suffer with co-dependency.
- You have a difficult time setting boundaries.
- You have low self-esteem.
- You have experienced relationship dysfunction in your family or intimate relationship.
- You have social anxiety.
- You have a difficult time saying no.
- You rescue people – even when it doesn’t make sense.
- You are easily emotionally triggered.
- You want to always take care of other people.
- You find communicating your feelings honestly to be a challenge.
- You fixate on mistakes – your own or others.
- You have a need to be liked by everyone.
- You need to always be in a relationship.
- You deny your own needs, wants or feelings.
- You have intimacy issues.
- You confuse love with pity.16.
- You have a fear of abandonment.
In this process, I found three treasures that I will share with you.
- I had to find that little girl inside of me and explore her pain. (and triumphs)
- Without total honesty with myself and others, I knew I would never break free from it.
- It was time to be completely self-aware and stop hiding.
The process of becoming self-aware is both delightful and scary. I had to finally own my part in everything. While I never asked to be emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally abused, I was living in the aftermath of it and it was like a dollhouse. That’s the closest I can get to explaining how it felt. Nothing was real, except my children, and everything that was made up was for survival. I pretended to be happy, in love, together, strong, independent, and a willing helper to everyone. Inside, though, I was sad, lonely and terrified. I felt like a liar…every day. It’s hard to believe this was over twenty years ago. I remember the day I woke up, though. It was April 3, 1994. my daughter was a toddler, and my life was nothing but struggle. She needed new shoes and I didn’t have the money. I refused to ask for the money to buy the shoes. I refused to go to the church closet where they gave away free clothes to single moms. I was so afraid what other people would think of me. Then, my daughter told me that her feet hurt, and after I put her to bed, I found myself on my knees crying and praying for God to help me. I heard one thing that night. “Allyson, break free from your co-dependency and your life will be amazing.” I wish I could say that it was all magical and marshmallows after that night. I wasn’t. I did go and buy her shoes the next day at a kid’s consignment shop. They were two-dollars and that was something I could afford. I did start asking for help. I found myself in prayer a lot more after that night, and I started a meal share in our community where the other single moms would share recipes, leftovers, and swap food, school supplies and other items. It worked. I felt the first chains break. What is something you can do today that is completely different from what you’ve always done?
Please reach out. A great way to get started is to order my new book The Magic in You due out in July. You can pre-order your copy here ← and if you order before June 15th 2019, you’ll receive The Magic in You meditation delivered to your inbox.