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Question: Which of these characteristics have you had periodically throughout your life?  Source: Diagnostic Criteria for Codependencym Cermak, Timmen L. , Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Vol 18(1), Jan-Mar 1986, 15-20.
Control Issues Excessive need to influence/control feelings and behavior in self and others (think carefully about this one)
Responsibility Issues Assumption of responsibility for meeting other's needs to the exclusion of acknowledging one's own needs;
Boundary Issues Anxiety and boundary distortions in situations of intimacy and separation;
Realtionship Issues Enmeshment in relationships with personality disordered, drug dependent and impulse disordered individuals
Relationship A dysfunctional primary relationship for 2+ years without seeking outside support
Three or more :  a) containment of emotions, b) depression, c) hypervigilance, d) compulsions, e) anxiety, f) excessive reliance on denial, g) substance abuse, h) physical or sexual abuse, i) stress-related medical illness

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Author Topic: SELF ASSESSMENT | Are you codependent?  (Read 10933 times)
Skip
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« on: April 11, 2007, 03:38:35 PM »

"Do I have any unhealthy traits?  How do I resolve these traits so that I and others around me have a better life?  Will the conventional therapeutic tools such as therapy and self-help programs benefit me?"

Codependency is unhealthy love and a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life. It often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.

Codependency is also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, and controling behavior.

Codependent people need external sources -- things or other people -- to give them feelings of self-worth.  

This is a learned behavior.  Often, following destructive parental relationships, an abusive past and/or self-destructive partners, codependents learn to react to others, worry about others and depend on others to help them feel useful or alive.

Am I codependent?

This is an important and a brave question to ask, as are questions about having traits of BPD, NPD, depression, etc.  This is really where the rubber meets the road on whether we want to live a healthier life.  This is where we dig in and attempt that ever difficult task of seeing ourselves.  

And it is a difficult task.  

Awareness Most of us are very good at this - our capacity to notice things. Many of us have focused a lot of energy on becoming very aware of our partner's, children's, or parent's flaws.  This is awareness.

Self-awareness Self-awareness basically describes a situation where the light of awareness is turned onto ourselves. While awareness is our ability to take note; self-awareness is our ability to take note of ourselves. Self-awareness is the ultimate enabler. Without living knowledge of ourselves there would be no hope for conscious, positive change. Thanks to self-awareness we can take a good look at ourselves and our lives and see what is working for us and what isn't. This awareness plants the seeds of change in our subconscious mind. It plants in us the drive and motivation to choose to do things differently.

The motivation for breaking bad habits , for example, comes from a self-awareness of the detrimental effects the bad habit is having in our lives. The self-motivation to change also comes from a vivid self-awareness of what we want for ourselves and our future, and a lucid recognition that we simply won't be able to have it if we don't leave our bad habits behind.

Self-awareness vs Imperceptiveness Many members at bpdfamily lament about how a pwBPD in their life is in denial - unable to be self-aware.  Well, self awareness is very challenging - even more so for an emotionally immature person.

How many time have you read this:

Codependent people are good, nice, caring folks.  If this is my worst problem, I can live with that.

I care too much much - and people have taken advantage of that. The focus is on me now. I'm good.

Is this self-awareness or imperceptiveness?   Is the mental health like a pregnancy test (yes/no)?  Or are the real questions:

  • "Do I have any unhealthy traits in this general category?


  • "How do I resolve these traits so that I and others around me have a better life?


  • "Will the conventional therapeutic tools such as therapy and self-help programs benefit me?"


Skippy


See list of all self-assessment surveys
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Peace4us
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 04:15:26 PM »

I do think my dyfunctional family nutured co dependency in me.  My father was a destructive alcoholic and mom was an enabling BPD/NPD. I was an overly responsible, first born child.  I learned pretty quick that if I didn't do exactly what mom wanted I got to pay the price for her anger at my dad and his antics.  I became the perfect daughter.  I cooked entire meals at the age of 10.  I cleaned the house to her expectations every Saturday morning and I folded all laundry, she hated to fold.  I even had to bring the groceries in from the car and put them all away by age 12.

I looked after everyones emotional stuff, as I became mom's confidant, and spy on where dad was drinking that night on late night missions to go find his car.  I was the one who had to get in between drunk dad and hysterical mom when the fights broke up and make sure they did not wake my sister, 4 yrs younger.  I cleaned up the mess when they fell asleep, so that no one knew what happened.

That was all before I was in my teens.

Being responsible for how others functioned was my job, how could I not learn to be co dependant.

Peace4us
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 11:34:43 AM »

I do think my dyfunctional family nutured codependency in me... .Being responsible for how others functioned was my job, how could I not learn to be co dependant.

So many of these struggles originate in childhood, including, of course, BPD.  

My challenge to myself now is "I'm an adult now - I own my issues - what am I going to do about them.  Does anyone have any recommendations for books on co dependency ?
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 12:21:24 PM »

Critical,

Forgive me if I am misspelling this author's name: Melody Beattie has some good books out there.

piza

Mod Note: Book review https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=56458.0

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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2007, 09:51:27 AM »

I'm codependent.  I don't know how I got this way.  I had good parents, neither drank/abused the other, they rarely fought, and when they did, my dad would always remain calm and the issue would get resolved.  My mom was stressed out sometimes and feels bad about how much yelling she did, but I don't remember it being that bad.  I was teased pretty severely by classmates from about 4th grade to 8th grade.  There were some really bad incidents, some of which I don't even remember, though my mom does.  Hurtful things.

I met my uBPDh when I was just 20 and was married at 22.

I'm sure I had codependent traits before uBPDh because I remember not wanting to rock the boat when I was a kid.

I think I had to have these traits in order to stay with uBPDh as long as I did.  As a result of the abuse I had as a kid from my peers, I know my self confidence suffered, which is another reason I stayed as long as I did.

I want to *fix* uBPDh.  This is one of the reasons I physically removed myself from him.  I need to let him fix himself.  It is not within my control, and I'm just making both of us miserable trying to control it.  This is a codependent trait.

I would smooth things over with my friends, family, and coworkers who saw his inappropriate behavior.  Oh, he just isn't feeling well, or whatever.  I'd make excuses for him.

There is more too.

The good news is that I'm really breaking away from that, with the help of my T and some books and things.  Good friends help as well.  Not to say that I'm all better or anything, just that I'm better than before, and I'm definately on my way.

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Susan Peabody
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2007, 04:24:07 PM »

As they grow, children need certain things—love, attention, nurturing. If they do not get these things they become altered. Some children develop low self-esteem. These children grow up to be codependents.

Because codependents have such need for validation they are attracted to the borderlines.

There will come a time when you find out that you cannot “fix” your self esteem with love.
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2007, 04:41:40 PM »

Hi Susan. 

Glad to have you with us as a Professional Member.  Having direct access to published authors like yourself to engage in general discussions is a wonderful adjunct activity for us here.  Thank you for taking the time with us.

My question:   What is the basic process or stages one must go through to deal with codependency?

My simplistic understanding is that codependent people have a greater tendency to enter into relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable or needy. The codependent finds fulfilment in helping the others- but fails to identify and address his or her own needs in the relationship.  Ultimately the codependent sets themselves up for continued unfulfillment. 

Codependents always feel that they are acting in another person's best interest, making it difficult for them to see the controlling nature of their own behavior.  And by not identifing or addressing their own needs, they can appear emotionally unavailable to a healthy partner.

Can you explain, a little,  the process one must go through to deal with this?

Skip
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Susan Peabody
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2007, 04:51:08 PM »

Dear Skip,

Your question: What is the basic process or stages one must go through to deal with codependency.

My answer: I outline this in my book, but the basic steps are to (1) Face your own shortcomings; (2) Make changes in how you act, think and feel; (3) Get help (therapy and support groups); (4) heal the wounds of your childhood; (5) find the child within; (6) build self-esteem. I also encourage embracing sprituality.

Your statement: My simplistic understanding is that Codependent people have a greater tendency to enter into relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable or needy. The codependent finds fulfilment in helping the others but fails to identify and address his or her own needs and desires in the relationship.  Ultimately the codependents set themselves up for continued unfulfillment.  Codependents always feel that they are acting in another person's best interest, making it difficult for them to see the controlling nature of their own behavior.

My answer: This is a very accurate statement. Codpendents lose themselves in early childhood. They become self-alienated and object-orienated. They feel like nothing without someone. When they bond they cannot let go without a horrible withdrawal that feels like life or death. It is more than the normal separation anxiety children feel. Recovery is reclaiming the self and making people you bond with subsidiary to your relaltionship with your self.

Susan
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2007, 06:44:25 PM »

After some long hard deep critical thought into my self and accepting my own behavior and self diagnoisis of co dependency, I have found it extremly difficult and emotionaly challanging going into my own past.

With that said it is even more difficult to sift through the F.O.G of my past realtionship with my ex d BPD g/f.

what I am feeling now is, I was doing ok before I met my ex d BPD gf, and that realtionship by my choice to stay until one month ago has/did bring out a lot more and enhanced my co dependency with my ex d BPD gf.

Also I know I have a lot more to work and accept my own responsiblity,

I have to ask you the board, am I going in the right direction, not trying to be co dependent just checking my condition with experianced people such as your self.

the reason I ask is with the traits of co dependency and the FOG, these two disorders cross over in text and experiances, clouding my own judgement once again.


Sincerely

CM
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2007, 09:08:12 PM »

Dear CM,

You ask if you are going in the right direction. Yes! Instrospection is one of the first steps in changing ourselves. And since we are "powerless" over others this is the only way to change our lives and find the happiness we deserve. Change is everything. We must change how we think; how we feel; how we behave. Forgive me for quoting myself, but in my book The Art of Changing I say, "Change is to human life what the metamorphosis is to the caterpillar. It is the inevitable cycle of life. If there is no change, there is no life." This is originally from my journal, circa 1985 when I began my own recovery. If you are interested in more of my writings my website is brightertommorw.net  Good luck as you "trudge the road of happy destiny." (This is a quote from the book Alcoholics Anonymous.)

Susan Peabody
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2007, 10:00:23 PM »

I appreciate this discussion as I am coming to terms with my role in past relationships.  CM, I can relate to what you say when you claim that you were ok before the relationship, however once in, you weren't.  Relationships tend to bring out our past and/or issues we need to work on.  For me, it has meant taking a real hard look/inventory of my thinking and behaviors while in behaviors and being truthful about how I contributed to the dysfunction of the relationship.  Its something that I have to address now if I really want to have a healthy relationship with someone else in the future.  In short, I need to be comfortable with me before I can be or expect healthy for/from someone else.

Susan, I have ordered your book, Addicted to Love, as I believe its a good place to start.  I have found that counseling in the past, while good in terms of understanding why I have been dysfunctional relationships, it lacks the necessary tools to help me on the path to building self-esteem as a longer-term process.  Does this make sense?  And what kinds of things did you initially do when entering recovery.  Thanks for being here and sharing/posting.
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2007, 02:23:18 PM »

Hello everyone,

I was reading an article about co dependency and counterdepency in relationships, bearing in mind it wasnt anything about a non vs BPD relationship it did seem to strike home on quite a few points.

just thought I would share it with you guys.The last page is entitled "come here go away" ring any bells?



www.silcom.com/~joy2meu/codependent1.htm
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 12:36:17 AM »

Many Nons are codependent. This means they love "too much." They hang in there too long hoping to fix the Borderline. They become controling and obsessive. They become hypersensitive and easily wounded. They have a high tolerance for suffering because they suffered as children.

The codependent's heart is in the right place, but they are wounded beings, they just don't have healthy relationship skills or expectations.  When they pair with a borderline, you have two people trying to solve internal wounds via the relationship.
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2007, 09:41:20 AM »

My views are pretty much the same on this topic.
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2007, 03:22:51 PM »

I posted on the undecided board about how I'm back to obsessing and worrying and wondering how I can make him understand - back in that mindset again - all because I talked to him this morning.

I'm so thankful for this board because today it has kept me from calling him back... .to try to make him see the reality of things... .ha ha... .fat chance huh?

I'm doing a lot of hard work in therapy and really trying to understand where my responsibilities lie (Myself)and don't lie (His emotional health), and I had a thought earlier that I've been pondering.

As a codependent (in recovery) I can see where my own need to control a situation is what gets me in trouble so often... .why can't I just let things be as they are right now and not think every darn problem needs to be settled right now, in a day.  Why can't I give situations time to play out naturally.  I'm always so quick to jump to try to solve things... .often things I have no control over anyway.

I wondered in my other post why I find it harder to leave the relationship when he is being mean and cold... .and I know now it's because of my own need for control.  When he's been nice and *sucking up to me** so to speak I feel I'm in the drivers seat, but not when he's being cold - then I delude myself that he is in charge - he's the one in control.

So we both have this insatiable need to control a situation.  Their need to control us results in their abusing us.

Our need to control results in our abusing us too... .by continuing to open ourselves up to being hurt again and again, i.e. trying to engage them in conversation... .that has been my pattern anyway.

So what's wrong with this picture? 

How many times have I heard to put my energy into the only thing I do have control over... .myself.  Could it finally be penetrating into my thick skull?   :Smiling (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2007, 04:07:54 PM »

Behind,

Well it's not like you're the first one here on bpdfamily to spend a whole lotta time & energy to try to help "fix" someone else's problems. It's pretty easy to get sucked into since people with BPD usually end up seducing us into their drama & get us enmeshed pretty quickly. Looks like you're doing well to focus on yourself!

After all I went through the next time I feel like I wanna "fix" someone, I think I'll just find a nice, big, solid brick wall, take a running start, put my head down & launch myself right into it head first. I'll end up with about the same results! Big head ache, ending up dazed & confused, the other person hasn't changed one bit, & I made myself look pretty foolish & ridiculous!

Just keep reminding yourself: You didn't cause his illness, you can't control it, nor can you fix it. Get off his back, out of his way, & on with your life!

-NHBB
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2007, 02:11:29 PM »

Excerpt
So we both have this insatiable need to control a situation.  Their need to control us results in their abusing us.

Our need to control results in our abusing us too... .by continuing to open ourselves up to being hurt again and again, i.e. trying to engage them in conversation... .that has been my pattern anyway.

So what's wrong with this picture?  

How many times have I heard to put my energy into the only thing I do have control over... .myself.  Could it finally be penetrating into my thick skull?  



Hi BMS, you have really hit on something.  Most of us nons don't think of ourselves as "controllers", but we spend so much time trying to figure out what to do about our dysfunctional relationships, and that usually means trying to "control" the situation and the person.  Over and over, people come here and ask, "How can I get her to see that she is hurting me?"  "How can I get him to stop spending money?" "How can I get her to stop saying those nasty things to me?"  

CODA published a list of traits that some may find helpful:

www.coda.org/tools4recovery/patterns-new.htm
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2007, 04:08:52 PM »

And so Joanna that leads us non's to usually our biggest core issue (at least it was mine): we made a very poor choice for a partner. Instead of accepting them and all their flaws, we try (as you wrote) to change them or control them & the situation.
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2009, 12:22:04 AM »

Hello all!

I have seen it said on several occasions that we nons often display co-dependent traits. I came accross this survey and several of the questions struck a chord with me. I will be curious to see the final results and also to hear what others think of this survey.

Cheers! MAS




Source: www.melanietoniaevans.com/articles/codependency-issues.htm

Author: Melonie Evans - Author and Coach (not a clinician)





Ask yourself - do you:

1. Spend a great deal of time obsessing about other people’s problems?

2. Feel responsible for another person if they come to you with a problem?

3. Feel bad when you can’t help another person with a problem?

4. Feel guilty saying, “No?”

5. Believe other people are responsible for the way you feel?

6. Find it difficult to feel happy on your own?

7. Check up on people or try to catch them out doing the wrong thing?

8. Forego your own interests because you’re worried about what someone else is or isn’t doing?

9. Take other’s issues or opinions personally?

10. Feel uncomfortable when being offered praise or compliments?

11. Tend to be very hard on yourself?

12. Struggle to nurture yourself with treats?

13. Have fear in regard to letting other people make their own choices?

14. Tend to seek love with dysfunctional partners?

15. Try to prove yourself to people so they’ll love you?

16. Feel like you are worthless without a partner?

17. Lose faith that God and the Universe will grant you happiness?

18. Often feel scared, alone, hurt and angry?

19. Gauge your feelings of happiness on how other people around you are feeling?

20. Feel abandoned when your partner derives enjoyment from activities or people that don’t involve you?

21. Say what you think other people will be comfortable hearing?

22. Have difficulty in getting to the point when you need to speak up?

23. Stay fiercely attached to people and situations even when you know you’re being damaged?

Results

18-over

If you have said ‘Yes’ to this many of the questions you are severely co-dependent. There is a dire need for you to learn how to focus and take care of self. It is highly likely that you are often at the mercy at the life and other people and may often lose yourself. You have great difficulty in setting boundaries and sustaining your personal energy and self. Self-empowerment and self-awareness is highly suggested.

14-17

You have co-dependency issues. You may have problems setting boundaries and will often ignore your rights and feelings in favour of trying to keep other people happy. You will benefit from learning how to listen to and respond to yourself. There is a need for you to stand up and align more with your goals, desires and rights.

9-13

Even though you do have self-awareness you still may have trouble setting boundaries and defining your goals. There is a need for you to risk ‘rocking the boat’ and learning to be more comfortable with your own company and beliefs. It would be helpful for you to examine and work on the areas in your life where you may be handing your power over.

3-8

You have the ability to be quite self-aware and look after yourself. However, there is still room for improvement!

0-2

You are a powerful person who knows how to set boundaries and honour yourself. Keep up the great work!


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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2009, 08:19:01 AM »

Argh, the C word.

I scored an 8 on the test: "You have the ability to be quite self-aware and look after yourself. However, there is still room for improvement"

I think it's a complicated issue, this syndrome or whatever it is. Looking at my own issues, these are the questions I answered YES to:

1. Spend a great deal of time obsessing about other people’s problems?

5. Believe other people are responsible for the way you feel?

9. Take other’s issues or opinions personally?

11. Tend to be very hard on yourself?

12. Struggle to nurture yourself with treats? (not sure what this means but it sounds right.)

14. Tend to seek love with dysfunctional partners?

19. Gauge your feelings of happiness on how other people around you are feeling?

I can't figure out which the 8th one was--there are some ways on here I used to be that I've gotten over, so maybe I picked one of those. Not sure. Anyway, point is I think there's at least two parts to this codependency thing, and the part that I'm not has made it difficult for me to admit the part that I am.

I think the thing that's always turned me off about codependency and made me feel I don't have it, is the idea that codependents tend to have bad self-images. One of my childhood issues is feeling like I was great and feeling like others didn't get that, and feeling like I had to prove it by being a super-good friend or a great listener. So that feeling that I needed to have a bad self-image to be codependent made it hard to look at the traits that I do have. So these days, I can see myself with some of these traits and know that doesn't mean I'm full-on codependent.

Peacebaby

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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2009, 10:26:13 AM »

Interesting thread. Here's my opinion: Yes, Co-depency is a real issue most of us deal with. However, I also think it has become another "pop culture diagnosis" that gets blown way out of proportion. By the very definitions listed above, if a person scored in the 0-2 category, then not only would you be "You are a powerful person who knows how to set boundaries and honour yourself", but you would most likely be a lone hermit who "doesn't need anybody but me", and I think that is hogwash too. We ALL need people, as we are human. There are also a few items here which I think could be nixed from the list, in light of this. I think all of these traits are perfectly healthy, given the person is not being walked on:

Excerpt
3. Feel bad when you can’t help another person with a problem?

Well, if you didn't feel bad, then you would lack empathy and be very cold. I may not take the person's problems home with me, but I do care about others and some people really can't help the sh%t that befalls them, and really DO need help with life sometimes. None of us are supermen and superwomen. That "helping hand" is called "empathy" and that feeling of sadness when you can't help another is a natural response of a compassionate soul.

Excerpt
5. Believe other people are responsible for the way you feel?

Well yes, and well, no. It is up to me to be the best person I can be, but even the most independent people who are told over and over that they are 'worthless" or bashed with negative comments and putdowns, will eventually cave and succomb to feeling bad. Especially when it is a loved one (BPD or not) who issues the treatment. Who wants to give their trust and heart to another person, or even just basic friendship, only to endure negativity? Face it people, it feels bad, and there is nothing wrong with feeling bad when you are dissed. It doesn't make you co-dependent-just human. If you feel nothing, then you could just as easily be Anti-social for NOT feeling bad.

Excerpt
11. Tend to be very hard on yourself?

Yea, I'm hard on myself, because I have high expectations of myself, not because someone else put them there when i was a child, but because I put them there as a child, when i realized I was capable of doing just about anything I wanted, with a little hard work. I put high expectations on myself now because I understand my potential and capacity for accomplishing great things, both big & small. And life is short, so why not reach as high as you can dream?

Excerpt
13. Have fear in regard to letting other people make their own choices?

Yes, if I care about them, and see that they are digging their self into a hole or putting their self in danger with bad choices. Why do i fear for them? Because I want the best for them, and I can plainly see they are acting like a fool, then I can see the probable outcome based on understanding of cause and effect, and if the cause is poor judgment then the effect is damage to them, physically or emotionally. I fear for them because I care about their well-being, not because I feel obligated to fix them. But because I love them, and it sucks to see someone you love making bad choices. This is called :LOVE, but it is not exclusive to Co-dependency.

Excerpt
16. Feel like you are worthless without a partner?

Again, no I don't feel worthless. But left alone, without anyone taking notice of you is a very lonely feeling, and can make even the best of us question our "worthiness". For instance, I think I am all that and a bag of chips, but most women overlook me for some fixer upper, and throw me in the "gay male friend/buddy" category BECAUSE I know myself well and know what I want in life (I am not gay, just an analogy), I'm easy to talk to, respect women, and don't tryo to get in a woman's pants on the first date or meeting. After a while its hard not to question one's worthiness. No one wants to be alone, and to say we are truly ok being alone is just a mask for covering up the pain we feel of being rejected. Humans by nature are social creatures, and we are physically born with the tools to reproduce, just like other species. Why is it we need to proclaim just how strong we are by believing we need no one else in this world-no friends, no lovers, to help us feel needed and appreciated? Its silly really.

Excerpt
18. Often feel scared, alone, hurt and angry?



Who doesn't? C'mon folks. Life is scary. It sucks to be alone (see above). Love hurts, and it makes me angry when I can see just how easily we could all get along together in this world by making the simple choice to drop our ME ME ME attitudes, and admit we all need each other, and just stop building friggin' bombs when we could be spending our time and money trying to figure out why 70% of marriages fail in this country and why the rest of the world isn't far behind. These are natural human feelings-again, not exclusive to Co-depency. I'm pissed off about a lot of things in this world, and its healthy and ok to be so. The other option is apathy or indifference.

Excerpt
19. Gauge your feelings of happiness on how other people around you are feeling?

Wait, isn't this the same as #5. "Believe other people are responsible for the way you feel?

See how these definitions are meant to trick us into believing we are more screwed up than we really are? If you answered differntly to both of them than you fell for it. Again, face it, when you arrive at the party all happy and ready to go, but instead find a crowd of pissed off, mean-spirited a$$holes who are down and out, can you honestly say you are not affected by it? ow about when you are standing in line at the gas station and someone cuts in front of you, then turns around and starts b&tching about how slow the line is or how stupid the cashier is, and then orders 15 lotto tickets while snickering and talking down to the cashier while you are just waiting to pay gas to get you to that job interview you were so excited about? Again, we are human, we get upset, we FEEL, get over it.

Just my opinion, but if you believe all of these definitions to be accurate and that you truly don't need anyone, or have the capacity to not let ANYONE affect you ever, then you have bought into this hook line and sinker, and by the very fact that you allowed someone else's definition to define your view of your self, then by default of that very fact, you ARE CO-DEPENDENT, even if you scored a 0! Think about it!



Love and understanding to all!

-Rcoaster

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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2009, 09:53:50 PM »

I'm not codependant,

I just like to hold on to the relationships I have because I don't like making new ones, and I dont' have many to begin with.
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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2009, 08:17:20 AM »

Interestingly, I once scored a 3 on the test - due to an adult lifetime of work on the issue.  Compared to whoi I was even five years ago - big pat on the back.  However, I don't think it's the number I scored but the questions I answered yes to.  I answered yes to numbers 2, 3, and 4 - all of which are the feeling responsible for someone else's problem and not being able to say no.  I honestly would prefer to just be alone and don't much care what people think abut me, but with my neighbor, I'm stuck in this cycle of not being able to say what I want to say, which is F off, because she has little kids who are coming over here knocking on the door, oh - 100 times a day.  I know what it feels like to be those little kids, and I see what they are going through and don't want to make their lives harder.  And, please, don't recommend that I call children's services or the police.  Both have been called by every neighbor on this street hundreds of times, and they've pretty much made it clear that they don't plan to do anything.  In my case, my compassion has over-ridden the strength I have gained.  In reality, I don't think I really even feel responsible for their problems.  I've been ignoring the phone calls and the knocks cuz I know it's not my problem, so why do I feel so tied up in knots about the kids that I avoid leaving my house when they are home, because I can't stand to look at the hurt in those little faces any more and not be able to do anything.  That's the part that bugs me - I thought I was beyond being paralyzed by other people's actions, but here I am trying to hide in my own house cuz I can't help them, and I can't tell little kids in any more clear terms than I already have that I can't help.  They've learned from their parents that other people don't have boundaries, so even though I have told them where I stand, they just keep on knocking.  This last week I got C-Dif, a contagious gastro-intestinal infection, from my father who I care for, and even stating that I was contagious and asking them directly to leave me alone did not stop the knocks on the door.  It started at 7:30 this morning.  Actually, I don't really fell responsible for their problems.  The harder they push, the madder I get, and the less I want to help.  And, with me being a sick caregiver who is getting progressively more physically weak, the more they push the more I realize the intense and unbending need to get farther away.  So, why am I avoiding leaving my house cuz I don't know how to make my boundaries any more clear to little kids in a really messed up situation? 
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2009, 06:12:54 PM »

The first thing my T suggested when I went to her about my BPD r'ship was to read Codependent No More.  She specializes in personality disorders, and said if you stay with someone with BPD, you may be "co dependent"... . 

I like who I am, I like helping people, but I admit that I need to stick to my boundaries.  And I need to pick healthy individuals to have r'ships with, and not be bored by them.  I admit it!  I can lay the boundaries down, but I caved fairly easy with my ex.  Years ago I dated a man who was an alcoholic, and did the same thing. 

This traits on here are exactly why I'm not dating yet- I'm going to figure my own issue's out- whether its codependency or something else that kept me in the rabbit hole with my ex. 
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2009, 11:53:35 AM »

I've been in CoDA for a bit more than a year now, I took the quiz twice - once for how I used to be, once for how I feel now. I went from a 16 to a 10. I know I still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do on myself but "every day and in every way I'm getting better and better."
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« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2009, 09:40:33 PM »

OK, I'm back. It took some time for me to write down my thoughts and not get too overly long or TMI

I think the things that have worked best for me are mindfulness, paying attention to how I feel, taking note of what's going on when I feel more strongly triggered to start trying to fix everyone else, or numb myself instead of speaking up or dealing with myself. Therapy - having someone non-judgemental to talk to. Fellowship of meetings - hearing other people in the same situations or patterns of behavior - some speak of how they're able to cope or have changed their ways, some are still stuck in the bad old ways. Both show me where I can be, and where I don't want to be.

Well I can say I've gotten better with "Tend to be very hard on yourself" but as I felt myself start to beat myself up for not having an even lower score I recognized I still have work to do on this one but that it's OK to be where I'm at now and celebrate the amount of progress I have made.

Believe other people are responsible for the way you feel?

I do still behave reactively from time to time but again, I've come a long way getting myself to acknowledge that other people can't "make" me feel one way or another (well, unless I allow them.) When I am mindful of what's going on and that I am ultimately responsible for how I perceive things and respond, I am able to witness and stand next to the chaos without getting swallowed up in other peoples' crazy storms. To quote someone on the curezone.org forums, "Smile, 'tis your choice."

Tend to seek love with dysfunctional partners?

Well, I didn't think I was specifically seeking them out, but that I have a great big crazy magnet that just draws them in. Now I know it's what I'm willing to put up with and from exposure to growing up with my FOO, what I perceive as "normal" or "acceptable" behavior, along with my own feelings of self-love, self-worth. I know I'm not 100% cured on this one, may never be except for constant mindfull dilligence and checking in with myself about how I feel.

Feel guilty saying, “No?”

If I don't want to, or accepting will make my schedule too full, it's OK to say "no," without worrying how the other person may feel about this. If they're going to be angry or "hate" me or give me guff about what's healthy for me, then I shouldn't be around that person to begin with. Most times I've found that the universe actually doesn't collapse when I say "no."
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2009, 09:11:34 PM »

I've read some different books and articles on being co-dependent and sometimes it depends on how it is defined.  I do have some traits of co-dependency but some of it is due to culture, religion and misunderstanding where to draw the line.  I love to help others and am probably more of a "rescuer" type, or is that just another term for co-dependency?  

I've been taught to think of others before myself, to love and forgive and be willing to reach out and help others.  I've also grown up hearing that a Christian wife should be submissive to her husband.  Most of what I was told about being submissive did not include abuse but the exceptions given were always related to physical abuse.  And I didn't recognize the subtle forms of emotional and psychological abuse.  I also excused my husband's behavior because he wasn't a Christian.  I thought I was doing the "right" thing by enduring and neglecting my needs and wants for the sake of my husband.  And I had a strong belief in commitment and not divorcing.

Fear played a part as well.  When someone is raging at you, you want to try and keep the peace to protect yourself and the children.

So it's not an easy line to draw.  I have been learning a lot about boundaries and correcting my misconceptions of what love, responsibility, and submission are in light of my faith.  

Many of the codependent behaviors were just with my husband, not with everyone else.  I had my insecurities that contributed to the behavior as well.  As I become healthier mentally and learn what boundaries are and how to set boundaries, I am making better choices and changing my behavior.  
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2010, 01:59:38 PM »

There is one CoDA meeting within 60 miles of where I'm staying.  One... .  I'm thinking of going to the next meeting but wanted to know if any of you have gone to a CoDA meeting previously and what I should expect.  I've never done any type of group counseling, aside from marriage counseling (limited) and lots of individual therapy with counselors, therapists and a psychiatrist.  Can you give me any insight?  Thanks.
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« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2010, 03:53:07 PM »

Boo!   Smiling (click to insert in post)

The nearest one to me is in the next city (2.5 hr drive) so I'm just going to al-anon for now.  All the 12-step groups/programs are very similar.  I would think al-anon and coda are almost identical, except with people having mostly alcoholic partners/family rather than a wider variety of addictions.  But the focus is the same... .on you, and what you can do for yourself, what you can and can't control, etc.

The meetings start out going through the intro, 12 steps, and traditions.  Then there's a selected reading - then people are called on to share their thoughts about that topic, or whatever they want.  You can participate or simply listen.  Then there's a closing.  It's more experiential learning/absorption than talk therapy.

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« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2010, 04:57:09 PM »

Hmmm.  Thanks for the info.  If I don't have experience with the 12 steps will I feel completely left out of this group thing?  I've read them, but I'm not at those pages yet in Codependent No More.
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