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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 11475 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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« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2010, 05:36:45 PM »

No, not at all.  At least in my experience.  Everyone has been quite welcoming and gentle.

It's mostly people just sitting around saying whatever they want (how they're currently feeling, what happened recently, a story from childhood, etc) - although it does often revolve around a certain topic.  You don't actually work the 12 steps in the meeting (sometimes a step is talked about though) - but at the start, they go around the room just reading the list.

If anyone knows how tough it is to start something like this and how everyone is at different points of their journey, it's the people in these groups.  They are also quite open and non-judgmental.

Good luck!

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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2010, 05:17:37 AM »

Hi,

Firstly, no worries, you aren't expected to know/understand/the steps when you go to a 12-step meeting.  I've been going to 12 step meetings and I still can't remember most of the steps off the top of my head. 

People don't expect you to know anything when you are new, they normally will realize that you are there, seeking help and possibly fragile.  They've been in the same place, at their first meeting, unsure of what to expect, feeling nervous, intimidated, scared, you name it, so people get that and may go out of there way to help you feel more comfortable. 

If you decide to go to an al-anon meeting, you can look to see if they have any that say beginners meetings.  These are specifically for newcomers and don't vary much from a regular meeting, but make sure to welcome newcomers.   

There will always be variations from each group.  I mean I've gone to all different ones in my area, which they advise to see where I feel most comfortable.  The format is mostly the same, but each meeting does have a different feel to it.  I've talked to people that moved here from other parts of the country and they say meetings are totally different here.  There's always going to be different people, different vibes, so you have to try it and see.   

I go to NA meetings, so I don't know if al-anon follows the same format, maybe trying2heal can say.  Na meetings have a chairperson leading the meeting, they open the meeting, there are a bunch of lengthy readings on laminated cards that random people read out loud to the group one at a time.  That takes about 10mins.  Some of the meetings will be open for discussion, and the chair will ask if anyone has a topic they want to discuss.   Someone speaks about a topic.  Then other people follow, taking about 5 mins (depending on size of group how long they should take so that everyone can have a chance to speak if they would like).  People will follow on the topic, but also kind of talk about whatever it is they need to talk about b/c the topic can lead them to other thoughts.  The person finishes, and someone else will start talking and say what they need to say.  So, there isn't supposed to be cross talk.  It isn't having a conversation back and forth.  There's no interrupting when someone is talking.  Although, many times, one person talks, and people that talk after will reference things that the person before them said or made them think about, so in an indirect way.  For example sometimes a person speaks about something and they are very upset, then many of the people that follow will show support by talking about how they had the same issue, how they dealt with it.  Before I went I thought the inability to cross talk would make it feel disconnected, but it works out well.  (I don't know about al-anon, but with NA there are some meetings where they will read out loud a chapter on a single step, then the discussion goes from there.  Or they will read from a book that has a daily meditation for everyday of the year, then the discussion goes from there.)  Sometimes there will be someone who shares and they don't talk on the topic at all, they just have tons of stuff going on and they need to get it all out.  I don't share often, but it is a good feeling when you do, gives a big relief in a way that's different from talking to a friend.

You are not expected to speak, that's your choice, so no pressure there.  I find it helpful to go early and/or stay later so I can talk more with people one on one. 

I'm not sure how that would work going to al-anon when your focus is on codependency.  But, since trying2heal has done and says it works for him, might as well try it out.  Trying2heal, do you share at al-anon?  Do you think they understand?   Is there some focus on codependency issues?  I guess there would be?   

I can see how the same basics can be applied either way. 

I was looking at support groups and I found another 12-step called Emotions Anonymous.  They seem to focus on a variety of emotional issues with goal of achieving emotional health.  Sounds interesting, maybe they will have a close meeting www.emotionsanonymous.org/   

Heres a link to list of 12-step meetings, interesting : www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_twelve-step_groups

This is another support group meeting I found using CBT, Seems possibly helpful (looks like they want you to buy their books, not that it's unusual)-

Basic explanation--  www.lowselfhelpsystems.org/system/our-method.asp

Search4meeting near you--  www.lowselfhelpsystems.org/meetings/find-a-meeting.asp

Compatible with 12-step programs--  www.lowselfhelpsystems.org/system/our-method-vs-12-step-programs.asp

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness  (you can search by your state, I had to poke around a bit, but ended up finding a lot of support groups in my area for all sorts of things.  After clicking on your state, at the top is your stateNAMI and at bottom is your local NAMIs.  I was looking at my local NAMI links, but the state link on top is what brought me to lots of support options. )

www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Your_Local_NAMI&Template=/CustomSource/AffiliateFinder.cfm


Let me know if you think of more 12step program questions.  It's definitely worth checking out, I think.

Take Care Smiling (click to insert in post)

 
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« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2010, 08:50:01 AM »

Thanks to both of you for the great info!
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« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2010, 07:47:50 PM »

One of the things I am thankful about regarding my relationship with my stbxBPDh and its subsequent fallout, is that I have learned how codependent I am, and am trying to work on healthier way of relating to those close to me.

I am unsure how to get truly past this codependency I seem to have with... .well, everyone! 

Honestly, I truly did not realize I had this problem until disengaging from this relationship.  Looking back, I have always had somewhat poor boundaries in romantic relationships, but my codependency tendencies went into overdrive with my BPDh.  I have frequently chosen partners who seemed like genuinely good people who just needed a little "saving."  My problems started in my FOO, as my dad was virtually nonexistent, and my mother was overly controlling/enmeshed with us kids.  She grew up being abused by an alcoholic dad, and did the best she could, but I honestly wonder if she has BPD herself.  She definitely has zero boundaries with anyone and is very emotionally abusive to everyone.  Growing up as the oldest, I was parentified at a very young age.  I also became very enmeshed with my sibs, and we all continue to be that way to a certain extent.  I have taken steps back over the years, and have been working on this more in recent months.  But, it's still really hard for me to not equate needing, controlling, or poor boundaries with love.  I think all this mess in my FOO is what sort of set me up to be in this relationship with a pwBPD.  Codependency and enmeshment felt pretty normal to me... .felt like love.

I bought Beyond Codependency and Codependent No More, and read much of them, and then re-read parts... .but I feel like it's so hard to fully get past this.  Plus, I feel like in some ways I genuinely like this part about myself-well, in moderation.  I like being helpful and nice.  How do I know when I'm crossing that threshold of too much?

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« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2010, 10:50:50 AM »

I, too, wonder about this, 28 paws.  I genuinely enjoy doing things for people and helping them (which explains why I am a healthcare professional), but don't know where the line is between being a nice, compassionate person and being co-dependent.  I'm reading the Lessons and trying to figure out the difference between what I WANT to do and what I feel OBLIGATED to do.

God bless,

JDoe
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« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2010, 12:29:16 AM »

I, too, wonder about this, 28 paws.  I genuinely enjoy doing things for people and helping them (which explains why I am a healthcare professional), but don't know where the line is between being a nice, compassionate person and being co-dependent. 

I can completely relate to this!  As long as I can remember, I have loved helping people.  That's why I became a school psychologist.  (Yeah, I have 3 degrees in psychology, which would be amusing considering I'm married to someone with BPD, if it weren't so dang sad)

Excerpt
I'm reading the Lessons and trying to figure out the difference between what I WANT to do and what I feel OBLIGATED to do.

God bless,

JDoe

This is something I have a really hard time with too. 
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2011, 10:20:33 PM »

 I'm really looking to own my part in the dysfunctional relationship I've just gotten out of, and I identify with descriptions of codependency- being a fixer when it came to BPDex's emotional issues, getting my self worth from doing things for him and other people,  feeling entitled to repayment around this sort of behavior... .but I'm realizing I see these as good things, see codependents as the good guys, the heros.  :)efinitely the way my mom always taught me to be.  It seems askew cause the term is the description of a dysfunction, but I guess I don't really get why its so bad.

I do see having let myself down in THIS relationship, in participating in my own emotional abuse by always giving him the benefit of the doubt and doubting my own sense of being wronged. I can see that I cannot continue to be a codependent with a BPD, and that is my guiding light.  But wouldn't the world be a better place if ex and  everyone else were codependent?

I need clarification. I would like to hear how others see codependency and maybe get a clearer sense of how its not a good thing.  
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« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2011, 08:23:12 AM »

Dear StrongEnough,

  I don't know about your childhood, but mine included a uBPD/NPD sister for whom the entire family walked on eggshells.  So it seemed normal.  Also, being raised a conservative Christian, I was taught to turn the other cheek, forgive 70 x's 7, be the bigger person, etc.  While following Jesus and being in relationship with Him is still something I desire, I have a hard time knowing where the line should have been drawn between doing "the right thing" and NOT allowing my stbxH oppress, abuse, and diminish me for the past 20 years.

  Still working on that, so that IF I participate in any future r/s, I will not fall into that rut again of being a "good girl" and letting a bad boy run me over.  Probably didn't help that I am in the medical profession, saw H's childhood abuse and subsequent broken-ness, and wanted to heal his heart with my love and nurturing care.  Nurses make people feel better.  Unless the person WANTS to be sick.

  Good thread!  I'll be interested to see how others respond.  I have not felt that I was codependent, but my emotions did ride the roller-coaster of how H was feeling, so maybe I was.

JDoe
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« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2011, 08:42:09 AM »

I am like JDoe in my religious beliefs, and from the pulpit I heard that the husband/father is not only the head of the household, but also the servant. While this is a noble role in the family structure, it also is music to the ears of a BPD wife. Even during those times when she occasionally made dinner for the family, it seemed so unnatural.  Somebody else had to set the table, somebody else had to clean up and wash the dishes.

Do I see the act of servitude being a bad trait? No. We are the first to offer help to others. However, there are a lot more people without this trait than with this trait, BPD or not. I think it is natural to take advantage of the givers, not just because they give their time and efforts, but also because they tend to be reliable and care about the quality of the work they do. Being that the codependant has trouble saying No, we assume more responsibility than what we should, which ultimately leads to resentment and feeling used.

I know now that having the attitude of "Me First" does not mean I become a taker and have to quench my giving nature. It does give me the strength to say No when I feel my giving is starting to encroach upon the time that I reserve for me and the activities that I want to do.
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« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2011, 09:03:55 AM »

Here's the deal for me... .it's all about balance.  Co-dependency has gotten such a bad rap over the years in terms of being negative and "the one at fault for enabling them."  when i read about it in conjuction with my role and BPD i was offended, honestly... .at first.  Then i realized that i was enabling her to continue to abuse me, i was trying to cover it all up, i was neglecting my self physically, emotionally, .  Sure, I felt good about what I did that was good for her and the kids... .of course.  but, i kept doing it when it wasn't helping, financially ruining me... .etc... .so, yes, I have some similarities to codepency, not all of them.

and yes, it was dysfunctional for me.   But the thing about the word dysfunction... .is that it's not really a word.  I'll explain... .I got into this relationship because of my nuclear family dynamics and my childhood role.  I behaved that way as a child to survive... .so it was "functional at that time for me."  HOWEVER,  i clearly don't have to do that now, I realized, after looking at my entire history thus far,  it is obviously not fuctional for my adult life, it is actually damaging... .and i am working on changing it.(which is a lot more colorful Smiling (click to insert in post) than one may think... .But... .hopefully,... .soon I will know that  I am enough just as i am.

Basically, we are all co-dependent on some levels, the nature of relationships... .but the term, is when it is so off balance it is creating a problem for YOU.

hope i'm not too wordy here ... .great post.

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« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2011, 10:13:46 AM »

I would like to hear how others see codependency and maybe get a clearer sense of how its not a good thing.  

https://bpdfamily.com/content/codependency-codependent-relationships

Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse, describes co-dependency as"a specific condition that is characterized by preoccupation and extreme dependence — emotionally, socially and sometimes physically — on a person or object. Eventually, this dependency on another person [or object] becomes a pathological condition that affects the co-dependent in all other relationships"

Codependents are the ultimate example of a persecution complex. They always feel victimized, oppressed, and self-sacrificial. Although codependents may feel they give an inordinate amount of responsibility, obligation, and worry for another and mistakenly feel like they are giving, in reality they are actually taking. The only thing a codependent person wants to hear from his unappreciative (of course, this is usually in his imagination) spouse is the words "I feel so guilty about everything you do for me".

However, in reality, codependents do very little for the healthy betterment of their relationships, or the wholeness and completeness of their lives. Whereas they think they are doing for everyone, they are actually doing for themselves. Every time they can feel over-giving and under-appreciated (their main goal), they climb higher up in their Ivory-Tower and feel justified in hugging themselves while they hang from their self-imposed crucifix. Codependents appear to be very poor givers, so wrapped up in their imagined glories and self-sacrifices that they never really, truly give genuine love and care just for the simple reason of giving it and not for the real reason behind why they do give and give. And what is that reason you ask? Codependents give only for two causes and one reason; to cause 'self-pity', and to cause 'manipulation' of those around him, for the reason of being able to embrace, nurture, and love themselves, and to feel safe and secure.


Although there are many, many books out there that attempt to explain the motives of codependent people, I have never found one that actually describes the reason behind what they do to my satisfaction! Soo, let me explain my theory (shut up and bear with me here!)... .Smiling (click to insert in post)

As pack animals we are all somewhat codependent. But when codependency becomes the overriding force in a person's life they begin to do the exact opposite of what they honestly believe their goal is. Where most codependents think they are sacrificing themselves for everyone around them, what they are actually doing is distancing themselves and emotionally withdrawing from those around them, so coccooned they are in themselves and their own feelings of injustice. To contradict a lot of codependent books I am going to go out on a limb here and give my analysis of codependency: A codependent person—although it may appear that they are over-conscious and over-aware of others—in reality are only conscious of their own role in other's lives and not with the actual other person themselves. They only need to pre-occupy themselves with other's emotional well-being and feelings to see what their own status is to that other person, and how they fit in that person's life. Although the experts seem to claim that a codependent person is overly involved in other's moods, feelings, and emotional being, they actually are more astute to another's moods, feelings, and emotions only when it directly relates back to themselves so that they may analyze the role they play in that person's life. Many codependents have an intense need for acceptance and validation of who they are. They can be more selfish and self-involved then fiercely independent people are, as they are so engrossed in the role they play in other people's lives that they become obsessed with others' moods and well-being only as it relates to themselves.

Codependents lack in self-perception and can only identify who they are through that of a second person. They manifest 'who they are' only through another's eyes, thoughts, or views of them... .and without another they are unable to find their own identity. Codependents tend to latch onto partners because of this lack of being able to self-identify through themselves.

Thus, codependents become 'emotionally unavailable' or 'uncaring' to others, unless it is for the selfish reason of improving their own role in that person's life. Everything they do they do to pity themselves or to applaud themselves... .nothing is done out of voluntary loving or freely given for the mere fact of truly caring for another. Everything that a codependent person does is done to further establish their self-pitying thoughts of 'overdoing' and of being taken advantage of and for granted, "I am so unappreciated around here, they treat me like their slave... .", or their self-worshipping thoughts that they are perfect and well-respected for the 'good' or 'right things' that they do unto others. "I am a great person, see how I saved the day!" These thoughts are based on the fact that because they are overly concerned with the role they play in other's lives that they become more acutely aware of how others do or do not acknowledge what they do.

Basically, the codependents motives are all about gaining self-pity or gaining self-respect enough so that they can feel safe and comfortable enough to embrace their own inner soul and give much needed self-love to themselves. Just below the surface of every codependent is a lost and rejected child that doesn't feel that who they are themselves is worthy of love.

A codependent is so caught up in their own little "I am a self-sacrificing hero" fantasy that they have no idea that they have no real identity of their own, and are actually (and ironically) never really fully available to another (although they believe just the opposite). Codependents spend an inordinate amount of time hugging themselves and finding new ways to feel like they are abandoned and unappreciated, or acclaimed and heralded. They spend an elaborate amount of time planning ways to feel more damaged and martyred (so they can heroize themselves), and to do this they must worry more about making everyone but himself happy. They must be self-sacrificial. Although they feel that they are over-giving and over-doing, they actually do very little real emotional loving, or make themselves truly available to the people in their life. (It is hard to be there for somebody in an honest and genuine sense, when you are being bitter and indignant about the fact that you are there for them.) You can never love a codependent person enough, for they will not feel your love, they will only feel all the drummed up sacrifices they have done for others. A codependent person will not hear, "thank you, I appreciate that" but will seek out and concentrate his focus on all the non-acknowledged things that he does do, whereas most non-codependents will hear the "thank you" and not really get to worried over the fact that occasionally someone didn't acknowledge something they did for them. A codependent person very rarely recognizes genuine acts of true love and caring from their spouses, but rather is hypervigilant to their spouses negativities or requests (which the codependent person takes to mean 'more demands' on, and 'belittlement' of, them).

Codependent people have a huge hole in them that needs to be fixed. They find temporary relief via another person's redemption through them, as it allows them to redeem themselves when they see themselves through the other's eyes. This may possibly be the reason why codependents almost always choose mates that have 'problems'. They can find a temporary patch for their own 'hole' by fixing others'.

The simple fact is, the codependent person is an unavailable partner. He becomes this way in three respects:

1. He becomes self-absorbed: It is hard to be really there for someone else when your arms are always around yourself in feelings of grandeur, heroism, self-sacrificial claims, self pity, and indignation.

2. He feeds off his partner's character and subsequently develops none of his own: When one creates in themselves a codependent inner nature they lose much of their own identity, taking on the emotions and feelings of their partner. Although a healthy amount of codependency is good for a relationship, an overly codependent person becomes a 'non-person', and teaches his partner to not recognize him, for 'he' really, truly doesn't exist! This means that, as a codependent, one loses their own identity—and without an "I"dentity you are essentially a nobody, and how can 'nobody' be anywhere, let alone in a relationship and by their wife's side? How can one love 'nobody'?

3. He unknowingly teaches his partner that everything is about 'her': Another thing a codependent person does is to teach their partner to be selfish and self-serving. Since, to a codependent person everything is about the act of doing for the other person (remember, this is his illusion), and that nothing is about them (again, his illusion), they subconsciously condition the other person to come to expect all their needs to be met by the codependent person, in as much as the codependent person, themselves, does focus on meeting all their partner's needs—but carrying resentment about it. They subconsciously train their partner's to become selfish, expectant, and self-gratifying.

On the flipside of that, when the wife is codependent she spends an excessive amount of time feeling like her actions aren't appreciated, that she is unnoticed and unacknowledged, and that she is sacrificing herself for her husband and family and not being appreciated or acknowledged for it in return. When she feels she is not getting the appreciation at home that she feels she deserves, she becomes more vulnerable to an affair. She may mistakenly believe that only another lover will understand her and appreciate her and all that she does. You can spend years trying to make a codependent person feel appreciated and loved. However, it's like filling a bucket with holes in the bottom. Codependents have this empty hole that only they can fill up. Sometimes you may be able to get it a quarter full, or even halfway full, but no matter how much you put in this bucket, it keeps falling right out the bottom.

To sum it up, a codependent person unknowingly pushes their spouse into the arms of another, AND a codependent person, themselves, will willingly rush into the arms of another when they feel lonely, unappreciated, and not respected in their home life.

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« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2011, 11:53:39 AM »

I'm definitely codependent, but I never heard of the term until my relationship with my uBPDxbf.  Being aware of it is allowing me to connect various pieces of my life and issues that have come up over the years.  I've started working on it intensly with my T.  The last few sessions have been painful revisiting childhood and how it developed... .learned it... .was forced into it... .(?)   Lots of questions to be answered to move forward in a healthy way. 

I think it's interesting that codependency never came up for me prior ~ even with MC, going through T my divorce, etc.  It certainly was there, but it didn't get 'highlighted' as much as with my uBPDxbf.  Great thread.
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« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2011, 12:05:42 PM »

Thanks for your reponses. @JDoe: being in a caregiving profession can complicate things- you have a tendency to see rescuing people as your job... .maybe figuring this stuff out can end up taking unneeded stresses out of work. As a substitute teacher this year I am enjoying dropping my concerns for school drama at the end of the day- something I used to handle with a sixpack.  Letting go of other people's problems is such a relief  Smiling (click to insert in post)

@Walrus:  
Being that the codependant has trouble saying No, we assume more responsibility than what we should, which ultimately leads to resentment and feeling used.

I know now that having the attitude of "Me First" does not mean I become a taker and have to quench my giving nature. It does give me the strength to say No when I feel my giving is starting to encroach upon the time that I reserve for me and the activities that I want to do.

I am still working on saying "no." It is such an ingrained reaction to agree to any request made of me- connected to social anxiety for me, for the need to prove that I'm a good guy. Fear of ostracization.  

@Flashcard:

I like that you are balancing your sense of enabling your own abuse with some skepticism about how much this is your responsibility.  We may fall into codependent patterns in these relationships, but if our partners really are emotionally dysregulated, then we can't take responsibility for that (so are we not codependent?)  Its a little paradoxical (if we are taking too much responsibility, does that mean we really are codependent ?), and that requires a balanced assessment instead of a black and white self-diagnosis.  

I have a lot of problems with the article Skip reposted here, I will have to give it its own post to go into that.

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« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2011, 12:58:24 PM »

From Skip's post, I don't believe I am codependent!  Yay!  The only thing that struck a chord was
Excerpt
Just below the surface of every codependent is a lost and rejected child that doesn't feel that who they are themselves is worthy of love.

  As the good/compliant oldest child of a conservative Christian mom/emotionally unavailable dad (huge childhood scars, himself), with a uBPD/NPD sister just 19 months younger, I did always feel a need to be good, to not disappoint, to excel in order to be worthy or lovable.   I now see my worth as a daughter of The King of Kings, so I do not have to be enough, it is enough that I am.

SE: fortunately, I am mostly able to leave my work on my desk at the end of the day and don't stress needlessly.  As the office manager, I have come to embrace the fact that I am one person, doing the job of about 3 and it will never get all done.  The doc sometimes asks when the piles of work will get smaller and I tell him, "As soon as you retire, and nobody is piling it up!"

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« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2011, 10:13:33 AM »

I can see some of the traits Skip described in myself, like lack of a strong identity.  But other traits remind me more of my BPDh.  The self sacrifyicing part sounds more like him.  It's one of his major themes- that he does everything for everyone and is not appreciated for it.  In reality, I see him putting up boundaries (borders?) that tell everyone he won't dope anything for them.  Once in awhile he does get involved in someone else's project and then he can be very helpful.  He is particularly bad about his 86 year old mother - complains constantly about how she always tries to control everything and asks him to do everything.  I find this very difficult.  IMO, when you are 86 you deserve some respect, some tolerance, and some help.

Could this be my codependence coming out in a way that I can't recognize it, or can PwBPD also have codependent traits?  Or could are there some similarities in BPD and codependency that we normally do not recognize?  Like the hole in ones selve that cannot be fooled, selfishness and self-centeredness, inability to truly love, etc.  Ugh, so depressing. ?
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« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2011, 10:21:49 AM »

The article Skip posted is a little confusing- for one thing it should be noted it was written by "Tigress Luv" a web-book author who doesn't seem to have any expert credentials... .but then again codependency itself isn't in the DSM-IV, it seems to have been generated from the alcoholics anonymous community, so I'm not sure what the expert credential would be.

I think there are a lot of insights there if you are not expecting it to be authoritative, but still there are a lot of unsupported claims (see her final paragraph), and overall seems to blame the codependent for conditioning their partner and creating the problem, which is not the case in this community.  

I think the wikipedia article is a better resource for those of us that want to use this concept to understand our part in the BPD dance.

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency
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« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2011, 10:36:59 AM »

There are different 'levels" of being codependent just like with anything else.  After reading that article, I'm not 1/2 of what it describes, but I definitely do have some of the traits.  I pull what applies to me from these articles/workshops, etc. and work on that with my T.  It opens our discussions to places I don't think we'd hit on without direct questions which arise from these resources/posts.
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« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2011, 09:16:07 AM »

Skip, that description really rings true to me, and really seems to describe my mother's behavior to a T.  But I am on this site because I thought she was BPD.  She does some of the classic BPD behaviors, too - splitting, impulsivity, unstable sense of self and unstable relationships - but I think at core, it was this pretending to always do for others and be a martyr while really only caring about stroking her own ego, that was the core of the problem.  

What is the relationship between co-dependency and BPD?  Can a person be both?

On the note that this is supposed to be about taking personal inventory, I came to this realization a while ago - that excessive interest in solving others' problems is really a way of avoiding your own pain and your own insecurity, and I found it really helpful.  Now when I feel driven to do something altruistic, I ask myself, am I really doing it for THEM, or am I doing it for ME?  And that is a pretty good guide to making sure that acts of kindness are really that, rather than using others to solve my psychological challenges.  BOTH my parents I think fit this profile, so I've definitely picked up some of the behaviors and assumptions, especially the need for validation from others.  I have a really hard time with "tough love," even when I know it's the right thing to do.  I am just scared on some level that without constant validation and approval, people will leave or turn on me.  It's a stressful way to live!  I'm working on it.  
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« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2011, 09:49:02 AM »

The article Skip posted is a little confusing- for one thing it should be noted it was written by "Tigress Luv" a web-book author who doesn't seem to have any expert credentials... .but then again codependency itself isn't in the DSM-IV, it seems to have been generated from the alcoholics anonymous community, so I'm not sure what the expert credential would be.

I think there are a lot of insights there if you are not expecting it to be authoritative... .

All fair criticisms, StrongEnough.  I struggle with the very same points - including the credentials of the author. 

Codependency (or relaionship addiction) is oddly not a DSM IV category but commonly diagnosed.  Its an anomaly for sure.

The concept of co-dependency was developed years ago as the result of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics.  However Melody Beattie's work (non-professional) expanded the definition in 1984 with her best selling Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself.

The National Mental Health Association states that 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. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive.

Here is information from Mental Health America - a more credentialed resource (www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/board)

Co-dependents have low self-esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better... .They have good intentions. They try to take care of a person who is experiencing difficulty, but the caretaking becomes compulsive and defeating. Co-dependents often take on a martyr’s role and become “benefactors” to an individual in need. A wife may cover for her alcoholic husband; a mother may make excuses for a truant child; or a father may “pull some strings” to keep his child from suffering the consequences of delinquent behavior.

The problem is that these repeated rescue attempts allow the needy individual to continue on a destructive course and to become even more dependent on the unhealthy caretaking of the “benefactor.” As this reliance increases, the co-dependent develops a sense of reward and satisfaction from “being needed.” When the caretaking becomes compulsive, the co-dependent feels choiceless and helpless in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behavior that causes it. Co-dependents view themselves as victims and are attracted to that same weakness in the love and friendship relationships.

Characteristics of Co-dependent People Are:

    * An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others

    * A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue

    * A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time

    * A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts

    * An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment

    * An extreme need for approval and recognition

    * A sense of guilt when asserting themselves

    * A compelling need to control others

    * Lack of trust in self and/or others

    * Fear of being abandoned or alone

    * Difficulty identifying feelings

    * Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change

    * Problems with intimacy/boundaries

    * Chronic anger

    * Lying/dishonesty

    * Poor communications

    * Difficulty making decisions

Questionnaire To Identify Signs Of Co-dependency

This condition appears to run in different degrees, whereby the intensity of symptoms are on a spectrum of severity, as opposed to an all or nothing scale. Please note that only a qualified professional can make a diagnosis of co-dependency; not everyone experiencing these symptoms suffers from co-dependency.

1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?

2. Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?

3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?

4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?

5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own?

6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?

7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?

8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?

9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?

10. Have you ever felt inadequate?

11. Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?

12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?

13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?

14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?

15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?

16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss?

17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?

18. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help?

19. Do you have trouble asking for help?

20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?

If you identify with several of these symptoms; are dissatisfied with yourself or your relationships; you should consider seeking professional help. Arrange for a diagnostic evaluation with a licensed physician or psychologist experienced in treating co-dependency.

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« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2011, 08:51:24 PM »

Thanks Skip, this article is a lot easier to relate to and harder to discount.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)  I definitely have some moments of discomfort recognizing some of these qualities in myself. I like that it makes it pretty clear why codependency is not good without blaming codependents for abuse they may endure.

Nothing evil nor heroic about these qualities: lack of trust in self and others, fear of rejection and abandonment, compulsive helping behavior towards others, self-doubt. The more time I take with the idea, the easier it is to see how I need healing in this area, how I've actually been working towards these things even prior to the r/s. 

BPD has definitely aggravated my codependent traits- keeping quiet to avoid arguments for example.  I did that on some level, but not like this. I lost a lot of trust in myself and others, too.  At least I can articulate it now. My boundaries are more clear, I hope. A lot of things on this list are have become apparent to me as they happen or shortly after- difficulty saying no, anxiety over making mistakes. So much better to know I have a problem that causes anxiety than to just experience anxiety unconsciously.
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« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2011, 09:48:50 PM »

I preferred the first article Skip shared.  Now I feel like a big ol' codependent.  Will have to check out some resources to learn more about why I'm defective.

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« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2011, 12:05:42 AM »

I feel ya, JDoe.  I read the Tigress Luv article when I first joined this board and didn't see myself reflected so it took a while to come around to seeing codependency as relevant. 

I think its important to recognize that codependency, like addiction, is a process and not a personality disorder. It is not a disease and a lot of people question think it is wrongly pathologized by the self-help community (see controversies section of the wikipedia article.)

If you do find it relevant, there is a guide to recovery from codependence among other resources at Codependents Anonymous:

www.coda.org/tools4recovery/patterns2.htm
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« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2011, 12:22:35 AM »

The National Mental Health Association states that 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. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive.

[/size][/color]

Just read this again- I'm definitely guilty of maintaining a one-sided emotionally destructive relationship. As soon as I stopped being the full time maintenance man, the r/s collapsed under its own weight!
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« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2011, 09:05:20 AM »


Nice chart.  I like the simplicity.  Thank you!  xoxox
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Two years out and getting better all the time!


« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2011, 12:30:31 PM »

As soon as I stopped being the full time maintenance man, the r/s collapsed under its own weight!

I think the phrase "full time maintenance man" is clever and true.

After our divorce plans was announced and before stbxw moved out, several members of my family dropped her from FB. Heaven forbid!   My stbxw immediately recognized it, accused me of defaming her to them (which I didn't... they just never liked her), and demanding that I find out why they did so. I told her that I cannot control what people do and they acted on their own volition. I am not going to "fix" it. If she wonders why, she can contact them herself and find out why (she never did).

There was a 22 year pattern of her breaking relationships then turning to me to fix them, and I did to keep the peace. I considered it a positive step forward for me to take my maintenance hat off finally and lets the chips fall where they may.
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« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2011, 08:38:12 PM »

Good news!  I took the list of 20 questions and discussed it at great lengths with my mom, the person who knows me best, and we decided that while we share some weaknesses, like having trouble saying no, most of my "yeah, I've done that" responses were coping mechanisms from living with H for 20 years.

I did not keep quiet to avoid arguments, but rages.  I felt inadequate and "bad" after hearing that I was those things for so long.  I did not ask for help because I was in the FOG.  So, other than needing to get better at boundaries, I'm gonna be okay!  And walking out was a pretty clear demonstration of a huge boundary that I have been enforcing quite nicely for 9 weeks now, including NC.
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« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2011, 12:29:33 AM »

Nothing evil nor heroic about these qualities: lack of trust in self and others, fear of rejection and abandonment, compulsive helping behavior towards others, self-doubt. The more time I take with the idea, the easier it is to see how I need healing in this area, how I've actually been working towards these things even prior to the r/s.  

If you take out "compulsive helping behavior toward others" and replace it with "rages and projects", doesn't this sound like BPD?  I feel like codependency might be just a slightly nicer version of BPD.  And maybe I have just as much dysfunction as my BPD SO, but can't see it anymore than he can. 

I've always known I had some problems functioning comfortably in this life, but I've worked pretty hard just to accept myself.  It's kind of hard to think about trying to "fix" myself now.  Anyone else feel like this?     
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« Reply #57 on: April 24, 2011, 02:36:41 AM »

I went through a period where I wondered if I was the one with BPD, and I think a lot of people on this board do.  We talk about being in a FOG, which sounds a lot like what BPDs live their lives in- an emotional cloud that resists reason.  Then, there's the concept of "fleas" my-issueswhere the BPD traits are contagious to nons while they are in the relationship. Maybe another way of saying these things is that being in a BPD relationship creates or aggravates codependent tendencies, which Salut rightly says is a lot like BPD.

The Codependents anonymous site divides codependent behaviors into:

Denial Patterns-  "I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel."

Low Self-Esteem Patterns- "I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own."

Compliance Patterns-    "I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger. "

and Control Patterns- "I attempt to convince others of what they “should” think and how they “truly” feel."

I can see how all of these were conditioned in our relationship.

It took me 5 years to see that I was in an abusive situation. I'm an optimist. I'd keep trying to put a good spin on everything, including HIS ego. My job became to whistle past the graveyard of our breakup (which would come up regularly for no discernible reason)  to soothe his worries, cater to his needs, cheer him up, talk him down.  Gradually, my positive, "fixing" response was automatic and had nothing to do with my own feelings, more with keeping his feelings under control. Even after a "victory" I'd feel very dissatisfied, since my own needs never got addressed.   As I kept my laser focus on invalidating his crazy talk, I was also being dishonest with myself (and him!) about how unsatisfactory things were becoming for me , and this was reinforced when he would lash out at me if I did express myself honestly. He would also criticize me for not being open and vulnerable enough. Smiling (click to insert in post)

ug.  It was never his worth and trustworthiness under fire, why would I  set him off by suggesting he had imperfections? It was never him trying to win my approval, I was giving that away (sometimes through gritted teeth) in order to manage him.  Hello Compliance and Control.  My worth and trustworthiness were questioned a lot, and between defending and questioning myself, I discovered self esteem problems I never had before.  Hi! Unfortunately I stayed in this relationship long enough for those codependent dynamics to grow, barely aware of what was happening. To the best of my ability to see it, I will never let that happen again.  So I want to see it clearly.

Codependent behavior hasn't been a feature in all my relationships, but I have a predisposition, something that might have been part of the attraction for him, definitely in my comfort zone, too. I've always worked caregiving jobs where it was my responsibility to fix things, to put my feelings second, to assume a degree of compliance with unreasonable people (autistics and alzheimers, at different points in my career.) These jobs made me strong, and I like being strong.  He liked me being strong, and I'll bet he liked being taken care of like I was being paid to do it even more. 

I was also primed by my parents. My dad was an alcoholic, and my mom managed/enabled him with a few codependent behaviors of her own. Made everything in my relationship seem normal.  Nothing out of the ordinary about having different roles to play. And why worry? uBPDex wasn't an alcoholic!

When I first found out about BPD my first reaction was to stay and be a heroic figure like my mother.  I still think people who go into it fully aware of what is up are to be supported and commended, not denigrated as codependents or blamed for creating the dynamic. But the more honest I became with myself (thank you NC!) I realized staying wasn't for me.  I don't need another caregiving job, -I already know I am strong enough to do that.  At this point its much more important to take care of MYSELF. Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2011, 05:14:44 PM »

I was really struck by the concept of the codependent needing to define themselves through others - I'm becoming more and more aware that I don't believe that I really exist unless someone else reflects me back to myself.  So I take people's reactions to me as the substance of what I am; obviously, I am ok as long as those responses are positive, and crushed when they are negative.  I have a great deal of difficulty separating a negative external reaction from the thought "I am a bad person."

Need to think about this some more.
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« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2011, 06:27:40 AM »

Wow... .that article set of some triggers for me to the point where I got little sleep last night thinking about it. I think I just got some insight into what a pwBPD might think stumbling onto this board. I'm horrified, because I'm very codependent, and the tone of that article is so negative. 

I can't deny my codependency - I totally am and am working on it. I was basically raised to be codependent; from childhood was told I was responsible for both of my parents' problems. Now I have a BPDsister and a nephew with special needs who is not being adequately parented, so you can only imagine my reaction.

I suppose codependents do have the characteristics noted in the article. And it can be incredibly annoyed. Maybe damaging, I don't know. But I just need to say that a lot of the time (most? all?) those feelings are rooted in fact.  I just feel a little awful after reading it  :'(
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« Reply #60 on: May 27, 2011, 05:34:06 PM »

I felt the same way after reading that article  I have seen some of the codependent tendencies in myself, but that description of the negative characteristics behind what seems like helpful, caring behaviors was hard to read... .Like you said I can understand how a pwBPD would feel, reacting in anger and denial when they saw our judgement of them and their "flawed" character, and yet it being true, but hard for them to see and accept.

Maybe I am just in denial, but I don't feel like my "caretaking" personality is about being selfish and manipulating people... .nor do I think that the hurt felt by not being appreciated for all we do is in our heads... .  He actually DOES NOT appreciate what I do and has TOLD ME SO:P Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) 

**WARNING, VERY LONG SENTENCE>< Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)***  When you work all day, drive an hour home in bumper-to-bumper traffic, then come home and chase your toddler around the house, while cooking dinner, while your man takes a nap... .then crawl around on the floor cleaning up food everywhere after DD finishes eating, wind her down for bed and spend an hour+ convincing her to go to sleep (since he's let her sleep till 10am because he went to bed at 4am and then gave her a nap until 5pm... .), and then get hit up with "have sex with me or I'll make you miserable for days" when attempting to go to bed... .and then getting woken up 2-3 times (or more) in the night by DD, only to get up at 6am and do it all over again... .while he gets to play "stay at home dad"... .and all you get is "You have a job!" in a jealous kind of way, like its such a wonderful thing that it makes up for all this crap... .its really frustrating! And no, I don't think its all in my head... .Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)  Call me a martyr if you want, but I do what I need to do to make sure my family is taken care of... .apparently at the expense of myself... .
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« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2011, 05:49:43 PM »

    Yea, codependence is a bad thing. I hear the term is used losely, but I definately relate to it being defined as being dependent on someone else being dependent on you. For me, it means I gave up my original purpose in life to make someone else my purpose in life. I gave up the ability to "feel" my emotions by giving up my plan in life and allowing people to walk all over me. Friends, family or intimate relationships. Once I was able to wrap my head around what I've done to myself it's easier to see the way out. This is a process, a long one. Had to figure out when I lost my spirit, what caused it and feel all that dam pain from my past up to now.

   At this point in this process I've finally started "feeling" again. This past two weeks I've felt joy (sad that my therapist had to pinpoint that emotion FOR me) and I've felt hurt. And it's somewhat overwhelming. The hurt lasts longer, that, I don't get. Maybe it's because I haven't let myself "feel" hurt for so long. Idk. I have to tell myself this is new and it will even out, hopefully. I have my "plan" for my recovery and I will stay on track, because I do not like this and I want to be non codependent. I've had major break throughs with my mother, work and with friends so I have to be willing to follow through with the sometimes raw emotion.

   I can't sit and tell you in one sitting everything I've realized, learned, recognized, and still there's more... .I am not at the end of this process and frankly, it's probably going to be a lifelong situation. I feel like I'm always going to have to pay attention to my behavior and the behavior of others. I just have to hope it'll get easier as it becomes habit.
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« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2011, 07:58:41 PM »

I was really struck by the concept of the codependent needing to define themselves through others - I'm becoming more and more aware that I don't believe that I really exist unless someone else reflects me back to myself.  So I take people's reactions to me as the substance of what I am; obviously, I am ok as long as those responses are positive, and crushed when they are negative.  I have a great deal of difficulty separating a negative external reaction from the thought "I am a bad person."

In the article that Skip posted close to the beginning of the thread, there was an interesting paragraph that echoed Penguinectomy's comment:

"Codependents lack in self-perception and can only identify who they are through that of a second person. They manifest 'who they are' only through another's eyes, thoughts, or views of them... .and without another they are unable to find their own identity. Codependents tend to latch onto partners because of this lack of being able to self-identify through themselves."


Maybe that's why we non's who are also codependents are so taken with a person who has BPD?  We NEED the BPD to mirror us?

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« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2011, 10:06:59 PM »

I also feel that sense of not existing if someone isn't there.  When my H is out of town I relish at first because I can do what I want, eat what I want, and keep the house much cleaner.  But after a couple of days I start to feel like I'm no there.  Like in the previous couple of days I used up all that I am and there is nothing more. If I really let myself feel it instead of avoiding it, I imagine it would be a really creepy feeling.

Anyone have ideas on how to start recognizing your own codependent behavior?  For example, a friend asked me to come ton dinner tomorrow.  She know I'm having a rough time.  Iwould almost rather stay home, but said yes because I appreciate her trying to help.  Is that co dependent, or normal?
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« Reply #64 on: May 28, 2011, 03:39:10 AM »

I guess I'm so frustrated with the article Skip posted because my pwBPD is a family member (two of them). I'm like - jeez, I don't WANT to be codependent, and now the article has me questioning my entire existence and I'm now feeling like a crappy person. I am really worked up about this. I've read a lot about codependency but have never before read anything that made codependents sound basically like awful narcissists.

A few months ago I made a decision about my sister that involved calling child protective services and this article has me wondering if my potentially BPD mother's accusation that I made it all up (I did NOT) has some validity, because apparently I am a codependent person who only thinks of myself?

I'm really having a very strange and strong reaction to this article, I just feel completely invalidated and wish it weren't on this site, because the tone of the article is very hostile.

I definitely take people's reactions to me as the substance of what I am, though. That's in general - I don't think I've dated anyone with BPD though I've dated a lot of guys who were emotionally unavailable to hypercritical, and in fact haven't dated at all in several years.

ugh.
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« Reply #65 on: May 28, 2011, 08:07:45 AM »

so I took the list of characteristics and the 20 questions on the post skip made and went through it point by point.  

It was interesting and I feel pretty good about it, because I have learned, grown and changed over the years.  

I've found that much of my difficulty throughout my life is either directly related to my parent's issues, dealing with them, and basically being made responsible for them from a very young age.  I can remember being 18, with a new baby and a $5/hr job, and my mother telling me that I was her "meal ticket".  Literally.  Between my parents and an elderly aunt, my sister and I have been inundated in a lifetime that became "all about them".  

Unfortunately, neither parent (or aunt) took any sort of look at their lives to make arrangements for or take responsibility for themselves.  They laid that square on the shoulders of me and my sister, with the expectation of having it all taken care of, from their social needs to their personal care.  Being raised as we were (our needs/feelings neglected), and having a sound sense of duty, we have complied.  

It makes sense that in r/s with SO's, things would be much the same, and I would say that with a few exceptions, they were.  My r/s with my ex husband was misery where I was responsible for everything, and he for nothing.  I believe with BPDexbf he wanted much the same, but having learned and grown, when I did stand up for myself, wanting an equal, loving partnership, it infuriated him and led to his leaving.  From what I can see, he wanted total support and care from a woman who had no feelings or needs of her own.  Rather impossible, at least for this girl.  I loved my exBPDbf deeply and gave all I could, but I did have expectations, needs and feelings and I did express them.  I don't think he liked that at all.  

Anyway, having examined it, I do see my mistakes of the past, but I do know that I have grown, learned and changed my behaviors to a point where they are much healthier.  I look back on the past and am gentle with myself because being who I was, how I was raised, I know I couldn't have done differently.  The one thing I do know is that my conscience is clear.  In my relationships I loved and gave all I could.  I was honest and trustworthy, I was loving, caring and kind.  I did not cheat, did not lie, did not betray, did not withhold.  My only wish was to love and be loved.  My error was in choosing partners who for whatever reason were not capable of loving me.  
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« Reply #66 on: May 28, 2011, 08:33:08 AM »

I guess I'm so frustrated with the article Skip posted because my pwBPD is a family member (two of them). I'm like - jeez, I don't WANT to be codependent, and now the article has me questioning my entire existence and I'm now feeling like a crappy person. I am really worked up about this. I've read a lot about codependency but have never before read anything that made codependents sound basically like awful narcissists.

A few months ago I made a decision about my sister that involved calling child protective services and this article has me wondering if my potentially BPD mother's accusation that I made it all up (I did NOT) has some validity, because apparently I am a codependent person who only thinks of myself?

I'm really having a very strange and strong reaction to this article, I just feel completely invalidated and wish it weren't on this site, because the tone of the article is very hostile.

I definitely take people's reactions to me as the substance of what I am, though. That's in general - I don't think I've dated anyone with BPD though I've dated a lot of guys who were emotionally unavailable to hypercritical, and in fact haven't dated at all in several years.

ugh.

Please don't let that article define you.  I found the first article skip posted as being quite hostile and demeaning myself, and find it very unproductive with regard to self analysis.  Another poster did point out that it was written by someone with seemingly no expert credentials.  The second one skip subsequently posted, with the list of characteristics and 20 questions is more thought compelling.  I went through that quite carefully and actually wound up comfortable with the outcome. 
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« Reply #67 on: May 28, 2011, 08:32:13 PM »



Please don't let that article define you.  I found the first article skip posted as being quite hostile and demeaning myself, and find it very unproductive with regard to self analysis.  Another poster did point out that it was written by someone with seemingly no expert credentials.  The second one skip subsequently posted, with the list of characteristics and 20 questions is more thought compelling.  I went through that quite carefully and actually wound up comfortable with the outcome. 


  Thank you so much for saying this Livia. I was thinking the same thing. I mean, I had planned on coming back in and examining who this author was later and you did that for me. I just kept remembering what my T had said about some of the things I've read (posts) in here and she told me to be careful about letting someone define or label you. I hadn't taken the time to read that article before I originally posted, read it after. I kept coming back to it and asking myself those questions. Is that really me? And yea, some of it is/was. But I have an identity, I always have. I allowed myself to change into a persona that was created for me though. I sure did. And realizing that in itself was bad enough. Left me asking myself who am I for a long time, but I've come back to myself. I realize I'm somewhat of a fragile/sensative person who IS affected by what other people think BUT I also realize that there are just plain mean people in this world and I have to deal with that. I am of sound mind according to my T. That article just sounds like someone that needs to be in an institution somewhere to me. I'm not trying to dodge reality here, I really looked at myself and my behaviors and gave it honest thought. Because, yea, that left me feeling if that's me I want to be seeing my T twice a week to fix THAT. But I do see what applies to me and what I need to keep an eye on, and for that it was good.
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« Reply #68 on: May 28, 2011, 11:41:50 PM »

Because of the tone of the first article quoted, I have trouble giving it pretty much any credence at all.  Anything that describes a condition using terms like "always" and "never" is extreme.  It is completely negative, and it sounds like the author had an axe to grind even!

The thing is, we are not all or nothing anything.  I believe it quite possible that many of us can have some co-dependant tendancies, just as we all have weaknesses in one area or another, but articles like that, however well intended they may be, are geared to 'make' people simply feel bad about themselves!
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« Reply #69 on: May 29, 2011, 08:29:27 AM »

I agree, folks.  

I do find terms like "Codependent" to be a bit of a "catch all" for anyone who has been involved in an abusive relationship for any length of time.  

Having been in one myself for quite a long time, I can say that things are much much more complex than a list of characteristics or questions, some of which can be very general and vague.

There are a myriad of reasons people stay in difficult, painful and abusive relationships.  

I believe first and foremost are love, commitment and hope.  However misguided they might be, however lost they might get in the quagmire and confusion of the relationship, these are not inherently bad motivations.  And anytime the abuser is kind or shows any love, care, or goodness, that hope is reinforced for the partner.  

I'll be the first to admit to having had a sense of low self worth in the past.  That was cultivated in me from infancy, and reinforced along the way by the people I have been involved with.  We do tend to seek what we know, so that makes sense.  I've learned my self worth, I'm well aware of it, even if I do have to remind myself daily.  I also have a profound sense of responsibility... .cultivated by a lifetime of being surrounded (by birth or mistaken choice) by irresponsible people.  Poorly defined boundaries?  Absolutely I have had them.  They are directly related here to issues one and two.  

I've taken a long hard look at my life.  Where I've come from, what I've experienced, who I have been with, and who I am.  

Quite honestly, I've learned my most profound errors have been in who I associated with, who I chose for partners.  And yes, they also chose me, precisely for who I am.  As for why I made those choices?  Because it was what I knew.  

I grew up with Jekyll/Hyde parents.  People I dearly loved, people who I saw wonderful qualities in, people who sadly had serious issues, who were capable of terribly bad behavior, and inflicting great harm on those closest to them.  Tragic people I loved and ached for, wished I could fix things for, wished they could see the wonderful life that was right within their reach if only for a moment they could consider anyone or anything but themselves, and who I also wished would love me and take care of me because as a child I needed to be loved and cared for.  None of those wishes were answered.  They couldn't.  They were not capable.  

As for my experience in abusive relationships... .experience that would probably have earned me the "Codependent Poster Child of the Decade" title... .

Again, they were people I dearly loved, people who I saw wonderful qualities in, people who sadly had serious issues, who were capable of terribly bad behavior, and inflicting great harm on those closest to them.  Tragic people I ached for, wished I could fix things for, wished they could see the wonderful life that was right within their reach if only for a moment they could consider anyone or anything but themselves, and who I also wished would love me and care for me as I loved and cared for them because as a human being I believe we all need to be loved and cared for.  

None of those wishes were answered.  They couldn't.  They were not capable.  

I will not feel guilty, bad, ashamed of, or defective for having loved with all I had, and given all I could.  I have a profound sense of commitment.  I believe in it.  I believe it's easy to love someone when everything is moonlight and roses, but does one withdraw love when the going gets rough?  Where is the line where tough times become too tough?  Again, when one gets intermittent positive reinforcement, things become very difficult and confusing.  

If I remain loyal, honest, faithful and loving in a committed relationship where my partner has failed in any of the above, then somehow I become defective?  I now have sick and selfish motivations?  That one bewilders me, and sadly, I think that concept heaps double harm on anyone who has been in an abusive relationship.  

But I have learned.  I've learned a few of what I believe to be the most important lessons.  

They are:  

First, to love myself at least equally to the love I give others.  That includes protecting myself from pain and abuse.  Just as I would stand strong at the gates of hell to protect my loved ones from harm, I must have that same sort of powerfully protective love for myself.  

Second, the biggest part of that protection from pain and abuse is the choice of those who I associate with, and those I choose as a partner.  

I'll never again give myself in love to a partner who shows signs of mental instability, abusiveness, addiction, lack of responsibility, lack of humanity.  

In the past I found myself in relationships with this sort of person.   It happens all the time.  As we can see on this board, there's a lot of them out there.  They're easy to fall in love with if we don't take the time to truly *know* them, and see how they live their lives.  It's easy to believe loving words and promises.  Heavens, I think everyone wants to be loved and be happy so it's a blessing to be swept up in love and hope.  Because of that we can be far too quick to dismiss a history of bad behavior or want to help someone we care deeply for and see the goodness in.  

It's very easy to believe we are in love with the good person who is somewhere deep down inside of someone who behaves terribly.  We've seen that good person before, we know and love them, so of course we believe he/she exists!  Now and then he/she comes back for a command performance, which only reinforces the belief that the love and goodness are there.  Sadly we can spend the rest of our life trying to help them, save them, care for them and trying to bring back that wonderful experience of loving and being loved.  

Wanting to love and be loved.  I don't find anything selfish or defective in this whatsoever.  It's a profound part of the human condition.  

So basically, having examined my life, and my "part" in abusive relationships, those are my conclusions.

That I need to love and protect myself as ferociously as I would my SO, my child, anyone I loved.

And

That I must be very careful in the choice of a partner.  The choice of a partner is make or break for a life.  It can be your blessing or it can be your ruin.  

I know without question that I chose poorly, not only because of how they treated me, but also because of how they've treated others.  I was not the lone recipient of their abuse.  Others were seriously mistreated by them as well, including their other partners and their children.  Their character is also reflected in their work, financial irresponsibility, problems with the law, other relationships, etc.  

So from here on in, I'll be watching very carefully.  If someone crosses my path that I observe to have mental health issues, addictions, an abusive personality, lack of responsibility, lack of humanity... .

I'll just send them on their way with a prayer.  







   

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« Reply #70 on: May 31, 2011, 05:35:32 AM »

Livia, that's such a wonderful post, and it sounds like you're in a very good place. All the best to you (and everyone else here).

Excerpt
I'll be the first to admit to having had a sense of low self worth in the past.  That was cultivated in me from infancy, and reinforced along the way by the people I have been involved with.  We do tend to seek what we know, so that makes sense.  I've learned my self worth, I'm well aware of it, even if I do have to remind myself daily.  I also have a profound sense of responsibility... .cultivated by a lifetime of being surrounded (by birth or mistaken choice) by irresponsible people.  Poorly defined boundaries?  Absolutely I have had them.  They are directly related here to issues one and two.

Yep, me too. Though my pwBPD are family members, I was in emotionally abusive relationships for a long time. I didn't quite see most of them as emotionally abusive at the time, but they were. I've taken a LONG break from dating after seeing a few years ago that I'm not choosing wisely.  What you said about seeking what we know - it's so true. That was my normal.

I looked at that list of characteristics and also thought it was very good - I have a good number of them, but others don't describe me, so I'm not sure. I feel like I've kind of gone to the other extreme now where I want to walk away from everyone and have difficulty even volunteering at this point because I feel so drained by the BPDs in my life. If any good came from reading that first article (and it's still affecting my sleep!) - it's that I need to get my butt back into therapy because my boundaries and self-worth are apparently still so fragile that I don't even know if what I thought was a healthy way to handle my BPD family members is, or if it was in fact all about me.
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« Reply #71 on: May 31, 2011, 10:58:53 AM »

This has definitely been an interesting discussion:) And has also gotten me thinking a bit about the "BPD" label and what it means.  Just as that article focuses on the negative of codependents being hopelessly self-absorbed... .a lot of information about pwBPD focuses all on the negatives as well, with a lot of "always"/"never" kind of statements... .But it seems that there are a lot of different levels of "codependence" and that you can't really generalize like "This person is codependent, therefore they will do x, y, and z... ."  Seems to me that the same can be said for pwBPD.  It's a label for a group of behaviors... .but each pwBPD behaves slightly different, even if in similar patterns.  I think a lot of what has been coming between me and my acceptance of my boyfriend is this label and the descriptions of the phases of a BPD relationship, etc... .  It's had me feeling like there's no hope. But just as each pwBPD acts a bit different, there can be deviations from the "normal" course of a relationship with them.  So I'm thinking that while reading articles and other people's stories can help me understand what he IS doing, I shouldn't be assuming that he WILL do things he hasn't, just because its what is expected.  I think its more important to understand how OUR pwBPD works, because each of them has a different collection of lovely BPD behaviors... .
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« Reply #72 on: May 31, 2011, 04:31:02 PM »

I think that's true, KeepingPeace. For example, my BPDsister isn't a rager... .at least around me. I think she may be around others. But never once around me except for one email one time. With me she acts waif-like and helpless, trying to manipulate emotions to the point that the last time I talked to her on the phone she sighed and in a little girl voice told me she just "had an accident" in her clothes. She's told me of her rages toward doctor's office staff and my mother, so I do think she does, but a lot of BPDs are more outward-turning. She's more inward turning.
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« Reply #73 on: June 01, 2011, 02:10:00 PM »

I think that 'all of us are codependent to some extent' reveals a full spectrum of codependency.  With on one end the person described in the first article, and a 'normal, well adjusted' person on the other end.  Each individual is only one point in that distribution.  We are all unique in the collection of behaviors we encompass.

I think it becomes unhealthy when someone takes an inordinate amount of responsibility for another person and it is not being given as a gift. There are exceptions to this.  Someone may not be able to do something for themselves*  Of course, the real measure is in how we feel about it.  :)o we still feel like we are giving our efforts as a gift of love? with no indebtedness?  or do we feel like this person is incurring an emotional indebtedness to us ?  If the give and take has reached the point where you are feeling resentful, angry, abused, etc. because you are giving more than the other person in this relationship, it is time to pull back.
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« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2011, 01:39:36 AM »

Hi,

In order to get a grip on my own personal issues and getting a better understanding of why I stayed in an abusive situation for so long, I was thinking I'd prepare a list of what was keeping me there and trying to answer what needs were in me that were in play. Here goes:

What needs were met, partly met or did I believe were met in my BPD relationship?

The need for:



  • plentiful, exciting, uninhibited amounts of sex – this was fulfilling the need to lose myself, avoidance


  • the illusion of being the one in control – this meant no need for fear of abandonment


  • the belief this person would never leave me – as she was unable to leave, so no abandonment fears needed


  • complete distraction -  someone to fill my time – preventing me to think about any other stuff that I might need to deal with, avoidance


  • the pedestal – getting from her what I didn't believe in myself – self worth


  • rejuvenation – feeling young again, with the possibility of children, a happy home – getting a second chance means I get absolution from past mistakes– self worth


  • intimacy without having to commit – as I realized she was not going to be able to commit this allayed my own fears to commit – avoidance and self worth


  • the entanglement leading to self discovery – identity issues – self worth


  • being able to be the rescuer – the belief that I was the only one able to help – self worth


  • being able to be the victim – by giving and getting nothing in return – I affirmed myself being self sacrificing and special – codependent tendencies here -  self worth


  • a feeling of (false) safety, withdrawal into self, not letting others get close enough to hurt, feeling in control or feeling able to manipulate by playing the victim – detachment, avoidance




Plenty of reasons to stay in the relationship as long as I did... .and plenty of reasons I should work on myself and get these issues within myself resolved. Looking at the list above I need to work on: improving my self worth, my fear of abandonment and any avoidance issues. As I explore this more and more, I'm sure more issues will come to the surface.

Any comments are more than welcome... .

Cheers,

gh444
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« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2011, 06:07:49 AM »

As a follow up to the previous list I made two more:


And... .what did I get instead of having my needs met:

Sex forced on me (manipulation/rape) to the point of exhaustion

Escalating violence during sex (lack of boundaries)

Humiliation about sex (derisive comments on performance or physical attributes)

Disassociation during sex and crying spells (her and me both)

Unloving sex – to the point of cruelty

Sleep deprivation (caused by endless discussions, ranting and raging)

Accusations of manipulation and control

Accusations of being insane

Accusations of being violent and untrustworthy

Accusations of being unable to love

Threats of violence or self harm

Threats of suicide

Threats of calling the police on me

Threats of disclosing anything shared in confidence to others

Total lack of privacy (followed into the bathroom)

Reading emails, phone messages, etc and accusations of infidelity

Not being allowed to leave the room/house when I chose to

Not leaving the room/house when I wanted her to

Preventing me to leave by hiding or taking keys

Following me anywhere even when asked not to

Constant unannounced and uninitiated visits

Saying she will only visit for half an hour and then staying for hours on end

Hitting me

Lying to me

Revising the past and trying to convince me I remembered it wrong

Putting words in my mouth

Reenacting past sexual abuse scenes

Forcing me to become an abuser, throw things, threaten and violent towards her

Taunting me to the point of anger, rage and violence

Ignoring requests to talk about stuff later

Laughing at my behavior in the company of others

Taunting me about her having sex with others

Telling me the way I love is not good enough, as it isn't the way she loves

Having intimate details shared come back to be used against me

Tailoring my behavior towards treating her like a whore, to be an abuser and then accusing me of becoming an abuser, that I treat her like a whore

Making me doubt my own sanity

Making me doubt anything she says

Telling me she's pregnant when she's not

Telling me she had aborted a child of mine when she did not

Telling me she has breast cancer when she has not

Telling me she has a VD when she has not and I was the one to give it to her

Providing me with a cat and then when I and my son become attached, take it away and then downplay that as a misunderstanding

Going into therapy to keep me enmeshed rather than to heal

Send me naked pictures of herself or texts with sexual references

Send me constant messages with varying content just to see if I respond

Use others against me to keep me engaged

Triangulate with others

Accuse me of being gay, sadistic or impotent

Invite me to share sex partners

Invite me to watch porn

Ridicule me for watching porn

Ignore any request for respecting NC

Ignore any possible closure talks and simply repeat the pattern

Ignore any requests for “being friends” and move the sign posts

Telling me I am the problem, because after I give in all I do is run away again

Telling me I will never be able to leave her as I will always return

Telling me I will never be able to leave her as she will always return

Telling me I should be grateful a young and attractive woman would be interested in little old me

Telling me I will never find anyone else who will love me like she can

Telling me I will be unable to forget her

Confusing the hell out of me with circular arguments and changing the subject unexpectedly

Confusing me with a constant barrage of information and or questions

Making me disclose information I don't want to share

Making me share time when I did not want to

Making me Cry, rant and rage

Making me feel empty inside

Making me too exhausted to spend time with my son

Making me lose patience with my son and criticize me for it

Making me feel ashamed

Making me feel I hate myself

Making me feel my hatred for myself was justified

Making me feel like a loser

Making me feel hopeless and suicidal

Making me beg for mercy

Making me beg for more



There must be a silver lining... .right? So what good did it do me?

I learned:

To examine myself truly and honestly

to recognize I have issues related to intimacy, avoidance and self worth

(through mirroring) that I am actually a beautiful person

I actually have more patience, inner strength and endurance than I ever thought I did

I am a care taker/fixer and I need new skills

I am a compassionate and loving person at heart

I need to work on maintaining healthy boundaries

That my inner child is hurting from my past

I can set my own direction in life and affect the outcome

I want to love and live my life to the fullest

I have a capacity for love greater than imagined

What is really important to me – my loved ones

I'm grey, rather than black or white

I am capable of forgiving myself and moving on

What the negatives are that I do not need in my life

What the positives are that I want in my life

I need to look within and feel love for myself

I need to lighten up and not take everything too seriously

I have empathy and more than I imagined

I was wrong about many of my conceptions about myself

I can still learn and grow and be who I want to be, towards myself and others



Thanks for letting me share all this.

Cheers,

gh444

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« Reply #76 on: June 23, 2011, 08:22:20 AM »

gh444 - those were very insightful lists - good for you!  I find it so hard to step back sometimes and truly examine the situation - I give you credit for having the courage to look at it from all angles, see the good/bad/ugly and come away with all of those as well. 

Congratulations on reaching that level of self-discovery - I'm attempting that climb right now myself.

Thanks for sharing yours... .it gave me hope!
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« Reply #77 on: July 12, 2011, 11:30:33 AM »

Can anyone recommend support groups that would be helpful for a recovering non? I know I have co-dependence issues, and I'm pretty sure there are some groups that meet locally for that, but are there others as well? Appreciate your help.

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« Reply #78 on: July 12, 2011, 11:58:46 AM »

hey htl, try this: www.coda.org/

i would love to find a support group for nons, but i don't feel my issue is codependency. i do deal with anxiety, but i would like to meet other nons and talk in person the way we do on this board. does anyone know if things like that exist?
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« Reply #79 on: July 15, 2011, 11:26:17 AM »

that would be awesome. I cant even find an active online community for Codepence recovery. I am doing the Codepenent no more work book though.
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« Reply #80 on: September 18, 2011, 08:14:51 PM »

Thank you for bumping this
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« Reply #81 on: September 19, 2011, 01:30:41 PM »

Codependancy:

"An emotional, psychological and behavioural condition that develops as a result of an individual's prolonged exposure to, and practice of, a set of rules-rules which prevent the open expressions of feelings as well as the direct discussion of personal and interpersonal problems"

Robert Stubby

Co-Dependency, An Emerging Issue.

For me co-dependency meant that I was a caretaker. I was not a role that I wanted but I was asked by my uBPDw to protect and shelter her from her abusive and controlling father shortly after we met.

I soon began to realise it would mean more than one act of "kindness". It involved be constantly available to support, protect, heal, help and  feed my uBPDw. There were time when she would function normally, going to work, socialising with colleagues family occasions.

I remember the messages from her family "take good care of my daughter, make sure you mind my sister" etc... ,

Over time she became less able to do things for herself. She could not work and complained bitterly as to how lucky I was. She could not cope with our children either when they were babies or when they became older. We had a full time nanny to help out.

This left my wife with nothing to do, nothing to feel good about herself.

I can see now that caretaking was enabling to her to do less and less. It kept her small and prevented her personal growth. Added to this there developed a level of enmeshment which felt comforting but in reality was so unhealthy for both of us.

I gradually took on more and more out of FOG until such time I became overwhelmed and could do not more. What was being  asked of me was becoming ridiculous and beyond reason.  I started to look to my own needs and to look after myself for the first time in years.

I did not know about BPD and my attempts to break free from our codependency would have been perceived as invalidation to my uBPDw.


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« Reply #82 on: September 19, 2011, 01:31:22 PM »

All of the above characteristics, right here.

I hear the argument that codependency has sort of become psychobabble, but what it really describes in my mind are behaviour patterns, usually formed from trauma.  Sort of like PTSD? Sure, maybe.  In my mind, all 'illness' is linked, so to choose PTSD, NPD, codependcy, etc as labels for myself would be a waste of time.  Better to address the illness behaviour.

It's weird how when I first took this type of quiz, my score was actually LOWER because I was so in denial of just how controlling I was.

I believe my patterns come from some narcissistic behaviour on my parents part (emphasizing what I DID, not who I WAS), as well as a lot of rejection/abandonment type trauma which led me to believe that I had to earn the right to be around people by doing things, not by being myself.  As well, I was sexually abused as a child, which when in certain contexts, can further emphasizing 'doing' and how we have to please other people in order to have worth as a person.

I'm slowly moving past codependency, and the thing that helps most, oddly enough, is the fact that I am still living with my uBPDexgf.  Now that the romantic relationship is dead, I have to come to terms with the emotional seperation, with being just ME. It's been a year, and I am finally starting to define myself, know my boundaries, and feel my feelings again.
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« Reply #83 on: September 19, 2011, 01:49:52 PM »

Thanks for this thread Skip,

I am severely codependent.  I have discovered I have many other addictions as well.  The concept of self-awareness with an open mind has only recently made me aware of this.

I no longer blame my stbxuBPDgf for our r/s issues as my role is just as big as her role.

She is angry with me for doing my self awareness.  For finding out what isn't working for me, and for taking actions necessary to "fix" me.  But that is her choice, not mine.  I choose my health, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

I am aware my personality "faults" did come as a child in an alchoholic family and then compounded by being sexually abused by a priest.  I am ok with that being part of my past and am now working hard to eliminate the effects of it in my present.  My issues made my r/s with my uBPDgf an easy thing to get into and become enamoured with.  I won't go so far as saying she targeted me,  I prefer to think of it as we targeted each other, unknowingly trying to fill the voids in our lives.

I plan to fix my voids in a healthy way.  I hope she does the same, but that is her choice.

Regarding discussion about copendency being real, or just a "fad", I think that can be true for any title (including BPD).  I think what is important to recognize is that if life isn't working for you, then its up to you to change it.
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« Reply #84 on: September 19, 2011, 02:41:22 PM »

Hi Skip,

    My results have been odd.

    From the clinical poll, everything was yes except the controlling.

    From the 20 question test, I only scored a 7, and two of those may be related to dating a BPD.

    I suspect that the 20 question test measures something different than the clinical poll - it seems to focus more on control and self-worth issues.

     I believe that if someone did a test for emotional repression, lack of relationship models, being non-confrontational, and weak boundaries, I'd score higher. I tend to prefer tests that segregate into distinct categories - they provide more information.

     I don't particularly blame my BPDw for our relationship issues.  That said, I am seeing, more and more, that there are a lot of issues that I need to work on regarding the R/S.  My prognosis is that working on those issues will be a dealbreaker for her.  Honestly, she's about 85% waif and 15% witch - and even no longer catering to the witch end is an issue for her.  Unfortunately, I plan to stop catering to waif-like behaviors pretty shortly, and she will most likely want a divorce at that point... .But, I could be wrong - BPDw is a pretty surprising woman sometimes.

      I think there's a broad landscape of differing traits. Most trait combinations are sort of evenly distributed - natural social forces prevent people from developing highly nonfunctional mentalities.  I believe that there are certain combinations of traits that tend to be more strongly self-reinforcing than societal forces and that those clusters result in mental illness.  Depression pretty clearly falls in this category.  Probably BPD also.  OTOH, there are some illnesses that society doesn't really fight and which are mildly self-reinforcing - this is actually where I'd put codependence. Meh, I could easily be wrong.

--Argyle
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« Reply #85 on: September 19, 2011, 03:47:47 PM »

To what extent do our tendencies, as codependent nons, perpetuate the dysfunction in the relationship?

I was talking about this with the ex the other day (she still surprises me with her perspective sometimes).  I told her that I think her outbursts push people towards abandoning her, which then feeds her fear of abandonment, which brings her full circle.  She did agree to this in the best way she could, and then mentioned that I perpetuate the cycle too.  Every time I don't keep up a boundary, every time I fall back into enmeshment, every time I reward bad behaviour, every time I break one of HER boundaries with my need to control, or my need to feel acknowledged all the time, I am continuing the circle and keeping us both in trouble.
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« Reply #86 on: September 19, 2011, 04:13:04 PM »

Indeed, I am strongly codependent and have been for many years.  I do have my most recent experience with my uBPD ex-bf to thank for opening my eyes to how serious an issue it is for me.   

I believe that the root of my codependency is with my FOO and my dysfunctional, uNPD/BPD mother who conditioned me to walk on eggshells from a rather young age (and my dad, who enabled her).   I honestly see myself having learned "his" role in the family dynamic and somehow figured out that this is the way to be in a relationship with a "complicated" partner.

I was talking about this with my younger sister recently, how odd it seemed that I took on a mothering role to my younger siblings without even giving it a second thought.

I have spent a good deal of my adult life getting involved with men who should have been capable of being emotionally mature grownups, and had I any good sense of setting and maintaining boundaries, I would have walked away from these individuals instead of getting involved.  I am certain that it was my astonishing lack of self-esteem, and a feeling that "I can't possibly attract anyone nice"  (because this is all I've ever experienced)

In other words, this behavior for me has been as conditioned as knowing what time to eat, how to put on socks and shoes, etc. 

The gift of awareness has been both a blessing and a curse.   It's going to be a struggle to truly forgive myself for jumping back into the metaphorical cookpot time and time again.  However, I really feel that at this point in my life I can actually identify boundaries: 

":)o not interrupt me when I am speaking!"

"I will not have a conversation with you about [this subject] again because the last x times we discussed this we did not resolve the issue and it seems we just cannot agree"

and so on.

Heck, I've even been able to do this with my mom, and for decades I've been absolutely terrified of standing up to her  (I was terrified hearing these words coming out of my mouth - but I did it).

I have a long way to go in my recovery, but taking the first step and admitting my codependency - and learning to start "letting go and letting G*d" - while it feels like learning to walk all over again - gives me hope (and scares me at the same time).
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« Reply #87 on: September 19, 2011, 07:12:08 PM »

Responsibility Issues Assumption of responsibility for meeting other's needs to the exclusion of acknowledging one's own needs.

Over the last 15 years I have had 5 what I would call significant r/s. The most notable common thread with all of them has been expending energy on meeting their needs and completely relinquishing my own. Eventually I would get fed up and resentful and start bucking up saying "I too have needs" - as soon as this would happen they would leave.

Interestingly I had the silent child syndrome (kid of an alcoholic parent) - so as an adult I am still operating in the same way. I seek these types of men (BPD, NPD or BPD traits) to gain the approval I never received as a child. Strangely all these men are emotionally unavailable to begin with - r/s goes full circle - self fulfilling prophecy!

Yes to all the below:

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?”

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

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

10. Feel uncomfortable when being offered praise or compliments?

11. Tend to be very hard on yourself?

12. Struggle to nurture yourself with treats?

14. Tend to seek love with dysfunctional partners?

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

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

Blurb: And how true it is! 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.

I had very few 'permissions' (things I could do for myself without parental involvement) as a child - 'rocking the boat' does not come naturally. I live in the tyranny of shoulds - All things should go smoothly

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« Reply #88 on: September 20, 2011, 12:15:56 PM »

Co-dependance really is an over used term in our society.  That's not to say there isn't something there, I think there is, for sure.  Really, we are talking about dependence... .but dependence in itself is not necessarily unhealthy so that is why this can get so confusing.  This is related to attachment, too.   From another post, there was  link to a article on attachment styles.  It points out that people do need people, we are in some ways, dependent on others... .and when those others are healthy and needs are met... .we actually are stronger and more capable and happy in the world BECAUSE of our healthy dependence.   Maybe we should just get rid of the term codependent and say Healthy Dependence or Unhealthy Dependence.


When we feel we can't be happy without a person who is abusive or toxic toward us, or have grown addicted to the juice of a relationship that as it's core dynamic is abusive or toxic... .to me, ... .that is Unhealthy Dependence.  If I lost this person it would hurt, but also, it would be more like withdrawing from an addiction... .because the abuse would create a type of trauma bonding, an unhealthy 'attachment' that is very strong even though it's not 'good for me'.  This type of relationship is not enhancing happiness or well being or personal growth... .indeed it's stickiness come from the glue of fear and trauma mixed in with chemistry and sexuality.  Loss would be on the top of my mind all the time, because the bond is obviously fragile and brittle... .this keeps me in a constant state of fearful arousal that is both awful and compelling.  This is why it is addicting.  This person leaves me a lot, or I have to leave them a lot, then we recycle a lot... .cementing the whole toxic mess.  

When we feel happy and more alive and more capable because of and through our dynamic associations with healthy loving people, that is Healthy Dependence. I may extend myself for this person... .but I am not asked or feel required to move into the world of boundary violations... .that is not the kind of sacrafices that are expected.  If I lost a person in my life who was a healthy loving partner that made me feel even more capable and secure in the world, I would of course grieve their loss and it would be terribly hard.  Likely I would not have to grieve their loss unless some kind of unplanned tragedy struck... .because by definition... .the relationship would be secure... .I wouldn't be in a constant state of fear or alarm over it's loss.

In the worst part of my relationship... .I was trauma bonded.

In most of my other relationship... .I was not trauma bonded... .and I didn't look very codependent.

The dynamic of constantly doing for others... .at the expense of yourself.  I don't know... .I don't think I feel compelled to constantly do for others.  I get tired and at times I have to just say no.  And I will say no.

I am interested in psychology and human behavior. I am a good listener.  I have always liked helping people with their problems, that is sort of my talent.  I turned it into a profession because I was good at it, and in the profession... .you cannot over extend yourself, you have to have good boundaries.  When I was younger, I overextended myself in helping others, but I learned as I grew to  have better boundaries and take better care of myself.

Boundaries will always be something I have to be on top of.  In my family growing up... .if I felt like I was uncomfortable, had heard enough, or that my boundaries were being crossed... .esp. with my father... .I NEVER spoke up about it.  NEVER. EVER.  I felt as a kid that my access to my father's love was only tentative and fragile, based on my being a good sport and going along with the program... .and the way to get whatever love attention I craved from my father... .was to NOT HAVE ANY NEEDS for myself, but to listen and be supportive of HIM and his needs.  I don't think that was true to that degree with other adults in my life, but with my father... .it was all about him.  The underlying feel was that if I ever had a need or made it about me... .I'd loose him.  This plays out in my intimate relationships with men and it's something I will probably always have to work on and be aware of. This got triggered and tapped into during my relationship with my ex who had BPD, for sure.  It gets tapped into probably in any of my love relationships with men... .but not like it did IN THIS particular relationship.  This relationship was the mother load of old childhood FOO sh** coming to the surface... .that is for sure.

I checked off the 'controlling' option from the original list. I don't think in most relationships I come off as terribly controlling at all.  In my relationship with my ex pwBPD... .yes I was controlling.  Just the process of constantly having to know, discuss, and monitor my own boundaries... .had a controlling feel to it. I learned not to use my boundaries to control him... .but even still, being on alert for boundary violations, having to discuss boundaries, having to act on your boundaries all the time... .I didn't have to do that all the time in other relationships, because, in other relationships I didn't feel like my boundaries were constantly being tested. In this relationship they were.  I was more controlling... .I had to even exert more control over myself than I ever had to before in my life... .I had to think and work and plan ... .even for myself, in ways I didn't in other relationships.  And when I would tell him... .you can see other women, you just can't extract a committed relationship from me while you are doing that... .I was in a sense being controlling, even if it was taking control of my own life... .and from his perspective... .because I was on top of my own values and needs... .it felt to him like I was controlling... .and in a way... .I was... .it may have been of me, but it was still control, and I still had to deploy control in a manner I didn't have to when I was in less challenging relationships. 



 
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« Reply #89 on: September 20, 2011, 12:31:09 PM »

Yes and it was a hard pill to swallow for me.I started treatment for it.  
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« Reply #90 on: September 20, 2011, 01:18:53 PM »

Co-dependent in a BPD r/s does not necessarily meaqn co-dependent for life.

You can unlearn these patterns but you need to be aware of them then you need to be proactive in wanting to change them.

Letting go, letting others learn from their mistakes, listenting instead of talking over.

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« Reply #91 on: September 20, 2011, 01:32:58 PM »

The part I forgot... .other characteristics... .

1. Strong fear of abandonment (rooted in early death of father)

--Difficult to think rationally about leaving.

2. Belief system incorporating self-sacrifice as high goal.

--Trying to help people - even if it limits their personal growth.

3. Lack of appreciable limit-crossing in childhood.  (No parental conflict within earshot, boundaries were firmly established and never crossed.)

--':)eer in the headlights' approach to violent tirades.

4. Lack of R/S models

--Actually believed a BPD claiming that everything was 'perfectly normal.'

--Argyle
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« Reply #92 on: September 20, 2011, 02:18:26 PM »

   I am finding that '':)etaching''with LOVE from the people we truly love(BPD Father,sister,g/f) is truly one of the hardest thing i have been faced with in my life.I thought Jail was tough and my drinking days were tough.not to mention all the s__t i went through.

   This Detaching with love will test every action,behavior and belief you have in your soul.It will truly test you and your Love for another person.It will make you look at yourself and ask yourself one big question.Do i truly no how to Love another or was i truly ''in love'' for some other selfish reasoning?Was i selfish,self centeered and partly to blame here?Why was i in this mess?Hmmmmmmmmm ponder that one for a while.

   It will test your true humanity and personality.It will test what you are truly all about.It truly seperates the ''MEN FROM THE BOYS''...

   So here i am missing all of them with a broken heart and trying to Let Go and let them live and learn from there own mistakes.WOW!... What a concept i have to learn...
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« Reply #93 on: September 20, 2011, 02:23:10 PM »

Nope.  Or I would be trying to figure out how to make the relationship work.

I have found out through out this is that I need to validate myself equally.
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Everything is as it is meant to be.


« Reply #94 on: September 20, 2011, 05:49:47 PM »

One of my personal regrets it that I did not say "no" more often. It must have something to do with the messages given to me by my parents from an early age.

Being helpful, obliging, going the extra mile had served me well in other areas of my life both socially and at work. I never imaging that anything like BPD was out there. That is something my parents never prepared me for.

I wish that I has allowed myself to be a little more angry. Not the out of control nasty and vindictive anger I endured but the type of healthy anger which would have allowed me to set boundaries and recognise when my boundaries were being trampled all over.

Now I know about BPD I realise that frustration and anger needed to be handed out with generous measures of sympathy, empathy and validation.

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« Reply #95 on: September 21, 2011, 05:39:08 AM »

Great posts.  I plan on getting into this much more this weekend when I have more time as it is an area that I want to explore.

I'm sure that I was and now I need to read all of this to see where I am because I know that this relationship has actually made me better and stronger just because I survived it and at the first sign of anyone treating me bad in the future, I am out.
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« Reply #96 on: September 21, 2011, 09:21:32 AM »

One of my personal regrets it that I did not say "no" more often. It must have something to do with the messages given to me by my parents from an early age.

Being helpful, obliging, going the extra mile had served me well in other areas of my life both socially and at work. I never imaging that anything like BPD was out there. That is something my parents never prepared me for.

This resonates, Joe!

I can kind of divide my life into pre-2008, and post 2008. 2008 is when my wife's BPD basically kicked into super overdrive, and massive crisis.

Pre-2008 ... .yeah, I just had the hardest time saying no. Oh, I'd grouse ... .I'd point out the pitfalls ... .I'd try to get her to see my point of view and agree with me.

But actually say "no, I'm not going to do that"?  Almost never. Very, very hard for me.


We've had a few discussions, post-2008, in her more insightful periods. She has said things like "I didn't try to turn you into a servant ... .you chose to do those things. You treated me like a princess. Why wouldn't I come to expect it? Why would I think anything was wrong?"


Relying on someone else to maintain our boundaries for us is a big gamble. Especially a mentally ill someone else, who has a hard time navigating emotions and relationships.

Putting it another way, I have a hard time navigating emotions and relationships too. Just a different kind of hard time.
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« Reply #97 on: September 21, 2011, 10:41:58 AM »

                                              How and what are you feeling?

I would have to say that looking back that a good indicator of the level of co-dependency and enmeschment in our marriage would be the absolute lack of any insight on my behalf as to how I was "feeling".

I had lost complete touch with my own emotions. I would say I was so attuned to the emotions of my uBPDw + uNPDw that my own emotions did not even come in to the equation.

My therapist would spend 10-15 minutes of weach session some 10 months ago just spending time with me sitting with my own emotions. This was really hard work. It took a real effort on my behalf to just sit still and calm and be open to my own feelings. This is what it took for me to reconnect with my emotions.

Think about it, how can you be seperate if you are not in touch with your own feeling?

How can you feel anger? If you cannot feel anger how can you express your anger in an appropriate way to set a boundary.

Losing touch with my own emotions was a sign that I was heavily co-dependant and that I how lost sight of myself and who I was as an indevidual.


So if you are or were co-dependent how and what are you feeling?
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« Reply #98 on: September 21, 2011, 10:53:11 AM »

I've spent pretty much my entire life putting her needs in front of mine. I now feel that I have been a caretaker since I was 20 years old. Don't get me wrong there have been good times. It's mostly been the past 10 years that things have gotten really crazy.

I got married at 20 so I had no idea why someone would have the quirks she has. There were re flags that I now understand but for the most part things were good.

As she got older & we had kids I spent a good part of the time being the en-dad. Doing whatever I could to keep the peace at the expence of the daughters. She wasn't anywhere near as bad as some of the parents I have read about here but I neglected my duty to override her behavior. I was just plain tired.

Life with a pwBPD is exhausting. I'm 41 years into this & it's only been the past 3 or 4 years that I found out what I was dealing with & ended up here.

I now have strong boundaries & am much more comfortable with my life. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to enjoy a weekend again.
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« Reply #99 on: September 21, 2011, 11:00:00 AM »

We didn't put someone's needs before or own because we are saintly, its part of a bigger picture of how we deal with relationships -- there was a perceived benefit and motivation for doing it -- we choose it -- over and over.

The question we each must ask is why - what was the payoff that drove us to do this? This is the cause.  The former is only a symptom.

Understanding the cause and dealing with it is all important to growth.

This is not about blame or defectiveness - its about understanding our inclinations that are not serving us well so that we can be mindful of them, compensate for them.

I know from reading thousands of posts that some members felt unloved in life and mistook sex or neediness  or idealization for love.  Some members felt it easier and more rewarding to fix others because they couldn't see their own inadequacies or they feared them.  There are so many different stories.
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« Reply #100 on: September 21, 2011, 11:10:07 AM »

An interesting related article:

The Difference Between Being Nice and Being Kind

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« Reply #101 on: September 21, 2011, 11:15:05 AM »

We didn't put someone's needs before or own because we are saintly, its part of a bigger picture of how we deal with relationships -- there was a perceived benefit and motivation for doing it -- we choose it -- over and over.

The question we each must ask is why - what was the payoff that drove us to do this? This is the cause.  The former is only a symptom.

Understanding the cause and dealing with it is all important to growth.

This is not about blame or defectiveness - its about understanding our inclinations that are not serving us well so that we can be mindful of them, compensate for them.

I feel embarresed to answer this SKIP.But i learned yesterday my payoff was about ''control'',''attention'',and i was very lonley in my own life.So i was not the ''saint'' i wanted to show the world.In fact i had my own ''self-seeking'' motives which is very dishonest.I did not no this all my life until a meeting i went to yesterday.Some woman talked about she ''gave'' to get ''something'' back.And when she did not get what she ''wanted'' holy hell broke loose.LMAO... I can relate that my love for the BPD's in my life was not given freely.True love is giving freely.I am so sorry i did this and i cry when i even think about the hurt i gave another person.As a matter of fact i have a tear in my eye for this ''behavior''.I gave my love with a ''condition''.That f----kn hurts to no i did this to the people I LOVE MOST... :'( :'( :'(
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« Reply #102 on: September 21, 2011, 11:42:49 AM »

Excerpt
what was the payoff that drove us to do this?

I think the payoff is being able to avoid the real problem.
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« Reply #103 on: September 21, 2011, 11:58:53 AM »

Excerpt
what was the payoff that drove us to do this?

I think the payoff is being able to avoid the real problem.

And low and behold the real problem was ''us''... .OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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« Reply #104 on: September 21, 2011, 04:06:52 PM »

We didn't put someone's needs before or own because we are saintly, its part of a bigger picture of how we deal with relationships -- there was a perceived benefit and motivation for doing it -- we choose it -- over and over.

The question we each must ask is why - what was the payoff that drove us to do this? This is the cause.  The former is only a symptom.

Speaking from my own experience, I had a (bad) habit of putting (some) other people's needs before my own.  What I *thought* was my motivation was that I was a "nice" guy.  Specifically I was this way towards a specific subset of the people I met; there were some people I was more inclined to be "nice" towards.

I did think I was a "saint."  I did think I was doing the "right" thing.  What took me some time to realize was that my choice of who I was "nice" to, or open to, were people who seemed familiar to me.  And coming from a family of origin (FoO) where some family members exhibited personality disorders, what was/is familiar to me, isn't all that great to be around.

What was my payoff?  My payoff was being able to reconstruct an interpersonal relationship that resembled my disordered familial relationship, probably in an effort to "solve" the internal issues I felt about these dysfunctional relationships.  So I would pursue women who were similar to my mother in order to "win over" the maternal love and validation I'd always sought but never received.  Or I would befriend those who were similarly narcissistic as my father, in an effort to "win over" the approval that my own father could never give.

My problem was that I was selecting these people too well.  I kept picking borderlines and narcissists; probably because those were the specific dynamics to which I was familiar.  It was easier to come to terms with this with friendships, I was able to be more objective and I was less attached; eventually I started to select friends who treated me the way I wanted to be treated, and not only based on how I *felt* about them.  When it came to courtship, this was harder to come to terms with.  To this day I operate for granted, that if I am attracted to someone for no obvious reasons, or for some reason I cannot specify, then chances are they are personality disordered in some way with which I am sensitized towards; not everyone person towards whom I feel attracted, but one specific kind of attraction which others might qualify as "good chemistry." For me, chemistry = chemisery.  And in those relationships, that was the specific payoff, the "falling head over heels in love" feeling.  For a die hard romantic, this is not an easy thing to give up.  

Understanding the cause and dealing with it is all important to growth.

This is not about blame or defectiveness - its about understanding our inclinations that are not serving us well so that we can be mindful of them, compensate for them.

I remember carrying a lot of judgement for a long time.  Enough that I projected it outside myself all the time.  I would equate miscellaneous looks from complete strangers as gazes of criticism or judgement.  I was worried about appearing to be "correct" or "compliant."  I kept thinking I was this way because of other people; in truth, I was this way because of my own internal processes.  

I wanted to avoid blame because inside I felt defective.  And to be honest, I probably still feel this way to some degree and will always feel this way.  But so long as I work towards taking care of myself, seeing to my own needs, doing what ten years ago I would have accused myself of being self-absorbed or self-indulgent; so long as I continue to be my own best advocate, I feel less defective, and I don't care so much about what other people *might* think about me.  

My recovery process involves coming to terms with my own co-dependent traits.  It might not be the case for other people.  It doesn't matter what the specifics are, just as long as you know what you need to work on.  Because happiness is not dependent solely on external factors; it is perhaps more dependent on our thinking and relationship with ourselves.
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« Reply #105 on: February 15, 2012, 04:44:00 AM »

Thanx for bumping up this.

And


Yes, very interesting article. There is a lot in there to think about for me.  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

S.
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« Reply #106 on: May 27, 2012, 11:56:27 AM »

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=175320.msg12049879#msg12049879 <-- I tend to hit more on those.

Hey LoveNCY

Recovering codependent here.  Being cool (click to insert in post)  First of all, it's not a death sentence. Codependency is all about learned behaviors you can turn around with time and honesty with yourself.  

I have a list I have used to check against my behaviors from the past that may be helpful here. It was very true to alot of my old behaviors. Maybe not every one but alot for me.  

Denial Patterns:

_
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