Self-Interview with Michael David Lawrience, author of The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, and Pain
(Conducted by Michael David Lawrience)
Q: What are Some Codependency Symptoms and also Signs of Recovery?
A: In codependency, a codependent has a compulsive need to control an otherwise out of control life. This may be true as I experienced an out of control family life because of the unpredictability of my fathers drinking and anger outbursts. I took control by withdrawing and numbing all my feelings for I knew nothing about setting boundaries.
As an adult, my relationships involved multiple codependent behaviors of which I remained unaware. In these relationships, I avoided expressing any feelings for fear of rejection. The women in my life criticized me for lack of feeling. Their criticism confirmed doubts about me. Did I even have the capacity to love at all?
In addition, I tended to take care of my partners financial needs and I also had poor boundaries as I had no idea where my personal boundaries ended and other persons began.
I began my recovery in the late 1980's when I read Melody Beattie’s, Codependent No More. I recognized my codependency and for the next twenty years became less and less codependent. Like other addictions you may be in recovery for the rest of your life. I, however, am no longer codependent.
I can see codependency as an addiction because I relied on my female partners to feel for me rather than knowing and expressing my own feelings. Codependents crave and expect a temporary boost of their self-esteem when they caretake some need for their partner. Like any addiction the outer boost only lasts for a short time and then the codependent looks for another fix.
I now love myself, I accept others as they are, I am in touch with and express my feelings, I validate myself rather than searching outside myself for a relationship to feel okay, and I trust trustworthy people. Most important, I am in a relationship, which allows me to grow into all I am capable of being.
If you experience codependency, have you had enough pain to take the steps to codependency recovery?
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