OMG, where to start?? I'm 37 year old mother to two amazing boys, ages 2.5 and 5. I have recently come to the conclusion that I'm horribly codependent. It feels good to finally put a name to the problem, but how to solve it?? My whole life I've only ever been worried about the feelings of others and how I can help others. Even when I was little, I can remember being shocked at how my peers would come right out and ask for what they wanted. I can remember thinking that if they just behaved well and stayed quiet, surely someone would help them. That how I've always been. If I put my nose to the grindstone, stay quite, bend over as far backwards as I can for pretty much anyone, sooner or later someone will pat me on the back and tell me job well done. Maybe show me some attention. Maybe even love me. Even reading what I've written so far, I can see the non-existant self esteem, the need for approval, the total lack of self worth. I just don't get it. I have wonderful parents who gave me a great childhood, so that can't be it. WHen I was old enough to start dating, *of course* I gravitated to the first person who showed a shred of interest in me. I've only ever been involved with toxic people. I just don't get it. But now that I'm a mother, I HAVE to snap out of this somehow. I have to model better behavior to my children. I just have to, but I don't know how. I'm so tired of being afraid of what people will think of me if I stand up for what I want. I'm so tired of being resentful for not getting what I want, even though I feel too ashamed to ask. I can't walk around like this anymore. *Any* words of wisdom or advice will be greatly appreciated.
yeah have you read the book co-dependent no more?
it helped me greatly, but i've learned co-dependency isn't easily shaken.....even when you think you've beat it, it creeps back in when you least expect it
I would take comfort in the fact that you have put a name with this lifelong behavior, as that is the first step to understanding. I would try to learn as much as you can about this, and use what you have learned to take baby steps toward moving away from your old ways. Be patient with yourself, as this has taken a long time to manifest to the point it is now. Perhaps, keeping a log will help you realize when you have made progress. Thank goodness there is a lot of information and support for co dependancy.