Codependency: The result of unhealed childhood trauma
Most people, if they know of codependency at all, think of it as an issue a people deal with who are in a relationship with someone battling an addiction or illness.
The dictionary definition is “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction”.
While both of these ideas have truth to them, I think they are very broad vague definitions of what codependency really is.
Before I give you my definition, let me tell you a few things that codependency is not.
Codependency is not reserved for those who are in a relationship with someone with an addition or illness.
Codependency is not a disease or disorder.
Codependency is not new.
It’s not an isolated issue.
It’s not a made-up problem.
So, what is it?
I believe that codependency is the ripple effect of generations of childhood trauma left untreated because of the commonality of sweeping issues under the rug rather than facing them head on.
More simply put: Codependency is the result of unhealed childhood trauma.
Codependency is an issue that is deeply rooted in the lives of those it affects.
It shows up as self-hatred and insecurity. It shows up in our need to please and our need to be liked.
Codependency surfaces in our extreme anxiety and our overtaking worry.
It sticks with us like glue and grows inside like and infectious disease untreated.
Why is it that this common issue is so uncommonly talked about?
The same reason it started in the first place: It’s easier to ignore the problem, to redirect, than it is to face it.
Playing the victim is easier. Pointing fingers is easier. So is misdiagnosing and pretending.
It’s scary to face the truth that only we have the power to change the way we think and live. That only we have the power to put codependency to rest.
Now that we know what codependency is about, what do we do to stop the cycle?
We start healing instead of avoiding. We start communicating instead of hiding.
Take a look at yourself and your relationships and observe what conversations you aren’t having. Take a look at yourself and become aware of the memories that are buried deep inside.
Recognize how the need for control in your life is forcing you to live with stress and anxiety.
Begin to strengthen your relationship with yourself.
Allow yourself to be imperfect and begin to understand what you need to forgive, heal and move forward.