The paradoxical dependency of co-dependents is a term widely used, and much written about over past few years, usually in reference to chemical dependency. That is a person who is closely connected to another person who has a chemical addiction, like liquor or some other drug. A co-dependent is usually viewed as one who has very low coping skills on their own, and their method of coping frequently unhealthy, reacting to the behavior and decisions of another, rather than acting independently on their own.
There are two kinds of addiction, one chemical and the other process. The co-dependent frequently does not have a chemical addiction, but is a dysfunctional person, whose pattern of living and problem-solving is nurtured by a set of rules within a family system. There is a list of common characteristics used to identify co-dependency. Confusion in identifying one’s feelings, difficulty in expressing one’s feeling, feeling over-responsible for another, in the midst of making irresponsible decisions, constant need for approval, being stuck with rigid rules and attitudes. A basic sense of shame and low self-estem, over one’s perceived failures in one’s life, are just some of the hallmarks of a co-depenent person.
Dependency and co-dependency are two peas in the same pod, with similar problems, and similar underlying causes, rooted in the family system. Frequently generational. The term “paradoxical dependency” came into being in the eighties, when it was observed many co-dependents appeared on the surface as being strong and self-sufficient. Which was usually a coping mechanism, for approval, while experiencing all the patterns of co-dependency. Acting one way as a cover for things one was experiencing, caused an inner conflict, sooner or later, out-pictured in a painful and unpleasant result.
Dependency and co-dependency stem from sets of rules in family systems, usually learned growing up, but sometimes afterwards, transmitted from one generation to another. Sometimes disguised as discipline, via rigid rules, may be the set-up for dependency or co-dependency.
The way we treat ourselves and others is a direct result of things we learned growing up. If Dad yells like a rage-aholic and Mom and Dad scream at each other over minor undone tasks around the house, a child may begin to believe minor things are important, and important things are too difficult to cope with. Some of the things which might cause one to be stuck in a pattern of co-dependency, may be hearing repetitiously, “Do as I say, not as I do,” “Don’t rock the boat.” Unrealistic expectations – “Be quiet, be good, be strong, be perfect, share, make us proud.” Triangulating via indirect communication and etc.
Self-preservation is the first law, consequently, things learned as a child in family systems can unknowingly set one up to withdraw from reality, develop patterns of perfectionism, compulsive overworking, destructive dependency, and unhealthy relationships, resulting in a way of life depending upon a chemical, or dependency upon others to make decisions for us.
Most are not taught the meaning of individual Freedom growing up. Which is the basis to be self-sustaining, inasmuch as freedom is self-responsibility by definition. More emphasis is placed upon dependency as opposed to independency. What we hear growing up is, obey what your parents say, listen to your teacher, obey what the policeman says. In game playing, follow the leader, in church, believe what the preacher tells you and etc. Therefore, we are pretty much taught to be dependents and co-dependents growing up. It’s a conditioning process, which is quite pervasive, and not easy to un-learn. And has caused us to be sitting ducks, for pot shots of Socialist propagandi, and like sheep following without question, anything we are told by an authoritarian political government.
The most recent glaring example is all the spin, spin, spin, over the terriorist, Usama Bin Laden. Stories coming at us from every direction and changing like a kaleidoscope, from hour to hour, without one shred of reliable evidence any of it is true. But we are conditioned to take it all in, to believe one story one minute and another the next. The Japanese have a saying: “Bend with the wind,” and apparently we have adopted that also, because we go with the flow of spin, spin, spin, flowing from the top down, bottom up and in the middle. If we were being honest with ourselves, we would admit we have not seen one shred of proof that anything we have heard is true. Anything we have heard or seen on the news could have been staged. I for one have no idea what the truth is, and caring less and less while the news cycle still going full throttle. But I’m very interested in the effects all of this is having on a way of life in this country.
The system of political government seeks every avenue to sustain, maintain, and expand itself. The verge of collapse and the crisis we face currently is not lessened by current event news cycles. In my opinion, if we spent time going back, to understand family systems, we might discover what caused our current plight. When, where and how we arrived where we are today, are questions we should be asking if it’s a solution we desire.
The reality is we have all become dependents and co-dependents to one degree or another. Some of us recognize and exercise a degree of Freedom we still have, while most have no clue as to its meaning, and feel like I heard a neighbor say: “I think the government ought to pay and take care of everything.” If that’s not a frightful mindset, I don’t know what is!!!
John Wesley,1703 – 1791, of the Church of England, said: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
LET FREEDOM RING