Apr 19, 2009
Codependency is a disease characterized by a loss of identity. To be codependent is to be out of touch with one’s feelings, needs and desires.
People are dependent on something outside themselves in order to have an identity.
Therefore, Codependency is:
…is a substitute process to create the illusion of self-esteem. It says: “I need someone or something else to feel complete, balanced, secure and whole. I don’t have value unless someone or something else confirms that value.” I look outside myself for solutions, approval, identity, and support because I say, “There is nothing here inside me.”
Children need security and a healthy modeling of emotions from their parents in order to understand their own inner signals. They also need help in separating their thoughts from their feelings. When the family environment if filled with violence (chemical, emotional, physical, or sexual) the child must focus solely on the outside trying to understand and cope with this environment. Over time he loses the ability to generate self-esteem from within. Without a healthy inner life, one is dependent to trying to find fulfillment on the outside. This is codependency.
Every child needs to be loved unconditionally – at least in the beginning. Without the mirroring eyes of a nonjudgmental parent or caretaker, a child has no way of knowing who he is. We needed a mirroring face to reflect all the parts of ourselves. We needed to know that we mattered, that we were taken seriously, and that every part of us was lovable and accepted. We also needed to know that our caretaker’s love could be depended upon. These are healthy self-learning, self-loving needs - If we did not get them met, our sense of self was damaged.