Codependency is a survival pattern of behavior that is often acquired as a child through a desire to feel safe and connected to their caregivers.
Maybe these caregivers never directly said “I need your help,” but somehow, in some way the child began to believe that their role in the family system was that of fixer, saver, healer. Sadly, many never get fixed, saved, or healed. In fact, I’d venture to say more pain and suffering occurs.
As that child ages into adulthood, this pattern of behavior is reinforced by unconsciously attracting partners or friendships that remind them of this early relationship. They are the “givers,” the “do-ers,” the “people pleasers” that can never say no. They end of feeling resentful, frustrated, depleted… and are confused as to how they got themselves in another relationship that “takes.”
In an attempt to feel safe, to be seen, to feel connected and held close, the cycle continues. So does the suffering and confusion.
Codependents aren’t sure who they are without this role, and it in some way becomes addictive— just as they feel they are needed by others, they too need to be needed. To be in a relationship where they don’t have to sacrifice themselves feels odd and foreign. This is all they know. In the end, they now attempt to heal themselves by healing others. But it doesn’t work this way. They don’t know who they are without all of this, so most never change.
The road back to healing begins with awareness. Have you found yourself in this addictive cycle before? Do you know who you are without this role? 👇🏼