4- Codependent Thinking
People who have been raised in addicted or dysfunctional families tend to hold certain beliefs that undermine their value and integrity as worthy human beings. This article describes some of the faulty thought patterns common amongst codependents.
- Codependent beliefs
- Codependent thinking
Below are six of the most common beliefs a codependent has about themselves, which is derived from their low self worth and self-esteem and a likely result of growing up in an addict and or dysfunctional family:
1. Am not enough
A codependent person often believes they are not enough as they are. That in order to justify there lives and is whole human beings they must spend their lives at the mercy and service towards other. They often believe their existence can only be justifies if they do more, give more, help others, or fix them and their sense of self identity does not root from own sense of self worth but what others may think about them.
2. Not lovable
A codependent person believes they are not good enough to be loved. They suffer from extreme low self worth and esteem often believing themselves incapable to be loved. Most probably as children in an environment where there was lack of parental love and care, they believe themselves unworthy to be loved and cared by others and as a result can only give unhealthy love and never able to receive it.
3. Don’t feel
A codependent person believes it is not ok for them to feel anything be it happiness, sadness, joy, anger, fear, etc. They have learned from an early age to numb all feelings as most probably have grown up in an environment where it was not safe or acceptable to neither feel nor express their feelings. A codependent person finds it safer and easier to cater towards how others are feeling because this is what they have learned to do as children.
4. Don’t self care
A codependent person does not tend to believe it not right for them to take care of themselves nor is it ok for them to have a life be it filled with joys or its own problems. A codependent has learned to their role is to help and rescue others. That they should not have any needs or wants or if they do other people’s needs and wants should be their priority.
5. Don’t enjoy
A codependent person falsely believes it is not all right to enjoy life or to have fun. Having been brought up in a family where have had to be hypervigule all the time, they have learned to be in a state of constant fear and anxiety and find it very difficult to relax and enjoy life. They do not believe life is meant to be good and serene but a burden where they have to be victims and suffer in misery.
6. Am to blame
A codependent person often blames themselves for the problems and miseries of their loved ones. Believing they must have done something and their addiction is their fault. As they tend to have very little sense of own identity they cannot recognize nor separate their own life from others. Often enmeshed with their loved ones lives, codependents then spend all their life in pursuit of fixing and solving their problems, hoping if they are happy then that will in turn make them satisfied with life. Codependents tend to hold themselves to blame if their loved one’s act crazy, angry, and mad. They feel responsible for other people’s feelings mistakes and life consequences, which are why they pursue their lives in the futile attempts of trying to control their addicted, loved one to stop their destructive behavior.
Below is a list of distorted thought patterns that attribute to a codependent way of life:
- The quality of my life and happiness depends on my relationships
- I should focus all my time and attention on protecting and helping others
- My value as a human being is dependent on how well I serve and help others
- Other people’s needs and wants are more important than mine
- My job is to solve, fix and rescue other people from their problems
- If other people like me then I am a worthy and valuable human being
- If other people don’t like me then I am wrong and at fault
- If other people are having problems then I should suffer too
- I feel good about myself when I help and rescue other people
- The quality of my serenity is dependent by how others behave towards me
- I spend my life trying to please others so that I can feel fulfilled
- I am not aware of my own feelings, others dictate this to me
- I do not have any needs and wants, other’s needs and wants are my priority
- I do not have any goals or aspirations, these all depends on others
- My fear of rejection determines what I say or do
- My fear of other people’s anger determines what I say or do
- I act nice to others so that I could feel safe and secure
- I value other people’s opinion and way of doing things more than my own
- God is a judgmental and punishing entity that does not care or love me
- I am alone and should not ask for help
- I can’t live without my loved one i.e. child, parent, husband. I will not be able to survive life without them.
- I must stay loyal to my loved one’s no matter what he or she puts me through. It is against my core belief if I abandon them when they have a problem.
- I have the power to change my loved ones’ behavior. I can stop them from using drugs or can make them stop their addictive behaviors if I love or help them enough.
- I am worthless without my loved one’s. My life is defined in their lives and I will lose my sense of life purpose if I put my interests first.
- My loved one’s needs and wants in life in more important than mine. My priority in life is to cater towards their needs. I must serve and do well for them and my own needs and wants are not important.
- I am stuck with this miserable life and do not have the power, the right nor the choice to change my circumstances.
- I fear change and all that might do to my relationships. I would rather continue with this way of life instead of confronting my pain.
- It is easier to live this way as opposed to confronting my pain and taking courage to change.
- It is my fault that my loved one is addicted or having problems. It is my responsibility to help and fix their problems.
- There is something wrong with me and no one should find out what a weak and faulty person I am.