Let’s talk about the the relationship cancer, the bleach that eats away at the fabric of your most sacred relationships, the drama of the puppet master that eventually destroys even the best performer… codependency. Codependency sucks and talking about is about as easy as nailing jello to the wall. As soon as I get an example up there, it slips away.
The elusive nature of codependency is one of the many reasons I think it’s so important to talk about it. It is coy and slick, a real shape-shifter, and people who are being driven over the edge by codependency often don’t even know what’s happening to them. It drives you stark raving mad and still, when you look at the wall, there is absolutely nothing there under that nail to blame for your misery.
Codependency is an addiction, much like one might have to crack or nicotine, to control. People come by it honestly, just like all the other addicts, by trying to cope with the chaos of their pain. When there is a tornado inside, we seek stability outside. Where love is uncertain, we rotate between clinging to it and pushing it away.
When I was young, things weren’t terribly stable and I tried hard to be a good girl, good enough to keep people from being angry, to keep things predictable, to keep my heart safe. I learned that if someone was unhappy and I could be cute or smart or helpful or quiet or funny enough (depending on the moment), their unhappiness would pass… and I would be safe. It worked, not perfectly, but it gave me enough of an illusion of control that I survived.