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CO-DEPENDENCY IS THE RESULT OF FRUSTRATED NEEDS IN CHILDHOOD Basic needs like being nurtured, protected and appreciated were neglected, boundaries invaded through abuse, self-expression discouraged or punished. This neglect of primal needs then become obsession of adult who longs for their fulfilment in every close relationship.
The deep need to be saved from inner loneliness and emptiness is projected on to another person, usually an addict in an attempt to save 'him'. Needless to say, that her attempt to save 'helpless him' or to endlessly support 'busy important ones' is prone to fail which then increases her frustration, anger, disappointment, guilt and low self worth.
DO YOU RECOGNISE ANY OF THIS? DO YOU FEEL A DEEP NEED TO BE SAVED FROM INNER LONELINESS AND EMPTINESS? This deep need can turn into a desperate, needy search for a romance that makes you vulnerable for being used by people. This neediness will draw partners into your life that want to have their needs fulfilled and will have little concern for your feelings or needs.
You may also find yourself projecting this need on to another person, usually an addict in an attempt to save 'him'. Saving 'him' will not solve your problem. In opposite: If you stay long enough in an unfulfilling relationship you become accustomed to unhappy situations, which then again will make you an easy target for being used.
HOW CAN YOU BREAK THIS VICIOUS CYCLE AND OVERCOME CO-DEPENDENCY? First, make your needs and interests your priority. What do you need to do to be good to yourself, to love yourself, to appreciate good things in you and in your life? Start to take stock in people you have surrounded yourself with. Are they as concerned with your needs and feelings as you are with theirs? You may need to detach yourself from some of these people, maybe even your partnership at least until you have taken time to start taking care of yourself.
Learn to say No when you mean No. Practice setting up boundaries that are firm and flexible. Saying No can be as easy as just not answering phone. Romance, alcohol, drugs and sex are not appropriate tools for overcoming co-dependency or filling your inner emptiness. Instead, focus on enjoying single life, as you develop a wide variety of interests and activities, meet people, and make new friends. With interests, activities and a good network of friends and acquaintances, inner emptiness and painful longing will cease.
Dr. Ulla Sebastian is a well-known author, trainer and psychotherapist. Her work spans a wide range of themes for professional and personal growth and is the result of forty years of research, work with thousands of people from all over the world and a lifelong experience of selfgrowth and transformation. Visit her website http://www.visioform.com for free courses, distance courses, books and articles.