Codependent adults often were brought up in the absence of the opportunity to build a healthy perception of themselves, adequate self-esteem. All codependents have a problem with their own significance, determining their place in this world.
The codependent person tends to connect his/her self-sentiment to the approval of others. It is vital for him/her to feel significant.
There are often cases when a person from a dysfunctional family becomes codependent in adult life because there was a chemically addicted or mentally unhealthy relative. The child learns to literally read the state of the addict, builds his life around him and takes into account his needs, interests, behavior. For instance, a child does not feel like inviting his friends during the times when his father is drinking hard, etc.
Qualities of a codependent parent
Generally speaking, there is a typical “set” of characteristics is most often observed in the codependent person:
● inadequate, low self-esteem;
● dependence on the opinions of people around;
● dependence on the approval of people who mean a lot to you;
● the need to be needed;
● tendency to overprotection and control;
● the conviction that you did not deserve happiness, that you must bear the “cross”, suffer, etc.
People with codependency usually have a fairly developed empathy. They have the ability to empathize. It may be an unpleasant discovery for them that neither the partner nor in general the people around them have the same developed skills to understand their feelings, emotions, states.
Another trait of every codependent is high anxiety. It can persecute a person in all spheres of his/her life and inevitably extends to a relationship with an addict.
Such a range of problems and features establishes stable patterns of behavior, a limited variety of emotional reactions, a belief system, so it is important to work not only with the addict but also with his codependent parents. This allows receiving more stable and predictable results of treatment and rehabilitation.