Co-dependent was used interchangeably with the term enabler-someone whose life was out of control because he or she was taking responsibility for “saving
Yet if there’s one thing I know with absolute certainty, both personally and professionally, it is this: Nothing will change in our lives until we change our own behavior. Insight won’t do it. Understanding why we do the self-defeating things we do won’t make us stop doing them. Nagging and pleading with the other person to change won’t do it. We have to act. We have to take the first step down a new road.
You can learn, but you’ve got to give yourself time to pick up the basics, to practice, and maybe even to fail once or twice.
Criticism is the fountainhead of control.
Successful adult relationships, whether between lovers or
friends, require a significant degree of vulnerability, trust,
Enmeshment creates almost total dependence on approval and validation from outside yourself. Lovers, bosses, friends, even strangers become the stand-in for parents. Adults like Kim who were raised in families where there was no permission to be an individual frequently become approval junkies, constantly seeking their next fix.
His father’s general mistrust of the future carried through to his thoughts on women. Like success, women would inevitably turn on you someday. He had a suspicion of women that bordered on paranoia. His son internalized these views as well:
In fact, not only have a good many formerly abused children grown into nonabusing adults, but a number of these parents have great difficulty with even modest, nonphysical methods of disciplining their children. In rebellion against the pain of their own childhoods, these parents shy away both from setting limits and from enforcing them. This, too, can have a negative impact on a child’s development, because children need the security of boundaries. But
Unhealthy families discourage individual expression. Everyone must conform to the thoughts and actions of the toxic parents. They promote fusion, a blurring of personal boundaries, a welding together of family members. On an unconscious level, it is hard for family members to know where one ends and another begins. In their efforts to be close, they often suffocate one another’s individuality.