Co-dependency can destroy relationships, and it can destroy lives. We think we will never do it, we will never enable the ones we love, but it is not that simple. Co-dependency can be done as easily as not wanting to have an intervention for your child because, “Mom/Dad knows best,” and you could convince them to get the help they need. It can also be as easy as giving in to your child when they ask to borrow money and the car. There are four main types of co-dependency, and it is important to know the signs of each to avoid doing so, and knowing when to have a drug and alcohol intervention.
Do you often make excuses for your child’s behavior? If you are constantly at odds with yourself, and feel like you are always trying to come up with a reason or excuse for how your child is acting, you may be enabling co-dependency. Another sign of this is spending a majority of your time trying to convince yourself that your child is fine, and they do not have a problem. This makes their problem in turn worse because they have no one telling them that their behavior is unsafe. Sometimes, your child will ask you to do something you do not want to do, or feel as though it is wrong. The key is to not give in, and hold your ground. Even if it makes you feel guilty, do not enable them. Do not let fear determine your actions. Do not value your child’s happiness over your own. And remember to set boundaries, even if it may cause your child to get upset.
Do you feel as though you judge people in negative ways? If so, you may be controlling the co-dependency of your child. You may feel as though you need to solve all of your child’s problems for them, because it will be better that way. You may also not feel emotions as strongly as others and you feel as though you can’t ever ask for help. You may feel full of rage and anger, and often keep yourself distracted with T.V. or other activities. It is important for parents to recognize these signs to prevent anything like this happening.
The next form of co-dependency is avoiding. You may be doing this if you are easily hurt, you avoid conflict or confrontation with your child, and you feel as though you can’t be alone with yourself. You may feel less emotional than others, and withdrawal at the sign of conflict.
The final form of co-dependency that is important to be familiar with is enmeshed. Do you spend all of your time with your child? By this I mean, do you do everything together? Do you wish to change your child? And do you believe that doing so will solve all of their problems? If you are super focused on your child, and often do not know what to say or how to talk to them, you may be experiencing enmeshed co-dependency.
Why to avoid
Overall, co-dependency, can lead to a feeling of smothering and suffocating. One person has more control over another, which can be unhealthy for the relationship. It can lead to intense ups and downs in the relationship, and diminish the support you have for each other. It also can end up with avoiding the real problems, and repeating the same mistakes again. You will end up dishonest, and a refusal to admit any wrongs. This can be unhealthy in family, friends, work, and all other spheres of life.
Those with family member with addiction are much more likely to have a problem with drug and alcohol abuse. Luckily, there are many treatment programs and other resources that can help to battle addiction. When we add someone who is co-dependent to the equation, it gets more difficult. They will put the needs of others above their own, and do anything in their power to keep the relationship they have going, even if it means doing things that are detrimental to your physical and emotional health. This can be avoided with education, counseling, rehab, therapy, and medication. Get help today with a drug and alcohol intervention.