Counterdependency vs Codependency
Counterdependency a really a fancy word for fear of intimacy. Those who suffer counterdependency have a dread of ever depending on or needing anyone, at the heart of which is an inability to trust. If there was a mantra that all counterdependents have, it would probably be “I don’t need anyone” or “I got it”. It may extend to the omnipotence and refusal of dialogue found in destructive narcissism, for example.
Seeming good at relating but then having a ‘point’ or ‘wall’ where it stops
Feeling ‘trapped’ in relationships
Pushing people away or going cold without warning
Fear of abandonment or rejection (so abandon or reject first)
Can make all touch into something sexual (to avoid emotional things like tenderness)
Might date people that you know aren’t good for you (so they don’t fall in love) and keep good matches in the friend zone
Boundary Issues. Someone raised in an unhealthy household may have a skewed sense of boundaries
Hypercritical Sense of Self
Counterdependency often develops as an adult from the result of happenings in your childhood. This could be childhood trauma. Something might have happened that instilled a belief in you that others can’t be trusted, and that it is dangerous to need them. This might have been a parent leaving, a person close to you dying, abuse, being left home alone a lot or a tragedy befalling your family.
With a childhood that often left them to fend for themselves emotionally a counterdependent can have a tumultuous mind, including:
Being oversensitive to criticism of others even as they often criticize
Often hard on themselves, hate making mistakes
Suffer an inner soundtrack of intense self-criticism
Don’t relax easily
Can experience shame if they feel needy and see vulnerability as weakness
Secretly suffer feelings of loneliness and emptiness
Might have difficulty remembering childhood
Counterdependency can cause intense feeling of loneliness. This can often spiral into depression and anxiety. There is also the possibility of developing grandiosity or even narcissistic personality disorder. Clinging to the notion that you don’t need others or that others are not ‘good enough’ to understand you can mean you develop an inflated sense of being superior, which taken too far can mean you lose empathy for others entirely.
How to help yourself:
Confront your fears
Work on developing a positive attitude
Take small steps to connect with people ( call a loved one or friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile)
Codependency, the habit of gaining your self worth from pleasing others, is something most people know of nowadays.
Difficulty making decisions in a relationship.
Difficulty identifying your feelings.
Difficulty communicating in a relationship.
Valuing the approval of others more than valuing yourself.
Lacking trust in yourself and having poor self-esteem.
When parents can’t provide a stable, supportive or nurturing home environment it can trigger events that cause more harm in the long run.
You became the caretaker. You took care of cooking, cleaning, paying bills and became the mother or father to your siblings and even to your parents.
You become emotional support for your family or parents. Putting your needs to the side you allow others to emotionally dump on you to feel needed. (Wanting them to be proud of you)
You become a people pleaser. Keeping people happy is another way you try to feel in control. You don’t speak up or disagree out of fear. (Walk on eggshells)
You become overly responsible. As a child, your survival or your family’s survival depended on you taking on responsibilities that surpassed your age. You continue to be an extremely dependable and responsible person to the point that you may overwork and have trouble relaxing and having fun.
You also take responsibility for other people’s feelings and actions. (Blaming yourself for things that have little to nothing to do with you.)
You become controlling. When life feels out of control and scary, you overcompensate for your feelings of helplessness by trying to control people and situations.
How to help yourself:
Start being honest with yourself and your partner
Stop negative thinking
Don’t take things personally
Rely on peer support
Now this blog post is not to shame or put blame on anyone. It is not your fault for things that happened in your past, but it is your responsibility to heal from it. To start you on your journey please feel free to download it from my online store (donation based).