What is Codependency?

Tamara Low

- Certified EFT
- Pranic Healer

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Codependency is “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships,” according to Jason Breyer. Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you, and the idea that “I” do not exist without other’s validation. As a result, we often try to fill our inner voids and wounds vicariously by filling others. She says, for the sake of others, the Codependent harms themselves and Narcissist for the sake of themselves harms other people. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next. 

How is Codependency Created?

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma, according to Ross Rosenburg. During the first 3 years of life we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. This allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others. Elaine Aron writes, “about half of all infants are raised by adequate parents, and thus become what is called “securely attached” children.” The other approximately fifty percent develop an insecure attachment (anxious or avoidant). If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc. the natural attachment process is disrupted; causing trauma, which can result in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until its dealt with).

Stacy Hoch says, “a Codependent Empath can be created when a child is responsible for empath-ing the parent. The empathic baby or child responds to the needs of the parent and has learned that it is literally what they have to do to survive.” She feels that being an Empath is a precursor to being Codependent; and that someone who does not have to empathize with their parent (in this way) does not have to develop that skill to survive; because the parent is going to meet their needs. Dr. Judith Orloff writes, “not all Codependents are Empaths.”

Further, Stacy Hock speaks of ‘attachment issues’ halting the development in the Codependent and the Narcissist. She refers to them as, “the flip side of the coin.” The Codependent “gives” to feel worthy, and the Narcissist, “takes” to feel worthy.” Both have deep inner wounds that need attending to and are deficient in self-love. Ross Rosenburg calls Codependency, “Self-Love Deficit Disorder”. Codependents learn early, according to Lisa Romano, that we do not have the right to our own feelings, that it is not ok to have a need, a want, to cry or say no.” We learned that we needed to comply, be easy, no trouble, invisible, good, and to smile instead of cry.

The Characteristics of a Codependent (not a complete list):

Codependent Empaths are hyper-sensitive to everything in their surroundings. They deeply feel, notice, and are impacted by subtle nuances in others; their energy, state of mind, mannerisms, gestures, tone of voice, disapproval, criticism etc. This provides them constant feedback regarding their safety, lovability, worth, etc. and affects them, their behaviour and nervous system in very deep and profound ways. Stacy Hoch makes the distinction between a Codependent and an Empath, saying, “the Codependent is the fixer and the Empath is the healer. We have to be with another person to be Codependent, but this is not the case for being an Empath.”

Codependency programming ensures that our identity, love, validation, approval, peace, and sense of safety is solely reliant on others. We falsely believe that other people and situations are responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. We completely abandon ourselves and our wounded and deeply afraid inner child(ren) for the sake of others. This can feel like an emotional, psychological, and physical prison that may come to feel like this is how things will always be, that it’s somehow our fate. 

Codependency can be further described as (but not limited to):

-An external dependency on others for acceptance, validation, approval, and to feel good about ourselves. 

-Not having your own solid identity, becoming void of ourselves for the sake of someone else. 

How it shows itself/coping mechanisms:

-We seek permission from others. 

-Our self-esteem is validated by what we do and by others’ opinions of us. 

-We can struggle to meet our own needs. 

-Asserting oneself is almost impossible.

-We create behaviours that assist in denying, ignoring or preventing difficult emotions. 

-Can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging as being self- abusive is what we were taught. 

-Codependents often isolate themselves; deep core shame and loneliness is at the heart of this. 

The impact of Codependency Programming:

Lisa A. Romano says, children love without the gift of objectivity, they ARE love, so children who experience rejection and abandonment, love those who hurt, abuse and push them away. They never outgrow that desire to be loved by an energy whose vibrations match the person who abandoned them. What they needed was to be taught to love, be cared for, to respect themselves and to feel worthy and deserving of love. Often, a parent or caregiver was hurt and wounded themselves and did not have this to give to us or show their child(ren).

Regardless, it is foundational to a healthy sense of self and healthy relationships! Lisa Romano goes onto say,  without this kind of objectivity in place, wounded adults are doomed to love without boundaries, limits and objectivity. This makes us targets for narcissists (and narcissistic abuse), sociopaths, and psychopaths- on a conscious level, we experience the other as a soulmate. However, far beyond their conscious awareness are the deeper and darker feelings of dysfunctional familiarity.” This is SO pivotal to know and understand on our healing and awareness journey!!

In Summary:

As we have seen, Codependency is learned and programmed and it resides deep within our being. It is multifaceted and complex, though NOT who we are. The messages that we should have received from our parent(s) or caregivers were loving, kind, patient, and nurturing in nature, that built our sense of self, self-esteem and self-worth, but that did not happen for various reason. We learned to try and get our needs met by “saving” others, and to be no trouble, self- less, and invisible. We may try over and over (to no avail) to prove that we are worthy and worth loving, and continually hit the same road blocks.

Then, finally comes the realization, knowing, and understanding that this is not working; it is dysfunctional, and it does not serve us to try and work out other people’s things for them, to put others’ needs before our own, please people, and to flip ourselves inside out to try and make relationships with toxic people work. And, ultimately, to not (ever) be in toxic relationships and put up with toxic people and treatment in the first place!! Addressing Codependency is an internal clean up job that no one can do (or fix) for us

There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, on-line videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc. available to assist us in learning and understanding Codependency and to help heal its deep and many layers. The energetic hold of Codependency programming is strong. In order to heal, attachment trauma needs to be addressed, as well as inner child work (I encourage you to seek those that specialize in these areas) and looking at and identifying deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviors, and thoughts. I believe that this is the level that Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) really shines!! 

My passion is to offer energetic and educational support to others on their wholeness journey, with the ultimate goal of reacquainting with our TRUE selves, nature, frequency, voice, health, and inner peace!

See the follow up article to this, “Healing and Understanding Codependency.

Tamara

Please see the contact page if you would like to let me know what you thought about this article, or if you are interested in receiving Empathic Heart Healing’s articles/blogs/newsletters or joining the facebook page. Thank you.

If you are interested in a list of, “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” please email me and I will send that to you.

Related Articles:

Disclaimer:

*Energy Therapies, such as EFT and Pranic Healing are not a substitute for professional medical, psychological or psychiatric care. 

References:

  • Aron Phd, Elaine N.. The Highly Sensitive Person . Citadel Press. K
  • Becker, Richard. Codependent: no more narcissistic abuse and gaslighting. A guide to handle a narcissist, cure codependency, stop controlling others, Start Caring for Yourself. For Highly Sensitive people . Kindle Edition. 
  • Breyer, Jason. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition. 
  • Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (pp. 146-147). Harper. Kindle Edition.
  • Gallo, Fred. Energy Tapping for Trauma (p. 5, 54). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.
  • Hoch, Stacy. The Empath, the Codependent and the Narcissist: Who’s What? YouTube.
  • Northrup, Christiane. Dodging Energy Vampires (p. 128). Hay House. Kindle Edition. 
  • Romano, Lisa. The Breakthrough Life Coach. YouTube.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019.  

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Internal Exploration Questions
General

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click one of the buttons below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Internal Exploration Questions
Codependency

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click the button below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form, download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Price List

 

*All prices are in Canadian dollars

Codependent Free

A brief summary of Codependency (more in “Education")

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma. During the first 3 years of life we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. Arielle Swartz says, “this allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.” If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc. the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, which can result in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until its dealt with).

Jason Breyer describes Codependency as “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.” Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you, the idea that I do not exist without other’s validation and trying to fill inner voids vicariously by filling others. She says, for the sake of others, the Codependent harms themselves and Narcissist for the sake of themselves harms other people. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next. See “What is Codependency?”, and “Healing and Understanding Codependency.”

Codependency Programming (but not limited to):

Codependency programming ensures that our identity, love, validation, approval, peace, and sense of safety is solely reliant on others. We falsely believe that other people and situations are responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. We completely abandon ourselves and our wounded and deeply afraid inner child(ren) for the sake of others. This can feel like an emotional, psychological, and physical prison that may come to feel like this is how things will always be, that it’s somehow our fate. In summary, its:  

-An external dependency on others for acceptance, validation, approval, and to feel good about ourselves. 

-Not having your own solid identity, becoming void of ourselves for the sake of someone else.

How it may show itself- coping mechanisms

-We seek permission from others. 

-Our self-esteem is validated by what we do and by others’ opinions of us. 

-We can struggle to meet our own needs. 

-Asserting oneself is almost impossible.

-We create behaviours that assist in denying, ignoring or preventing difficult emotions. 

-Can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging as being self- abusive is what we were taught. 

-Codependents often isolate themselves- deep core shame and loneliness is at the heart of this.

Healing

There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, on-line videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc. available to assist us in learning and understanding Codependency and to help heal its deep and many layers! The energetic hold of Codependency programming is strong. In order to heal, attachment trauma needs to be addressed, as well as inner child work (I encourage you to seek out those that specialize in these areas for support) and looking at and identifying deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts. I believe that this is the level that Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) really shines! I am extremely passionate about assisting others in addressing the deep energetic layers of Codependency.

If you are interested in a list of, “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” (Emotional Freedom Techniques can be also referred to as “Tapping”) please email me and I will send that to you.

If  you are interested in more about Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse see “What is Narcissism?, “How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse”, and “Healing from Narcissistic Abuse.

**My writing is geared towards Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, but it is ultimately for anyone desiring to learn, grow, heal and explore

References:

  • BREYER, JASON. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019. 

Areas of Interest, Services and Goals

Areas of Interest:

I am passionate about assisting Empaths and Highly Sensitive  People in the areas of our lives that hold us back from our TRUE selves, passions and calling(s). My goal is to:

  • Assist in removing, eliminating and clearing the energetic blocks, hurt, pain and fear that keep us from our true selves, and our hopes, goals, dreams and desires.
  • Assist others with emotional pain; including  Narcisstic Abuse, and with their unique challenges and struggles.
  • Assist others in exploring, eliminating, and dismantling old limiting patterns and belief systems that keep us stuck, hidden and in pain (eg. beliefs that we took on or were taught about ourselves as children).
  • Assist others in recognizing, identifying and healing Codependent belief systems and the multitude of ways that Codependency affects us, impacts us, impedes us, and holds us back, eg. keeping us small, hidden and invisible.
  • Offer energetic and educational support for Empaths and Highly Sensitive People.

Under “About”, see Internal Inquiry Questions, such as, “What is getting in the way of your truest and deepest expression?”, and an Internal Inquiry Questions about Codependency. 

The Ultimate Goal

Living a life that is in line with TRUE us.

Being whole, happy, energetic, vibrant, and free.

Achieving and perusing our true and deepest desires (in spite of what anyone thinks).

Reconnecting with our TRUE self and locating our TRUE- est and DEEPEST calling.

Celebrating Empathy and the gifts of High Sensitivity.  

Developing kindness, gentleness and compassion towards ourselves.

**This is a process. We can take daily steps toward achieving these goals.

My Services

I offer support  for those that desire to explore their inner world to excavate their TRUE self and their deepest and truest goals, passions and desires; for those that desire to go on an emotional wellness scavenger hunt, with the goal of cleaning the old clutter and finding the true gem that is YOU.

Pranic Psychotherapy is Pranic Healing applied in energetically preventing and treating Psychological ailments, where stress is at the root. This is where I like to focus. Pranic Healing works with the chakra system and the auric layers.

Emotional Freedom Techniques works with the meridian system to clear energetic blocks or disruptions that get in the way of our health (physical and emotional). It is one of the MOST powerful somatic (body) release techniques.

Emotional Freedom Techniques and Pranic Healing both assist in regulating our Nervous System. 

 

Welcome to Empathic Heart Healing

Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) have unique ways of experiencing, feeling, sensing, observing, perceiving, processing, and absorbing the world around them. They feel things deeply; including love, beauty and joy and also pain, hurt, and sorrow.

Emotional pain or struggle is a block or disruption in our body’s energy system and can stem from countless places, unique to you and your situation. My passion to assist Empaths and HSP’s in understanding, accessing, and releasing the root cause (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions) of the energy block(s) or disturbances. Codependency, is just one manifestation of emotional pain, and an example of how our TRUE selves can get buried, or hidden (at the beginning of our lives), and stay this way until it is safe to re-emerge.

Other avenues might be narcissistic abuse, heartache/hearttbreak, infertility, low self- esteem, rejection (initially from others- and then towards ourselves), neglect, and you can  insert your experience(s) here. When we are in emotional pain, there are corresponding feelings such as shame, sadness, grief, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, isolation, and despair, just to name a few. Our body gives us clues through feelings and sensations as to what is happening within us as well as how we feel around others and in certain environments.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called EFT, or “Tapping” can assist us in identifying, releasing, clearing, and healing the energetic and emotional blocks, beliefs, fears, and barriers that limit us and keep us stuck, small, and hidden, so that we can access and get re-in touch with our deepest, fullest, truest and most authentic expression- as well as deep inner peace, vibrant health, light-heartedness, joy, play, passion, bliss and vitality.

Every one of us has a unique energy/energy vibration, traits, purpose(s), gifts, talents, abilities, etc. to offer, to offer others, and contribute to the world. We all have unique goals, dreams and desires.  Blocks in our energy system can derail or make difficult, any one of these. My deepest and truest desires for EVERYONE is to live and express themselves in the deepest, truest, freest, and most authentic way possible!!

When we are young we learn by watching, observing, and adapting to our surroundings. We are often told by our parent(s), caregivers, society, etc. who they think we are, who they think that we should be, and who they want us to be, do, say, or act like. As we get older these adaptations and beliefs can become a hindrance. We can be controlled by a belief that was learned and taught, which does not even have its origins in who we are, and how we desire to live.

As an example, I recently explored an old, worn out belief of mine with an EFT colleague. That is, “I am only worthy, only if I am being productive, and that “play” is a waste of time.” Yikes! This is a belief that I learned and took on as “truth” very early on- a learned family pattern. It was impacting me in numerous ways (which were not in line with TRUE me). This is certainly not a belief that I want to pass on to my son! I LOVE the magic and power of EFT! and Pranic Healing!! My goal is to provide a safe, compassionate, secure, and non- judgemental space for you to peel back the layers of what no longer serves you and holds you back from TRUE you….

This quote from Judith Orloff, the author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide” sums this up perfectly and resonates with me deeply:

“I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfill it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honouring their sensitivities, they are saying “NO” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.”

Warmly,

Tamara

If you are familiar with EFT, or you would like to explore more about EFT, and how it can be used for Codependency, please email me and I will send you a copy of “Codependent Beliefs, Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions to Tap on.”

References:

  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (pp. 207-208). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.