September 9, 2011

As you know, I have been blogging about the meanings of codependence as well as its importance as a topic. I usually like to write in linear ways, one writing naturally following from the other. That is not the case as I am finding things I want to say on my blog. Maybe that’s how blogs go anyway – a burst of thought and meaning.

I will be writing more about codependence as a sleeper topic, as I promised, but today I am winding back to my call for efforts by all of us to further understand what we mean by codependence.

Recently I was speaking with someone who is new to the word and meaning of codependence. As we were talking, they said, “Well I am not codependent. I am very independent.”

Aha! A very useful comment.

This person is, in fact, very independent and has been so since a young age. They had to learn to take care of their self and then others as well. They do function well independently. Often this is the case with codependents, we are the ones earning the money, paying the bills, keeping the calendars, maintaining our home. So what’s so wrong about that?

To respond to the person’s comment about being independent and not codependent, I explained to them, and to me once again, that the dependence in codependence is about us acting in ways that make the other person dependent on us. We are not necessarily even aware of our doing this as we offer and give, but as we continue to do such things, our own independence and strengths enabling us to do this, the other person becomes less and less empowered and more and more dependent on us and perhaps on addictions of their own.

And if we are not additionally mindful, we can become dependent on their being dependent on us: a heap of dependence with any hint of independence eventually being lost.