When we are in a healthy relationship, there is an exchange that creates balance. If this balance becomes upset by factors outside of our control then it can leave us feeling trapped and helpless – never knowing what to do or how feel about any given situation.
We may discover that we no longer know what we feel or want, we can only imagine what the other person feels or wants.
When we make others our point of reference instead of maintaining that point of reference in ourselves, we have entered into codependency.
How is it that we, who are very much in control of ourselves, can feel so out of control?
We begin to feel trapped and responsible to care for others in a way that leaves us feeling there is no one to care for us and nothing left over for our needs.
Being in relationship with an abusive or addicted person can leave one feeling absolutely out of control and unable to determine where one’s edges begin and end. Life becomes a blur of attempts to predict, manage, and sidestep the behaviors of another so that our life is not swallowed up in theirs. But the very prevention and managing we are attempting has already obliterated our selfhood.
There is nothing noble about becoming blurred or absorbed by another human being. Breaking the shackles of codependency frees a person to become who they truly can be, allowing them to live and powerfully love the people in their world.