Book Review: Facing CodependenceJul 27, 2021
There are so many ways to identify family patterns that both help and harm us, our relationships, and way of life. Codependency is one pattern.
Codependence is defined as: excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction. More broadly, dependence on the needs of or control by another.
There are many layers and ends of the spectrum of codependence as outlined in this book.
Over the last couple of years I have been studying with trauma teachers to learn how to identify and heal my own family patterns. Codependency is an issue that has surfaced that I did not spend enough time investigating. I wish I would have had these tools about 21 years ago as it might have helped me avoid a long and abusive marriage.
The more I learned, the more I see how almost every person I have been in an intimate relationship with, married to, parents, extended family, or any other kind of relationship with, has some level of codependent issues. I was also able to see how we played our issues off each other. Because almost everyone has codependent issues, society has normalized this. It has become just part of who we are - a layer of dysfunction that holds us back and sometimes harms us, that is just "normal".
We learn our patterns, behaviors, beliefs, and way of being from our parents and extended family. They learned it from their parents and extended family. Codependent behaviors are passed down until we choose to look at them and heal.
Pia Mellody has an incredible book, easy to read and digest, and heal from called Facing Codependence. What It Is, Where It Comes From, How it Sabotages Our Lives.
- The Symptoms of Codependence
- The Nature of a Child
- The Roots of Codependence
- Moving Toward Recovery
The book is filled with personal stories about her own codependence healing journey and many definitions and examples of how we learn this behavior, how it affects us, and how we can change it. Pia also talks about carried anger, carried fear, carried pain, carried shame, basically CARRIED ENERGY. She gives great examples of how this is passed down through the generations. Some of you may call this inherited trauma.
She also talks about how we coped or did not cope, as children when faced with difficult or abusive situations. When our child or adolescent systems were overwhelmed, we might shut down or lock the trauma or event into our bodies. Disconnect so we could make it through the situation. Only later in life do these events tend to thaw out, unlock, and surface. Some of them show up as codependent issues and others as massive triggers to deeper things to look at and heal.
One thing that hit me as I read the book was a feeling of guilt. The guilt of If I had known then (whatever time period I was thinking about), things could have been different.
We can't think like this though. We did the best we could with what we knew at each moment of our life. However, once we learn new information and have the choice to change, if we continue to choose the old way, we will continue to have dysfunctional relationships and create unneeded chaos in our lives.
All of life is a choice and we do have the choice to look at our own beliefs, patterns, thoughts, and behaviors and choose something else. We have the choice to go within and heal.
When we heal ourselves, we heal everyone, including our ancestors.
This book changed my life this year. It gave me a chance to be honest with myself about where I was playing codependent roles with my intimate partners and other family members and friends. It allowed me to see more clearly where those people were being codependent with me and how we played off each other, which was never a good situation. It also allowed me to see how far I have come in my personal healing and how I recognize these behaviors and have more of a choice how I respond or react in a situation. Especially situations where the other person is still unconscious to their behaviors and still blames, shames, and abuses others.
I highly recommend this book to everyone.
Would you like to learn more?
First, I have an Introduction to Ancestral Lineage Healing webinar on 4 August 2021. Click the link to learn more and save your spot today.
Second, if you are interested in learning more about how to identify trauma and other things that impacted your ancestors, be sure to sign up for my mailing list to be notified about upcoming free taster webinars and online classes. Click the link to learn more and join the Ancestral Cafe Membership Program.
Questions? Contact me at [email protected]
Disclosure: The book link is an affiliate link and I make a tiny percentage of the sale. This does not affect the price you pay.
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