From LOST IN THE SHUFFLE - The Co-Dependent Reality - by Robert Subby: ...Originally co-de

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From LOST IN THE SHUFFLE - The Co-Dependent Reality - by Robert Subby: ...Originally co-dependency was used to describe the person or persons whose lives were affected as a result of their being involved with someone who was alcoholic or chemically dependent...was seen as having developed a dysfunctional pattern of coping with life... ...But now many professionals are coming to understand that co-dependency can emerge from ANY family system where certain overt (spoken) and covert (unspoken) rules exist -- rules that interfere with the normal process of emotional, psychological, behavioral, and spiritual development. Rules that close off and discourage healthy communication, rules that eventually destroy a person's ability to form a trusting relationship within themselves or between others. ...Co-dependency is a pattern of living, coping and problem solving created and maintained by a set of dysfunctional rules within the family and social system... ...It's important to stress...that there are lots of people...who reflect the characteristics of co-dependency...from a variety of troubled family histories. These commonalities also show up in 1) Emotionally and chronically mentally ill family systems, 2) Physically or sexually abusive family systems, 3) Rigid fundamentalistic family systems.... ...Children living under the dysfunctional rules of a troubled family are forced to grow up in a hurried fashion and take on prematurely the responsibilities of adulthood in order to take care of themselves and their sick family. ...Co-dependents don't like the notion of having to start [recovery] from where they are...Co dependents have a child's fear, fear of the dark and of the terrible demons that lurk on the other side of change. Co-dependents need a healthy adult and parent model to walk them through their fear and demonstrate that those terrible demons of change can't destroy them. ...The child who grows up in a troubled family, with all its dysfunctional rules - don't talk, don't rock the boat, and so on - is practically guaranteed to end up suffering from feelings of anger, hurt, lonliness, guilt and shame...we learn to live day by day with the constant fear of rejection, punishment abandonment or worse. ...Rule 1 -- It's not okay to talk about problems - We learn the no-talk rule in two ways. First, our parents may come right out and say, 'What happens in this house is no one else's business, so keep your mouth shut.' More commonly, we learn this rule by watching our parents. Mom and Dad don't talk about problems, although tension may be hanging heavy in the air. We intutitvely feel the tension, we expoerience the walking on egshells feeling, but no one ever directly confronts the real cause of our problems... Rule 2--It's not okay to talk about or express our feelings openly...Rule 3--Don't adress issues or relationships directly...Rule 4--Always be strong, always be good, always be perfect...Rule 5--Don't be selfish...Rule 6--oDo as I say, Not as I do...Rule 7--It's not okay to play...Rule 8--Don't rock the boat...Don't talk about sex... Enough for you to chew on for now, I'm sure. It's a pretty good book.

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