Codependency, as defined by Pia Mellody (author, Facing Codependence), is a developmental disorder of immaturity caused by childhood relational trauma and has five primary symptoms; difficulty esteeming oneself from within, difficulty establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries, difficulty owning one’s reality, difficulty accessing and meeting one’s own needs and difficulty expressing oneself appropriately. Childhood trauma and emotional immaturity drive unmanageability, which in turn creates secondary symptoms like addiction, mental health problems and spirituality issues.
Everyone with a trauma history has trauma reactions, which is essentially the foundation of Codependency. Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with enabling those you are in relationship with. Codependency is about your arrested development.
Photo: Marnie Breecker with her teacher and mentor, Pia Mellody
Recovery from codependency is about:
- learning to be relational with yourself, an impossible task when you are unable to recognize that you have inherent worth
- learning to re-parent yourself
- learning functional adult skills
- learning to love yourself and esteem from within
- learning to establish and maintain healthy boundaries
- learning to accept your imperfections and develop self awareness
- learning to care for yourself and express in a healthy way your needs and wants
- learning how to live in moderation
Recovery does not mean that your trauma history is eradicated. It means that while you will still have trauma reactions, they will be far less frequent and intense. Recovery is ultimately about learning that you have inherent worth and that you are loveable.