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Co and Counter Dependent Behavior

Old 04-05-2013, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunshine2 View Post
Oh lordy, I definitely used to be a classic codependant. When that went, my counterdependancy surfaced. I finally have a name for it!

My dad died when I was two and my mom was in such a state of bereavement that for my own survival, I had to be the one to try and make her happy. She told me the story that a year after his death, my grandma came to visit and told her she will have to pull herself together as all I was doing all day was to sit quietly in a corner. Most of my life my sole purpose was to keep my mom happy.

I understood perfectly where my desire to keep people happy at all costs came from. At some stage I freed myself from my role, but I have always pushed men away from me. I understood that it was probably from the pain of my dad who "left" me and the consequences. This has not healed and has transferred to many of my relationships, including the ones with women friends and family.

I will definitely get the book. Thank you. Maybe now that I have a name for it, healing is possible.

You can also google Parentification to see the characteristics of a child who was emotionally respospondible for an adult.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Kindeyes View Post
And I thought it was hormones.....lol.
Me Too!
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by LoveMeNow View Post
You can also google Parentification to see the characteristics of a child who was emotionally respospondible for an adult.
I'm definitely going to do this tonight....

I know the exact moment my Mom and I switched roles as parent and child. I was 9 years old and my Mom had taken me on a bus trip to NYC. And during that trip, we stopped to sit on a bench at a little park, and that's when she bluntly (and with WAY too much detail) told me that she had been sexually molested from the time she was three until well in her 30's by her father, and that she was going to be entering therapy to work on it.

Later, on the ride home, I remember sitting on the bus, and my Mom had fallen asleep with her head on my shoulder, and I leaned over and kissed her on her forehead while she slept, as a parent would do to their sleeping child. In that moment, it was like a switch was flipped inside me and I had become the parent....and throughout several years of therapy/inpatient hospital stays for my Mom that followed thereafter, I solidified my codependent role as mother/caretaker of my family (taking over all the household duties, as well as looking after my Dad and two older brothers). Yes, I think there was definitely some 'parentification' going on there....
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:22 PM
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I'm going to Google "parentification," too. One of the moments for me was at 12 when my mom told me that she had not committed suicide because of me. I felt responsible for her safety and well-being after that. There were much earlier signs that I was the adult, but that's when I remember it being specifically requested. At the time, she was being daily attacked by her boyfriend. It was hard not feeling responsible for that (not to mention all her drug use). Thanks for bringing this up. I think it's important.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:24 PM
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My mom also expressed many times how awful her life became when she became pregnant with me. Like, I was responsible for all the miseries in her life. That still hurts, even though I know it isn't true.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bluebelle View Post
I'm going to Google "parentification," too. One of the moments for me was at 12 when my mom told me that she had not committed suicide because of me. I felt responsible for her safety and well-being after that. There were much earlier signs that I was the adult, but that's when I remember it being specifically requested. At the time, she was being daily attacked by her boyfriend. It was hard not feeling responsible for that (not to mention all her drug use). Thanks for bringing this up. I think it's important.
We have this in common, bluebelle. After my Mom had started therapy, about a year into it, she told me that one day she had one of my Dad's guns in her mouth, and the only reason she didn't pull the trigger was because of me. In some fateful coincidence, I had left her a letter that day telling her how much I loved her and that was what stopped her from killing herself. I agree - the subject of parentification seems to be a very important factor for how many of us codies developed.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:29 PM
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Yes, thanks for sharing. It's painful, but I think recognizing it is a good point to start healing.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:30 PM
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Although this addiction thing was my only foray in codependency----
the counter dependency thing hits home hard.

I trace this one back to getting my first bike.Dad got me one (maybe I was 6?
I dunno). But he was of Eastern European descent----postwar variety.
We were expected to be 'overgrateful' for what we were provided with.

It was placed on the porch and a long,BS dance ensued. I went for it,he admonished:
"How do you you know that is YOUR bike!?".

OK,I'll play your idiot game.Forgetting it's my birthday----but really.
The joke was only funny the first 97 times----now I want to ride MY bike.This goes on for
HOURS.

Even a six year old knows this is f'ed up.You earn money,get your kid a bike,and
ENJOY watching HIM enjoy it.......not this stupid, f'ed up mindgame.

Now the sun has gone down.Game still in play.So I tossed the thing off the patio
onto the concrete 2 stories below......messing it up badly.Astonished Dad asks why,I
reply "we gave whatever idiot plenty of time to recover their bike from our patio---we
don't have alot of space---so I got rid of it".

My wife still see's this behavior in me today.If you want to give something to me
because you like me,great...and thank you.If it is just a prop to get me to BEG...
then I do not care if it is something I have been searching/pining for ,for 20 years.....at that
instant I DON'T WANT IT ANYMORE.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) this maladjustment self perpetuates well because it
is so incredibly useful. Just 2 days ago I made a bid on a certain engine @ 90% of market
value (a pretty good offer for a HARD to clear item).Other guys starts putting all these
BS conditions.....("sit up and beg,Vale!").

But (you guessed it)...

"I offer 50%,no counteroffers....if you call my phone for any other reason that to accept the
50% offer....I will block your number."

I would have GLADLY paid the 90%,until he starts toying with me.
He lost 40% of the value of a VERY expensive engine (he agreed to the 50%).....just for stepping on
my counterdependent landmines.It was a mistake that cost about 1000 Schwinn bikes.

As crappy as the bike episode was.I'm not so sure I'd trade it.
The best bluff in the world.....is when you are not bluffing.

"Take it or leave it...I really don't care"----is about as concise a
statement of the counterdependent mindset as I can conjure up.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by LoveMeNow View Post
You can also google Parentification to see the characteristics of a child who was emotionally respospondible for an adult.
would this be kinda what happened to my sister? our relationship is skewed because she is 7 years older than me and took it upon herself to be my "mom" when our mom was unavailable, not in any financial way, but in all of the emotional ways.

I have only just recently talked about this with my counsellor and how it has effected my mothering style. I am more inclined to act like "big sister" than "mom" to my daughter. It has it's positives, trust building, and playing together, our lice expierience etc. but also negatives like getting annoyed and being on the phone with my girlfriends instead of spending time with her, not really knowing how to mentor her appropriately, and drawing the line of non negotiable boundaries.

or am I way off base??

I am definitely codependent on some people (my son and bf) and counterdependent on others (mom, bfs mom and grandma especially) weird how I enmesh into certain people, but others I totally have brick walls with. Slowly but surely Im learning to camp out in the middle.
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