Avoiding Reality- This symptom of codependence presents itself in the form of using addictions, constant physical illness or emotional issues that serve to avoid the reality of their lives. As a child, we are dependent: always needing and wanting. When parenting styles do not appropriately nurture a child, this can result in two extremes-- an adult who is too dependent (not taking care of the basic needs they are responsible for), or an adult who is antidependent or needless/wantless (never asking for basic needs they have a right to get met from others). A codependent adult may have difficulty taking care of their own adult needs and wants because they weren't taught how to appropriately name their own needs as a child (they learn that it won't matter or they won't be heard).
Impaired Intimacy- Codependent adults may have difficulty sharing who they are with others and hearing them share who they are.
As children, our natural tendency is to be immature-- that's the function of being a child! When parenting styles do not provide a stable environment for a child, this can result in a codependent adult either being extremely immature (chaotic) or very overmature (controlling). As an adult, a codependent may have difficulty experiencing and expressing their reality moderately, because they were never shown healthy balance of trust in self and others, or healthy boundaries.
Have you recognized any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one? We hope this weeks blog has been helpful to you in your own recovery journey!
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.