Anger & CO-DEPENDENCE (Part 1)

codep anger 

everyone disappoints me!


SITEs: Caring or Co-dependent?
Characteristics of Codependent People

: If you haven’t already, please read the above articles to acquaint yourself with the basics of co-dependence (Co-Dep), so you can put the issue of anger in perspective (Continuum CHART)

Internal characteristics : Co-Ds have DIFFICULTY with:
• self-esteem & self-care
• setting boundaries
• knowing & accepting reality
• being moderate & balances

Co-Ds (ACoAs & Addicts) are fundamentally ruled by buried shame, having had to cut ourselves off from our inner world. We rarely know how we actually feel – under all the spinning & drama.
The truth is that we don’t want to know, because it’s painful & we never learned how to develop an inner soother for such occasions. It’s ‘easier’ to stay on the surface & pretend things are just fine, rather than deal with what’s really going on inside – which is emotional starvation.

We may be very busy taking caretaking the world, but barely provide for ourselves. While it seems that we’re only focused on others, Co-Ds actually spend a great deal of time obsessing – on ourselves! – on what we don’t have, what we wish we had, what we did wrong, what others are doing to us, what we/ they should be doing…..

Having to maintain the Co-D facade is exhausting, but it started so early in life, we think it’s the real us. Sadly, the performance gives us no satisfaction or relief because it feeds on & is maintained by S-H, anxiety & perfectionism. (Shame & Co-Dep)

1. Re. OUR Anger – We generally think of Co-Ds as being weak, dependent victims. This is how a large portion of us act, even though we’re really not that weak, having survived many horrors, although not very well.

Others will express it as intense counter-dependence (Reverse Laundry List), even to the point of being deprivational (need-less & want-less), along with arrogance & grandiosity, our damage spilling out over everyone/ thing.

Many Co-Ds are not aware of our anger, so are often surprised when others react with annoyance to the ways we express it (tone of voice, teasing, unprovoked irritation…..) because we ‘didn’t mean it like that’ – consciously.  Dr Irene, on her excellent “Verbal Abuse” site, notes that:  Co-Ds misplace our anger – we get angry when we shouldn’t, & don’t get angry when we should.

i. Numb: Co-Ds are so used to abuse, insensitivity & disrespect, that no longer consciously feel the hurt that’s inflicted on us by unhealthy people.  But the Inner Child does register every single verbal / emotional punch, stab, slap…. delivered by them.

Now we’re not only swallowing the venom of those encounters, but add to the already tremendous reservoir of pain we’ve been carrying since childhood with self-blame. Like mercury & lead poisoning, we let ourselves continue to be toxified!
NOTE: Fear of our own anger is called Angrophobia (not very original!)

ii. Disconnectecat collard: And then there are the times we FEEL something – that punch in the gut or the stab in the heart, BUT don’t know where it came from.
Our body’s legitimate reaction to abuse is disconnected from our cognitive center (cortex) because of years of denial. So —
√ we blame ourselves for the pain, thinking we’re making it up, over-reacting / too sensitive, it’s hormonal….
√ if we do make a vague association between our discomfort & a particular person, we justify & excuse it by thinking “they didn’t mean anything by it, it’s just the way they are, she/he DOES love me….”
It’s as if we’re wearing one of those animal medical collars: we can see over the top t the stabbers face, but can’t see the knife in their hand as they shove it in!
However, if we take the collar off, & ask the Inner Child how it feels around that unhealthy parent/ friend /boss/ lover….. & if the Child is willing to respond – we find out exactly what’s going on!

NEXT: Anger & Co-D (Part 2)

One thought on “Anger & CO-DEPENDENCE (Part 1)

  1. Yep, this was good for me the read and I think I am still in some numbness and denial and still trying to make sense of what has happened to me over the years – to some great degree I am still greatful that I was codependent during my up bringing and withdrawn or otherwise I could well have been involved in a life of arguing and physical fighting to maintain my position and still really have not gotten equality.
    In the last year to two years I have seen that it is my brother who was really the domineering and controlling person in my life; if not directly, definitely in how he positioned himself from an early age; he was ‘sickly’ as a pre-school child (commencing with an allergy to egg and hay fever/asthma and he has continually all through his life had other ailments) not cooperating, using his sicknesses to support his non-cooperation and Mum and Dad supporting this, although our father seemed to see through it and saw himself as powerless with my brother.
    With memory I also now see him as controlling, holding hostages, me included now I see; and he maintains this with the utmost feirceness and strong belief – I was reading something on narsisism and suddenly when reading the description/indicators my brother came to mind. He so believes in himself, other people believe him and think he is great and he talks to them and of them like they are far less than him.
    He would be so rude and abusive to our mother and she thought the sun shined out of him – when I carefully said this to her a couple of times, it was like she realized this but could not stop it and was helpless – may be like the Symbiosis situation or enmeshment.
    Our mother came from families effected by drinkers, although she and Dad were not problem drinkers.
    Thanks, Peter.


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