Anger & CO-DEPENDENCE (Part 1)

codep anger OF COURSE I’M ANGRY –
everyone disappoints me!

PREVIOUS: ACoAs & Anger #2

SITEs: • Caring or Co-dependent?

• “Characteristics of Codependent People

• ”3 Phrases That Will Instantly Calm Angry or Emotional 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 topic of anger in perspective (Continuum CHART)

Internal characteristics : Co-Deps have DIFFICULTY with:
• self-esteem & self-care
• setting boundaries
• knowing & accepting all reality
• being moderate & balanced
• self-regulating emotions & behavior

Co-Deps (ACoAs & Addicts) are fundamentally ruled by buried shame, having had to cut ourself off from our internal 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 caretaking the world, but barely provide for ourselves. While it seems that we’re only focused on others, Co-Deps actually spend a great deal of time obsessing – on ourself! – 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-Dep 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. OUR Anger – We generally think of Co-Deps 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 self-deprivational (need-less & want-less), along with arrogance & grandiosity, our damage spilling out over everyone/ thing.

Many Co-Deps 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-Deps misplace our anger – we get angry when we shouldn’t, & don’t get angry when we should.

a. MISSING Emotions
i. Numb: Co-Ds are so used to abuse, insensitivity & disrespect, that we have trouble consciously feeling the hurt inflicted on us by unhealthy people.  But the Inner Child does register every single verbal / emotional punch, stab, slap…. delivered by them. (Posts:  “Dissociation“)

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

Emotional numbness comes at the very bottom of the Feeling Continuum (but before death 😦 ), because the pain is so-o-o great that we’ve had to cut everything off, so it represents the most distressing level of feeling.
Co-Deps who are still in denial will often say they had a happy or OK childhood. The way we can tell if it was NOT is by listening to how we talk about ourselves – blaming ourselves for not getting what we need & vin life. Emotional Body’ chart



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 greateful 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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.