I’m a firm believer in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs. I’ve been sober 23 years and WORKING the steps for 20. There’s nothing new about them, really, but they are constructed so even a rock head like me can get them. Al-anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) etc all use them.
THose 12 steps, when worked at diligently over a loooong time, can and will replace man-dependency, booze-dependency, shopping-dependency, me-dependency et al with GOD-dependency.
I ***so ***recommend them.
the hardest thing for the co-dependent to admit is this: she does almost NOTHING from the goodness of her heart. everything has a wished-for manipulation outcome. if I do this: he’ll be nicer, he’ll be sorry, i’ll feel superior, he’ll love me more, he’ll be happy, he’ll stop being grumpy, he won’t yell etc.
if she can admit her manipulations, she can learn to detach with LOVE, not with some spiteful, punitive sense of self-preservation.
the next hardest thing for the co-dependent is this: if she’s being physically abused, to admit that focusing on the co-dependancy is just subterfuge. it’s smokescreen from the real issue. if the co-dependant is being abused (or if the kids are being abused) the first order of business is to physical safety. yeah. easier said than done because it’s the co-dependency that helped put her in the abuse to begin with.
the co-dependent may be shackled to a really terrible jerk, but if she’s going to get better, she must admit if she hadn’t chosen him, she would have chosen somebody else just like him.
furthermore, without many God-dependency miracles, she’ll choose another like him again.
how do I know? because that was me all over.
Working twelve steps, great sponsors, LOTS of praying and Jesus in the Eucharist. That’s what changed me.
I pray you can find freedom from this,. Freedom and peace.