Adult Children of Alcoholic (ACOA) literature talks about being codependent. I never identified as codependent before. I didn’t think it was applicable to me. But I’ve learned that being ACOA and codependency go together.
Children from alcoholic families tend to take on roles in order to survive such as the role of caretaker, which I felt a tremendous need to look out for my alcoholic father. When I was a teenager I would drive my father to the liquor store so he wouldn’t drive drunk. I was probably enabling him too but I felt there was no other alternative.
Codependency makes it difficult to see your own thoughts, feelings and actions clearly because your focus is primarily on others. In codependency, value comes from the opinions of others and safety comes from feeling needed. I thought codependency only pertained to two people that depended heavily upon one another. Now I’m learning that my character traits of being helpful, self-sacrificing, hard-working, trustworthy, and self-sufficiency can turn into codependency when the need to be needed becomes a major factor in order to feel valued. I have to admit that I have felt the need to be needed many time in my family unit.
Hi, I’m Liz Hawkins and I’m a recovering Adult Child of an Alcoholic.
MyACoALife.com Blog Repost 12/10/2015