Learning to Love Myself and Others – Codependent No More
Forgiving the pain of rejection, God’s love filled my soul.
I researched on google and found Linda Darin, an energy medicine healer, six years ago to help treat my anxiety and depression. I already had a traditional therapist, and taking medication left me numb, empty, and unsatisfied with life. As a middle-aged woman, I frequently gave and did for my children and parents, focusing on their problems, needs, and feelings and ignoring my own. I didn’t know how to balance my life. I took on too much, acting like a martyr at times. I tried to control others’ behaviors, feelings, or situations and compulsively did for others. I then became angry and resentful for helping others and did not feel appreciated. Little did I know that the drama playing out in my life was the codependent patterns of behavior I learned from childhood.
What is codependency? An unbalanced relationship between two people in which one person gives (caretaker) and the other person takes (victim), and the two become emotionally dependent on one other. The codependent person starts trying to help the other person but takes it too far, becoming overly attached and dependent to feel a sense of worth.
My codependent behaviors are:
- losing my sense of self
- low self-esteem
- trouble expressing my emotions and communicating effectively
- being indirect
- focusing on others
- constantly doing for others
- needing to perform and be in control
- overstepping my boundaries
My codependent behavior stems from unmet childhood needs, controlling parents, and a parent with narcissism. Codependency is in alcoholic families like mine. Still, it can also appear in many situations, such as families that don’t feel or express emotions and those who try to control or focus on others.
I grew up with a family lineage of mental illness and alcohol addiction on both sides of the family, so it made sense how I learned dysfunctional living patterns and problem-solving growing up. Each family member took on a specific role and acted out based on unspoken rules in our house that kept us from freely expressing ourselves, speaking directly and effectively, talking about our problems, and making mistakes without being criticized. This false sense of protection kept us isolated, lonely, rejected, and insecure. Although we each played a different role, we shared the same feelings.
As I utilized The Darin Method®, I saw signs of codependency that began to show up in my younger years that I am still playing out at fifty-seven years old. I began to move beyond codependency with a combination of Linda’s spiritual and holistic healing services.
As a young child, I fell into the victim role, but as I got older, I bounced back and forth between the victim and caretaker roles.
Growing up, I lost my sense of self as I tried to fit in with my family and live up to my mother’s expectations of me. I was the youngest of two, quiet, shy, and afraid to speak up because I learned it wasn’t ok to speak the truth or stand up for myself. I looked different than my friends and family and sometimes was made fun of because I was tall and thin and didn’t wear name-brand clothes the kids in my neighborhood wore. My older brother was outgoing and more adventurous than me. I was close to him and followed his actions as he often looked after me. My dad wasn’t around often because he coached sports after work. He also coached all my brother’s teams. My dad didn’t spend too much time with me, and I discovered that the best way to get his attention and feel included was to get interested in the sports he and my brother enjoyed. My mother was a homemaker who ran the household and oversaw everything. She was strict and overbearing at times. Often my mother tried to change how I looked or did things, and I became insecure, not knowing who I was, so I just tried to blend into what everyone else did or wanted so I could fit in. This behavior continued into my older years which caused anxiety and depression.
I developed low self-esteem from being frequently shamed as a child and compared to others. I lost confidence when I did something wrong. I began to doubt my abilities and not trust in myself as I started to get older, constantly comparing myself and becoming jealous of others. My insecurity led me to fall into a pattern of perfectionism, wanting to look good so no one could see how inadequate and broken I was. I learned to perform, hiding parts of me, adapting to who I was with, and wanting to be liked and accepted. I didn’t know how to be honest, disguising myself to look good but punishing myself with negative self-talk.
Through The Darin Method®, I discovered the root of my inauthenticity was my soul wound of rejection. I learned with Linda’s spiritual cleansing of negative energy that I had an opening to many negative spirits through this childhood wound. I began to recognize and feel rejection, shame, and unworthiness and release them, giving me peace. I started taking care of myself by utilizing chakra tools such as using essential oils, reciting positive affirmations, using color healing, and doing specific stretches and exercises. After, I would be more accepting and forgiving, and my body would relax.
I joined several prayer groups with Linda Darin, guiding and teaching Christian Faith Healing. I started to spend quiet time reading the Bible, meditating on the Word, and not worrying about what other people think of me.
I had trouble expressing my emotions and communicating effectively due to repressed fear, shame, and low self-worth. In elementary school, I struggled and had difficulty doing my homework. My father often rescued me after I had a meltdown and cried. It wasn’t fair that everything was easy for my brother and not me. I fell into the victim role. I learned to be indirect and manipulate to get my needs met, often crying, getting frustrated, or having a temper tantrum when I couldn’t figure things out or things didn’t go my way. As an adult, I felt insecure that I couldn’t directly ask for what I wanted or needed from others, so I manipulated people to feel sorry for me. My inability, to be honest, caused me to panic. Not being able to communicate effectively gave me tremendous anxiety. With the help of Linda’s online intuitive healing services, I’m learning to be direct with what I want and need from others and setting the proper boundaries.
It was easier for me to focus on others rather than myself. My brother became depressed and started smoking pot, and my close relationship with him began to dissolve. I became embarrassed by his behavior and feared what others would think. I didn’t trust that other people would accept me, and I felt attached to my brother’s behavior. I had a poor self-image and began to see my life as a constant struggle. I fell into the victim role once again. I started gravitating toward other kids who came from dysfunctional families wanting and needing unhealthy people to be around me to feel needed and accepted. I fell into a caretaker role with my friends, which became a substitute for intimacy.
I was so lost but being around those suffering filled me up and made me feel better because I thought I was helping someone. What an illusion that was! This pattern of seeking and becoming dependent on other troubled or needy people continued throughout my life. We all were victims, we all struggled, and life was hard. Through Linda’s soul healing techniques, I discovered I lost touch with myself because I felt responsible for how others felt and behaved. My emotions were in turmoil when I became overly attached to others and their problems. Linda corrected me but didn’t get attached to what I did because it was not her job to make me feel better. I’m now practicing detachment in my relationships.
I began participating in a workshop on Saturday mornings called Experiencing God with Linda Darin. Through this workshop, along with Linda’s spiritual guidance, I’m learning how much God wants to have a relationship with me and that I can receive peace, advice, and acceptance by focusing on Him and talking to Him rather than placing my focus on others. I can better understand this now because I spend alone time with Him daily, listening.
By the time I got married, I was always on the go, constantly doing for others and putting myself on the back burner as I had learned self-sacrifice from my mother growing up. I took life way too seriously. I didn’t know how to be spontaneous and go with the flow like my husband. I always felt the need to perform and be in control and was on edge when I wasn’t. I had internalized negativity spoken over me as a child, believing lies that weren’t true. I became very insecure, constantly needing to prove myself worthy. My insecurity and constant need for control fed into my perfectionism and triggered my obsessive-compulsive behavior, especially when it came to keeping my house clean.
I felt my husband’s and kids’ behaviors reflected on me, and I tried to portray the image of the American dream family. I wanted my house to be neat, my family to be well-dressed and well-behaved, and I wanted to look professional and all put together. I couldn’t enjoy life and was always uptight because I was too busy trying to control everyone and everything. Reflecting now, I understand how I thought medication could block it all out!
When I first began working with Linda, I had many problems with my twenty-five-year-old daughter. As I explained situations, Linda pointed out how my daughter and I have a codependent relationship. My daughter became reliant on me in many ways. We often got into power struggles when I tried to control her, and she didn’t do what I wanted her to do. I blamed my daughter, but I was the problem.
When my daughter started having difficulty socializing, organizing, and doing well in school, she became my focus, and I felt compelled to help her. I internalized her rejection and struggles as if they were my own, triggering my emotional trauma of feeling left out and made fun of as a child. I was embarrassed by her behavior and felt guilty that she couldn’t fit in. I tried to control the outcome of her “fitting in” by controlling her diet and what she wore, getting her help from tutors, and going to counseling. I began to overstep my boundaries with my daughter as my mother had done with me as a child, repeating the pattern. My control caused me to act as if I knew more or better. I became angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed when things didn’t go as planned. Soon the whole house was in an uproar, and we were all angry.
With the help of Linda’s Holistic Therapy Services, I’m learning self-acceptance. I’m setting boundaries and taking back my power by learning to say no and limiting when I’ll do things. I’m focusing on taking care of my problems rather than focusing on others. I understand how not dealing with my childhood wounds led me into bondage and captivity. My lying, bitterness, resentment, self-hate, jealousy, perfectionism, and victimhood opened doors to evil spirits that made me crazy. I’m learning to face and make appropriate changes, forgive myself for how I treated others, and surrender to God.
Now I’m rediscovering myself and beginning to enjoy life by nurturing myself in a way I never allowed. I’m more accountable for my choices which changes my victim mentality. By spending time each morning journaling, I can see what thoughts keep me blocked and what I feel. Going through each chakra and using self-care tools allows me to look at what I want and need and take better care of myself. I’m gaining insight as to who I am by trying new things and getting the creativity back that I once had. My life is now on track, and I’m discovering it’s better to be alone than to be in codependency.
I thank God every time he works through Linda to help my soul heal one layer at a time!