What is codependency and where does it show up?
A photo of Asha Wilkerson with text, What is co-dependency and where does it show up?


What is codependency and where does it show up?

Title: Understanding Codependency and How It Relates to Healing Coaching for Black Women”

Are you wondering what codependency is and where it might show up in your life? Let’s explore this important topic and its connection to the journey of healing and empowerment, especially for black women.

My realization about my own codependency came during an enlightening astrology reading with Yolanda. She gently brought up the idea of breaking free from codependency with my mom.

Initially, I couldn’t see how this applied to us. After all, we live in different states, and we maintain our independence while loving and supporting each other. But Yolanda explained that codependency transcends physical distance. So, I embarked on a quest for knowledge.

Mental Health America outlines several traits of codependent individuals, some of which I could relate to deeply. These traits include a lack of self-trust, a constant need for approval and recognition, and a persistent sense of guilt when asserting oneself.

I realized that I often sought my mom’s input on my decisions, not as a form of sharing but as a request for validation. Her approval became my safety net, and I depended on it for my choices.

This pattern extended to significant life decisions, such as pursuing higher education and traveling abroad. Even as I pursued my path, my mother’s approval weighed heavily on my mind. When I considered choices that might not align with her preferences, I second-guessed myself, prioritizing her potential reaction over my own needs.

While this didn’t prevent me from taking action, it did cast a shadow on my confidence and, possibly, my success. The weight of guilt from deviating from her expectations still lingers.

It’s essential to note that my mother never asked for these behaviors; they were patterns I developed to maintain harmony and my sense of security.

Now, at this point in life, I’m committed to breaking free from the chains of codependency. I’m learning to recognize and prioritize my needs, understanding that my desires hold significance. I remind myself that my mother’s love and support are unwavering, even when my choices differ from her preferences.

If you’re curious about your own codependency tendencies, Mental Health America offers a comprehensive list of questions to help you self-identify. Keep in mind that codependency manifests in various ways, and many of us may recognize some of these traits in ourselves.

Here’s the list for self-reflection:

1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?

2. Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?

3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?

4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?

5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own?

6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?

7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?

8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?

9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?

10. Have you ever felt inadequate?

11. Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?

12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?

13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?

14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?

15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?

16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss?

17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?

18. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help?

19. Do you have trouble asking for help?

20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?

After reading the list, I’m curious, where does codependency show up for you, if at all?


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