The dictionary definition of Codependency is excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one with an illness or addiction who requires support.
Just as there are denials in those addicted to a substance regarding their addiction, so are there denials in Co dependents most times far more deeper and more intense than in the dependents.
Denial for the codependent can literally mean denying him or herself the attention that he or she needs or denying or neglecting his or her emotional well being in the excessive preoccupation with the addict or alcoholic. The dependent runs around the bottle trying to control his usage and the co dependent runs around the dependent and indirectly the bottle trying to control his/her usage thereby losing their individuality in the bargain. There is a constant pre occupation regarding the other . The denial that there is a problem existing in the form of addiction is a reflection or response to his or her own inability to control it.
In experiencing the denial of codependency, the codependent person will often have difficulty identifying their own feelings or emotions; they may minimize, alter or deny how they truly feel about any given situation, and they may mistakenly see themselves as completely unselfish and committed to the well being of the other. They are often focussed on what others are feeling rather than on what they are going through [“ I am fine … he needs to take care of his drinking”]
Furthermore, denial can cause a codependent person to mask their pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation, and express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways. Typically, codependent people have difficulty recognizing the emotional and/or physical unavailability of those individuals to whom they are attracted as they project their emotions on them and expect them to respond..
One of the problems people face in getting help for codependency is that they’re in denial about it, meaning that they don’t face their problem. “I do not have a problem ..he is the one who is drinking and destroying my life”
Thinking that someone else is responsible for his/her happiness and mental well being is the illusion that the co dependent lives in.
They might be in denial of their need for space and autonomy. They lack boundaries , hence do not give themselves and others the space required .
Although some codependents seem needy, others act like they’re self-sufficient when it comes to needing help. They won’t reach out and have trouble receiving. They are in denial of their vulnerability and need for love and intimacy. They refuse help more often than not due to the fear of rejection.
Thus Co dependency is characterised by the need for feeling needed and the complete feeling of inadequacy and low self esteem and absolute lack of self love when that does not come about.
A crucial result of addressing the addiction of a loved one is to highlight existing codependent behaviors of all family members involved. Once a codependent person becomes aware of their behavior, they are encouraged to seek and accept support and help in modifying their behavior.
We at Anatta provide a loving and nurturing environment for the co dependent to recognise and go beyond their denials , recognise their individuality, revel in it and blossom into self loving individuals.