In therapy, and especially with codependents, much time is spent trying to discover things. This includes why we act like we do, think like we do and we fall in love with the people we do. For some, understanding this is a key aspect of recovery. Once this is worked out, change can be instigated. While the action needed can be often guardedly placed under the heading “easier said than done”, change is certainly not impossible if the will is there.
Just where does one start with peeling back those layers of experience and conditioning? I always talk about going back to where it all started, of course, in childhood. This takes us back to a time when our choices were limited and we needed our parents’ guidance and knowledge. They could not always give us this while dealing with issues of their own. Looking back will give us a view over how our individual connection with caregivers might have meant we acquired shame and how we overextended ourselves in order to find validation. It is worth looking briefly at how this usually should work and why it generally doesn’t.