Codependency is a behavior or state of mind that prevents us from living an autonomous life due to a compulsion to take care of, control, or please the people and situations around us. It can keep us dependent, enmeshed with, and compulsively focused on another person.
"Most of us have been searching for ways to overcome the dilemmas of the conflicts in our relationships and our childhoods. We have found in each of our lives that codependency is a deeply-rooted, compulsive behavior system that is born out of our sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional family systems.
We have each experienced in our own ways the painful trauma of the emptiness of our childhood and relationships throughout our lives. We attempted to use others -- our mates, our friends and even our children, as our sole source of identity, value and well-being and as a way of trying to restore within us the emotional losses from our childhoods.
For many of us, romantic love, sexuality and the closeness they offer, are experiences most often filled with pitfalls, anxiety and pain. Living in a sometimes chaotic emotional world of desperation and despair, fearful of being alone or rejected, we endlessly long for that special relationship, or become overly attached, obsessive, and dependent upon a current partner and relationship. Some of us fall in love with unavailable people, yearning for something we cannot have. Still others of us put so much hope into our relationships that we are devastated when they end.
Relationships with parents, children, friends or even co-workers can also be addictive. We come to rely on someone else to fulfill our unmet needs from childhood, to escape our own inner sadness, turmoil and pain, to heal and "save" us through their attention and love, and to make us feel whole." - Anonymous