Is there one non-dysfunctional family on the planet? Sometimes I wonder. There are people I have worked with that seem to have been brought up in healthy environments, but usually, eventually, something shows up to give it away… even in the healthiest of families.
Take a look at the listing above… see if you can identify with any of the traits or characteristics. I would imagine that you will be able to recognize at least one or two – and this list is not exhaustive. Interestingly, the main, all encompassing syndrome is codependency. Acting and reacting off of the behaviors of another. This phenomenon runs very deep and is multi-faceted.
The results of codependency look like the above. It’s caused by fear, inauthenticity, addictions, control issues, vicarious living through another, abuse, various developmental traumas, and many other areas of dysfunction in self and relationships. I usually recommend “Codependent No More” and “The New Codependency”, both by Melodie Beattie. Two others by Barry and Jenae Weinhold, “Breaking Free From the Codependency Trap”, and , “The Flight from Intimacy,” (on counterdependency).
Counterdependency is the sister to codependency. But instead of being dependent on others behaviors, you become “counter” dependent. Meaning you don’t accept help from others, isolate, reject closeness and emotional intimacy. You become resistant to the interactions of others, thus staving off connection and emotional intimacy. All for many of the same reasons. These two conditions are rampant and the containers of endless facets of family dysfunction. And worse yet, these things can be carried from generation to generation… known as generational transfer, or generational curse.
If you relate to any of these traits above, look into one of these, or all of these books to help uncover where the characteristics lurk. If you need help in working through these issues, seek help from a professional.