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Codependency is a disorder that usually has it's roots in deep feelings of shame that arise from child abuse. Shame is the feeling that you are not good enough, not deserving, inherently worth less than other people, bad, etc. Many people who were shamed in their histories spend much their lives feeling themselves in such a "one down" position to others. Other people compensate and flip over into feeling arrogant and superior, being needless, denying that they have emotional problems or emotions at all, and assuming a "one up" position with others. In either case, both adjustments in adult life reflect deep, toxic shame and are the product of abuse. Both adjustments are dysfunctional.
Either of these orientations disconnects the codependent person from other people, either looking up to or down at others. They are also disconnect from themselves. The person's emotional, social, and spiritual needs, cannot be met. The pain of this sort of loneliness combines with the deep wounds of the "core of shame" and often drives the codependent into maladaptive efforts to cope. These efforts may include controlling other people, either ruthlessly or through excessive indulgence and kindness, addictions, emotional deadening, living vicariously through others, and so forth.
Only when codependents come to accurately value themselves as people, meet their own needs and wants openly and appropriately, and repair the boundaries damaged in childhood and later, can they enter recovery from codependency.
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