Co-Dependent Cyclones

Growing up in an abusive environment you think you learn how to weather storms, but in all actuality
 what happens is you are swept away into a learned behavioral pattern known as co-dependency. You become dependent on those who are dependent on your people pleasing ways. You lift them up when their self esteem is low and in doing so you become dependent on their need for you to care for them It is a vicious cycle of highs and lows..

It is a struggle that once learned, will last a lifetime, even if you are aware of it and work to break the patterns - you must be careful of slippery slopes. Those slippery slopes appear at weak moments, almost as if they know you will take the plunge.

Much like alcoholics on the road to recovery need to actively work on abstaining from drinking, a co-dependent person must actively work on their boundaries and learning how to say "No." Also know that many who do have addictions are spinning out of control in co-dependent cyclones. They are numbing feelings they don't understand and/or do not want to feel.

It took me a lot of years to learn how to say "No" and there are still times that I will fall back into old behavior patterns - it is most likely one of the hardest lessons to learn because it goes hand in hand with liking/loving that reflection in the mirror.

It is no wonder why so many professionals working in social services, or volunteers building up communities are survivors of abuse. It is also no wonder why the burnout rate for such positions are extremely high after just a few years.

I know this because I have plunged down a few slippery slopes along the way to my road of healing. I've allowed boundaries to be crossed while putting my own self last, and I have said yes a few too many times when I should have said no. I was blind to red flags and I am sure there will be times in the future when I will again.  I'm human, and if you are reading this and identifying with any of this, forgive yourself, you are human too. Admitting and embracing flaws is the first step to liking yourself and finding confidence within rather than relying on others to build it up.

You can still be a kind, and compassionate person without getting lost in someone else's problems,  issues and low self esteem. You can still be there for others in time of need, but first you must take care of your own needs-  It is possible - and those boundaries are your safety net from slippery slopes.

It takes practice, self forgiveness and patience - Rome was not built in a day, and your life will be a constant path towards growth if you're willing to learn from your experiences.

If you are a survivor working towards bettering your community while using your life experience and/or working towards change in laws - please contact #WhenIBecameFree - The Heartland Project at  and visit the website at #WhenIBecameFree-The Heartland Project


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