Loving Habit vs Negative Change
The problem with the word codependent is as a mother you believe you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing. We’ve had a role of caretaker their whole life- we’ve advised, fixed, and helped in most things. Mothers question their time, involvement, words, level of interaction as kids grow, and when to let them grow and back out so they can be adults.
We HAVE spent our lives being responsible for every appointment, education, meal, home care, medical care. When your child refuses to take hold of their own life, we keep doing what we know.
Mother’s usually ignore their own needs, because their family comes first. We don’t immediately recognize being taken advantage of because it is just how a mother’s heart works.
As addiction enters your child’s mind, you do become critical because you see something you want to fix but can’t, behaviors you didn’t teach, and immorality that makes you uncomfortable. We become self-critical because we begin to question where we went wrong, then push harder to reteach the same lessons we’ve taught our entire mothering years. We nag because our child doesn’t appear to care, hear, or choose beneficial change. It never occurs to us the lessons are being rejected.
Moving Past Normalcy
It can take years for a mother to recognize codependency in herself. So much of what it entails looks like the years of being a mom.
You don’t see the manipulation, the tactics being played for attention, negative attention usually. You are naïve to the lies and mental illness symptoms within addiction.
Mothers always want to see the best in their children. Our hearts hold onto the hope and vision we saw when our children were just babies in our arms. Our minds know what we taught-lessons of being gentle, giving, kind, productive citizens of humanity. In my home, Jesus was engaged and his love was embedded into the daily fabric of our lives, in every way.
Codependency takes time to see in ourselves, but I learned a while ago it was there. When we say loved ones of addicts need recovery too, this is often the first habit to break. We’ve become addicted to fighting for them in their addiction, when they’ve not fought for themselves or struggle to maintain their recovery. Their relapse becomes our fault and failure. Yet, we never realize we put the blame on us, illogically and unfairly.
-Step one is recognizing this problem.
-Step two is seeking help to end it.
-Step three is changing your behaviors, not theirs. One at a time.