Author: Ann Schiebert
Types of Reality Distortion Systems
Codependency, Part 1
Why is Codependency a Reality Distortion System? Because it is based on a denial and control schema that serve to cement perception distortion into one’s entire vision of what is true, and what is not true. Codependency comes with a set of false beliefs around which one’s life is organized. This RDS is one of the most difficult to change. For a codependent to change his/her self perception from being helpful, devoted, giving, and loving, to the more accurate one of being an enabler and controller, is extremely challenging. It is usually only when the person, place or situation that the codependent is trying to change, digs in their heels and refuses the advice, and heartfelt lectures, that codependents experience hopelessness and sometimes seek council. But when reality tries to loosen the anchor bolts that keep this RDS securely in place, the denial system gathers more evidence around it to further shore up its foundation. This culminates in the seesaw effect of teetering between evidence that they can’t control the uncontrollable, and being addicted to the hope that they can.
Codependency is a disease involving control disguised under the umbrella of being, “helpful.” Codependency is also the, “Disease to Please.” If I can’t be happy until you are the person I want you to be, and if, via lecturing, explanations, cajoling, I try to get you to, “see,” all the reasons you need to change, I am trying to control you. My attempt to control is complicated by how the codependent presents it to the, “object,” of their, “affection.” Their manipulations to get you to do it their way, are presented as love, caring, thoughtfulness, wanting the best for the other person, etc. When control and manipulation are at the core of relationships, there can be no intimacy. The codependent says they desire emotional connection, yet their controlling, advice giving propensities serve to build a wall between themselves and others.
Usually, within every addict, is a good codependent. For the addict, part of their belief system is, “if only those people would be different, I wouldn’t drink/use.” The codependent’s belief is, “if only this person would change, I’d be happy and my life would be so improved. The addict and the codependent have given the responsibility for how they act, think, feel, and talk, to other people. And if I can blame YOU, then I don’t have to look at myself.
Next post: More about the RDS of codependency.