By: Anastacia Favela
A year ago, I came to the realization that I had codependency. Codependency is a compulsive behavioral disorder. One of its many rearing heads is that it relentlessly pushes a person to get into and stay in unhealthy and often abusive relationships. Codependency pushes people to stay with their partner in hopes that things will get better...that their partner will get better if they stick around and suffer with them. You forget about your own happiness because you are so consumed with bettering your partners life instead of your own. You think maybe by sticking around you can "fix" them, "rescue" them.."help them see the light." You decide your gunna love them to the end of the earth, and you begin to excuse things you otherwise wouldn’t be okay with. You stop paying enough attention to your own needs and wants because you are so concerned with this other persons needs and wants. Throughout my life I have dated people with drug addiction, sex addiction, alcohol addiction, or people who were just emotionally unavailable. I kept finding myself so unhappy and in so much pain and not understanding why...what was I doing wrong? This year, through dance movement therapy, spiritual response therapy, CODA meetings, energetic clearings and through reading books on the disorder, I really dug into myself to see what was causing me to manifest these problematic relationships into my life.
Codependency is usually born out of childhood traumas or dysfunctional family systems, sometimes it isn’t. For me it was. I needed to heal my inner child and dig even deeper into the darkest parts of myself.
Im really proud of myself now. A year ago I wouldn’t have thought I would be in the place I am now. I am so much more at peace with myself. I feel like a whole person. I have removed people from my life that were causing me pain and that I was allowing to cause me pain. I met an incredible person recently and I feel, at the least, meeting him is a huge sign to show me how far I have come. Although I really hope it will be more.
I would like to share this dance that I am calling my dance with codependency. Through dance movement therapy I learned to become more aware of my emotions, to move through them and express them so I could see them and get a good look at them so I could know the monster that I’m dealing with. And now I know the monster I have been dealing with for so long was codependency.
I just hope that sharing this may help shed light for someone else who may also be suffering from what I suffered with for so long and finally found answers to. Maybe this is someone else's answer.
I think codependency relates to intersectional feminism because it is something women of all colors, shapes and sizes suffer from. I think women are gifted into this world with a strong intuitive sense built within us. Our society is fostered in such a way that I believe it pulls women away from believing and listening to this intuitive gift. We are taught to "be nice," "be lady-like," to "be quiet," to not make too much of a fuss.. this in turn I believe causes us to act in ways that go against our intuitive nature. Like that voice that tells us someone won't be good for us, or that voice that screams red flag before we continue dated someone. I would say, many women, if not most women, have found themselves in relationships where they were ignoring these red flags and hopelessly proving their worth to someone by trying to fix or take care of their partner.
Overcoming codependency was more for myself than it was for anyone else. It was about learning to love myself more deeply, and remembering what it meant to have autonomy over myself and my own life. It was never my job or worry and it will never be my job or worry to fix someone else problems or help them to create a better life for themselves. I live within my body and my body alone, I am not responsible for others, until I decide to have a child. I think it's okay to help people, I think its okay to offer support through hardships, but there is a huge difference between offering assistance and losing your mind, straining yourself and lowering your self-worth over someone. Remember that all your relationships, are simply are reflection of the one you have with yourself.