Facing Codependency: Can I trust myself?

“I feel really hurt by what he said to me…but I might have heard it wrong.”

“When I was little I cried a bunch and I vividly remember my mom telling me to “suck it up. It’s not that big of a deal”

“I know the scale doesn’t lie but 115 pounds at 5’9 feels and looks really heavy on me…”

For those who grew up being ignored, attacked, or abandoned–in any way–likely struggle with owning and accepting their own reality.  Consider this: you witnessed your mom hitting your dad and it scared you…alot. When you ask why mommy was hitting daddy, you were told that what you saw didn’t happen and that everything is fine. When this type of denial of your own experience happens consistently over a period of time, you begin to question your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and even how you experience your own body.

Core Symptom #3: Difficulty owning our own reality

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Facing Codependency: The Big Kahuna

I thought being a friend meant always being there when they needed you.

I thought being a “good wife” meant never saying “no” when my husband wanted to have sex.

I struggle to say “no,” even when it is obvious that I don’t want to do it…I still end up, somehow, saying “yes.”

If I’m honest, I routinely blame others for my own emotions, especially….when I’m angry. I don’t like to take ownership of that.

Any of these sound familiar? All of these are real life examples of people who struggle with…boundaries.

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The #1 Symptom of Codependency (it’s not what you think)

In my previous blog post Learning how to Stand Back Up, Again: How to fight your inner demons  I laid out the 5 core symptoms of codependency as organized by Pia Mellody in her work, Facing Codependency.  While there are several books on the topic, the way in which Pia approaches codependency is palatable and comprehensive in how she puts “flesh” on the issue in all types of settings and relationships. In short, Pia does an excellent job in showing you the myriad of ways codependency looks across all platforms. Whatever you thought codependency was before, this perspective will likely give you a much bigger picture and understanding of an extremely common issue. Continue reading

The Connected Child: Empower

In The Connected Child,  Dr. Purvis and Dr. Cross lay out 3 guiding principles to developing an emotionally connected child: empower, connect and correct.

In this short video, I provide an in-depth look into the first principle: empower. As parents of foster and/or adoptive kids, we need to ensure their physiological and ecological needs are met. This is done through felt safety, predictability, transitions, proper nutrition and hydration.


Having worked in the foster care system and having gone through the adoption process with her niece and nephews, Olivia understands the complexities in welcoming a child into your home. Check back every week as Olivia walks through these principles and ways you can help unlock your child’s true potential that has been hiding behind trauma, anxiety, adhd and other emotional and behavioral issues.


The Connected Child: Introduction of TBRI

Olivia is super passionate about equipping foster and adoptive parents to be the best healing agents they can be.

In this brief video, Olivia gives an overview of Trust Based Relational Intervention Therapy along with the primary book that is utilized in helping parents live out the concepts of empowering, connecting and correcting your child(ren).

Check it out, ask questions, get involved.

The Connected Child: TBRI and Why You Need This For Your Family

Learning To Stand Back Up, Again: How To Fight Your Inner Demons

“The secret to your recovery is to learn to embrace your own history. Look at it, become aware of it, and experience your feelings about the less-than-nurturing events of your past. Because if you don’t, the issues from your history will be held in minimization, denial and delusion and truly be behind you as demons you are not aware of. And this situation will continue to make you miserable through your own dysfunctional behaviors….hug your demons or they will bite you in the ass. If you do not embrace what is dysfunctional, you are doomed to repeat it and stay in the pain.”  P. Mellody.

“That’s just it,” she said. “I know I’m in this crazy cycle of dysfunction, I’m just not sure I’m ready to go through all the pain that I know will be required to get out of it.”

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