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

Pia Mellody relates one’s own “reality” to how you experience your body, thoughts, feelings and behavior/actions. Each one of these are unique to you. Say, you go out to dinner with another couple. On the way home, you confide to your partner that Joey was so obnoxious and you don’t want to hang out with them again only to have your significant other inform you that he enjoyed Joey and has no idea what you’re talking about….

Your experience is unique to you.

Codependents struggle to see their body accurately; they struggle to know what their thinking; they struggle to know what their feeling; ultimately, they struggle to know what their doing/not doing and/or accepting of their behavior and the impact it has on others.

Mellody frames the discussion of “not owning our own reality” in 2 ways: Level A knowing my reality but choosing not to state it for fear of rejection/abandonment/being wrong/unacceptable. Level B not knowing my reality and thus not being able to express it. The latter is very dysfunctional and, truly, is an individual who lives in a delusion.

Knowing that my feelings are good and that how I experience the world is true, for me, is incredibly honoring and empowering. I struggled for a long time with knowing/believing that my feelings were good. They could be trusted. This is true for most of the individuals I work with. Due to their childhood experiences combined with what has transpired in their adult life, they struggle to believe that “their version” of their life has credibility, that it is good and needs to be heard.

To acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, actions and how you view your self/body is important. To express and “own” it, is honoring to who you are as an individual.

Your feelings are to be trusted.

Your thoughts are good.

Your behavior is your own….so, own it.

Your body and all that it represents is good enough.

Where is this true for you?


Olivia specializes in restoring relationships and helping people identify what is keeping them from living in the full expression of who they were created to be. Check out her website to get to know her a bit better and how counseling could be the key to unlock all that is keeping you small, feeling insignificant and disconnected from yourself and others.


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