1 ROLES IN ADDICTION: Family Rle 1, The Addict The persn with the addictin is the center, and thugh the key t alchl and drug addictin recvery, nt necessarily the mst imprtant in family recvery. The "wrld" revlves arund this persn, causing the addict t becme the center f attentin. As the rles are defined, the thers uncnsciusly take n the rest f the rles t cmplete the balance after the prblem has been intrduced. Recvery many times n this persn. Family Rle 2, The Her The Her is the ne wh needs t make the family, and rle players, lk gd. They ignre the prblem and present things in a psitive manner as if the rles within the family did nt exist. The Her is the perfectinist. If they vercme this rle they can play an imprtant part in the addictin recvery prcess. The underlying feelings are fear, guilt, and shame. Family Rle 3, The Masct The Masct's rle is that f the jester. They will ften make inapprpriate jkes abut the thse invlved. Thugh they d bring humr t the family rles, it is ften harmful humr, and they smetimes hinder addictin recvery. The underlying feelings are embarrassment, shame, and anger. Family Rle 4, The Lst Child The Lst Child is the silent, "ut f the way" family member, and will never mentin alchl r recvery. They are quiet and reserved, careful t nt make prblems. The Lst Child gives up self needs and makes effrts t avid any cnversatin regarding the underlying rles. The underlying feelings are guilt, lneliness, neglect, and anger. Family Rle 5, The Scapegat The Scapegat ften acts ut in frnt f thers. They will rebel, make nise, and divert attentin frm the persn wh is addicted and their need fr help in addictin recvery. The Scapegat cvers r draws attentin away frm the real prblem. The underlying feelings are shame, guilt, and empty.
2 Family Rle 6, The Caretaker (Enabler) The Caretaker (Enabler) makes all the ther rles pssible. They try t keep everyne happy and the family in balance, vid f the issue. They make excuses fr all behavirs and actins, and never mentin addictin recvery r getting help. The Caretaker (Enabler) presents a situatin withut prblems t the public. The underlying feelings are inadequacy, fear, and helplessness. Addictin and the Family Healthy Family System: Self wrth is high. Cmmunicatin is direct, clear, specific and hnest and feelings are expressed. Rules are human, flexible and apprpriate t change. It is natural t link and be pen t sciety. Each persn has gals and plans t get there, and shuld be supprted by the family. Rules in a dependent r addicted family: Dependents use f drug is the mst imprtant thing in a family life. Drug use in nt the cause f family prblems, it is denial which is the rt. Blaming thers, dn't make mentin f it, cvering up, alibis, lyalty f family enables. Nbdy may discuss prblem utside the family. Nbdy says what they feel r think. Family Rles Lead t Cdependency Addictin and the Family Rles Hw the They lead t Cdependency The parts played by family members lead t cdependency. Members make decisins cncerning what the ther persn needs. Cdependency leads t aversin and lack f self rientatin in a situatin where an addictin is present. Ultimately peple "becme" the part they are playing.
3 Signs and Symptms f Cdependency Cdependency invlves a habitual system f thinking, feeling, and behaving tward urselves and thers that can cause pain. Cdependent behavirs r habits are self-destructive. We frequently react t peple wh are destrying themselves; we react by learning t destry urselves. These habits can lead us int, r keep us in, destructive relatinships that dn't wrk. These behavirs can sabtage relatinships that may therwise have wrked. These behavirs can prevent us frm finding peace and happiness with the mst imprtant persn in ur lives... urselves. These behavirs belng t the nly persn we can change.. urselves. These are ur prblems. The fllwing are characteristics f cdependent persns: (We started t d these things ut f necessity t prtect urselves and meet ur needs.) CareTaking Cdependents may: 1. Think and feel respnsible fr ther peple---fr ther peple's feelings, thughts, actins, chices, wants, needs, well-being, lack f well-being, and ultimate destiny. 2. Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when ther peple have a prblem. 3. Feel cmpelled - almst frced - t help that persn slve the prblem, such as ffering unwanted advice, giving a rapid-fire series f suggestins, r fixing feelings. 4. Feel angry when their help isn't effective. 5. Anticipate ther peple's needs Wnder why thers dn't d the same fr them. 7. Dn't really want t be ding, ding mre than their fair share f the wrk, and ding things ther peple are capable f ding fr themselves. 8. Nt knwing what they want and need, r if they d, tell themselves what they want and need is nt imprtant. 9. Try t please thers instead f themselves. 10. Find it easier t feel and express anger abut injustices dne t thers rather than injustices dne t themselves.
4 11. Feel safest when giving. 12. Feel insecure and guilty when smebdy gives t them. 13. Feel sad because they spend their whle lives giving t ther peple and nbdy gives t them. 14. Find themselves attracted t needy peple. 15. Find needy peple attracted t them. 16. Feel bred, empty, and wrthless if they dn't have a crisis in their lives, a prblem t slve, r smene t help. 17. Abandn their rutine t respnd t r d smething fr smebdy else. 18. Overcmmit themselves. 19. Feel harried and pressured. 20. Believe deep inside ther peple are smehw respnsible fr them. 21. Blame thers fr the spt the cdependents are in. 22. Say ther peple make the cdependents feel the way they d. 23. Believe ther peple are making them crazy. 24. Feel angry, victimized, unappreciated, and used 25. And ther peple becme impatient r angry with them fr all f the preceding characteristics. Lw Self Wrth Cdependents tend t: 1. Cme frm trubled, repressed, r dysfunctinal families. 2. Deny their family was trubled, repressed r dysfunctinal. 3. Blame themselves fr everything. 4. Pick n themselves fr everything, including the way they think, feel, lk, act, and behave. 5. Get angry, defensive, self-righteus, and indigent when thers blame and criticize the cdependents -- smething cdependents regularly d t themselves. 6. Reject cmpliments r praise. 7. Get depressed frm a lack f cmpliments and praise (strke deprivatin). 8. Feel different frm the rest f the wrld. 9. Think they're nt quite gd enugh. 10. Feel guilty abut spending mney n themselves r ding unnecessary r fun things fr themselves. 11. Fear rejectin. 12. Take things persnally. 13. Have been victims f sexual, physical, r emtinal abuse,neglect, abandnment, r alchlism. 14. Feel like victims.
5 15. Tell themselves they can't d anything right. 16. Be afraid f making mistakes. 17. Wnder why they have a tugh time making decisins. 18. Have a lt f "shulds". 19. Feel a lt f guilt. 20. Feel ashamed f wh they are. 21. Think their lives are nt wrth living. 22. Try t help ther peple live their lives instead. 23. Get artificial feelings f self-wrth frm helping thers. 24. Get strng feelings f lw self-wrth - embarrassment, failure, etc...frm ther peple's failures and prblems. 25. Wish gd things wuld happen t them. 26. Believe gd things never will happen. 27. Believe they dn't deserve gd things and happiness. 28. Wish thers wuld like and lve them. 29. Believe ther peple culdn't pssibly like and lve them. 30. Try t prve they're gd enugh fr ther peple. 31. Settle fr being needed Repressin Many Cdependents: 1. Push their thughts and feelings ut f their awareness because f fear and guilt. 2. Becme afraid t let themselves be wh they are. 3. Appear rigid and cntrlled. Obsessin Cdependents tend t: 1. Feel terribly anxius abut prblems and peple. 2. Wrry abut the silliest things. 3. Think and talk a lt abut ther peple. 4. Lse sleep ver prblems r ther peple's behavir. 5. Wrry. 6. Never Find answers. 7. Check n peple.
6 8. Try t catch peple in acts f misbehavir. 9. Feel unable t quit talking, thinking, and wrrying abut ther peple r prblems. 10. Abandn their rutine because they are s upset abut smebdy r smething. 11. Fcus all their energy n ther peple and prblems. 12. Wnder why they never have any energy. 13. Wnder why they can't get things dne. Cntrlling Many cdependents: 1. Have lived thrugh events and with peple that were ut f cntrl, causing the cdependents srrw and disappintment. 2. Becme afraid t let ther peple be wh they are and allw events t happen naturally. 3. Dn't see r deal with their fear f lss f cntrl. 4. Think they knw best hw things shuld turn ut and hw peple shuld behave. 5. Try t cntrl events and peple thrugh helplessness, guilt, cercin, threats, advice-giving, manipulatin, r dminatin. 6. Eventually fail in their effrts r prvke peple's anger. 7. Get frustrated and angry. 8. Feel cntrlled by events and peple. Denial Cdependents tend t: 1. Ignre prblems r pretend they aren't happening. 2. Pretend circumstances aren't as bad as they are. 3. Tell themselves things will be better tmrrw. 4. Stay busy s they dn't have t think abut things. 5. Get cnfused. 6. Get depressed r sick. 7. G t dctrs and get tranquilizers. 8. Becme wrkahlics. 9. Spend mney cmpulsively.
7 10. Overeat. 11. Pretend thse things aren't happening either. 12. Watch prblems get wrse. 13. Believe lies. 14. Lie t themselves. 15. Wnder why they feel like they're ging crazy. Dependency Many cdependents: 1. Dn't feel happy, cntent, r peaceful with themselves. 2. Lk fr happiness utside themselves. 3. Watch nt whever r whatever they think can prvide happiness. 4. Feel terribly threatened by the lss f any thing r persn they think prves their happiness. 5. Didn't feel lve and apprval frm their parents. 6. Dn't lve themselves. 7. Believe ther peple can't r dn't lve them. 8. Desperately seek lve and apprval. 9. Often seek lve frm peple incapable f lving. 10. Believe ther peple are never there fr them. 11. Equate lve with pain. 12. Feel they need peple mre than they want them. 13. Try t prve they're gd enugh t be lved. 14. Dn't take time t see if ther peple are gd fr them. 15. Wrry whether ther peple lve r like them. 16. Dn't take time t figure ut if they lve r like ther peple. 17. Center their lives arund ther peple. 18. Lk fr relatinships t prvide all their gd feelings. 19. Lst interest in their wn lives when they lve. 20. Wrry ther peple will leave them. 21. Dn't believe they can take care f themselves. 22. Stay in relatinships that dn't wrk. 23. Tlerate abuse t keep peple lving them. 24. Feel trapped in relatinships. 25. Wnder if they will ever find lve.
8 Pr Cmmunicatin Cdependents frequently: 1. Blame. 2. Threaten. 3. Cerce. 4. Beg. 5. Bribe. 6. Advise. 7. Dn't say what they mean. 8. Dn't mean what they say. 9. Dn't knw what they mean. 10. Dn't take themselves seriusly. 11. Think ther peple dn't take the cdependents seriusly. 12. Take themselves t seriusly. 13. Ask fr what they want and need indirectly - sighing, fr example. 14. Find it difficult t get t the pint. 15. Aren't sure what the pint is. 16. Gauge their wrds carefully t achieve a desired effect. 17. Try t say what they think will please peple. 18. Try t say what they think will prvke peple. 19. Try t say what they hp will make peple d what they want them t d. 20. Eliminate the wrd NO frm their vcabulary. 21. Talk t much. 22. Talk abut ther peple. 23. Avid talking abut themselves, their prblems, feelings, and thughts. 24. Say everything is their fault. 25. Say nthing is their fault. 26. Believe their pinins dn't matter. 27. Want t express their pinins until they knw ther peple's pinins. 28. Lie t prtect and cver up fr peple they lve. 29. Have a difficult time asserting their rights. 30. Have a difficult time expressing their emtins hnestly, penly, and apprpriately. 31. Think mst f what they have t say is unimprtant. 32. Begin t talk in Cynical, self-degrading, r hstile ways. 33. Aplgize fr bthering peple.
9 Weak Bundaries Cdependents frequently: 1. Say they wn't tlerate certain behavirs frm ther peple. 2. Gradually increase their tlerance until they can tlerate and d things they said they wuld never d. 3. Let thers hurt them. 4. Keep letting thers hurt them. 5. Wnder why they hurt s badly. 6. Cmplain, blame, and try t cntrl while they cntinue t stand there. 7. Finally get angry. 8. Becme ttally intlerant. Lack f Trust Cdependents: 1. Dn't trust themselves. 2. Dn't trust their feelings. 3. Dn't trust their decisins. 4. Dn't trust ther peple. 5. Try t trust untrustwrthy peple. 6. Think Gd has abandned them. 7. Lse faith and trust in Gd. Anger Many Cdependents: 1. Feel very scared, hurt, and angry. 2. Live with peple wh are very scared, hurt, and angry. 3. Are afraid f their wn anger. 4. Are frightened f ther peple's anger. 5. Think peple will g away if anger enters the picture. 6. Feel cntrlled by ther peple's anger. 7. Repress their angry feelings. 8. Think ther peple make them feel angry.
10 9. Are afraid t make ther peple feel anger. 10. Cry a lt, get depressed, veract, get sick, d mean and nasty things t get even, act hstile, r have vilent temper utbursts. 11. Punish ther peple fr making the cdependents angry. 12. Have been shamed fr feeling angry. 13. Place guilt and shame n themselves fr feeling angry. 14. Feel increasing amunts f anger, resentment, and bitterness. 15. Feel safer with their anger than hurt feelings. 16. Wnder if they'll ever nt be angry. Sex Prblems Sme cdependents: 1. Are caretakers in the bedrm. 2. Have sex when they dn't want t. 3. Have sex when they'd rather be held, nurtured, and lved. 4. Try t have sex when they're angry r hurt. 5. Refuse t enjy sex because they're s angry at their partner. 6. Are afraid f lsing cntrl. 7. Have a difficult time asking fr what they need in bed. 8. Withdraw emtinally frm their partner. 9. Feel sexual revulsin tward their partner. 10. Dn't talk abut it. 11. Frce themselves t have sex, anyway. 12. Reduce sex t a technical act. 13. Wnder why they dn't enjy sex. 14. Lse interest in sex. 15. Make up reasns t abstain. 16. Wish their sex partner wuld die, g away, r sense the cdependent's feelings. 17. Have strng sexual fantasies abut ther peple. 18. Cnsider r have an extramarital affair.
11 Miscellaneus Cdependents tend t: 1. Be extremely respnsible. 2. Be extremely irrespnsible. 3. Becme martyrs, sacrificing their happiness and that f thers fr causes that dn't require sacrifice. 4. Find it difficult t feel clse t peple. 5. Find it difficult t have fun and be spntaneus. 6. Have an verall passive respnse t cdependency - crying, hurt, helplessness. 7. Have an verall aggressive respnse t cdependency - vilence, anger, dminance. 8. Cmbine passive and aggressive respnses. 9. Vacillate in decisins and emtins. 10. Laugh when they feel like crying. 11. Stay lyal t their cmpulsins and peple even when it hurts. 12. Be ashamed abut family, persnal, r relatinship prblems. 13. Be cnfused abut the nature f the prblem. 14. Cver up, lie, and prtect the prblem. 15. Nt seek help because they tell themselves the prblem isn't bad enugh, r they aren't imprtant enugh. Wnder why the prblem desn't g away. Prgressive In the later stages f cdependency, cdependents may: 1. Feel lethargic. 2. Feel depressed. 3. Becme withdrawn and islated. 4. Experience a cmplete lss f daily rutine and structure. 5. Abuse r neglect their children and ther respnsibilities. 6. Feel hpeless. 7. Begin t plan their escape frm a relatinship they feel trapped in. 8. Think abut suicide. 9. Becme vilent. 10. Becme seriusly emtinally, mentally, r physically ill. 11. Experience an eating disrder (ver - r under eating). 12. Becme addicted t alchl r ther drugs.
12 What is Cdependency? These patterns and characteristics are ffered as a tl t aid in self evaluatin. They may be particularly helpful t newcmers as they begin t understand cdependency and may aid thse wh have been in recvery a while determining what traits still need attentin and transfrmatin. Denial Patterns: I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling. I minimize, alter, r deny hw I truly feel. I perceive myself as cmpletely unselfish and dedicated t the well being f thers. Lw Self Esteem Patterns: I have difficulty making decisins. I judge everything I think, say, r d harshly, as never "gd enugh." I am embarrassed t receive recgnitin and praise r gifts. I d nt ask thers t meet my needs r desires. I value ther's apprval f my thinking, feelings, and behavirs ver my wn. I d nt perceive myself as a lvable r wrthwhile persn. Cmpliance Patterns: I cmprmise my wn values and integrity t avid rejectin r thers' anger. I am very sensitive t hw thers are feeling and feel the same. I am extremely lyal, remaining in harmful situatins t lng. I value thers' pinins and feelings mre than my wn and am ften afraid t express differing pinins and feelings f my wn. I put aside my wn interests and hbbies in rder t d what thers want. I accept sex when I want lve. Cntrl Patterns: I believe mst ther peple are incapable f taking care f themselves. I attempt t cnvince thers f what they "shuld" think and hw they "truly" feel. I becme resentful when thers will nt let me help them. I freely ffer thers advice and directins withut being asked. I lavish gifts and favrs n thse I care abut. I use sex t gain apprval and acceptance. I have t be "needed" in rder t have a relatinship with thers.
13 Review: Symptms f Cdependency: Inability t knw what "nrmal" is. Difficulty in fllwing a prject thrugh. Difficulty having fun. Judging self, thers withut mercy. Lw self esteem, ften prjected nt thers. (eg: Why dn't they get their act tgether!) Difficulty in develping r sustaining meaningful relatinships. Belief that thers cause r are respnsible fr the cdependent's emtins. (Cdependents ften use language like "yu make me feel ", r "I was made t feel like ") Overreacting t change. (r intense fear f / inability t deal with change.) Inability t see alternatives t situatins, thus respnding very impulsively. Cnstantly seeking apprval and affirmatin, yet having cmprmised sense f self. Feelings f being different. Cnfusin and sense f inadequacy. Being either super respnsible r super irrespnsible. (Or alternating between these.) Lack f self cnfidence in making decisins, n sense f pwer in making chices. Feeling f fear, insecurity, inadequacy, guilt, hurt, and shame which are denied. Islatin and fear f peple, resentment f authrity figures. Fear f anger r bttling anger up till it expldes. Hypersensitivity t criticism. Being addicted t excitement / drama. (Chas making.) Dependency upn thers and fear f abandnment. Avidance f relatinships t guard against abandnment fears. Cnfusin between lve and pity. Tendency t lk fr "victims" t help. Rigidity and need t cntrl. Lies, when it wuld be just as easy t tell the truth.
14 Characteristics f Cdependency Fllwing is a cmmnly used list f characteristics f cdependency. 2. My gd feelings abut wh I am stem frm being liked by yu 3. My gd feelings abut wh I am stem frm receiving apprval frm yu 4. Yur struggle affects my serenity. My mental attentin fcuses n slving yur prblems/relieving yur pain 5. My mental attentin is fcused n yu 6. My mental attentin is fcused n prtecting yu 7. My mental attentin is fcused n manipulating yu t d it my way 8. My self-esteem is blstered by slving yur prblems 9. My self-esteem is blstered by relieving yur pain 10. My wn hbbies/interests are put t ne side. My time is spent sharing yur hbbies/interests 11. Yur clthing and persnal appearance are dictated by my desires and I feel yu are a reflectin f me 12. Yur behaviur is dictated by my desires and I feel yu are a reflectin f me 13. I am nt aware f hw I feel. I am aware f hw yu feel. 14. I am nt aware f what I want - I ask what yu want. I am nt aware - I assume 15. The dreams I have fr my future are linked t yu 16. My fear f rejectin determines what I say r d 17. My fear f yur anger determines what I say r d 18. I use giving as a way f feeling safe in ur relatinship 19. My scial circle diminishes as I invlve myself with yu 20. I put my values aside in rder t cnnect with yu 21. I value yur pinin and way f ding things mre than my wn 22. The quality f my life is in relatin t the quality f yurs
15 Characteristics f Cdependent Peple 1. We have an verdevelped sense f respnsibility and it is easier fr us t be cncerned with thers rather than urselves. This in turn enabled us nt t lk t clsely at ur faults. 2. We "stuff" ur feelings frm ur traumatic childhds and have lst the ability t feel r express ur feelings because it hurts t much. 3. We are islated frm and afraid f peple and authrity figures. 4. We have becme apprval seekers and have lst ur identity in the prcess. 5. We are frightened by angry peple and any persnal criticism. 6. We live frm the viewpint f victims and are attacked by that weakness in ur lve and friendship relatinships. 7. We judge urselves harshly and have a lw sense f self esteem. 8. We are dependent persnalities wh are terrified f abandnment. We will d anything t hld nt a relatinship in rder t nt experience painful abandnment feelings which we received frm living with peple wh were never there emtinally fr us. 9. We experience guilt feelings when we stand up fr urselves instead f giving in t thers. 10. We cnfuse lve and pity and tend t "lve" peple we can pity and rescue. 11. We have either becme chemically dependent, married ne r bth, r fund anther cmpulsive persnality, such a wrkahlic t fulfill ur wn cmpulsive needs. 12. We have becme addicted t excitement. 13. We are reactrs in life rather than actrs.
16 Cnclusin: The gal in alchl and drug addictin recvery is t bring each member as a whle int a situatin where the prblems can be dealt with. Individual talents and abilities shuld be integrated int the situatin, allwing emtinal hnesty abut the situatin, withut guilt r punishment. * The verall gal in vercming cdependency is t make each persn whle. Peple becme familiar with and dependent n the rle they play in families. In vercming the family rles, yu will begin t vercme issues, and what culd be classified as the addictin t the rle. While the cnquering f the substance is imprtant t the persn with the addictin. A pint t remember is the substance(s) is nt the key t family recvery, remving the underlying rles are. In beginning recvery, each family member must becme practive against the addictin t the rle, and learn t becme their true self. The gal is fr each t persn t becme independent, and then apprach the substance addictin recvery as a grup f individuals, rather than as peple playing a part. Whle, independent peple can freely cntribute t the recvery f the persn vercming the addictin, while a persn playing a part can nly perfrm the rle. Starting Pints: Begin with yurself. Find, and write a list f yur strengths and weaknesses. Build n what yu have. Let g f trying t be perfect and realize all peple have sme weaknesses. * A true persn utilizes strengths, while building up their weaknesses. Addictin recvery fr the cdependent rle, is tugh. Yu must be persnally hnest and decide what yu like r dislike. This may be as simple as defining hw yu wish things were, withut playing the part, and adding supprt r friends in areas, r as encmpassing as rethinking the path f yur life. Refraining frm frcing yurself t engage in activities, because f the cdependency, is imprtant t successful recvery frm the addictin. There are many resurces fr cdependent rles and vercming these rles. Please, be hnest in deciding if yu have an addictin t a specific rle in a relatinship and find resurces t help yu in yur recvery. As yu begin t understand, breaking the family rle shuld becme easier. Remember t be understanding f thers als.
17 Are yu cdependent? D yu feel respnsible fr ther peple--their feelings, thughts, actins, chices, wants, needs, well-being and destiny? D yu feel cmpelled t help peple slve their prblems r by trying t take care f their feelings? D yu find it easier t feel and express anger abut injustices dne t thers than abut injustices dne t yu? D yu feel safest and mst cmfrtable when yu are giving t thers? D yu feel insecure and guilty when smene gives t yu? D yu feel empty, bred and wrthless if yu dn't have smene else t take care f, a prblem t slve, r a crisis t deal with? Are yu ften unable t stp talking, thinking and wrrying abut ther peple and their prblems? D yu lse interest in yur wn life when yu are in lve? D yu stay in relatinships that dn't wrk and tlerate abuse in rder t keep peple lving yu? D yu leave bad relatinships nly t frm new nes that dn't wrk, either?