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Inner Peace Group of Ottawa, Canada

The Problem

Many of us find that we have several characteristics in common as a result of being brought up in a dysfunctional household.

We came to feel isolated, uneasy with other people... especially authority figures. To protect ourselves, we became people pleasers, even though we lost our identities in the process. Personal criticism is perceived as a threat. We either become addicts ourselves or marry them or both. Failing that we find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick need for abandonment.

We live life from the standpoint of victims. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and prefer to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. We somehow get guilt feelings if we stand up for ourselves rather than giving in to others. Thus, we become REACTORS rather than ACTORS, letting others take the initiative.

We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment... who will do almost anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to be abandoned emotionally. Yet we keep choosing insecure relationships because they match our childhood relationship with dysfunctional parents. Thus, addiction can be seen as a family disease and we can see ourselves as "Co-dependents", those who take on the characteristics of the diseases without necessarily ever using chemicals or behaviour to mood alter.

We learned to stuff our feelings down in childhood and keep them buried as adults through that conditioning. In consequence, we confuse love and pity and tend to love those we can rescue and ... even more self defeating ... we become addicted to excitement in all our affairs, preferring constant upsets to workable relationships.


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This information is current and unlikely to change soon.