Because I believe that codependency is the breeding ground for addiction, I would like for everyone interested in helping addicts to be aware of the characteristics of children growing up in families with addiction. I also believe that that applies to most of us. Understanding that addiction can be about money, power (which is what codependency is about), religion, sex, etc. as well as substance abuse (food, legal drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol, etc.) shows how wide-spread addiction is..
Anyone who has worked in a workplace with a “good daddy/mommy” or a “bad daddy/mommy” knows this experience also. I have trouble with rage addicts because I grew up with a father addicted to rage–he was a rageaholic. So I have to keep a close check on my codependency around them as I have a basic desire to kick them in the behind–in a ladylike way, of course. But judgment hurts me as well as the other so I try to remember to pray for tolerance when in the company of someone who wants to control me with his/her anger.
The following sites have good references to the ACOA characteristics. Don’t be surprised if you identify with a few of them.
(1) Codependents Anonymous is the coda site. This site includes a great list of characteristics centering around denial (“perceive myself as being completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others”), low self esteem pattern (“I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires”), compliance (“I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long) and control (“I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others.
(2) Mental Health Issues includes this:” There are identifiable core issues that ACOA’s experience. Control is one such issue. The fear of loss of control is a dominant theme in their lives. Control dominates the interactions of an ACOA with themselves as well as the people in their lives. Fear of loss of control, whether it be over one’s emotions, thoughts, feelings, will, actions, or relationships is pervasive. ACOA’s rely upon defenses mechanisms such as denial, suppression in order to control their internal world of thoughts and feelings as well as the outward manifestation of those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors”.
A current blog post about why some ACOA’s thrive in the addiction and the characteristics they learned from being in the addiction. Great article and I recognized why creativity has been my salvation.