Addicted To Relationships--CoDependency

Hi, my name is k@ri and I am a co-dependent.

We all have our small addictions. It seems mine is relationships. I don’t really understand when or how it happened. Have I really been this way my whole life? Probably, most likely, yes. I realize now why I keep away from forming friendships. I also realize why my relationships have all ended so sadly. I strive to make others need me, and then I feel used when they don’t appreciate me.

This needing to be needed is why I end up in relationships with the wrong type of person. I encourage them. I love the users, the takers and the needy. When I find someone who loves me just for me, I run…run as far and as fast as possible. I know deep in my heart that they will find out how I am and leave me. They may see my fears, my doubts, my insecurities. They may find out I am not the strong and fearless individual I try to be. They may find out I fear abandonment. But that is not the only reason. I may have to face myself. I may have to admit the hurt that lives deeply hidden in me.

Sometimes I have to wonder…where did all this hurt come from?  Then I tuck it back under its rug…lock it back into its closet, and continue my journey of denial.  I come from a great family…loving, trusting, God fearing.  I had an incredibly fantastic childhood.  My parents are well adjusted individuals who love each other and their children.  I am so blessed and so lucky in a world where there is so much hurt.

My hurt cannot be a real hurt.  It must be some other stupid emotion, maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself.  In a world with so much real hurt, I must be being indulgent.  Not a pretty sight, not a noble past-time, and not the person I want to be.  Herein lies my denial…I deny that I have the right to be hurt, I deny myself the right to feel sorrow.  For some reason, I guess I do not deserve this God-given emotion.

Not deserving hurt, neither do I deserve unconditional love.  There are always conditions.  Stand tall, keep your chin up, be someone others can respect.  Do your homework, clean your room, play nice.  Be responsible, be someone others can trust, someone they can lean on.  The strange thing is my siblings don’t feel this way.  Why is it that I think so differently than others.  I have always thought that I think too much…too deeply…too often.  Why do I feel the weight of the world and others can shake it off like a dog come in from the rain?

I have known I am co-dependent for some time now, but I am only now learning how much it hurts me. After all, co-dependency does make me a very good nurse. And nursing feeds my co-dependency. I am not sure, but I may need to change careers to overcome this. My need to be needed may make my career very unhealthy for me.

As I get older, I find myself longing for a normal relationship. One where I can take, not just give. One where I can trust, not just be trustworthy. One where I can ask for and accept help, not just help. These things have been on my mind lately. I will continue to work on these issues. I know it will not be easy, but I want to overcome this with all my heart. Where there is a will, there is a way. I will do this!

Understanding the irrationality of my thoughts is the second step to overcoming this problem. The first step was admitting I have a problem. Hopefully, I will not get winded too easily climbing the many steps out of this hole. The light at the top looks so lovely, though, shining and clear. I will keep going, even if I need to rest occasionally.

I have made a promise to myself.  I will tell others when they do things that make me angry or annoyed.  I will accept compliments with grace.  I will allow myself to love and be loved.  It is a good day to start a new life.

A Co-Dependent Poem

There once was a young girl named k@ri

Who knew she must always be very

Loving and kind

Keep others in mind

And herself she must deeply bury


The first man she fell for was a wit

Who partied and drank quite a bit

The baby began

Did not fit in his plan

And so the two of them split


k@ri knew she must live for this girl

Her sweet little baby, her pearl

To put money in purse

Someone said be a nurse

And so k@ri gave it a whirl


Nursing fit k@ri just fine

Her boundaries began to decline

Others and self

Sat on the same shelf

And together began to entwine


Empathy, warmth and compassion

k@ri gave to others without ration

Her feelings she gave

And soon became slave

To feelings of being needed with passion


Relationships soon were addictions

Into her life this caused friction

Needing the needy

Giving the greedy

Her own emotions soon became fiction


Denial became king for a while

At times allowing a small smile

I’m normal you see

There are others like me

She would say to herself in her guile


One morning a dawning arose

Reality awake from its doze

Codependent am I

She thought with a sigh

Codependent right down to my toes


So Google became her new friend

This hiding her emotions must end

The long search began

To find the right plan

To bring happiness and help her to mend


The road will be long she well knows

Full of highs more full of lows

But find it she must

To learn how to trust

and defrost the feelings now froze

More by this Author


Comments 52 comments

KatieE39 profile image

KatieE39 7 years ago from Colorado

I love your poem, Kari! You are very talented.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Thanks, Katie! I'm glad you liked it.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Thanks for sharing, Kari. I think we often hear the term "co-dependent" but don't necessarily know what it means. I know I didn't. After reading your hub and identifying with some of the things you mentioned, I decided to read up a bit on it. I do have some of the characteristics, but not most of them. Does that mean I'm in denial? Who knows? I do tend to gravitate towards people I feel like I can help and in relationships that usually leaves me with the short end. I do feel under-appreciated. But, I don't see myself as someone with low self esteem or feeling guilty or undeserving.

Thanks for opening the door for me to learn a little bit more about myself. This will require more investigation.


R. Blue profile image

R. Blue 7 years ago from Right here

You've gotta quit running from the good guys. I think you have a thing for the bad guys.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

KCC, I don't think I have low self esteem, I have always thought I had an unprecedented amount of self esteem. But the more I read up on this and the more I am learning, the more I know in some areas of my life my self esteems sucks. I know I have often felt guilty and undeserving about how good my life has been. This is in direct conflict with how happy it makes me. I wish it was easy to know one's self!

I started really reading up on this when I was writing the addictive behavior hubs. Prior to that, I did not really understand it and how harmful the behaviors can be. When I think about all the years I've joked about being co-dependent without ever really looking into it...makes me slap my forehead and say Duh! :D


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

R Blue, Yes, I do...something I am working on. They are just so much more needy than the good ones. LOL, this is one thing I REALLY need to cure! :D


R. Blue profile image

R. Blue 7 years ago from Right here

I've seen so many like you...it makes me sick seeing really great women getting hooked on bad guys....and vice versa. Love yourself and allow someone who appreciates and loves you to love you too. There are a lot of bad guys and women too out there.....keep looking.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Good to see you badcompany! Are you having another wild party out at sea? I'll be right over. :D


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

R Blue, I am trying to learn how to discern the difference. If only they made a user detector! LOL, I really need one! :D


R. Blue profile image

R. Blue 7 years ago from Right here

You have a user detector built in...just turn it on.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

R Blue, Tell me how to turn that function on. I think I am doing better, but I need more! :D


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

What a great poem K@ri. I think you are too hard on yourself. It is better overall to be caring than not give a sh-t. You just need to remember you. I am a bit like you I guess.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

Knowing who you are and accepting what is wrong means that you are already on the road to over coming your-codependency. That you can write about it and even express yourself beautifully in a poem are good signs.

I believe that you are a beautiful person especially deep inside. I'm sure that you will soon find your perfect relationship.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

ethel, I don't mean to stop caring...I just need to acknowledge my feelings and not hold them inside, trust a little and open up.

jill, Now if I can just stay on the path. LOL, sometimes it is easier to not notice time is going by and I am standing in the same place. :D


Lottie Mac 7 years ago

Lots of this sounds familiar, great hub :) I found it very motivational. I hope you continue with your journey and find yourself and a new, healthy relationship along the way. x


TheSandman 7 years ago

A very heart felt WOW and thank you is about all that really comes to mind, wow what a wonderful poem and thank you for having the courage to share some of the deepest parts of your heart and soul with us, it helped me, I pray it helped you as well.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Lottie, Thanks, I will continue my journey...the relationship may have to wait until I get there. :D

Sandman, Thank you. It was very hard, but yes, putting it into words makes it real in a way no other could have. Love ya!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 7 years ago from Bismarck, ND

I too am codependent and am trying to work through it. An excellent resource is Codependent No More by Melody Beattie.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Cari, Thanks for the advice! I need all I can get. :D


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

The fact that you recognise the need to make a change is a positive sign! :)


goodfriendiam profile image

goodfriendiam 7 years ago

I see you and the not you pretending to be you. in your writing and in your poem. I was once like you, so confused, so lonely and in agony because I truly believed I was the only one out there, That thought the same things as you. My siblings, my parents and even most of my friends couldn't give a darn and could blow things over so easily. There were times I was envious of there freedom, yet other times it made me sick, because I saw no compassion. But now I know, that I am o.k, and this is who I am and I have embraced myself and I have embraced who they are, and now I am free at last. I have come to know now that I am a leader, not a follower. If you would like some info on how I found this, go to my profile page and email me. sincerely dee


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

WOW!  That is a great poem!  You shared your heart with your words.  I like what I see in there except that bad-boy thing. 

It's not just you.  I have been the bad boy and the good boy.  Either way, I have always been amazed that stable, hard working, well mannered, clean, nice men are ignored in favor of Fonzie.  I don't really quite understand it. 

But I enjoyed your words today.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Yep. You got it bad, girl. Down to chosen profession! Are any nurses NOT codependent? LOL. Seriously, just as other addicts can learn to overcome their addictions, codependents can do the same. I see the germination of your pattern in the relationship where the hard drinking guy left you holding the bag (and the baby).

Have you read Melodie Beattie's "Codependent No More?" It is the Bible. Also try CODA meetings or even Al-Anon (even if you don't currently have someone in your life whose drinking is getting to you). Working the 12 Steps of Al-Anon can be amazingly freeing. I have many friends who have done it and have learned to claim their self-esteem and set boundaries without guilt. What a concept, eh?

BTW, I loved your poem very mucho. You put the whole syndrome into words beautifully. And know what? You ARE loved unconditionally -- well, perhaps it is not quite unconditionally, as your friends here on HP fully expect/demand you to continue writing this great stuff. It's good for us. And I think it's also good for YOU! Hugs to you, m'dear. MM


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

WOW - well written k@ri! Amazingly written - now take that Girlfriend - we're all giving you truthful huge compliments... From a "former co-dependent", I can say honestly that the path is filled with many more highs and a LOT less lows than you can imagine now!

Beattie's "Beyond Co-Dependence and getting better all the time" is a suggestion too. Dr. Harriet Lerner's books are PHENOMINAL and much easier to read. "The Dance of Intimacy"; "Dance of Fear" etc.hers are ALL with conversations and real life stories explaining relationships, positional sibling perspectives and changes.. - perfect and very enjoyable! Marianne Williamson's "A Woman's Worth" is small and power packed - way beyond and more helpful than "self-esteem" - helps us get to our core worthiness.

Happy to help anytime if you want. Understanding dysfunction and how to get out of it has been my passion and mission for decades. You express yourself SOOOOO well - there's a wonderful guy out there when you're ready to be that open. Taking is part of the balance - but they won't give you what you expect. Most people only give what they want to give.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

wonderful...... you understand yourself sooooo well and are able to put it down in words wonderfully


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

Hey Kari, I wrote a hub especially for you!  Not quit stalking those bad guys and find yourself a good guy!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Hi everyone! Thank you all for your support! I wrote a hub about it because I have never in my life found so many loving people in one place. This is my THANK YOU to each and every one of you!

http://hubpages.com/health/Ooopps--My-Crazys-Showi...


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Feline Prophet, You are sooo right...I could not have done it without the help of everyone here!

Dee, Thank you for understanding! It seems as if you have been through much of how I feel. I will definitely check out your hubs, and thanks for the offer to let me e-mail you! I will look over the weekend, because I should have been in bed an hour ago...I just wanted to answer these comments! I really appreciate your understanding. It is good to know I am not alone in how I feel! :D

James, Thank you so much for your comment...good boy, bad boy...I do know that I may recognize the bad boys now and I will keep away. I am coming into an understanding of what has haunted me my entire life. It has been my choices, but I never before knew why I chose such and I thought the only answer was to keep away. Now I am learning how to overcome this addiction. I am learning that I need someone who will love me like I will love them. I am done with "Fonzie"! :D


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Mighty Mom, I don't think you can be a nurse and not be at least slightly codependent...however, as I've always said it's those things that make me hard to handle in real life that make me really, really good at my job. :D

You always turn up when I need you most. Unconditional love is most wonderful, and I feel it here! If there is the one condition that I write, well...that's not a condition, but an allowance to let me do what I love! Thank you for this! Hugs back MM! There is a reason they call you "Mighty"! :D

SEM Pro, Thanks for letting me know about more highs than lows! It is so good to know that I am not alone in my journey and that I have the experience of others to call on!

I really don't think I have a problem with self esteem, until I am in a personal relationship. Then I start to doubt everything. This is just not how I am...usually I am the one to lead, no doubts...maybe at times clueless that I am making someone else angry. Then in a personal relationship I second guess myself, think they are mad when they don't call...all those things you are taught as a girl not to do. LOL!

I made myself be open here, because you all probably know more about me than anyone in my life. I have to be honest here to keep myself honest to myself. I don't know if that makes any sense to you...but it does to me. I have hidden so long, no one knows me. Here, I have shared some of the issues I would not discuss in "real" life.

I made myself promise that whoever you are if you annoy me I will let you know. I know that more than one person I know has felt, "what's eating her"..."she never used to mind". However, I decided if I do not say anything, I am lying to them and not allowing them to make informed choices. I have alot to learn, but hopefully will keep moving forward. If you ever read/see me and you think I have become stagnant please let me know! Sometimes we will tread water until we wear out and die...I do not want this! :D

Brenda, I wish I could understand myself...and I am learning. I will one day and thanks for this...it shows I understand how much I do not understand! :D


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Cindy, I'm not sure which one it was, but both were excellent! Thank you so much!!! You have made my day and I will be back to check the "Keepers" checklist if I find someone! You really are wonderful! :D


paul_gibsons profile image

paul_gibsons 7 years ago from Gibsons, BC, Canada

I soooooo recognize this lol...... wish I had read this years ago.. too late now. I'll concentrate on my writing instead I think; plenty to keep me busy there instead (I hope) and another form of co-dependency I guess lol... Good luck!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

paul, It is not too late for me and it is not too late for you...I know they tell most addicts to keep away from their addictions, but when your addiction is relationships we need to find a way to live...a way to have a relationship and still be healthy.

That said, I sooooooo understand what you are saying! There is plenty to keep us interested and busy. It is not so much another form of co-dependency, but a way to De Nile...You should join my battle against this! We have a call to arms! Please find a way in your heart to find others. Happiness is having a friend! Good Luck to you also! I really do feel for you. :D


Cam Anju profile image

Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

K@ri, your story sounds familiar.. my mom has always been this way it has been passed on to me. I understand what your going through... it's long but you'll get through it I'm sure.

Pleasing others... a habit known too well, remember to take care of yourself, and please you. :) I loved your poem, and enjoyed reading you hub very much... when I signed up for HubPages I decided this would be my new start, someplace I could be the person I wanted to be, this has worked quite well, I feel welcome here.. and while I'm not glad that other people have felt the pain that my family has gone through, it's nice to know that we are not alone.

What is it with men and leaving when a baby comes?! Jerks.

Anways the way you can write down how your feeling and about yourself like this is amazing, you are very strong. Best of luck K@ri. ^_^


goodfriendiam profile image

goodfriendiam 7 years ago

K@ri, Don't write off those supposed bad boys just yet. Sometimes we get the bad boys mixed up with the good boys. Let me explain. I married a good boy, and came to find out in the end, he wasn't so good after all. We were so different like night and day. I wanted love, affection, and validation that I was his equal. He on the other hand wanted to be seen in the spot light as being a good guy, a hard worker and an upstanding citizian. Sometimes it is the ones, that are labeled bad boys, that turn out to be your awaited prince charming. Well thats all for now.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Cam, I wish I was very strong...I guess I'm just very honest. Thanks for sharing, because I agree, it is good to know we are not alone and that other people can understand. (and actually, he wasn't ready...I split!) :D

goodfriendiam, Seems your good boy was actually a bad boy. You should read this hub

http://hubpages.com/hub/KNOW-WHEN-TO-WALK-AWAY

Sounds like he was a narcissist. I seem to be drawn to these people also...or they are drawn to me. Either way, when I get past all of this, I may well find someone. But not until I am ready. :D


Cam Anju profile image

Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

Good for you K@ri! My mistake.. :)


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Cam, Easy mistake, most will leave...I could not raise my daughter in a drug infested world...I left! Thanks for checking up on me! Did you see yourself on the front page...in the first spot???!!! I did! Great job!!!!!


Cam Anju profile image

Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

K@ari I did!! Thank you! That's very great of you, that's why my mom kicked out my dad, drug infested abusive world, yay for strong women! NP hun. :)


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Cam, I'm glad you saw yourself there, because you are a front page girl! I sent you an e-mail with my tricks to keeping your self there. Are you sure you are not my daughter? Oh, that's right, for some reason co-dependency skipped a generation in my family. LOL, when I am interested in a guy, I make my daughter talk to him to see if he is OK. Sorry sap I am! :D


Cam Anju profile image

Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

K@ri, haha nope, sorry! Co-dependancy didn't skip a generation here!

I saw your email and replied,thanks for sharing. Children always have a better sense of people, it's something we are born with but most of us lose, (not sure how old your daughter is) but even people who aren't in the situation so much can tell how someone is rather then the people who are.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

I saw your reply...That's what I do. I hope it works for you also!

My daughter is 19. As I say it skipped a generation...she is so like my Mom. Thanks Cam!


Cam Anju profile image

Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

So like I said, people who are not in the situation have better judgement! :D

Thanks again!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Yes, it's easier looking in. :D


Cam Anju profile image

Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

It is, ok, I commented to say I like your new picture, was thinking of changing mine to me... debating if it will give my writing more credibility or not. :)


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Be careful of that as you are young and the world is full of predators. I like your pics, and I don't think posting one of yourself increases your credibility. I think that it is all about how you write! And you are credible! Very much so! :D


Cam Anju profile image

Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

Don't worry, I am very careful of what I say, beside I have my pic up on other sites. I wasn't sure, I've been doing my research. However I agee that it should be about your writing. Maybe I will but not right now. I'm very proud of my pic anyways lol! Thanks. :D


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Good for you, you should be proud! :D


Amit Bhatia 7 years ago

I think we strike a common chord here. I am also trying to figure out the mess relationships have created so far in my life. I am a successful professional and have always been brought down by relationships dependency. I am still figuring out what kind of dependent I am, co-dependent or plainly just dependent. Your naked self-exposure about your emotions does help. Take Care of yourself! Amit


k@ri profile image

k@ri 6 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Amit, It helped me writing it...and I'm glad you found it helpful also. I am very happy to tell you that after years of having relationships with users, I am now in a relationship with a wonderful and giving man...one who actually puts me before himself. It seems there is hope! :D


dotty1 profile image

dotty1 6 years ago from In my world

hello, i just wanted to thank you for writing this emotional, so fantastic hub. . I was reading and recognised myself in those words, with a tear in my eye. Your poem was beautifully written and the words chosen so perfect. . Is this why i seem to destroy every relationship i have? . . You are an inspiration and should be massively proud of you . . D x


k@ri profile image

k@ri 5 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

dotty1, Thank you so much! I keep plodding along on the road to self-enlightenment...it's a hard journey sometimes, but worth each scraped knee. :D


Weezy21 profile image

Weezy21 4 years ago from Iowa

k@ri, I loved reading this. I have recently discovered that I am co-dependent, I would have never thought that, your story is very similar to mine! I appreciate your words and they provide comfort. I am social worker,always giving and fixing problems everyday. I have been thinking about switching careers, to help better myself...Good luck on your journey!

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