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Care-Taking And Co-Dependency-An Easy Mark >Part 1 of 4

Updated on April 14, 2011


Right on Target
Right on Target

Are you an easy mark?

We must have been spotted a mile away. They saw us coming---we saw them coming. So which is it? Maybe both surprisingly. Patterns-Patterns-Patterns......will they e v e r end?

Do you find yourself latching onto every in-need incounter that comes your way? Some would say "but this is the christian thing to do"...Help your neighbor! The Bible clearly states to Love your neighbor as you Love yourself. We have a lot to learn when it comes to loving ourselves. Loving ourselves is to love ourselves enough to do what's best for us...and others as well, not destroy ourselves over anything or anyone. To learn and to grow which means...we are to do the same for our neighbor/family.

But when does it go overboard? Over the limit? You find yourself stressed beyond normal everyday stress, resentful, tired, angry and frustrated. You feel you have been taken advantage of and used. This is not everyday stress! This is care-taking. You have set yourself up for the kill. Yes you.


We must set them no matter what the cost because it will cost us/and them more than we realize in the end if we don't set healthy bounderies. This is mandatory for our well being and the well being of others! They need to learn to grow as well and we must not deprive them of the rewards they will gain from learning just as we ourselves will gain/reap from learning. We do not reap unless we sow. One must sow to reap.


They are ongoing and we all must face them head on and deal with each one appropriatly no matter how BIG or small. They are meant for our growth and well being. To learn is to grow, there is no other way. Without them we would be nothing/no self worth. They are a part of life devided and given to all accordingly and quite beneficial when put into action.

Letting Go

Can be the hardest thing to do but absolutly nessessary in some situations, not all but in the major growth areas of life. This doesn't mean you can't be a shoulder to cry on when all else has failed. And I meant A shoulder to cry on...not the only. A care-taker would say the shoulder meaning...the only...again taking full responsibility for their actions/inactions which one should not do.

So where do we begin and they start? It should be the other way around...Where do They start and we begin. This is where the care-taker gets blindsided. They need to get the ball rolling in their life...get on course/onboard.

Care-taking can be addictive. As addictive as drugs/alcohol/cigerettes. Care-taking can be a full time job....Your job if your not careful. Have you ever considered that you may be inabling another to be unable/incapable of doing anything for themselves? They need to begin "doing" at some point in their lives for their own stability if they are to have any. Should'nt this be the goal for them? More focus should be on their productivity and you as a care-taker should allow them (because the word "allow" is typical of a caregivers behavior) to make mistakes in order for them to seek a solution so if they are faced with the situation again they will have that solution. Everyone makes mistakes and should be given the opportunity to do so because it's through our mistakes that we learn. If we did not fall we would'nt know how to stand.


The only way to break a habit is to obstain from it. To be absent from it. You'll need to take about 2 good weeks to begin to recover. You will have withdrawals and may backslide a few times but it will get better. It will subside and you can be free from it. There is hope. Like the saying goes in Al-Anon "It works if you work it"! You will become stronger and wiser. Don't give up and don't give in to it. Your not giving up on them...Your just not giving in to your need to fix everything.

Good luck on your will be well worth it in the end! Blessings!!!


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    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Hello Timehealsall, This hub is so right-on and well written. Can't wait to read part 2. Thank you for identifying and expounding on co-dependency.

      I have a friend who is so co-dependent and addicted to trying to fix her grown daughter that she is now becoming detrimental to her and as you say preventing her to learn by falling. She 'thinks' she is protecting or helping.

      It's so hard to look on, as a friend, and see what's happening; watching from the sidelines as the codependent continues doing the same thing .. meanwhile the daughter 'she thinks' she is helping get's worse and worse. Her daughter has been very abusive verbally stating her mom has ruined her life and shouting I HATE YOU! She knows how to get what she wants by heaping guilt on her mom.

      It is almost impossible to reason with my friend because her actions, in her own eyes, seem to be so noble. I call it Crazy-Making ..

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 

      8 years ago from Roseville, CA

      I love your opening line ~ powerful! There are certainly twists and turns when it comes to ‘codependent’ relationships. The variables are vast. I think I’ve summed up one scenario in the following statement: “A NEEDY PERSON NEEDS TO BE NEEDED”. I also find it consistent that a needy person has a low self-esteem. Being needed by others builds their self-esteem, which can become a sense of pride.

      In this situation, needy people seem to ‘choose’ their next ‘target’ (and I say ‘next’ because if they intrude upon or impose themselves into someone’s life, the relationship won’t last when the ‘target’ person eventually recognizes codependency).

      Let’s say a needy person has abandonment issues. Their ‘target’ person will initially respond with sympathy. Realizing the needy person has a low self-esteem, the 'target' attempts to build that self-esteem. After awhile, the ‘target’ person feels a sense of obligation to ‘be there’ or sympathetically ‘rely on’ that person, to meet their ‘need to be needed’ and build their 'self esteem'. This only feeds the problem. Needy people have a way of manipulating the ‘target’ person into feeling guilty for not meeting their ‘need to be needed’ and 'self esteem' issues.

      A needy person imposes themselves upon others, resulting in a pattern of in-and-out relationships. They feel withdrawal symptoms and a drop in self-esteem, if the ‘target’ person doesn’t meet their needs. When the ‘target’ person leaves, the needy person ends up feeling abandoned, betrayed and used/taken advantage of. They feel rejected and their sense of self-esteem drops to the floor again. Their cycle continues.

      A ‘target’ person is only troubled by a needy person latching onto them. They feel sorry for and responsible for the needy person. They feel a sense of guilt for eventually saying ‘no’ and will even take the blame for ending the relationship, in order to spare the needy person’s intense emotions.

      Both people need to be self-aware and pay attention to the symptoms. Codependency births, if the ‘target’ person feels s/he needs to ‘fix’ the needy person’s issues. The needy person needs to evaluate his/her patterns of intrusion/imposition, dependency and manipulation, and is responsible to get the help needed to stop the cycle in their lives and the lives of their 'target'(s).

      I hope this makes sense. As I said, there are many variables to codependency, and this is only one example. I love you, sis ~ God bless you!

    • TimeHealsAll profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Brother Nobody, When you are a caretaker you are playing God. You aren't trusting God to handle the situation. You intervene between God and that person and do God's work in their life. You take away the opportunity for that person to seek God for help. You become the god in their life. You take away their struggles, their trials, their everything that God is able to do for them. You basically take God completly out of their lives and that is a major thing to do to anyone. I'm sure the reason no one came to you was because you offered God as the solution and in some cases they aren't open to hearing/excepting/seeking that. There are a lot of needy people in this world and they will take advantage of that helping hand to an extreme if you allow it and I did. My health has suffered because of it. I thank you for reminding me that God is there for them and to trust Him to do it in His time and in His way and to help me to overcome as well. I love you brother and I needed your thoughts today. Bless you!

    • TimeHealsAll profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Thank you RevLady for your response. I have had numerous situations where I was expected to fix because I had done so in the past and it drained me. I would have gladly turned the other way if I hadn't thought it was my responsibility. It wasn't until just recently that I was able to let go but that was only because someone else was there to take over the responsibilty for this person. I hate to see anyone in need. I was a rescuer from way back and breaking the habit isn't easy. I used to take pride in it but not anymore. Resentment, anger and frustration took over and stress had me in it's grip. I am in the healing prosess now. God bless you RevLady

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      8 years ago from Rochester, New York

      Wow, what a timely hub, my sister in Christ. Right at a time when I am re-evaluating my reasonings over boundries and relationships. I am a Christian. I don't believe I would ever be called by God to be THE shoulder to cry on for anyone other than my wife of 12 years. I, however, have a very large capacity for love. Whether it is something present in me because I lacked love in my life or the recognition that love is precious now, I don't know. When I sense that someone is genuine, wanting and needing fellowship, I open up. This is where it can get tricky because if someone was out to hurt me, this is when I would give them a chance to do it. Christian fellowship that goes beyond superficial, doesn't exist without some vulnerability and risk. Most people can't handle much of the close fellowship because they feel at risk. It has rarely happened to me. I opened myself to my blood family. I open myself to others but it has never happened that they do so to me. Possibly one time. I thought of that one time as a miracle of God. If I saw that any person was using me as the only shoulder to cry on (anyone other than my wife), I would want that Christian person to pull away and lean more on the true source of their strentgh The LORD God. I keep putting myself out to be a shoulder, a listening ear and it seems some need me for a short time, most don't need me at all, but I don't sense that I am the center of their universe or anyone's universe. It has never happened. They usually allow me to minister to them and then leave my circle of life. When they do, I assume that I have served God's purpose by being there for them for that time. I wouldn't want to be the center of anyone's universe, it's not what I was designed for. It's not healthy for them or me. Even my wife, whom I love with all my heart and am most vulnerable with, should not lean on me more than she leans on God. I certainly would never want to be anyone's caretaker. That is a boundry violation but it takes a moment to get to the limit of where I can serve. I don't think anyone has ever expected me to go beyond the limit I have to serve. I certainly don't want to become anyone's stumbling block. Timehealsall, Thank you for writing this hub. I think I have a handle on this, but I appreciate you writing it. It has allowed me to use it as a check list against what I feel and why I feel it. I am a weird bird. People come and go, and pass through my life. I want them stronger because of it not weaker. I've hoped that for you too, Timehealsall, because you are a friend, because you are my sister in Christ. I hope that for everyone I've ministered and fellowshipped with, that they might be stronger and love the Lord more because of God working through me. May the Lord continue to bless you and yours.

    • RevLady profile image


      8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      I so agree with this hub. One of the things that is hard for many to accept is that we cannot "fix" others, only God can fix. We can provide support, enocuragement, practical assistance where we can and so forth. But "fixing" is reserved for God.

      Furthermore, to assume we can "fix" is to play with pride.

      Meaningful hub!

      Forever His,


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