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What To Do With A Clingy Parent

Updated on March 21, 2018

What is Codependency?

Codependency is the tendency to constantly need someone or something to function. Much like alcoholics needing the bottle or drug addicts needing their fix, codependent people need something in their lives in order to feel like they can function accordingly. In many cases, these individuals fail to see that they have a very serious problem and even fewer are able to go out and get help for their situation.

Codependent individuals can have a plethora of other mental disorders associated with them-narcissism, histrionic personality disorder, depression, childhood trauma of their own-that haven't yet been addressed. These individuals often carry these wounds into adulthood and procreate without the necessary skills to function like most normal adults.

There are many cases where the codependent individual happens to be our parent(s). This leads to many serious problems due to the parent feeling the need to have to try to force the relationship with their kids in order to feel secure in themselves. These parents have been known to hinder the development of their children to satisfy some basic incompetencies within their own minds.

These parents blame everyone for their problems and yet fail to see that they create the very things that lead to the problems in the first place. Often with those caregivers of ours, they fail to see that what they are doing causes more harm in the long run and often to themselves. Many adult children grow to realize what goes on and choose to reduce the stress by limiting contact


Help Yourself First

If you feel like you are a child of a codependent parent, you have made the very first step towards recovery. It is a very difficult process to undergo but there is the realization that you can make steps to help yourself in this situation. There is hope at the end of the tunnel.

Once you have realized that you are in this situation, you can know formulate a plan to move yourself away and possibly divorce the individual that is codependent on you. While planning may not feel like it helps, it can prepare you for a variety of different situations should the codependent individual or parent try to reign you back in. Plan on what you are going to do-where you are going to move to, jobs you can work, etc. Outline actionable steps (like the SMART goals where everything is measurable) that you can take towards your freedom. Attach dates when you would like to be able to achieve certain tasks so you can be encouraged to stay on the path towards independence.

Third, start exerting subtle independence via getting separate bank accounts, phones/phone numbers, emails, etc. This can help remove the authority and pressure that many codependent individuals try to exert over their victims. By removing these control measures, you can put yourself back in charge of your life. This can help shift the relationship towards a healthier one.

Find a place of your own and a therapist (if you feel like you need one). Having your own space allows you to feel comfortable in your own skin and can contribute towards the emotional and mental recovery process. It'll take time for you to start feeling like you can resume the life that you feel is conducive to you.

Important Tips

Here are some very important tips on the recovery journey:

  1. Find healthier alternatives for the stresses (like exercise or meditation). You don't want to break free and then not have a good coping mechanism in place. You'd hate to fall victim to an addiction to a substance, so it's key to build healthy behaviors now for the transition.
  2. Journaling, blogging, vlogging, and therapy are good outlets. These are great ways to get the stresses out and not bottle it in. It's important to also note that you are going to need this as a way to deal and process the things that are in your mind.
  3. Find a support group. This can help you find like minded individuals that can encourage you to grow. These can give you the support that you need to make the changes that you'll love long term.

© 2018 MDC


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