Codependency is generated in emotionally disturbed family
systems by inconsistent, unpredictable, and crazy parenting styles.
In a healthy family system, family members openly
acknowledge their problems, discuss them openly, and
work toward change. They believe change is
acceptable, and actively solicit workable solutions from
other family members. Children in these families are
free to express their needs and wants. Family members
can talk about feelings and traits in themselves that
they feel should be changed: shame and
embarrassment do not immobilize them. There is
permission to express appropriate anger. The adults of
the family model healthy, congruent behavior for their
children: what they tell their children to do and whatthey themselves do, match.
In dysfunctional families, parents violate the
boundaries of their children. Parents from these
families do not respect their children's personalfreedom and privacy, they discount their children's
feelings, do not honor their attempts at independent
thinking and decision-making, and do not allow them
to experience their impulses toward creativity,
spirituality and self actualization. These deficits in the
children's development are revisited by problems in
their adult relationships and careers, and with raisingtheir own families.
What this makes crystal clear is how ironic, how completely back-asswards, are arguments abusers make like leann posted about on her thread, that by her leaving she would be 'tearing her family apart.' When the reality is exactly the opposite: that by getting *out* and sparing your children of the experience of living for years amid the dysfunction you are actually saving the family, or at least the parts of it that can be saved, and hopefully breaking the cycle of abuse that would otherwise be far more likely to be perpetuated if you stayed.