Sanctuary and Serenity

Archive for the ‘Addiction / Codependency’ Category

Big thanks to Kelly K for finding this. 🙂

People who inflict domestic abuse on their partners have common traits: They exert control, humiliate their partners, and begin with emotional abuse.

Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Domestic violence is a common problem that affects many women, and even some men, in the United States. “Domestic violence crosses socioeconomic stratifications,” says Anthony Siracusa, PhD, a psychologist in Williamstown, Mass., and a spokesperson for the American Psychological Association. “Many perpetrators and victims of domestic violence come from what society would describe as ‘good, wholesome families.’”

For victims of domestic abuse, it can often be difficult to admit that domestic violence is happening, and it can be even harder to do something about it. That’s why it’s important to know the warning signs and how to get help when you first experience emotional or any other type of abuse.

Domestic Violence: What are the Signs of Domestic Abuse?

To Read More, CLICK HERE!!


Have questions about your sexuality? So many survivors question their sexuality, and their confusion lays on whether the abuse that  they’ve survived has caused them not to be heterosexual. Ones sexual identity may not be who you are, yet it is an intregal part to who you are and your lifestyle! When one suffers abuse from previous to and including 5-6 years old, your views of what was a boundary, or what was the right way to handle a situation, even having had to have sexual encounters with children of the same sex. Thus, when you reached puberty or before you without realising it were apt to reenact what abuses you had previously suffered. This may have even been due to the need to find comfort and love as all people, all not just the abused need cuddles, comfort and kindness. It may have been a way to find it. This could cause one to suffer from sexual identity, and sexuality issues.

This sexual confusion could be based in that your sexual awareness was immersed from an early age when you hadn’t a choice let alone the fact that you weren’t sexual yet. Thus, losing your childhood your innocence and causing an teenage, young adult and adulthood of pain and confusion.

Sexuality and sexual orientation are very different. Your sexual orientation is who you are based on whom your attracted to which would lead you to being heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Sexuality is the sexual self as who you veiw yourself as being.

So it is very possible to have homosexual thoughts and not be homosexual and vice a versa. As for sexual orientation it is based on a continuum.. If you said that being 100% Homosexual was 1 on a scale of 1-10 and 100% heterosxual was 10, no one would ever be a 1 or a 10. Thus, most that identify as homosexual would probably be around a 3 to 4, and heterosexual about 8 -9, and what about bisexual, dead on 5? No proboably either side of five.

Hence people may have fantasies that are homosexual and not be homosexual and same for heterosexuality and not be heterosexual. So when someone identifies with being heterosexual and has that intrusive thought of being with someone of the same sex doesn’t make you a homosexual and vice a versa. The point being that sexuality isn’t about sexual organs, it is a mental connection with someone else, entirely. Thus, if your homosexual, you’d know it as it isn’t a choice, it just is. It is no different than a persons ethnicity. You are who you are, based on your knowledge and innner wisdom. One just doesn’t “turn” gay, or becomes homosexual. You either are or your not!

The issue too is whether your are having a sexual enncounter with someone due to it being a choice based on your wants and desires, or is it due to what you’ve been trained to do and/or a matter of automaticity. So, if your involved in a sexual relationship based on what others have defined you as being, and not your definition of who you are, then there is a problem.  Your not living your life your sexuality. That is why it is so important to make sure that your living that life that is your sexual orientation and not someone elses definition. It can be very confusing and best sorted out in therapy.

Your sexual relationships are yours and no one elses. And your sexual life can be a very healthy happy way to express your love for another person. It doesn’t have to be dirty or hurtful. It takes a lot of work and it can be worked out in therapy what your true orientation is. It is important to our personal identification as to who we are and who we express our love with.

If your worried what others think of your sexuality, your wasting time. They are more engrossed in their own lives to be worried about what your doing sexually. Only worry we have as the human community that is in common, isthe harming of children and taking their innocence from them. That is a common goal we are all party too. So, if you are confused in you sexuality and find that sex is a job not a pleasurable experience shared with someone with whom you can trust, it is something clearly to address with a therapist.


Jeanne M. Callahan Ba Hons Psychology (University of Essex, Colchester UK

  • It’s not ok to feel angry.
  • Anger is a waste of time and energy.
  • Good, nice people don’t feel angry.
  • We shouldn’t feel angry when we do.
  • We’ll lose control and go crazy if we get angry.
  • People will go away if we get angry with them.
  • Other people should never feel anger toward us.
  • If others get angry with us, we must have done something wrong.
  • If other people are angry with us, we made them feel that way and we’re responsible for fixing their feelings.
  • If we feel angry, someone else made us feel that way and that person is responsible for fixing our feelings.
  • If we feel angry with someone, the relationship is over and that perosn has to go away.
  • If we feel angry with someone, we should punish that person for making us feel angry.
  • If we feel angry with someone, that person has to change what he or she is doing so we don’t feel angry anymore.
  • If we feel angry, we have to hit someone or break something.
  • If we feel angry, we have to shout and holler.
  • If we feel angry with someone, it means we don’t love that person anymore.
  • If someone feels angry with us, it means that person doesn’t love us anymore.
  • Anger is a sinful emotion.
  • It’s ok to feel angry only when we can justify our feelings.
~Of course not all will apply to everyone…but worth thinking over.

Codependents frequently aren’t certain whom or when to trust.

Quit trying to make yourself trust someone you don’t trust.

We can trust ourselves.  We can trust ourselves to make good decisions about whom to trust.  Many of us have been making inappropriate decisions about trust.  It is not wise to trust an alcoholic to never drink again if that alcoholic has not received treatment for the disease of alcoholism.  It is not even wise to trust an alcoholic never to drink again if he or she has received treatment – there are no guarantees on human behaviour.  But we can trust people to be who they are.  We can learn to see people clearly.

Figure out if people’s words match their behaviours.  Is what they say the same as what they do?  As one woman puts it, “He’s looking real good, but he’s not acting any better.”

If we pay attention to ourselves and the messages we receive from the world, we will know whom to trust, when to trust, and why to trust a particular person.  We may discover we’ve always known whom to trust – we just weren’t listening to ourselves.

Rescuing and caretaking mean almost what they sound like.  We rescue people from their responsibilities.  We take care of people’s responsibilities for them.  Later we get mad at them for what we’ve done.  Then we feel used and sorry for ourselves.  That is the pattern, the triangle.
Rescuing and caretaking are synonymous.  Their definitions are closely connected to enabling.  Enabling is therapeutic jargon that means a destructive form of helping.  Any acts that help an alcoholic continue drinking, prevent the alcoholic from suffering consequences, or in any way make it easier for an alcoholic to continue drinking are considered enabling behaviours.
As counselor Scott Egleston says, we rescue anytime we take responsibility for another human being – for that person’s thoughts, feelings, decisions, behaviours, growth, well-being, problems, or destiny.  The following acts constitute a rescuing or caretaking move:
  • Doing something we don’t really want to do.
  • Saying yes when we mean no.
  • Doing something for someone although that person is capable of and should be doing it for him – or her – self.
  • Meeting people’s needs without being asked and before we’ve agreed to do so.
  • Doing more than a fair share of work after our help is requested.
  • Fixing people’s feelings.
  • Doing people’s thinking for them.
  • Speaking for another person.
  • Suffering people’s consequences for them.
  • Solving people’s problems for them.
  • Putting more interest and activity into a joint effort than the other person does.
  • Not asking for what we want, need, and desire.

We rescue whenever we take care of other people.

At the time we rescue or caretake we may feel one or more of the following feeings: discomfort and awdwardness about the other person’s dilemma; urgency to do something; pity; guilt; saintliness; anxiety; extreme responsibility for that person or problem; fear; a sense of being forced or compelled to do something; mild or severe reluctance to do anything; more competency than the person we are “helping”; or occasional resentment at being put in this position.  We also think the person we are taking care of is helpless and unable to do what we are doing for him or her.  We feel needed temporarily.

I am not referring to acts of love, kindness, compassion, and true helping – situations where our assistance is legitimately wanted and needed and we want to give that assistance.  These acts are the good stuff of life.  Rescuing or caretaking isn’t.

I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot decide for you.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you about drinking, but I can’t say “no” for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can’t prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can’t achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can’t force you to be gracious.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.

Parent Author Unknown
~Posted by tigar on Perfect Daughters~

Many codependents become what some people call drama or crisis addicts.  Strangely enough, problems can become addicting.  If we live with enough misery, crises, and turmoil long enough, the fear and stimulation caused by problems can become a comfortable emotional experience.  In her excellent book, Getting Them Sober, Volume II, Toby Rice Drews refers to this feeling as “excited misery.”  After a while, we can become so used to involving our emotions with problems and crises that we may get and stay involved with problems that aren’t our concern.  We may even start making troubles or making troubles greater than they are to create stimulation for ourselves.  This is especially true if we have greatly neglected our own lives and feelings.  When we’re involved with a problem, we know we’re alive.  When the problem is solved, we may feel empty and void of feeling.  Nothing to do.  Being in crisis becomes a comfortable place, and it saves us from our humdrum existence.  It’s like getting addicted to soap operas except the daily crisis in our lives and the lives of our friends and family.  “Will Ginny leave John?”  “Can we save Herman’s job?”  “How will Henrietta survive this dilemma?”
After we have detached and begun minding our own business and our lives finally become serene, some codependents will occasionally crave a little of the old excitement.  We may at times find our new way of life boring.  We are just used to so much turmoil and excitement that peace seems bland at first.  We’ll get used to it.  As we develop our lives, set our goals, and find things to do that interest us, peace will become comfortable – more comfortable than chaos.  We will no longer need nor desire excited misery.
We need to learn to recognize when we are seeking out “excited misery.”  Understand that we don’t have to make problems or get involved with others’ problems.  Find creative ways to fill our need for drama.  Get enjoyable jobs.  But keep the exited misery out of our lives.


  • faithfulwoman4you: Some people are drama queens and need a lot of turmoil in their lives!! In a way thats sad, because it is nice to have peace and serenity but alas the
  • Writing Lessons from Dr. Seuss | Tess Fragoulis – Writer: […] them, and can still recite good portions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Too Many Daves, and The Zax, which I even acted out in my bedroo
  • serenityunicorn: You are very welcome! Sorry it took me so long... haven't really been on my blogs in a long time lol