7 Signs You May Be Counter-Dependent

James’ frequent fantasy was of running away to live alone on a deserted tropical island. All his life he experienced periodic wishes to be dead. He was mystified about why he would feel this way since he knew that he had such a great life.

Can you guess the ingredient that was missing from James’s childhood? It was emotional connection. Emotions were treated as non-existent in his family. There was little interaction of any kind between James and his parents. No positives, but none of the important negatives, either.

He didn’t get to see joy in his parents’ eyes as they looked at his report card, or experience their anxiety or anger when he came home from school long after dark. James’s relationship with his parents could be summed up by one word: cordial.

The message James’s parents unwittingly taught him, completely outside of his own and their awareness, was “don’t have feelings, don’t show feelings, don’t need anything from anyone, ever.”

James’s fantasies about being dead or running off to a tropical island were the best ways he could imagine to accomplish that mandate. He was a good boy who learned his lesson well.

7 Signs and Signals of Counter-Dependence

  1. Other people sometimes perceive you as aloof
  2. You remember your childhood as lonely, even if it was happy
  3. You sometimes have fantasies about running away from your current life
  4. Loved ones complain that you are emotionally distant
  5. You prefer to do things for yourself
  6. It’s very hard to ask for help
  7. You tend to feel uncomfortable in close relationships

If you see yourself in my description of James or in the 7 Signs above, do not despair because there is hope for you! Your counter-dependence is likely caused by Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). And one very good thing about CEN is that it can be healed.

You can correct what went wrong in your childhood by giving yourself the emotional interest and validation that you missed as a child. As you do so, you will not only heal yourself, you will become fortified by your connections with others. And you will gradually realize that it is actually your ability to emotionally rely on others that makes you truly strong.

Childhood Emotional Neglect can be subtle when it happens so it can be difficult to know if you have it. To learn whether it’s at work in your life, Take The Childhood Emotional Neglect Questionnaire. It’s free.

James’ frequent fantasy was of running away to live alone on a deserted tropical island. All his life he experienced periodic wishes to be dead. He was mystified about why he would feel this way since he knew that he had such a great life.

Can you guess the ingredient that was missing from James’s childhood? It was emotional connection. Emotions were treated as non-existent in his family. There was little interaction of any kind between James and his parents. No positives, but none of the important negatives, either.

He didn’t get to see joy in his parents’ eyes as they looked at his report card, or experience their anxiety or anger when he came home from school long after dark. James’s relationship with his parents could be summed up by one word: cordial.

The message James’s parents unwittingly taught him, completely outside of his own and their awareness, was “don’t have feelings, don’t show feelings, don’t need anything from anyone, ever.”

James’s fantasies about being dead or running off to a tropical island were the best ways he could imagine to accomplish that mandate. He was a good boy who learned his lesson well.

7 Signs and Signals of Counter-Dependence

  1. Other people sometimes perceive you as aloof
  2. You remember your childhood as lonely, even if it was happy
  3. You sometimes have fantasies about running away from your current life
  4. Loved ones complain that you are emotionally distant
  5. You prefer to do things for yourself
  6. It’s very hard to ask for help
  7. You tend to feel uncomfortable in close relationships

If you see yourself in my description of James or in the 7 Signs above, do not despair because there is hope for you! Your counter-dependence is likely caused by Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). And one very good thing about CEN is that it can be healed.

You can correct what went wrong in your childhood by giving yourself the emotional interest and validation that you missed as a child. As you do so, you will not only heal yourself, you will become fortified by your connections with others. And you will gradually realize that it is actually your ability to emotionally rely on others that makes you truly strong.

Childhood Emotional Neglect can be subtle when it happens so it can be difficult to know if you have it. To learn whether it’s at work in your life, Take The Childhood Emotional Neglect Questionnaire. It’s free.

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