Codependence and pets

My dogs 1, photo by Debbie Miller, Monroe United  States,  love a petWhen we want to live functional lives, a solution is to get a pet. A codependent flips between manipulation, attempts at controlling, and becoming an enabler causing the victim to remain dependent. Codependence and pets means that the need to overwhelm someone with love is then directed to a creature who thrives on such devotion. So the behaviour is diverted to a healthier end. When a mother wishes to avoid being over-protective towards her growing children, I as a therapist recommend that they get a pet. This way the pet will not suffer from too much affection and it will keep her busy looking after and training the pet.

my children were 11 and 12
it was time to let go in order to avoid
too much mothering, or so I thought
so I got a German Shepherd called Kara
who at 6 months couldn’t even walk,
due to an overwhelming fear,
so I taught her to walk and I
loved her and called her my baby
she just bloomed and so did
my kids who were learning
how to be confident and independent
childrearing was a success thanks to
Kara, who I still miss a lot
but now that I’m alone I have a cat, Midnight,
who’s my baby to coo over
much to my adult children’s relief
no doubt!

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Codependence and addiction

ashamed 1, photo by Georgios M.W., Herley, Denmark,  misery, sacrificeCodepedence, sometimes a relief to admit and sometimes people resent the term. It is very simple in definition – when you totally sacrifice your needs for those of another and when you believe that your happiness can only come from outside of you (from people, places, and things) then your are in the clutches of codependence. You can commit yourself to being of service to another person, or a project, which can be worthwhile to everyone concerned. However, in such a case you need to be true to yourself first and then you can be useful in the service you give. Codependence is the undercurrent of addictions.

she sacrificed her talents and happiness
for the sake of her disabled son
saying he needed her love more than
the rest of the family did
as though there was insufficient for all
but in her dedication to caring for her son
she took away his independence and
he could not do anything without her
but this did not bring her happiness
for she often complained about the martyr
she had become and how miserable she was!
jealousy of her daughter’s achievements and
her own severe codependence caused
irreparable harm and loneliness to her

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