I haven't been able to afford to continue therapy with my psychologist for the last couple months, but the therapy was effective overall. There, I was able to talk through childhood to the present and identify a few common patterns and issues that have culminated to my current mindset. I am fully aware that the psychologist was just working with what I presented him during the sessions, and that I likely gave him a skewed vision of myself and others, but it was something nonetheless and gave me some data to work from.
When he first suggested that I may be "codependent," I immediately got defensive and said "no," but I've learned to pay attention to my defensiveness and decided to look into it further. When I did, I was crestfallen by the familiarity of what I read, particularly when I realized that codependent characteristics were often considered virtuous in my upbringing.
He made it very clear that I have codependent characteristics and tendencies. Based on what he heard from me, he identified my sense of responsibility for others' feelings, my willingness to sacrifice and martyr my own needs for the sake of the perceived needs of others, my habit of acquiescing to pressure in order to maintain harmony, and a few other classic codependent traits. I fit the bill.
Most importantly, we talked about personal boundaries, a topic that made me cringe. I'd associated personal boundaries with selfishness until I read about them in Nonviolent Communication, and I couldn't even make sense of them for a while in the therapy room. And I've been working through this, concussing myself through my childhood indoctrination, and it's tough.
I don't mean to be cyber-redundant. I've tried to write about them here, and I tried to talk about them here, but I don't think I've got a full grasp on them yet,
But I think I've figured out two very important personal boundaries for me:
I'm working on it. It's hard. But I'm getting there.
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