From the Southwest to the Northwest and back again and again
For the past four or five years the seasons change and I go back where ever home calls me through the West. Time spent in one place creates space for nostalgia. Maybe the habit of home is one I've got to break. The habit of searching. It's not a place. Not even an idea. Chasing after home is like trying to catch up with the horizon.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book focuses on the childhood origins of codependence, how dysfunction and abuse creates codependent adults. I found some of the information to be extremely helpful and made correlations of which I had previously been unaware. It was very useful for me personally to understand that clinginess and love-addiction are not the only traits of codependence, but also tendencies to create emotional barriers, inability to acknowledge one's own needs and enmeshing others' emotions with your own, among other things.
Mellody outlines five major traits of codependence, which operate on either extreme: lack of self-esteem or arrogance (inability to esteem yourself from within), making oneself too vulnerable or erecting emotional walls (boundaries), self-destructiveness or perfectionism ("owning and expressing your own reality" or self-responsibility and self-acceptance), dependence or denial of your own needs (inability to meet your own needs and wants) and chaotic or controlling behavior (extreme modes of behavior as opposed to moderation).
Her perspectives on a few issues I disagree with, for example, her conventional approach to gender and sexual preference. While attempting to be accepting of sexual preference, her approach is obviously heterosexual. Also, I disagree with some other things in the book, such as a disregard for the issues of race (one mention of race is made) and especially class. For example, perhaps Mom has to work all the time because the family is financially struggling to put food on the table, not because she's a workaholic.
Though, the direct relation of a dysfunctional childhood to an inability to meet one's needs as a adult is laid out fairly clearly here. I would be interested find out about other books on codependence from the same perspective.
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