Codependency is a disorder that usually has it's roots in deep feelings of shame
that arise from child abuse. Shame is the feeling that you are not good enough, not
deserving, inherently worth less than other people, bad, etc. Many people who were shamed
in their histories spend much their lives feeling themselves in such a "one
down" position to others. Other people compensate and flip over into feeling arrogant
and superior, being needless, denying that they have emotional problems or emotions at
all, and assuming a "one up" position with others. In either case, both
adjustments in adult life reflect deep, toxic shame and are the product of abuse.
Both adjustments are dysfunctional.
Either of these orientations disconnects the codependent person
from other people, either looking up to or down at others. They are also disconnect
from themselves. The person's emotional, social, and spiritual needs, cannot be met.
The pain of this sort of loneliness combines with the deep wounds of the "core
of shame" and often drives the codependent into maladaptive efforts to cope.
These efforts may include controlling other people, either ruthlessly or through excessive
indulgence and kindness, addictions, emotional deadening, living vicariously through
others, and so forth.
Only when codependents come to accurately value themselves as
people, meet their own needs and wants openly and appropriately, and repair the boundaries
damaged in childhood and later, can they enter recovery from codependency.
Most sex addicts are also, at some psychological level, codependent.