For a person who has high sensitivity and empathy, codependency can begin at any time in his life, even in the early days of their life as a child when they will have to tune into the energy of their parents and adjust their own. This mostly happens when the parents don’t possess strong, energetic boundaries or if they are emotionally imbalanced or even carry unsettled pain within themselves.
Because of the empathic nature of the child, they can feel the emotions and inner life of their parents as if they were their own and they may be forced to believe that the wellbeing of their parents depends solely on them. The child feels that for example, if they could just be a little better, quieter, sweeter or calmer, then their parents would love them. The child can also feel the pains, worry or fears of their parents as real as if they were their feelings, so the only thing they can do to survive and not to have these emotions is to try and help their parents because if they don’t, the feeling will continue to hunt them. This is the point where codependency sets in.
The child begins from there on to take care of their parents, tracking all the areas of their lives where they are mentally, emotionally and energetically unstable. They do this by making sure to always tune into their energy at every point in time when they are around them. From there, they can adjust their energy and state of being in order not to feel the emotions of their parents.
At this point, the child begins to lose contact with their feelings and inner life. Their focus changes from what they as a child needs but now they are looking at the external, how their parents are feeling, what they can do at every time to make them happy, and they adapt accordingly.
When a child begins at that early stage in their life to abandon their feelings and start worrying about the feelings of other people, that is how lethargy syndromes start in their life, and this will easily lead them to become a people pleaser. They have grown with the attitude of always focusing on the well-being of others instead of focusing on their needs, or they try to find their inner value externally from the environment by acting to fill up the inner emptiness.
If by the time the child starts absorbing the emotions of their parents, they’re not mirrored emotionally by their parents, it is most likely that they will grow with that life always subconsciously seeking for validation and confirmation from people and once that child begins to lose touch with their energy and truth, they will lose contact with who they truly are. This will be very familiar with a person who is highly sensitive because Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) like every other person can struggle with codependency.
Now, let us take a look at what codependency looks like and how you can save yourself from it.
Replace the emptiness inside: When the child realizes as they’re growing up that they’re experiencing a feeling of emptiness inside of them, they might start looking for love in other people or places. But, love and relationships are always intense emotionally. Not to mention, there can be a longing to be seen and loved by another person wholeheartedly for them to fully experience that which they never experienced in their childhood.
One thing about love relationship is that everything encountered during the period is reflections of you as a person, and this can leave the child frustrated. No matter what they do to make sure that others feel good doesn’t work out because they still feel empty inside. While seeking for the solution to their problems outside, they fail to understand that the solution lies within them.
Other signs that can show that a child has lost touch with himself and is trying to fill up an inner emptiness in him may be too much of shopping, gambling or sex, obsessions, addictions, or similar behaviours.
A codependent person will always try to fill up the emptiness inside them. But the truth is, nothing from the external can fill the emptiness that is felt internally, rather, it increases the feelings of emptiness and loneliness which further leads to feelings of aggressiveness and unhealthy relationships because that is the only love that was felt as a child.
Break the cycle of emotional pain.
The only way a person can get back to their true self is by feeling the emotions that made them lose contact with themselves. It means sitting with the feelings of being abandoned, rejected or not seen. For you to win back yourself, you have to return to that part of yourself that was not seen, heard or valued and give that part of you the true emotions that it deserves.
You can do this by talking to a coach or a therapist that can be of help to you. For you to be able to let go of the pain that you might have stored in yourself from childhood, you have to allow the emotions that have been lingering to be released through unconditional love, compassion, and presence. It is important to give yourself what your parents did not give to you to heal and not carry around the pain or pass it down to future generations. So you have to break the cycle of pain.
How to Begin Healing from Codependency.
Highly Sensitive Persons have the ability to surpass their emotional pains because they are emotionally aware of it. They have great inner strength, and they have access to their feelings. So in order to begin healing from codependency, you have to learn to spend time on your learning about your needs and desires. You have to take responsibility for your life, and you have to start learning how to love yourself either through meditation or any other form suitable to you. You have to forgive yourself and speak kindly to yourself and above all practice healthy boundary setting.
Understand that you are not responsible for the wellbeing of others and also release the victim mentality and stand up for yourself and your own life. These steps can take time to happen, and you don’t have to pay so much attention to it so that it doesn’t end up being too painful, especially anger and aggression.
Well, that is the connection between high sensitivity, empathy, and codependency. I hope that you enjoyed my explanation. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.