Boundaries vs Walls: Creating Closeness or Making Distance?

Boundaries and wallsYears ago, a friend of mine told me a terrifying story. While on vacation in Mexico, she and her companions were walking along a beach taking photos and not paying attention to where they were going. Suddenly, a jeep filled with Mexican military personnel appeared and took them into custody.

They had stumbled onto military property. The property was not surrounded by a fence. There were signs posted, but in their mindless wandering, they had missed them.

Fortunately, for my friend and her companions, they were released after several hours of questioning. They were hassled, detained and their cameras were confiscated, but these are small consequences compared to what could have happened to them.

They missed the boundaries that would have kept them safe. Continue reading

Happiness Quota: How Happy Are You Allowed to Be?

Happiness QuotaImagine this scene: A mother is in the hospital just having given birth to her baby. She is excited and happy. The nurse gives her the newborn. The baby turns her head toward mother and snuggles.

The baby is searching for warmth and comfort. The child probably is not hungry because it has just spent nine months with all its needs met. The baby is mostly traumatized and seeking comfort and safety. Continue reading

Relationships: How Counter-dependency and Co-dependency Work Together

Relationships: How Counter-dependency and Co-dependency Work Together “I am a co-dependent. There is no way I am like those counter-dependents. I cling to people in relationships; I don’t push them away.”

It is possible to be both a co-dependent and a counter-dependent at the same time.  Each person has their “preferred” way of relating, but there are times when what is going on at an unconscious level may tell a very different story.

Co-dependency and counter-dependency work together in the mind to protect you from harm. In a relationship, they work to create a safe space where no one will get hurt. Continue reading

A Comparison of Counter-Dependency and Co-dependency

A Comparison of Counter-Dependency and Co-dependencyMuch has been written about co-dependency, its characteristics and the many ways it impacts relationships. Little has been written about the other side of the coin: counter-dependency. When circumstances are right, the co-dependent and counter-dependent will change roles. Even though they look very different they are both a product of fear. One is not worse than the other or more painful than the other. Continue reading