The following list was compiled from a number of sources and embellished with personal observations.
|Uses others’ problems to avoid facing own problems||Uses substance as self medication to avoid facing own problems|
|Protects addict from consequences of behavior||Relies on codependent for cover for behavior|
|Emotionally manipulated||Emotionally manipulative|
|Enmeshed with addict in exploitative relationship||Enmeshes others and exploits them|
|Denial of abnormal situation||Denial of own abnormality|
|Self centered perspective||Self centered perspective|
|False agreement/cooperation||Extreme dishonesty and deceit|
|Illusion of control over self and others||Illusion of control over self and others|
|Life centered on problems and crises||Life centered around problems and crises which are often deliberately instigated|
|Dualistic evaluation of self and others as all good or all bad||Dualistic evaluation of self and others as all good or all bad|
|Fabricates and instigates personality conflicts||Fabricates and instigates personality conflicts to keep others off balance|
|Difficulty, often extreme,in listening to others and communication with others||Forgetfulness and memory loss: does not learn from own mistakes or from others|
|Fearful||Self centered fear of loss|
|Externalization of problems on others; the ‘selfless victim’ of abuse||Externalization of problems on others: projection, scapegoating, blameshifting, isolation/abuse paradigm|
|Emotionally stifled||Emotionally frozen when sober|
|Prefers excited misery to calm, growing, collaborative relationship of equals||Instigates conflicts through triangulation, covert aggression|
|Unsure of and guesses at normal behavior||Whitewashes own character flaws as being actual virtues and not harmful to others; claims of ‘good intentions’ justifies anything|
Interpersonal Rules of the Addictive System
- Do not talk about problems; deny that they exist.
- Do not express feelings openly; do not feel pain, sadness or joy.
- Communication must be indirect, through third parties (go betweens and buffers). Technical term: triangulation.
- Show no weakness; nothing must threaten the image of being good, right and perfect.
- Appease and make those in control look good at all costs.
- Those in control have the right to be selfish but no one else does.
- Do as I say but not as I do; follow the words but ignore the example.
- Do not play or be playful; spontaneity and humor is childish.
- Do not attempt to change the status quo.
- Those in control follow no rules and are responsible to no one.
- Everyone must anticipate, follow and cater to the moods of those in control.
- What matters the most is personal relationships is control. Might and position makes all things right.
- Those in control know it all; those not in control know nothing.
Seven Characteristics of Addictive Relationships
I do not know the source for the following list. It is in my personal notes. Its relationship to the above is obvious.
Magical and Unrealistic Expectations
The fantasy is primarily that the relationship with the right person will fix me and my problems. It is not companionship with someone to share mutually satisfying activities.
Desire for Instant Gratification
The relationship with another person is treated pretty much as a drug to escape one’s own problems rather than as sharing love and companionship.
Consistent and Pervasive Dishonesty
Key character flaws are kept under wraps rather than gradually and honestly disclosed as part of mutual understanding.
Compulsive Overcontrol and Coercion
Personal cooperation and free choice are rejected even when freely given because personal control is all that matters.
Lack of Trust in the Other Person in the Relationship
There is no rational trust in someone who has proven love and trustworthiness.
Outsiders are a threat to the special and forcibly exclusive relationship.
Recurring Cycle of Intense Pain and Intense Pleasure
The cyle is described as:
Intense pleasure in a very charming, seductive relationship ->
Intensifying pain and anger from differences and disagreements ->
Intense verbal abuse and physical violence ->
Disillusionment with the other person and complete blameshifting for the conflict ->
Fear of abandonment by the other person leading to desperate attempts to make up for the abuse and violence ->
Intense pleasure again.
The repeating cycle reinforces itself through the periods of painfree pleasure to where the periods of pain become bridges to more perceived pleasure and pseudo-intimacy.
Characteristics of Adult Children
I do not know the source for the following list either. Again, its relationship to the above is obvious. It lists the characteristics of adult children. Adult children are people whose maturation has been arrested, stymied or sabotaged through growing up in an addictive family system.
Alienation: no sense of belonging
Inadequate sense of appropriate public and social behavior.
Fear of abandonment from unreliable childhood familial connections.
Easily infatuated with the emotionally unavailable.
Continues in familiar cycle of emotional abuse and physical violence as perpetrator or victim.
Defiance of authority
Hypersensivity: takes innocuous remarks personally very easily.
Overcontrolled and fearful of spontaneity.