Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light

Book 2:  A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life

Chapter 4: False Self Image

"This is part of what makes codependency such a ridiculous, dysfunctional, tragicomedy.  The character I was playing, my false self image, was not really false.  It contained a great deal more Truth in relationship to who I really am - to my personality, my essential character in this lifetime - than falsehood.  But I was incapable of seeing that because I was focused externally to keep from having to look at myself and admit how defective and shameful I felt."

"One of the payoffs in codependency recovery, is that as we strip away the layers of denial - the twisted distorted perspectives and false beliefs - we learn that we are the person we always wanted to be.  As we start to uncover and discover the lies and distortions in our subconscious intellectual paradigm and become willing to get emotionally honest with ourselves by owning the grief and rage, we start to see ourselves clearly for the first time.  Codependency is about having a dysfunctional relationship with our selves as human beings - and the key to unraveling the puzzle of self, to stripping away the distortion and the lies, is to get emotionally honest with self."

"My behavior did not match my words because my behavior patterns were driven by my emotional wounds.  As long as I had no capacity to be emotionally honest, my codependency defended me based upon the programming it adapted in reaction to the emotional trauma I had experienced in early childhood."

"My ego adopted an emotional defense system - codependency - to try protect me and keep secret the fact that I was a shameful and defective, a pitiful excuse for a man.  Since I felt unlovable and unworthy, and I thought I was the only person who felt that way, I had to keep what a loser I was secret.  I had to be emotionally dishonest with myself to try to stay unconscious to how I felt at the depths of my being."

"Codependency is very dysfunctional.  It hurts just as much to be rejected by an unavailable person as by an available one.  As long as we are reacting out of our inner child wounds, we will take any perceived rejection as personal - as a reflection of our shameful defectiveness."

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Included on this page are quotes from both Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls and from other copyrighted work by Robert Burney.  Online pages quoted within this chapter will be linked so that they open in a separate browser window - with the exception of any web articles referenced which are quite long, or for some other reason not conducive to internal linking.  Links will be provided at the bottom of this page to any such web pages.

This is Chapter 4 of a book being published online as it is written.  To find out more about the genesis of this work you can go to Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light  Book 2 A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life: Author's Foreword

Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light

Book 2:  A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life

Chapter 4: False Self Image

By Robert Burney

Learning what healthy behavior is will allow us to be healthier in the relationships that do not mean much to us; intellectually knowing Spiritual Truth will allow us to be more Loving some of the time; but in the relationships that mean the most to us, with the people we care the most about, when our "buttons are pushed" we will watch ourselves saying things we don't want to say and reacting in ways that we don't want to react - because we are powerless to change the behavior patterns without dealing with the emotional wounds. 

We cannot integrate Spiritual Truth or intellectual knowledge of healthy behavior into our experience of life in a substantial way without honoring and respecting the emotions.  We cannot consistently incorporate healthy behavior into day to day life without being emotionally honest with ourselves.  We cannot get rid of our shame and overcome our fear of emotional intimacy without going through the feelings.

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When I came to recovery, I took great pride in what an honest person I was - my ego strength was based in part on being better than other people because I was such an honest person.  I saw myself as this righteously honest person - and I could not consciously acknowledge that I had ever felt fear in my life.  I was completely twisted and dishonest with myself emotionally - which made me incapable of really being honest on any level.  My conscious self image was twisted and dishonest in reaction to the lie that I was shamefully defective as a being.

I would present myself as - and truly believed I was - a sensitive, caring male who was so different from all those macho clowns that were not in touch with their feelings.

But I was talking about feelings on a theoretical level - I was not connected to them directly.  I was not actually feeling them personally.  I had feelings certainly, but I had no permission to own them as being personal, as being mine. . . . . 

. . . . . The punch line to this dysfunctional joke is that I really am a sensitive, caring person.  I tried real hard to convince you of it because I was trying so hard to convince myself it was the truth.  I was trying to trick you into believing I was who I wanted to be, but I didn't really believe it in the depths of my being.

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codependency = a ridiculous, dysfunctional, tragicomedy

Opening our hearts

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Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light
Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life
Go to Chapter 5: Codependency = conditioned reactive programming - Published online May 27, 2002

September 2005 - Chapters 3 through 15 of this work are now exclusively available in the Dancing in Light pay to view component of

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