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Old 02-13-2019, 01:19 AM #1
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Default Working on dependency

Hi, gang. I'm checking in here because I believe my dad had dependency personality disorder. Alas, my mother had narcissistic personality disorder--so you can imagine what his life was like. He couldn't do anything personal without her approval. It got to the point where when they went out to eat he always ordered what she did, for example. It was sad.

At any rate, I think I have some dependency issues with my husband. I am trying to make sure I can do things more on my own and be prepared if he dies first. (We are both in our sixties.) I know that's not exactly what dependency personality disorder is like, but I did have to have therapy to stand up to my mother and break away.

Thoughts or comments? Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:55 AM #2
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Default Re: Working on dependency

I'll chime in, if that's OK. I don't have dependent personality disorder but I did/do have Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I'm pretty sure I don't have a very good self-organized, self-developed sense of myself -- I depended on lot on what my family and, later, my husband wanted me to be. Luckily, I married a guy who liked inherent qualities I had, and we had a lot of similarities in lots of way, and got along well.

He died 20 years ago -- I "knew" I was going to need some "help" and so went back to therapy. And then -- this is 3 years after the last therapy ended -- I'm pretty sure I depended on the therapists to define me!!! Ugh.

My father likely had NPD, but he liked me -- because I was an extension of him? and/or because he could look on me as special and then I would look on him, my daddy, as special, too? My mother and the rest of the females in my family -- and me, I "caught" it, too -- have what I now call "Southern lady-ism" -- with aspects of perfectionism, self-righteousness, and judgmentalism.

I never really broke away -- until after my mother passed away. I don't see any of the extended family any more.

But I don't really have a good sense of who I am, outside of that, still. Therapy ended up a trap for me, as I said. In my experience, they don't really know very well what to do for folks in my situation.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests that you are passionate about? Friends and social groups that you still might be a part of if your husband passes away first? I'm thinking maybe passions are the thing that might define me -- though the passion to be accepted, to belong to my family, led me somewhat astray.

Someone asked me recent "What do you WANT?" He was a member of a support group and I felt like he was asking to try to know better what he wanted, to know what other people wanting stuff was like, or something like that. It wasn't really about me, personally, individually, although it was about what me the person, an individual wanted. If that makes any sense. Anyway, I felt that he really wanted to know, and that whatever I said would be accepted, and so I said: "I want to die at peac with my family (grown kids and grandkids) and to help minimize the suffering when my cats pass away." So, that's what I'm about, now. I think I MIGHT be able to expand on that a little, but as time grows short, maybe not a whole lot. But also, as time grows short I'm feeling much more satisfied with not wanting much than I might have when I was younger.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:22 PM #3
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Smile Re: Working on dependency

Perhaps you've already read them... but your post reminded me of these articles from PC's archives. The first 2 are written by the same person & are similar in content:

The Dance Between Codependents & Narcissists

The Codependent/Narcissist Dance: The Perfect Partnership

Codependency and Narcissism: 10 Similar-Yet-Distinct Patterns

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