Numerous studies have shown that once we become attached to someone, the two of us form one physiological unit. Our partner regulates our blood pressure, our heart rate, our breathing, and the levels of hormones in our blood. We are not longer separate entities. The emphasis on differentiation that is held by most of today’s popular psychology approaches to adult relationships does not hold water from a biological perspective. Dependency is a fact; it is not a choice or a preference. -Amir Levine M.D., and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. “Attached: The New Science or Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-And Keep-Love.”
Anger is a topic that comes up a lot in conversation with my clients. Specifically, the concern around the inability to effectively express anger is what comes up. It’s a question of not being able to express anger and frustration at all until it reaches the level of blind rage at which point it comes out in all manner of destructive ways. Or at least there’s a fear that expressing anger at ALL will result in irreparable damage. The image that comes to mind is one of a pressure cooker without a safety valve. It eventually just blows.
I have to confess, as much as I like to pride myself on being pretty straightforward even in the face of conflict, I often find myself at a loss as to how to express negative feelings to those around me. Continue reading →
I came across this article on shame by Robert Karen in the bibliography of a presentation on narcissistic wounding and the part it plays in addiction. In his article, Karen includes the historical and social aspects of shame as well as the individual experience. He draws a distinction between “normal” and “pathological” shame. “Pathological shame is an irrational sense of defectiveness, a feeling not of having crossed the boundary but of having been born there.”
“Dependency is not a holdover from childhood; it is constitutive of desire for a real other person.” – Stephen Mitchell. (Author of, “Can Love Last: The Fate of Romance Over Time.)
Codependency is a term originally coined decades ago to describe the enabling relationships between addicts and those close to them. It is still a valuable concept within that context but, unfortunately, codependency has become the cultural buzzword used to describe troubled relationships in all their myriad forms. Continue reading →