“Always ask the turtle”
~ Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem, the writer and feminist movement leader, frequently shares with her audiences a story of a lesson she learned in college. Gloria was on a field trip to Connecticut River with her geology class, when she found a giant snapping turtle. The GIANT turtle had climbed out of the river, crawled up a dirt road and was in the mud on the embankment of another road.
It seemed about to crawl up on the road and risked getting smushed by a passing car. Concerned about the safety of the turtle Gloria heaved and wrestled the heavy and angry snapping turtle off the embankment and back down the road. She had just put the turtle back into the river when her geology professor arrived and asked her what she was doing.
With pride Gloria shared what she had done. The professor said, “You know, that turtle probably spent a month crawling up that dirt road to safely lay its eggs in the mud by the side of the road, and you just put it back in the river.” Gloria relates how terrible she felt afterwards, but that she learned an invaluable lesson, “Always ask the turtle.”
Codependency is defined as focusing so much on another person’s problems and needs that we forget to not take care of our own well being and emotional health. The codependent feels the need to solve another’s problems. The codependent believes their help is needed and the person in need cannot manage to make the right decisions or take the right actions to solve their own problems. Without the codependent’s involvement, disaster for the other person is guaranteed.
Remember daddy’s little angel, Veruca Salt?
Henry Salt, Veruca’s dad, a permissive parent shares many of the characteristics of a codependent. For example:
In a blended family, a codependent parent will most likely adopt a permissive parenting style. A permissive parent may be burden by guilt by having put their children through a divorce. Children need love and understanding. Not setting boundaries and not telling your child “no” isn’t a substitute for love and affection. What children need is a healthy interdependency and not codependency.
This post will be the first in a series on codependency. Please rate this post using the Stars and Thumbs below. Thank you.