When I first came into contact with
the word "Codependent" over a decade ago, I did not think that the word had
anything to do with me personally. At that time I heard the word used only
in reference to someone who was involved with an Alcoholic - and since I
was a Recovering Alcoholic, I obviously could not be Codependent.
Claudia Black -
I paid only slightly more attention to the
Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome, not because it applied to me personally
- I was not from an Alcoholic family - but because many people whom I knew
obviously fit the symptoms of that syndrome. It never occurred to me to
wonder if the Adult Child Syndrome and Codependence were related.
As my Recovery from Alcoholism progressed,
however, I began to realize that just being clean and sober was not enough.
I started to look for some other answers. By that time the conception of the
Adult Child Syndrome had expanded beyond just pertaining to Alcoholic families.
I started to realize that, although my family of origin had not been Alcoholic,
it had indeed been dysfunctional.
I had gone to work in the Alcoholism Recovery
field by this time and was confronted daily with the symptoms of Codependence
and Adult Child Syndrome. I recognized that the definition of Codependence
was also expanding. As I continued my personal Recovery, and continued to
be involved in helping others with their Recovery, I was constantly looking
for new information. In reading the latest books and attending workshops,
I could see a pattern emerging in the expansion of the terms "Codependent"
and "Adult Child." I realized that these terms were describing the same phenomenon.
I was troubled, however, by the fact that
every book I read, and every expert with whom I came into contact defined
"Codependence" differently. I began to try to discover, for my own personal
benefit, one all-encompassing definition.
This search led me to examine the phenomenon
in an increasingly larger context. I began to look at the dysfunctional nature
of society, and then expanded farther into looking at other societies. And
finally to the human condition itself. The result of that examination is this
book: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, A Cosmic Perspective
on Codependence and the Human Condition.
This book is based upon a talk that I have
been giving for the last few years. I have edited and reorganized, expanded,
added, and clarified information in adapting the talk to book form, but
there is still the flavor and style of a talk throughout much of this book.
I have not attempted to change this for several reasons, the main reason
being that it works in conveying the multi-leveled message that I wish to
One of the reasons for the human dilemma,
for the confusion that humans have felt about the meaning and purpose of life,
is that more than one level of reality comes into play in the experience
of being human. Trying to apply the Truth of one level to the experience
of another has caused humans to become very confused and twisted in our perspective
of the human experience. It is kind of like the difference between playing
the one-dimensional chess that we are familiar with, and the three-dimensional
chess played by the characters of Star Trek - they are two completely different
That is the human dilemma - we have been
playing the game with the wrong set of rules. With rules that do not work.
With rules that are dysfunctional.
I was terrified beyond description the first
time I gave this talk in June of 1991. It seemed as if emotional memories
of what it felt like to be stoned to death by an angry mob were assaulting
my being. I went ahead with it anyway, because it is what I needed to do
for myself. I needed to stand up in public and own my Truth. I needed to
own the Truth that I had come to believe in, the Truth that worked for me
to allow me to find some happiness, peace, and Joy in my life. I found that
other people found Joy and peace in my message also.
So now I share this message with you, the
reader of this book, in the hopes that it will help you to remember the Truth
of who you are, and why you are here. This information is not meant to be
absolute or the final word - it is meant as an alternative perspective for
you to consider. A Cosmic Perspective that just might help to make life an
easier, more enjoyable experience for you.
for being real, for being a friend, for being an angel on my path.
Marianne Duncan -
for the reminder that I am a Spiritual Being meant to sing a song of Joy.
Jana Cunningham -
for having the openness and willingness to be the messenger of a most vital
Lou Catchings -
for pushing, encouraging, and planting the self-publishing seed.
Jane Vaughn -
for being there when I very much needed a friend, as were Vicki Carlson,
Derek Gordon, Terri Roehm & Louie Bennington.