About Randi

Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.

 
 

A Reader Asks, "Am I Codependent?"



Question and answer time.

Q. I have a friend who I support a whole lot. My friendship with her adds a positive dimension to my life (most of the time) but sometimes it's a lot of work. Am I just a good friend, a caregiver, or a codependent?

First, let's try to nail some Jello to a tree and define codependency. Rather than quote a bunch of blah blah, let's look at the lyrics of a great song by John Forester, called Codependent With You.


You hold your breath, dear, and I turn blue
'Cause I'm so codependent with you

Your life was screwed up
Now mine is too
'Cause I'm so codependent with you.

Abusive? Hah!
You're way off the curve
But darlin', that's fine
You're all I deserve.

Addicted,
I'm so addicted to all your allures
That when I die
The life that flashes before me will be yours.

Sick as it is I will stick like glue
Though a snake gets more love in the zoo
I'm no garter dear,
I'm a martyr dear
Who is oh so codependent
With you.

 

In some cases, having a working definition of an illness is necessary. But in this case, I don't think it is. Here is my response to this poster:

 

I don't think you should worry about labels. Instead, think about how you feel supporting your friend and how it fits your life. Does it make you crazy and you don't know how to set limits? Are you sick of hearing the same thing again and again? Do you feel taken advantage of? Is it taking time from other things you want to do?

Or can you set limits and go on to other things? Do you feel good that you've helped someone at no expense to yourself? Do you leave her problems with your friend instead of carrying them around?

I think the question comes down to is "Do you have good boundaries? If so, I don't think you have a problem. It's a good reminder to always check your feelings about something, because sometimes your High Conflict Person will accuse you of things and you'll need to take a self-check. Asking others what they think is helpful because sometimes you can't see the forrest for the trees.

And speaking of forrests, check out John's link!

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