📚 The Book in 3 Sentences
- Pia Mellody is internationally recognized as an expert and authority in codependence, addiction, and childhood trauma. In my research, Pia offers the most thorough and complete understanding of codependence available. She is the only person I have seen who recognizes the two subtypes (on one side, the over-empowered/falsely empowered, and the polar opposite, the dis-empowered) of codependence, and this understanding is key. The dis-empowered is the classic example of codependence we think of. Feeling less than, needless and wantless, too dependent, chaotic, an inability to say no, lacking boundaries, give themselves away and caretaking. The less known sub-type of codependence is the falsely empowered. This side of codependence is seen as the model for a successful adult in our society but it is just as dysfunctional. They are arrogant, grandiose, ant-dependent, avoidant, achievement-oriented, invulnerable, perfectionist, walled-off, and controlling. If you think you might be or know that you are struggling with codependence, this is a must-read.
- My personal belief is that this first of her three books quite literally should be required reading for every adult if they want any chance of having a successful relationship with themselves or a significant other. This book is that important.
📕 Who Should Read It?
- Any person who wants their life to be filled with inner joy, peace, calm, consistency, and connection. In the event, your romantic life has included a divorce, a narcissist, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse—constant fighting, breakups, chaos, and confusion, finally, if there was any dysfunction or trauma in your childhood.
📘 How the Book Changed Me
- This book gave me the first glimpse into why my life and relationships were so chaotic and dysfunctional. For the first time in my life, my childhood, my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors made sense. This book showed me that we are all raised codependently. Nobody escapes childhood without this affliction, and therefore I was not alone, bad, or worthless. I was just like everyone else. Because of this book, I now know what healthy relationships look like, how to create them within myself and others, and how to live in adult maturity and moderation. I can actually contain myself and not be affected by others' thoughts or feelings. This book gave me the first taste of my own personal empowerment.
📗 My Top 3 Quotes
- "We got the idea that the way our families behaved toward us was correct, and our caregivers were good. This meant by unconscious deduction that since we weren't happy or comfortable with some things that went on, we were not "good." Also, we apparently couldn't please our parents by being what we were naturally. This delusion that the abuse was normal and we were "wrong" locks us into the disease of codependence with no way out."
- "I have come to believe that dysfunctional, less-than-nurturing, abusive family systems create children who become codependent adults. In addition, our culture's inherent belief that a certain kind of parenting is normal contributes to the difficulty of facing codependence."
- "The term abuse is much broader than most people think. It includes more than the overt physical beatings, injuries, and sexual incest or molestation we commonly associate with the terms. Abuse also takes emotional, intellectual, and spiritual forms. In fact, when I talk about abuse, I now include any experience in childhood (birth to age seventeen) that is less than nurturing.
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