Adult/inner-child  syndrome and co-dependency explained

The term "inner/adult-child"syndrome was first used to describe the deep rooted and lasting effects of children who grow up with a parent who is either alcoholic or drug addicted.  It has since evolved to describe not only adults who experienced the negative effects of substance abuse but any type of troubled childhood.  This includes families that were in-tact but  possible one or both   parents were emotionally unavailable, physically or emotionally  abusive, negligent, or presented some type of type mental illness.   As adults these children have unique challenges in developing healthy communication and relationship skills.  Healing is possible but it doesn't happen automatically.  It takes awareness to understand what went wrong, and willingness to make changes. 


Codependency is when two people  become enmeshed with each other and personal boundaries are not clearly defined.   Codependents have an exaggerated need to either control, or rescue and nurture  (or both) others with behaviors  such as addictions, narcissism, or emotional or physical abuse.   The relationship often seems "one-sided" with the codependent person feeling victimized.  They generally rely on others to  meet  esteem needs which is why codependents often enable others to continue the "undesirable" behaviors.  Even without the presence of such a person, codependents often give away their personal power and their self-esteem is  contingent on the approval of others.   

 Some of the many common characteristics of the "adult-child/inner-child"  and co-dependent are:

  • feel isolated; uncomfortable with authority

  • seek approval; want to please others and lose identity in the process

  • people-pleasing: often placing others needs before ones own 

  • self worth stemming from approval of others;

  • become substance users, marry them, or BOTH

  • over-developed sense or responsibility

  • difficulty making decisions, afraid they'll choose something unpopular or not gain approval 

  • doing for others what they ought to be doing for themselves

  • making excuses for others unacceptable behaviors

  • feel guilty when standing up for oneself or judging oneself harshly; become perfectionists 

  • become addicted to excitement and feel bored in the absence of crisis

  • deny feelings and end up feeling numb; having emotions come out "sideways"

  • deep feelings of shame; never feeling good enough or having enough; fearing if anyone "really" knew us they'd see we were damaged and leave 

  • terrified of abandonment; stay in bad relationships long after they should end.

Without recovery, these beliefs atay buried and are often unconscious. However, they are at the CORE of every thought and action adult-children or codependents make in their  adult lives.  


So  as adults, they may find :

  •  they are successful but simply not happy 

  •  feel they are victims; life has treated them unfair; blame others their discontent

  • struggle to find   passion or life purpose  OR   they  know what they want in life but something keeps holding them back; they  procrastinate

  • frequently feel overwhelmed taking care of others and not enough time to care for themselves.

  • repeat the same type of negative patterns  over and over  and are unsure why.  

  • attract/attracted to  people who they can either "fix" or who they believe can "fix" them

  • believing that happiness is something that exists in the future or is external (ex: they'll be happy when... they lose weight, have enough money, find the right partner, job, house) 


There IS recovery from codependency but not by ignoring or denying it.  How can you recover from codependency? It starts with identifying your CORE beliefs; understand  them and why they no longer work; and then sharing them to gain a new perspective.  Healing your inner-child and codependency is not only possible, but amazing and  miraculous things will  happen. Recovering adult-children and codependence learn to act consciously rather than react to old programming and finally  live full and contented lives. 

How to heal the inner child and recover from codependency: 

 Weeding out faulty beliefs for a beautiful garden!   








One of the most important steps in growing a beautiful garden is to get rid of all of the weeds. Generally speaking, weeds are simply plants in the wrong place. There are some plants that look like weeds and some weeds that look like plants even. Most weeds are harmless but there are some that are poisonous. The can not only wreak havoc on your roses, but they can be dangerous to other living creatures. Ignoring the weed will not make it go away. Pretending it is a plant will not produce spring tulips. Making excuses that it is a harmless weed does not mean dandelions enhance it. Minimizing the seriousness of a poisonous weed could result in harm to a beloved family pet. And, the only way to get rid of it is to pull it from the root, otherwise it will just grow back and start the cycle all over again.

In healing the inner-child or codependent, a couple of things have to happen so the journey can begin:

a. One must look back to what happened in childhood with adult eyes to understand what went wrong and deeply believe that none of it was ever their fault or about them.

b. Even though the past was not our fault, it was very important to connect the feelings of discontent and being unfulfilled in the present to the hurts experienced as a child.

c. Recognize there are two choices: stop the self-deception, hiding, denying, & minimizing the pain and get help to get to the root of it, or continue with the same thinking that caused the pain and let the cycle of misery repeat again and again and again.


Fortunately, there is freedom in accepting this as reality. Trying to “pretend” everything is OK and expending massive amounts of energy in an attempt to control situations is exhausting. Uncovering the lies allows us to replace them with truths. Letting go of the lies liberates us and allows us to begin to living true to our selves.


This is one of the most important steps to growing a beautiful garden!





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