A dysfunctional relationship with self and others caused by childhood trauma. (Pia Mellody) If a child suffers significant trauma or abuse growing up it can lead to a variety of problems including damaged self-esteem, poor boundaries, emotional problems such as being overwhelmed and controlled by emotions or not feeling them at all; lack of self-care, addictions, relationship difficulties, lack of intimacy, love addiction and love avoidance, communication problems, mental illness, personality disorders, even physical illness, and allergies
If a child receives enough love and functional parenting in the form of affirming, nurturing and healthy limit setting/protection they are then able to value themselves and others as having inherent worth, nurture themselves and protect and limit themselves appropriately. This leads to healthy, fulfilling relationships.
If a child receives too much criticism, or abandonment, or is not set healthy limits and protected enough, or is invited to fail, or if they are used by the adult to meet the adult’s needs then Co-dependency is born. They take on negative beliefs which dominate their lives. Such people can operate from feeling better than others (arrogant) or less than others (worthless) and to be controlling, dishonest or manipulative of others in an attempt to feel ok or to never feel good enough whatever success is achieved. People can end up over helping others and getting resentful, being ‘bad’ or trying to be ‘good and perfect’. These and other symptoms cause chaos in a person’s relationships.