Codependency and #MeToo: A New Way Forward


So, to recap Part One, we discussed our history as women as it relates to our relationship with men and how up until the middle to late 20th century we didn’t have laws to protect us from abuses. Women, along with children, were property of men. Men could abuse us with no consequences. We also discussed codependency and what it means as it relates to our discussion here. We are going to stick with our understanding of codependency as a system of distortions that exists on a continuum. Codependents learn personality traits that interfere with knowing one’s self and others. The people-pleasing aspect of codependency might drive the ignoring of who we are trying to please.

Consequences of These Two Paradigms!

  1. Compliance
  2. Service to Abusers
  3. No voice
  4. No Rights
  5. Endure Abuse
  6. Poor self-esteem
  7. Please others at all cost
  1. Anyone who was about to be sexually (or physically) abused would be taught to Scream No and Slap the person hard across the face. The slap would be the universal signal for the troops/other women to come in and assist.
  2. Anytime someone was about to ingest a toxic substance it would turn into a delicious Kale salad.
  3. Anytime a child was about to be hurt- a guardian angel/hero would come into protecting the child.
  4. Anytime someone was about to get money from stepping on another person’s face/soul/being, the money would magically go back where it belonged.

New Tools for Safe Situations

I think we can do part of one of my dreams. We can all learn to yell loudly “ Stop “ if someone starts to touch us inappropriately without our permission in a crowded situation. If someone sexually touches you in a store, on a plane, on the sidewalk, at a party, at work, or anywhere you might not want to cause a scene, cause the scene and take care of yourself. Use “Stop, what are you doing?” or “Hey, what was that?”. Our compliant self will try to deny it is happening and not want to make a scene. Don’t let your compliant self win!

Moving Forward

We have just touched on a few tools for moving forward. These tools are simple but powerful. Once you practice with a friend to say “Stop/What are you doing?/Don’t do that!,” you will find all the messages coming up which have prevented you from saying “Stop.”

Psychotherapist, Speaker, Coach, and Author of “Backbone Power The Science of Saying No”