Co-dependency is an irresponsible attachment to people and/or things; I want that person or thing to “take care” of me, be responsible for me, “make me feel better,” or “rescue me” (control me). Co-dependency is addiction; I attach to other people—or things, or emotions, or food, or money—to “extract” value and worth from them, so I can feel/be “enough,” “whole,” “wanted,” “valued,” and “needed.” I believe I must have that thing or that person in order to be “enough,” “loved,” “desirable,” “important,” “beautiful,” “smart,” “capable,” and “adequate.” Therefore, I manipulate, I go into denial, and I use surreptitious and secretive behavior to get my “need” met. Co-dependency reinforces distorted thoughts, false beliefs, fear, and a lack of boundaries and vulnerability.
Care-taking is a dishonest and manipulative attempt to “make” you or someone else meet my needs. Care-taking looks like I am giving to another person, yet it is not a gift and it is not free. I am “giving” with an agenda and expectation that I will receive something in return.
I care-take by manipulating the other person to believe I am there to take care of them, when in Reality, I am focused on “making” them meet my needs. My focus on “caring” for the other person creates false and distorted perceptions of pseudo-value, being needed and loved, etc. However, this is an illusion. The Truth is, I am dropping my responsibility to care for myself—something that nobody else can ever do for me. I can’t feel authentic emotions of love and care by care-taking someone else; I must care for (be responsible for) myself first.
When I care-take, my focus is on “I”: “What I want,” “What I think,” “What I feel,” “What I believe is best,” “What I need to ‘make me’ feel whole and loved.” Care-taking is not about the other; it is about myself. Yet, I deceive myself and you to believe, “I’m doing this for you!”