May 5, 2021

Victim Blaming Post #1 Codependency

I will be doing a series of posts about some victim blaming terms that many people may not be aware of that are harming victims of abuse, like Codependency, Prodependency, Trauma Bonded, Stockholm Syndrome, Reactive/Mutual Abuse, Drama Triangle, Learned Helplessness, etc <-- all terms made up by men and applied to women they thought were crazy, much like Hysteria (Which sadly still exists in the DSM, they just call it Histrionic now ๐Ÿ˜ณ). This post will be about Codependency. 

Codependency was a word made up by abusive cheating addicts from Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in 1935, and was then used by Al-Anon (Sister of AA) when it was formed in 1951. The word later became widely popular by therapists and also authors like Melody Beattie in the 1980's. Addicts basically believed their loved ones were acting just as crazy as an addict by displaying similar behaviors (what THEY considered to be neurosis, controlling, neediness, paranoia, ritualizing etc.) and so they assumed their loved ones must be "addicted" to the addict/addicts addiction, therefore needing the exact same 12 steps as the addict (same wording and everything). This is why Al-Anon and S-anon and COSA etc. were created, to help treat all the obsessed dysfunctional family members of addicts --- also so they'd no longer hinder the addicts recovery which was the main goal (Read Al-Anons "To Wives" below๐Ÿ™„). These 12 step manuals subtly teach family members the belief that they have just as many issues and are as diseased as the addict. 

Sadly, there's a huge movement out there where therapists and organizations (many of the top sex addiction organizations in the world) will remove the WORD "Codependency" and instead slap the word trauma over it, without ever getting rid of the codependency treatment or victim blaming content. So it's still victim blaming, except it's masked in the word "trauma", thus making it more confusing and harder to spot, and in my mind more dangerous. An example of this is how it was publicly stated by Stefanie Carnes that only 1-2% of CSATS still use the codependency model. Yet an ongoing poll showed 74% of betrayed wives experienced a CSAT covertly using the codependency model. There's a huge difference in what is SAID, and what actually happens. 

Victims deserve better than to be continually blamed. 

Sex addiction

Ok, I'M Not Codependent. But Doesn't Codependency Exist? 

No. Codependency Isn't Real. It needs to be completely abolished. 

I mean sure, Codependency exists in about the same way Hysteria/wandering womb or Stockholm syndrome exists. Meaning yes it's used a lot, and the word does exist in the dictionary, but the very foundation of what it is and what it MEANS is based in things that aren't true or real and that are incredibly victim blaming. ๐Ÿ˜ข

For example, when it comes to Stockholm Syndrome, have you ever listened to the victims story of whom it was named after, Kristin Enmark? Hear HER tell the story (through a friend who spoke English)? It was awesome. She is a brave amazing woman. She didn't fall in love with her captor, that was all lies created by men. She was surviving. Yet some mysogynistic psychiatrist comes along and thinks she's not acting "scared" enough, and isn't behaving like he thinks a good little victim should, and so what does he do? He creates a syndrome to explain what he doesn't understand (and I personally think to get back at her for publicly snubbing him and the reckless police during the hostage๐Ÿ˜Š). But guess what? He never once spoke to her in order to get her opinion or experience. She asked to speak to him and he refused to. He created a syndrome and a label founded on someone he never once spoke to ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿคฆ Oy, what a mess.. 

This is what I mean when I say that the very basis for Stockholm Syndrome isn't based on anything real. The foundation is built upon lies.

Same with codependency. If you go read the roots of the codependency model before the name was created, you'll find research papers from the 1890's, 1920's, 30's, 40's etc that were all based on incorrect information about women.

Many of the beginning foundations of codependency came from Dr Karen Horney (was influenced by Freud and other men), who had some good ideas, but also some horribly whacky ideas. For example, women had issues because they wished they had a penis AND because they didn't have a penis to hold while they pee'd ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿคฃ. Have hysteria? It's because you have penis envy. A woman have issues with masturbation? It's because of penis envy. Depressed? Penis envy, etc

So should we really take any diagnosis or label seriously when it was literally born in sexist mysogynistic beliefs by people who believed women were masochists and basically bat star crazy??? ๐Ÿคช 

This is why codependency was originally created. Again, they thought all the wives of alcoholics were just as addicted, diseased, and messed up as the addict, so they created the name "codependent" JUST for those darn crazy wives. Dr Fox once stated in a paper in 1955 : "[the wife of an alcoholic is] the protective, maternal kind of women who marries a man whom she knowsto be an alcoholic, in order to, she thinks, help him over his addiction. But unconsciously she wants no part of his recovery. Her need is to dominate a weaker man; his recovery is an actual threat to her neurotic demand that he be weak,inferior, helpless, and dependent. . . . It may be the wife who makes sure the drinking problem remains insoluable.".๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฒ 

And then in 1973, Dr Fox states the wife's personality disturbance as being "even more serious than her alcoholic husband's", and cites Boggs(1944), Futterman (1953), and Whalen (1953) to back her up. All of whom were incredibly victim blaming towards women as well. THIS was the majority mentality towards women before and after codependency was created. 

These are just small small examples of what I'm talking about, and I'll show you more down below. I've read most of the old research studies and scholar papers myself. I've SEEN the evolution of how codependency was created, and my brain about exploded in doing so ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿคฏ. 

Codependency has been blaming victims for over 70 years. No, it's not a real diagnosis. We cannot and should not call a horribly sexist mysogynistic diagnosis real, simply because it became a popular label that everyone uses. No matter how much it's watered down, it's not real and is always going to be victim blaming. Codependency wasn't based on truth or facts then, and it's not based on truth or facts now. 

The sexist outdated victim blaming HAS to stop ๐Ÿ˜ข Help us stop it. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข


- In 1924 Karen Horney wrote a paper called "On the Genesis of the Castration Complex in Women". Here's where she wrote about penis envy. While some of her views differed from Freud and I love that she opposed him occasionally, her views were still very similar at the time.

Since this paper can be hard to find to the public, here's a link with a few screenshots:

- Karen Horney in 1945 published a paper (book) called "Our Inner Conflicts". This is where she presents some pre-codependancy ideas of what she called "Compliant Type/Moving Towards" or a "sadistic deep need". In it she gave examples of what she defined as someone with this type of neurosis. *Note, she is clear that this the person in this type is neurotic and unhealthy and acting out from a place of mental illness :

"Dependance on others" 

"Self-esteem rises and falls with their [others] approval or disapproval" 

"[Thinks] Love will fix all" 


"Needs love, attention, protection" 

"Plays a victim, 'poor me' " 


"Invites exploitation" 

"Need for affection and approval" 

"Need for a partner friend lover spouse" 

"Does anything to fit in and be agreeable" 

"Needs to be liked wanted desired, loved, approved" 

"Masochistic drive" 

"Self-sacrificing, and selfish, undemanding" 

"Does what others want, never what they want" 

"Shoulders blame" 

"Overly apologetic" 

"Represents himself" 

"Can't be alone" 


Any of these sound familiar? ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿคญ Obviously many other researchers had similar notions before and after she wrote this, but this is just one of many examples. You can also find many similarities of codependency in the "Hysteria" diagnosis in the 1900's, as well. Interestingly enough, this was also the same inspiration for the Drama Triangle and many other victim blaming modalities. They all are born from the same crap place ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜œ

- "Wife of Alcoholic : Sexist Stereotypes" PDF by Decker, Redhorse, Green & Starrett. Excellent research paper ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜!!!! This paper gives MANY examples from several researchers of sexism and mysogyny surrounding the victim blaming of wives of alcoholics, including the label of co-alcoholism (codependency, co-addiction, and co-alcoholism all come from the same place). It's absolutely amazing that this was written in 1983, considering many therapists/researchers today still can't grasp these basic concepts. It's comforting to know that there WERE researchers back then who opposed codependency and victim blaming. Sadly their voices were drowned out and not remembered, since it wasn't the "popular" opinion ๐Ÿ˜ข

- Excellent paper by Greg Dear called Blaming the Victim: Domestic Violence and the Codependency Model (PDF)

If that link doesn't work, try this one

- Co-dependency: Implications for Women and Therapy by VanWormer

PDF download of the same paper by VanWormer:

- Here's another example of the frame of mind these men had of women back then. This is written to the wives of alcoholics, by AA founder Bill Wilson, but he's PRETENDING TO WRITE IT AS A WIFE ๐Ÿคฎ Bill felt that dealing with the addiction was a wife's "burden to bear", and despite alll the obvious abuse, she must never condemn her husband or show anger. Ew. 

Here's a few tidbits :

"There was never financial security..... 

Sometimes there were other women. How heart-breaking was this discovery; how cruel to be told they understood our men as we did not!.... 

The bill collectors, the sheriffs, the angry taxi drivers, the policemen, the bums, the pals, and even the ladies they sometimes brought home—our hus-bands thought we were so inhospitable. “Joykiller, nag, wet blanket”—that’s what they said.....

..We have told small tots that father was sick, which was much nearer the truth than we realized. They struck the children, kicked out door panels, smashed treasured crockery, and ripped the keys out of pianos. In the midst of such pandemonium they may have rushed out threatening to live with the other woman forever.... The unexpected result was that our husbands seemed to like it.. 

.. Try not to condemn your alcoholic husband no matter what he says or does. He is just another very sick, unreasonable person. Treat him, when you can, as though he had pneumonia. When he angers you, remember that he is very ill.... 

The first principle of success is that you should never be angry. Even though your husband becomes unbearable and you have to leave him temporarily, you should, if you can, go without rancor. Patience and good temper are most necessary. Our next thought is that you should never tell him what he must do about his drinking. If he gets the idea that you are a nag or a killjoy, your chance of accomplishing anything useful may be zero. He will use that as an excuse to drink more. He will tell you he is misunderstood. This may lead to lonely evenings for you. He may seek someone else to console him— not always another man.... 

Next time you and he have a heated discussion, no matter what the subject, it should be the privilege of either to smile and say, “This is getting serious. I’m sorry I got disturbed. Let’s talk about it later.”...."

Alcoholics Anonymous : To Wives (PDF)

- Interesting article about how it's a myth that adult children of alcoholics display a similar profile of symptoms, or are syndromed. Hopefully this screenshot is clear. If not then search within the document for the word codependent. :

- William White gives a brief chronology of Al-Anon. In it you can see a few examples of the progression of the victim blaming that later formed Al-Anon ๐Ÿคฎ

Other Articles To Read :

Are women who live with abusive partners codependent?

How To Tell If Your Therapist Is Covertly Victim Blaming

Abused Women Are Not Codependent, And Here's Why :

Codependency Harms : Codependency Origins

What's Wrong With Codependency

The Truth About 12 Steps

Examples of How The 12 step Group S-Anon Blames Victims

Are Pornography & Infidelity Abusive to Your Spouse? (*while I do not recommend Minwalla anymore due to his victim blaming and concealment of violence within his literature, this episode is still good)

A Needed Change

Victim Blaming Series :

Victim Blaming Post #2: Reactive Abuse or Mutual Abuse

Victim Blaming Post #3 The Drama Triangle (Karpman Triangle)

Victim Blaming Post #4 Stockholm Syndrome

Victim Blaming Post #5 "Learned Helplessness"

Victim Blaming Post #6 Trauma Bonded

Victim Blaming Post #7 : Prodependency

Victim Blaming Post #8: Ignoring Red Flags