Ideally, the authentic self manifests during the process of individual development, commonly referred to as “individuation,” enabling individuals to differentiate their own emotions, thoughts, desires, perceptions, and behaviours as distinct from those of their family and others. The presence of a dysfunctional family can hinder the process of individuation to different extents. The formation of a “false” codependent self occurs during childhood due to the transgenerational nature of codependency. 

Many individuals who exhibit codependent tendencies often struggle with acknowledging their situation due to their long-standing habit of orienting their thoughts and actions around external factors or individuals. Certain individuals who exhibit codependent tendencies may struggle with the ability to discern and articulate their personal values and opinions. Individuals who possess a high degree of suggestibility are prone to being easily influenced and persuaded into engaging in actions that they may subsequently come to regret. Individuals involved in a conflict often struggle to maintain their perspectives when they are confronted with opposing viewpoints. 

The presence of projection as a defence mechanism in a partner can significantly complicate relationships, turning them into a metaphorical minefield. In such cases, the partner may resort to blaming or accusing their significant other for their own faults or behaviours. One might harbour suspicions of being subjected to abuse; however, when faced with accusations, a state of confusion ensues, leading to the questioning of one’s own perceptions. There is a possibility that one may find oneself compelled to offer an apology for having provoked the ire of an individual who engages in abusive behaviour. During the process of recovery, it is imperative to engage in the rediscovery of one’s identity. The process of natural and unconscious development, which typically occurs during childhood, now necessitates a deliberate and introspective reorientation in adulthood. The exertion of effort is imperative due to the inherent inclination to engage in denial and externalise one’s self.

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