Helplessness and codependency

I am currently starting to question myself as a person in different kind of relationships. Few days ago I complained to a friend of mine that I feel I am not bringing much to my relationships and that I am mostly taking. One would say – a typical codependent relationship where I am someone who is being taken care of. And yes, I have been in this place several times before. However, at this point I was still under the impression or was trying to somehow please these other people as well. Now, when the masks have fallen I just feel plain selfish. Other people keep telling me that I am not, but I really cannot shake the feeling that somehow they don’t even comprehend the extent to which I am.

My ex, with his many flaws, I think got this evaluation right on me. He complained that he was giving me much more than I returned. I think I need to agree with him, however the reasons behind it are probably more complicated than just me being selfish.

I am realizing that I don’t think I have much valuable to give to people. I have grown so used to seeing myself as helpless and somehow non functional that I really see myself as this tornado causing harm to other people. Yes, I have several good qualities and I am a quite tornado, I am not a needy, demanding, drama causing tornado, but I feel I am the kind of, I am too helpless to take care of myself tornado. Seeing yourself from this perspective is not the most flattering thing.

I think in the end, why I feel that way and why I have adapted such behaviors throughout my life is because my mum felt so afraid that she will be abandoned unless she makes it clear that I am absolutely helpless without her. That involved different strategies. It involved doing some simple things for me and questioning my abilities to do that, like ordering taxi when I would go to the airport. But it also involved telling me that without her help I would have never learned things, for instance take her statement that I would have never learned how to read, had it not been for her. She painted this image of me as completely talentless and helpless struggling person who was in desperate need for someone to be there for her. And then she used this to manipulate me, by counting all the favors she had done for me when she needed me to do something. She threatened to abandon me, knowing fully well that because of the dependency she had created, these threats would be much more effective. Mind me, I doubt that it was fully conscious strategy, but stil….

So to this day I am someone who is used to seeing myself as helpless and prone to mess things up. I have built my life around this idea, being afraid to immerse myself fully in a grownup life and looking for partners that would be willing to take care of me. To be honest I am not sure if this belief is even fully reversable, because it seems to be the bottom layer of my whole personality. See dysfunctions can be the building grounds for most of your personality. In my case, I have developed my social skills, my empathy, my charm, my humor and my cuteness to compensate for this helplessness and to find such caretakers. I have no idea how far I can go with changing my belief in terms of helplessness and how it might affect the rest of my personality.