Phthalates in Sex Toys

There has been a lot of discussion about whether manufacturers of sex toys should stop using the chemical phthalates when creating sex toys women can use to generate orgasms. Some scientists claim that phthalates is toxic and can cause problems for women who use products made with the chemical. So, what is phthalates and should you really be worried about using adult toys made with the product?

What is Phthalates?

Phthalates, which you pronounce “thall-eights” is a chemical compound that manufacturers of plastics use to soften hard plastic into softer feeling materials. Manufacturers derive phthalates from Phthalic acid and the compound is commonly used in many every day products that you would find around your home. Sometimes people will call the chemical compound a plasticizer because it softens plastic and makes it jelly like or rubbery. This makes the compound popular with the sex toy manufacturers who need to create soft and lifelike adult toys.

Is it Really Dangerous?

While some scientists have worked to prove that the use of phthalates in any plastic product is dangerous, both to the environment and to the people who encounter the product, no scientist has yet provided definitive proof of any danger. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency recently completed an extensive investigation into the health of chemical substances used in the creation of adult toys. The Survey and Health Assessment of Chemical Substances in Sex Toys report concluded that there was no health risk associated with using these toys, made with phthalates, for one hour a day or less, unless you are pregnant or nursing a baby.

While pregnant women and those nursing babies need to be even more careful, as phthalates can produce the female hormone, estrogen, which can interfere with the pregnancy or milk production, even these women are not at risk if they use a sex toy for a few minutes a day. In 2006, the National Toxology Program reviewed the science and released a warning that phthalates could be harmful to infant males (who do not use sex toys). There is little scientific proof that a woman using adult toys can harm her baby son.

Why You Should NOT Be Worried

First of all, there are plenty of adult toys that do not use phthalates. You can easily check to see if yours does contain the chemical compound by contacting the manufacturer, who under the law must disclose this information to you. If you are really concerned about the possible effect of phthalates on your body, buy a sex toy that does not contain the chemical compound.

Secondly, the toxin is only released to the body when the plastic substance or jelly like substance begins to break down. If you want to be sure that your adult toy is okay to use, you need to simply check it before use for any evidence of ‘wear and tear’. If the plastic appears to be broken, it is time to buy a new sex toy.

Thirdly, the evidence shows that there is no risk to your health if you use a toy containing phthalates for one hour a day or less.

Finally, if you are concerned about the possible toxins of using your adult toy, you can always use a latex condom over your sex toy. You won’t feel the difference and you will prevent any risk, however slight it may be, of your sex toy causing you health problems.

Meanwhile, organizations continue to press manufacturers of women’s sex toys to change the materials used in the manufacturer of the adult toys. Many are listening and you can purchase phthalates free sex toys now.

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Sex Toys to Share

The majority of adult toy enthusiasts are familiar with having adult toys that are specifically targeted at the requirements of males such as enlargement pumps, or those for females that include butterfly stims, but there are also a large number of adult sex toys in the marketplace that are intended to be used by partners. Below are a number of the most popular adult toys for couples available.

Cock Rings with Vibration

Established for a long time as a sex aid for men, cock rings (also called penis rings) are not solely a benefit for males but can also aid with the titillation of the female. This is especially the case with vibrating cock rings that are worn round the base of the male genitalia and assist the man to keep a longer-lasting, thicker and firmer hard on. Nevertheless, unlike ordinary penis rings (which do benefit the female partner by helping to prolong sex), vibrating cock rings either have a built in motor or come with a bullet vibrator that is designed to fix to the penis ring. This excites the clitoris bringing a more enjoyable experience for the woman. A number of vibrating penis rings also have stimulating pleasure nubs on the outer surface for further stimulation.

Fingertip Massagers

Alongside small vibrators, fingertip massagers are the perfect items to use in foreplay. Finger massagers are available as supple sleeves that fit onto the finger and come with a raised textured surface, and ones that have a vibrating bullet included. Use fingertip massagers to gently touch the surface of your partner’s skin to get them prepared for lovemaking. Also available are finger stimulators with tapered ends for use in anal play.

Penis Sleeves

Penis sleeves can also benefit both the male and the female partner. They come as either single ended or open ended sleeves. The single ended versions usually have an extension at the tip of the sleeve which enables the man to add supplementary inches to the penis which permits the receiving partner to enjoy a deeper level of penetration if wished for. A number of examples also have pleasure nodules on the surface. The open-ended penis sleeves are available either as in a pack or as singles and have different stimulating surfaces on the outside which invigorate the female. Penis sleeves are stretchy so that they fit all penis sizes.

Remote Control Adult Toys

Remote control sex toys are one of the most popular types of adult toys lately. These sex toys are usually wireless with some of them having a range of up to 10 metres. Simply pass on the controller to your other half and let the fun commerce! Usually coming with multispeed functions available by touching a button, remote control sex toys can be used any place as long as they’re within the controller’s range. When the female is wearing a bullet vibrator or an egg and their partner has the controls, she can have any amount of sensations whilst not being in control.

Sex Toys for the Shower

To help you enjoy better shower sex there are a variety of items available in addition to vibrators such as an attachment that transforms your shower into a unit with 2 heads in order that both parts of the couple can remain warm and wet at the same time, suction handles that fix to the tiles which allows you to have fun with different shower sex positions without sliding and even shower suction cuffs so that you can enjoy soft bondage while you’re under the running water.

Adult toys that are traditionally associated with solo use can also be used as sex toys for couples. A rabbit sex toy, can for instance, be used by the man to satisfy the woman instead of the female using it on her own. Similarly, a woman can use a male masturbator on her fella instead of him using it as a solo toy. Use your imagination and enjoy adult toys together.

Amy Shepherd works in marketing for Venus Sales Ltd, a UK based online retailer operating a number of retail sites including Sinful Sensations who stock sex toys for couples.

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Spice Things Up With Adult Sex Toys

Sexuality is something that we have to be comfortable with. It takes a certain degree of trust to and comfort to be intimate with someone. Once you have that, it can be a lot of fun to try out new things. Adult sex toys come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There really are countless gadgets and innovative products to choose from. As our society becomes more and more open, it has become perfectly normal for couples to use toys in the bedroom. Maybe things are fine as it is, but you can always add something extra just to switch things up.

Over time, relationships become stronger, and this is a good thing. The only problem is it may lead to the same old thing every day and the sexuality that brought us together is forgotten. You do not want to get bored because that is unhealthy for the relationship. It is in our nature to become overly accustomed to our partner. If this happens, consider adult toys as an option for putting that spark back into the relationship that you have. Talk about sex toys with your significant other, or if you want, you could surprise them. This could be on a special occasion like a birthday or an anniversary. It could also be any old day of the week, just for the heck of it.

Mixing things up can be really good for relationships that have gone a bit stale. There are certainly many different kinds of sex toys to try. Being more romantic and detail oriented definitely helps, but there is not substitute for a passionate moment between you and your partner. If you want to turn up the heat in your relationship, try out some adult toys. It may provide just the spark to ignite your sexuality that you were looking for.

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Sexy Lingerie and Adult Sex Toys Are Great Gifts on Valentines Day

So what are the legends of Valentine’s Day? It is not really known and is shrouded in Mystery as to exactly how the tradition began. All we know for sure is that it started around 270 AD. It is known that February is the traditional day to celebrate this holiday. Let’s take a look at a few of the legends that surround the beginning of this sexy day.

The first is that of Emperor Claudius II. During his rule he thought that a single man would make a better worrier than a married man. As such he declared that marriage was an outlawed event of all young single men. This of course makes some sense in that a married man would clearly miss his wife when in the field. However, anyone in the field becomes lonely and their minds would always revert back to that special woman whether married or not. Needless to say the emperor outlawed marriage. The legend contends that Saint Valentine who was a priest serving during the third century in Rome recognized this injustice and defied the Emperor’s decree and continued to marry the young lovers secretly. This was obviously very risky and as a result the priest was put to death when he was discovered.

Another story is that Valentine may have been killed because he was assisting Christian in escaping from Roman prisons. However, this only demonstrates that this was a good man and does not explain the day of lovers. While another legend states that he was actually a prisoner and sent the first valentine greeting from prison to his young love who was thought to be the daughter of his jailer. The legend say that before being put to death he sent this young lady a greeting which he signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still used today.

No matter what the real story is; it is clear that this man’s appeal was as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic individual. During Valentine’s Day we hope that the lovers we have encountered are just as good as if not better than Saint Valentine himself.

So what is makes a good gift for this day of lovers? Of course flowers and candy are a nice gesture, but not very sexy. In today’s world sexy can and should be expressed differently.

A few ideas that may be appealing to all the lovers could be Sexy Lingerie instead flowers and candy. First of all flowers will die and the candy will make our lover fat. Neither seems to be a good option. The Sexy Lingerie on the other hand has a benefit for both lovers and will last long after Valentine’s Day. So we recommend getting online and finding some Sexy for the both of you that will last the entire year not just a few days.

Another good idea is to look into the Adult Sex Toy market and find something sexy there. Adult Sex Toys are one of those items that are sure to please. It does have to be hardcore, and could be as simple as a sexy game. However, a multifunction device is another item that will last long after Valentine’s Day, and stated previously fun to be had by all.

So prepare yourself to really enjoy Valentine’s Day and Make Sexy Count not for just one day, but for the year upcoming. The concept of sexy lovers should not be celebrated on a single day; it should be relished and celebrated often. So keep the Values of Saint Valentines near and dear to your heart always, and let your lover see your feelings often.

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Adult Acne Remedy – Insane Secrets to Achieve Flawless Skin Revealed

Acne problems have often been associated with puberty. However, there are some people who continue to have various forms of acne even as an adult. One common problem faced by many adults is adult acne. Out of all the different types of acne, it is adult acne which has been considered to be the most severe type of acne plaguing adults all over the world.

What is Adult Acne?

Unlike most types of acne where blackheads or whiteheads might be present, adult acne is a type of severe nodular acne brought about infections deep within the pores. The infection causes the development of a cyst-like substance to form and accumulate within the skin. A person that is inflicted with this problem is one who eventually develops low self-esteem and confidence physically. Apart from the painful lesions brought about by adult cystic acne, a person suffering from adult cystic acne would need to deal with constant bleeding of the acne as well as the discharge of the cyst which is often characterized by a foul odor.

Causes of Adult Cystic Acne

No one can really say what causes adult cystic acne. However, there are a number of different probable causes. Some of the causes include:

· Poor hygiene
· Stress
· Hair follicles trapped underneath the surface of the skin
· Unbalanced diet

Treatment for Acne in Adults

While many may consider acne as a normal skin condition, it should not be taken lightly. In fact, in some occasions, a person suffering from this type of acne can eventually develop complications brought up about with the toxins found in the cyst. Here are some common forms of adult cystic treatments:

Prescription Medicines

Perhaps the most common form of treatment is the use of various prescription medications such as Orovo Acne and Oxycerin. These medications come usually in the form of ointments and serums. Prescription medications used in adult acne treatments are applied directly onto the skin. This is then absorbed into the inner layers of the skin, causing it to be able to treat the cyst-like substance characterized among people needing acne treatments.

Surgery

The most extreme form of treatment that is commonly being used is surgery. This type of adult acne treatment is often done is severe conditions. In this case, the depth of the cyst-like substance in the pores cannot be penetrated by other forms of adult acne remedy treatments. Here the cyst-like substance is drained out of the pores completely through a minor surgery procedure. Since this adult acne remedy does promote scarring, many of those who go through this kind of acne treatment are then referred to a cosmetic surgeon to treat the scars.

Rather using any chemical cure, it is always good and advisable to stick with natural cure! As examined before, chemicals might come with side effects, whereas natural cure will never harm you anyways. Natural ingredients like the Omega oils, Aloe Vera, and vitamin oil can create thunders and wonders with respect to adult acne cure. They could even stop swelling, redness and itchiness on your skin. For all these reasons, natural ingredients are always the best for adult acne remedy and treatment.

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Adult Onset Acne – The Facts About Adult Onset Acne

As you get older, you think that your acne will just go away. Think again! Although it is typically associated with teenagers, it is a condition that can continue on our pastor teens and into adulthood. Here are a few simple suggestions that you can use to treat your adult onset acne.

The disease of acne can cause several problems in adults, including social symptoms, physical, psychological symptoms. The same concerns from having regular or cystic acne, as a preteen or teenager, may still affect you as an adult. According to clinical studies, pimples have become a rising problem with adults.

Many adults may find it hard to treat and also difficult to admit that they have acne at all causing them to not seek treatment. Most adults can actually have a more difficult time dealing with the many psychological effects because there are so many misconceptions that occur in our society.

Some people who were affected by extreme cases, especially cystic acne, as teens do grow out of it. However, there are a surprising number of adults suffer from adult onset acne, a variety of that is becoming more academic everyday.

Acne can also cause discomfort in social situations. It will lower their self-confidence. There is a enormous amount of information available about adult acne, and people who are afflicted with this condition. By seeking psychological counseling, they may be better be able to deal with the psychological effects.

Adults need to be more careful with their skin, even more so than a young adult. Dermatologists have stated for years that an adult’s skin is actually more prone to scarring from acne due to loss of collagen as their skin ages. The scars can’t heal as effectively as they would on a teenager, and therefore become more prominent.

So, there are adult acne cures available at your local store and even over-the-counter. The best solutions are typically prescribed by dermatologists. Once the awareness for this disease has increased, more people will be seeking medical help for their adult onset acne.

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Adult Personals – Fulfilling Your Fantasies Through Adult Dating Websites

People are talking about adult personals. There’s no doubt about it. As regular dating sites are seen as too tame to meet their adventurous needs people are posting adult personals through adult dating websites. Every day thousands of people seeking alternative lifestyles write uncensored adult personals ads. Adult dating websites offers an enticing adult dating community where you are free to share and explore your wildest fantasies.

Imagine browsing through adult photo galleries of handsome men and beautiful women of every size and shape – just waiting to respond to your adult personals. There are many adult dating websites that have 100% free trials with no credit card or payment required to register.

In fact, adult personals are extremely steamy and attention grabbing. Upon entering an adult dating website you will find all types of adult personals. The website designs’ are user-friendly so that you can find your preferences whether its swingers personals, married personals, interracial personals, gay personals or BBW personals.

The opportunities offered by adult dating websites includes video chat rooms with sizzling video clips or watch 24hr live webcams of attractive people whose attire leaves little to the imagination. Plus, you can play interactive games or find out about the hottest adult parties and events in your area.

Some of the top adult dating websites are Yahoo adult personals and Adult Friend Finder personals. In the exciting world of adult personals, people are often looking for discreet local relationships.

But before you jump into the world of adult personals or brave the gates of any adult dating website, you should have a healthy self-image and a sense of self-liberation. What’s more, the adult dating sites contain mature material, pictures and contents for individuals seeking alternative encounters.

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Codependence: A Manifestation of the Adult Child Syndrome

1. Codependence as a Concept:

Those who identify with the adult child syndrome-that is, were brought up in a dysfunctional, alcoholic, or abusive home-of-origin and suffer from arrested development-often are also afflicted with a disease known as “codependence.” What does it have to do with the fundamental syndrome and what is it to begin with?

The understanding of a concept can often be augmented with comparisons, which increase the clarity of one when discussed in relation to the other. In this case, oddly, it can be achieved with the field of astronomy and what is known as a binary star.

Consisting of two identical stars, each locks on to the other’s gravity and perpetually orbits the other until one or the other ultimately dies out. They can be considered “codependent,” because they look toward the other and therefore rely on it for their existence. They are not independent.

Adult children may, at times, engage in their own binary star symbiosis with people. But why?

2. Origin of the Term:

Those who live with or are closely associated with those who are chemically or alcoholically dependent for their daily functioning can be considered “codependent,” because they quickly become “dependent” with and through them. Although the primary person may be considered the one afflicted with the disease, the secondary one or ones, who are usually the children chronically exposed to his or her behavior, adopt a byproduct of it, struggling to keep it together and function as optimally and efficiently as they can in the world after childhood circumstances progressively pulled them apart. Liquor and/or other substances need not be present.

Indeed, para-alcoholism, an early term for codependence, implies that a person’s actions are driven by the unresolved, painful emotions and fears he was forced to shelve in order to survive the unstable and sometimes detrimental effects of being raised by the alcoholic himself.

3. Origins, Definitions, and Manifestations of the Disease:

The codependent seed is planted when a person turns his responsibility for his life and happiness to either his ego (false self) or others, becoming preoccupied with them to the extent that he temporarily rises above his own pain and, in its extreme, can entirely forget who he even is, when he consistently mirrors someone else-in other words, if he looks out here to the other, he will not have to look in there to himself.

“Codependence, (a major manifestation of the adult child syndrome), is a disease of lost self-hood,” according to Dr. Charles L. Whitfield in his book, “Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition” (Health Communications, 1991, p. 3). “It can mimic, be associated with, aggravate, and even lead to many of the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual conditions that befall us in daily life.

“When we focus outside of ourselves, we lose touch with what is inside of us: beliefs, thoughts, feelings, decisions, choices, experiences, wants, needs, sensations, intuitions… These and more are part of an exquisite feedback system that we can call our inner life.”

In short, a person can sever his connection with his consciousness and consciousness is who he really is.

Like expecting a home appliance to operate without plugging it into an electric socket, a codependent may merge with and feed off of another to such an extent that he no longer believes he can function independently.

The origins of the malady are the same as those which cause the adult child syndrome.

“The hallmark of codependency is taking care of people who should have been taking care of you,” according to Dr. Susan Powers of the Caron Treatment Centers.

Instead of being self-centered and expecting to get their needs met, children from dysfunctional, alcoholic, or abusive homes are forced, at a very early age, to become other- or parent-centered, meeting their needs, attempting to resolve or fix their deficiencies, and sometimes making Herculean efforts to achieve their love in what may be considered an ultimate role reversal.

If this dynamic could be verbally expressed, the parent would say, “What I can’t do, you’re expected to do yourself, substituting you for me.”

And this reality may well extend beyond themselves, since they are often forced to replace their parents during times that their younger siblings have need for them, becoming surrogate mothers and fathers.

In essence, they disregard their own need for a parent and become one themselves. Instead of being nurtured, they cultivate codependence, since it places them on a path that will entail seeking it in others.

“Our experience shows that the codependent rupture, which creates an outward focus to gain love and affection, is created by a dysfunctional childhood… ,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 60.) “The soul rupture is the abandonment by our parents or caregivers… (and) sets us up for a life of looking outward for love and safety that never comes.”

This condition is only exacerbated by the same parents who neither support nor permit a child to express or heal his hurts-and may actually be met with denial or shame if he tries to do so-leaving him little choice but to stuff and swallow them, resulting in a repressed, but mounting accumulation of unresolved negative emotions. After repeated squelching of a child’s observations, feelings, and reactions-in essence, his reality-he progressively disconnects from his true self and denies his crucial inner cues.

Unraveling, he is poised on the threshold that leads from in to out-that is, toward others and away from himself, sparking the conflict between his once true and since replaced false self, which manifests itself as codependence.

Forced, additionally, to focus on his parent’s moods, attitudes, and behaviors further plants the roots of this condition, but nevertheless becomes a necessary survival tactic for two primary reasons.

First and foremost, children assume responsibility for their parents’ deficiencies and ill treatment by justifying it, erroneously reasoning that their own flaws, lack of worth, and general unloveability are the culprits for the withholds of their validation and acceptance, thus shifting the burden from the ones who should be carrying it to the one who should not.

Secondly, adopting a sixth sense concerning their parents’ moods becomes a safety gauge and enables them to emotionally and physiologically prepare themselves for what has most likely become habitual and even cyclical negative confrontations of verbal and physical abuse.

As episodes of “expected abnormalcy,” they add insurmountable layers of trauma to the original, but no longer remembered one. Unable, then or now, to use the body’s fight or flight survival mechanisms, yet still drowned in a flood of stress hormones (cortisol) and elevated energy, they have no choice but to tuck themselves into the inner child protective sanctuary they created at a very young age as the only realizable “solution” to the parental-threatened and -inflicted danger, enduring, tolerating, and downright surviving the unfair power play and “punishment” they may believe is being administered because of “deserved discipline.”

Like signals, a mere frown on or cringe of a parent’s face may prime the child for the episodes he knows will assuredly follow. So thick can the tension in the air become at these times, that he can probably cut it with a knife.

Part of the wounding, which reduces a person’s sense of self and esteem and increases his feeling of emptiness, occurs as a result of projective identification. Volatility charged, yet unable to get to the center of or bore through his emotional pain, a parent may project, like a movie on to a screen, parts of himself on to another, such as his vulnerable, captive child, until that child takes on and identifies with the projection.

Releasing and relieving himself, the sender, (the parent) does not have to own or even take responsibility for his negative feelings. If the recipient (the child) ultimately acts them out after repeated projected implanting, whose emotions now mount into uncontainable proportions, the sender may berate or belittle him for them, in an ultimate out-of-persona dynamic, which transfers emotions from one to the other.

“If we have unhealthy boundaries, we are like sponges that absorb the painful, conflicted material of others sent from their inner life,” wrote Whitfield in “Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition” (Health Communications, 1991, p. 93). “It is clearly not ours, yet we soak it up.

“(This only causes) the true self to go into hiding to protect itself from the overwhelming pain of mistreatment, abuse, lack of being affirmed and mirrored in a healthy way, and the double and other negative messages from toxic others around it,” he noted.

These incidents, needless to say, become breeding grounds for both the adult child syndrome and its codependent manifestation.

“The adult child syndrome is somewhat interchangeable with the diagnosis of codependence,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, pp. 6-7). “There are many definitions for codependence; however, the general consensus is that codependent people tend to focus on the wants and needs of others rather than their own. By doing so, the codependent or adult child can avoid his or her own feelings of low self-worth… A codependent focuses on others and their problems to such an extent that the codependent’s life is often adversely affected.”

Part of a codependent’s breeding occurs because a child needs his parents for his emotional and psychological development, yet he often dips into a dry well when he connects with them to achieve this goal, emerging dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and almost stung by the negative, rejecting energy. He may, in fact, implement several strategies to attain what he vitally needs, but will often fail, since his parents themselves never received what he seeks because of their own dysfunctional or incomplete childhoods.

If they could be considered profit-and-loss statements, they would most likely show an emotional deficit and, eventually, so, too, will the child, prompting his ultimate outward- and other- focus.

Bombarded with parental blame and shame, a child can quickly believe that he causes others’ negative or detrimental actions by virtue of his sheer existence, as if he were a negatively influencing entity and may carry both this belief and its burden for most of his life.

“As children, we took responsibility for our parents’ anger, rage, blame, or pitifulness… ,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 7). “This mistaken perception, born in childhood, is the root of our codependent behavior as adults.”

Dr. Charles L. Whitfield uncovers an even deeper cause.

“The cause of codependence is a wounding of the true self to such an extent that, to survive, it had to go into hiding most of the time, with the subsequent running of its life by the false or codependent self,” he wrote in “Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition” (Health Communications, 1991, p. 22). “It is thus a disease of lost self-hood.”

“… The child’s vulnerable true self… is wounded so often that to protect (it), it defensively submerges (splits off) deep within the unconscious part of the psyche,” he also noted (p. 27).

This split, one of the many detriments of codependence, arrests this development, as his inner child remains mired in the initial trauma that necessitated its creation. Although his chronological age may advance, his emotional and psychological progress remains suspended, creating the adult child. His body and physical statue may suggest the first part of this “adult” designation to others, but his reactions may more closely approximate the second “child” part of it.

Conflicted, he may engage in an internal battle he does not entirely understand, as his adult side wishes and needs to function at an age-appropriate level, but his child half clings to the sting of his unresolved harm, seeking sanctuary and safety. He is unable to satisfy both.

People naturally seek relief from pain and addictions and compulsions, a second manifestation of codependence, is one of the methods they employ, especially since they lack any understanding about their affliction. Because they spark the brain’s reward system, however, they only provide temporary, fleeting fixes, not solutions.

Exacerbating this dilemma is the fact that they flow from a false sense of self, which itself can only be mollified, quelled, or deceptively filled by these means.

Since their childhood circumstances were both familiar and normal to them, they subconsciously may also attract, now as adult children, those with similar upbringings by means of sixth-sense intuitions or identifications, creating a third codependent manifestation.

“… On (an even) deeper level,” according to Whitefield in “Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition” (Health Communications, 1991, p. 54), “they may also be drawn to one another in a search to heal their unfinished business and, perhaps more importantly, their lost self.”

Nevertheless, inter-relating with others who themselves function from the deficit-dug holes in their souls, they only re-create the childhood dynamics they experienced with their parents, substituting their partners for them and suffering a secondary form of wounding over and above the primary one sustained in childhood. In effect, they become another link in the intergenerational chain.

Even if they encounter whole, loving people, who are able to provide the needed acceptance and validation they crave, they are unable to accept it, since they do not function from the true self that otherwise could-nor, in the event, do they even believe that they deserve it. It bounces off of them like an image on a mirror, only creating yet a fourth byproduct of codependence.

Aside from the codependent foundation laid in childhood by dysfunctional parents, who themselves were wounded and caused the adult child syndrome upon which its codependent aspect was based, the condition is far more prevalent in society than may at first be apparent. Continually, but sometimes subtly modeled, it can almost be considered contagious.

4. Identifying Codependence:

One of the frustrating aspects of codependence is that it either wears a disguise or remains altogether hidden, prompting the behavioral modifications and almost-scripted roles of those who suffer from it, such as rescuer, people-pleaser, perfectionist, overachiever, victim, martyr, lost child, comedian, mascot, bully, and even abuser, that deludes others to the fact that it is present. The motivation for such behavior is not always immediately apparent.

Nevertheless, there are several traits which characterize codependence.

Sparked by the need to protect the traumatized inner child and arising, in part, from disordered relationships, it results, first and foremost, in the creation of the false self, which replaces the genuine, intrinsic one, and becomes the root of all other addictions and compulsions. The emptier a person feels inside, the more he seeks to fill that void outside.

“Codependence is not only the most common addiction,” according to Whitefield in “Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition” (Health Communications, 1991, pp. 5-6), “it is the base out of which all our other addictions and compulsions emerge. Underneath nearly every addiction and compulsion lies codependence. And what runs them is twofold: a sense of shame that our true self is somehow defective or inadequate, combined with the innate and healthy drive of our true self that does not realize and (cannot) express itself. The addiction, compulsion, or disorder becomes the manifestation of the erroneous notion that something outside ourselves can make us happy and fulfilled.”

And underlying codependence is shame and a deep belief that the person is inadequate, incomplete, and flawed.

Avoiding his own negative feelings and painful past, he becomes externally and other-focused, yet is unable to genuinely connect with them, with himself, or with a Higher Power of his understanding through the false or pseudo-self he was forced to create. In fact, this has the opposite or repelling effect.

His boundaries, another aspect of the disease, may be distorted, undefined, and extend beyond himself.

Finally, as a defense, codependence is learned, acquired, progressive, and inextricably tied to the adult child syndrome, since the false self serves as the link between the two.

5. Codependence and the Brain:

Codependence is both additive and breeds addictions. People’s actions are usually motivated by rewards and, in this case, the reward is the temporary disconnection from their painful pasts by focusing on others and the belief that doing so will bring them happiness and fulfillment, as they attempt to avoid their own emptiness and negative self-feelings.

Although they feel flawed because of their upbringing, the real flaw is that an external source can fill and replace an internal one. The more they look toward others, the more they deny and disconnect from their own needs, wants, and deficits.

“This love deficit condemns us to an existence of addiction, para-alcoholism, codependence, or seeking some other outward source to heal an inward feeling of being unwanted or defective,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. 438).

Although certain strategies can temporarily relieve their adverse condition, such as avoiding, depending, obsessing, and compulsing, excessive reliance upon them, as ultimately occurs with codependence, exaggerates them and elevates them to addiction levels, transforming their “benefits” into deficits. Yet doing so is not a solution, since it fails to address the underlying reason for it and only ends up creating what can be considered a byproduct problem.

The more a person seeks gratification to rise above his unresolved past, the more he reinforces the neuro-pathway to pleasure in his brain, cementing the belief that this “other-person” addiction can provide satisfaction through external means-so much so, in fact, that the moment his “fix” is removed or is even threatened to be removed, he crashes and falls back into his pit of pain.

Like all addictions, however, its affects to not end there: indeed, the brain eventually creates a tolerance for them, demanding ever greater quantities, frequencies, and intensities to satisfy him, until he becomes that proverbial binary star, orbiting around others, unable to function without them, as he becomes nothing more than his mirror image.

“Just as we develop a tolerance to the effects of chemicals, we develop a tolerance to the effects of our behaviors… ,” according to Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse and Joseph Cruse in their book, “Understanding Codependency: The Science Behind it and How to Break the Cycle” (Health Communications, 2012, p. 33). “This vicious, one-way circle is a trap that ends in depression, isolation, institutions, and sometimes death.”

Excessive psychological and emotional reliance on others is, in essence, an exaggeration of normal personality traits and can ultimately disable a person, culminating in the disease of codependence. The way the body can quickly become dependent upon mood-altering chemicals, it can equally become physically dependent upon behaviors to the point that compulsions serve as his armament.

“The disease of codependency can be seen as a personal struggle with a variety of compulsive disorders,” Wegscheider-Cruse and Cruse wrote (Ibid, p. 131). “People… have lived in a condition of denial, distorted feelings, and compulsive behaviors, and as a result they have developed low self-worth, deep shame, inadequacy, and anger.”

But the codependent erroneously believes two mistruths. One is that he is intrinsically flawed and the other is that someone outside of himself can fill what he already possesses inside of himself.

6. Recovery:

Problems can be painful, but can often point to solutions-or, at the very least, that they need to be sought.

“Rather than being simply an escape from reality,” wrote Whitfield in “Co-Dependence: Healing the Human Condition” (Health Communications, 1991, p. 98), “codependence is also a search. It starts out as a search for happiness and fulfillment outside ourselves. After repeated frustration, it ultimately becomes a search for inner wholeness and completion.”

Unless recovery is undertaken, usually through therapy and twelve-step program venues, and understanding is achieved, the mistreatment, dysfunction, and abuse that causes a person’s early wound and transforms him into an adult child will only perpetuate, suppressing, paralyzing, or altogether removing the tenets of positive emotions, trust, and love needed for healthy human life and increasing the chances of its byproduct, codependence, by placing him on the fruitless path of looking outside of himself for fulfillment until it reaches addiction levels.

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Understanding the Necessary Changes for Adult Education

When a person decides to continue their education beyond high school, many times they will assume that this new education will be similar to the old education they received. The prospective student makes plans to do what they did before. After all, it worked then, so it should work now. This assumption of similarity leads many new adult students so far astray that they cannot modify their behavior, which means they will typically not complete their program of study, and will not receive the desired degree. All from a bad assumption.

The Cause of the Differences

The reasons high school and adult educations are so different stem from two distinct differences between the two styles of education: the source and the target. When you change the source of the education process, which is the beliefs and assumptions about the student, and the target of the education process, which is the desired level of understanding, it is not unreasonable that the process will change as well.

Adult education starts from a very different image of the student than high school. A high school student usually lives at home, with some level of support from parents. A high school student is also relatively free of responsibilities; very seldom does a high school student have a full-time job, a family, and a household to support. And a high school student is typically very inexperienced in running their own lives. Adult students tend to live on their own, with jobs and families and other responsibilities which must be balanced with school. Briefly, high school students are adolescents while adult students are, well, adults.

The goal of a high school education is to provide a foundational level of understanding of the world the student will be entering. High school classes are designed for a general population and to provide an understanding of the skills and knowledge that is needed for a new adult. Adult education is designed for a much more focused result, providing a more in-depth understanding of a particular subject matter. This focus means that other skills and other aspects of the student are ignored by the courses of an adult program of study.

Implications for the Student

An adult student must approach their courses with a different mindset, and a different set of behaviors, than a high school student. The adult student is given more control over their behavior, and more responsibility.

An adult student is responsible for making sure the work for the class is done, not the teacher. The student will be periodically reminded about missing and upcoming work, but the responsibility for getting the work done is the student’s, not the teacher’s. Many teachers will not allow for late work, or will penalize late work severely. And much of the work of adult classes is done outside of the class.

Classes in adult education cover more material in the same period of time. The teacher will often cover the material once or twice with the assumption that any student who does not understand will work outside of class to learn it and/or will come visit the instructor during office hours. While the adult can expect some repetition in the class, it will be significantly less than what they experienced in high school.

Adult students need to practice time management to a much greater degree than high school students. This need for time management comes from both the increased work load from the course and from the other facets of the student’s life. Adult students are assumed to handle this time management, and if they are having problems they need to seek the necessary help.

Finally, adult students are responsible for their own commitment to the course. High school teachers, given the adolescent nature of their students, are constantly working to get the student to understand why something is studied. This is much less important to an adult teacher; while an adult teacher may provide some justification for the study of certain subjects, the justification for being in school should already be present in an adult student. It is, after all, the student’s choice to attend.

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The Adult Child Syndrome

What exactly is an adult child? Is he a miniaturized adult who somehow never crossed the border from childhood? Was his maturity and development somehow stunted? Does he behave differently? What could have caused all of this to begin with?

“The term ‘adult child’ is used to describe adults who grew up in alcoholic or dysfunctional homes and who exhibit identifiable traits that reveal past abuse or neglect,” according to the “Adult Children of Alcoholics” textbook (World Service Organization, 2006, p. xiii).

“(It) means that we respond to adult interactions with the fear and self-doubt learned as children,” it continues (p. 3). “The undercurrent of hidden fear can sabotage our choices and relationships. We can appear outwardly confident while living with a constant question of our worth.”

But it is much more than this. Home, as is often said, is where the heart is, but in those of adult children there was most likely little heart, when “heart” is defined as “love.”

Self-worth and -esteem result from parental warmth, nurture, respect, clearly defined limits and boundaries, and, above all, love, yet adult children received fewer of these qualities than they needed. Whether their parents were alcoholic, dysfunctional, or abusive people, or they exhibited this behavior without the liquid substance because they themselves were exposed to it during their own upbringings, their children fielded, reacted to, and just downright survived it without choice, recourse, defense, or protection.

Despite advancing age, they all share the same inadequate, anxiety-based feelings which force them into lonely and isolated exile, cut off from the world, but very much suffering in the one they were forced to create in their minds. Suspended in time, their negative and inferior self-feelings, image, and beliefs neither unravel nor die out until and unless recovery intervention methods arrest their downward spiral.

The severity of their home environments is sometimes subtle, but not to be underestimated and not entirely conveyable to those who were never exposed to them by words alone.

“Being home was like being in hell,” according to Janet Geringer Woititz in her book, “Adult Children of Alcoholics” (Health Communications, 1983, p. 9). “The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The nervous, angry feeling was in the air. Nobody had to say a word, as everybody could feel it… There was no way to get away from it, no place to hide… ”

Although they felt physically and emotionally alone, their thoughts, emotions, fears, feelings, and impairments were and are shared by approximately 28 million other adult children in the United States alone-or one in every eight-yet they never identified themselves as belonging to this group if they had even heard of the term.

Exposed, from an early age, to detrimental behavior and often fighting to survive it, they paradoxically attributed it to their own inadequacies and unloveability, unknowingly causing the rewire of their brains to do so, which ultimately impaired their functioning and arrested their development.

In the mostly unlikely event that their parents expunged themselves from their own denial, took responsibility for their damaging behavior, and explained the origin of it, their offspring quickly accepted this abnormality as “normal.” Because they felt so different and defective, why would they divulge this secret about themselves that they desperately tried to conceal from others?

A child determines who he is by the input of the significant people around him. Initially, he finds out who he is by what other people say to him and he internalizes these messages.

“Messages,” however, are not just shelved thoughts, but painful, buried feelings.
You are not willing to acknowledge the intensity of feelings that children are bound to have when the bond between them and their parents is threatened.

And that bond may be the first thing that breaks them and interrupts their development toward adulthood.

Although they may have made transformative adjustments and Herculean efforts to survive parents whose betraying, harmful behavior was fueled by alcoholic toxins, they attempted to manage and decipher irrationality and emerged as physically identifiable adults, but did so with frightened inner children who viewed the world the way it was portrayed in their homes-of-origin.

Because they learned what they lived, as do all children, they saw others through unresolved wounds and adopted distorted realities, believing that their parents were representatives of them and were left with little choice but to pursue their paths with distrust and survival-augmenting traits and characteristics, never having understood why they were so treated nor having emotionally extricated themselves from the circumstances.

“Adult children of alcoholics… are especially vulnerable to the pull of past experiences and past survival tactics,” wrote Emily Marlin in “Hope: New Choices and Recovery Strategies for Adult Children of Alcoholics” (Harper and Row Publishers, 1987, pp. xiii-xiv). “Many of us came to function as adults under the painful influences of the families in which we were raised. Often, we continue to be plagued with feelings of hurt, anger, fear, humiliation, sadness, shame, guilt, shyness, being different, confusion, unworthiness, isolation, distrust, anxiety, and depression.”

She emphasizes how yesterday’s environment influences today’s view.

Too often, children who grew up in unhappy homes fall into the habit of viewing the world today in the same bleak way of yesterday.

So pinned to this past can they become, that there is sometimes difficulty in differentiating it from the present.

Our memories of the past are often so strong and painful, that the slightest association can take us back to these troubled, unhappy times-and we think that a similar situation in the present is going to have the same old results.

Frozen incidents, abuses, feelings, and wounds further ensure that they remain emotionally mired at their points of creation, despite what their physical ages may say to the contrary. If defrosted, they may fear an avalanche, ultimately fearing their fear and resulting, at times, in child-like behavior, further pinning them to their pasts.

No matter what our age, no matter how terrible our rage, we never really leave home. And, as many adult children of alcoholics know only too well, we cannot escape our families simply by creating physical or emotional distance.

Indeed, because of ill-defined boundaries, the internalization of their parents, and their unresolved negative emotions, they take them with them. They are inside of them now as much as they had been outside of them then.

Yet they may not know this until reactions, fears, and their inability to optimally function alert them when they allegedly enter the adult phase of their lives.

Growing up in the highly stressful environment of an alcoholic family creates wounds that often go underground. When they emerge later in life, it isn’t easy to connect these wounds with their real source.

Part of this dilemma stems from the denial they were forced to adopt to minimize the danger to which they were routinely exposed.

Adult children of alcoholics have to avoid being fully aware of the potential explosiveness of their parent’s alcoholism in order to maintain some semblance of normalcy in their daily lives.

Surviving a childhood such as this results in numerous behavioral manifestations, the first of which is defining what normalcy even is.

Adult children of alcoholics guess at which normal is. They simply have no experience with it.

That their experience was “abnormal” was never acknowledged, since no one gave even a nod toward, much less explanation of, the volatile, sometimes damaging enactments that played out in their homes.

While “normal” may not be a mathematical formula or distinct set of rules, its common denominator in healthy families is the love that emotionally binds its members together, while denial in unhealthy ones is the one that tears them apart.
Because the former was often absent, they may seek this normalcy later in life by observing and then attempting to imitate others they believe portray it.

But as long as you are choosing actions and feelings to reflect what you imagine to be normal, your experience can never be beyond feeling as if you are normal.

They may, however, achieve academy award statuses as actors.

Many adult children of alcoholics, even some of those in deep denial, are aware of a strange split within themselves between how competent they may look on the outside and how much of a loss they feel internally.

Although they may not know that their feelings are different from those of others, they usually realize that the behavior of others does not seem to reflect the feelings they have and consequently may subtly and subconsciously begin to suspect that theirs are different.

Another manifestation of the adult child syndrome is distrust. Having lived in an unstable, unsafe, and unpredictable environment in which psychological, emotional, mental, and physical abuse was most likely administered with almost routine regularity, and having had their trust betrayed by the very parents who should have most been there to protect them, they learned to negotiate the world in a distrusting, sometimes hypervigilant state.

Growing up in combat zones makes children very self-protective. Our survival depended upon our ability to react first and think later. We often had to remove ourselves from dangerous situations. After growing up, we are likely to continue reacting quickly. Not being able to trust people put us on the defensive.

Following well-worn neuropathways and filtering people and situations through the primitive brain’s amygdala, which controls a person’s fight or flight response, adult children subconsciously transpose their childhood circumstances to those of their adult ones, having no reason to doubt that, if their “loving” caregivers treated them in such detrimental manners, that those in the outside world who have far less invested in them will assuredly do the same

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