Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

How do you move out from codependence & toxicity with anxiety?

Community Member
Hi all,
I am nearly in my mid thirties & have lived in a toxic environment household since I was 7. My parents have/had very bad arguments & were not really there emotionally for us growing up.

Over the last couple of months I have had the courage to tell some people in my life about what my life is/has been really like - this has been hard for them to hear, to the point one has asked me not to tell her anymore as it makes her too angry how I'm treated. I have also leaned a lot of my problems are the direct result of my upbringing - don't like being alone, become attached to people, think people are always going to leave me, scared to have a relationship because I don't know what a good one looks like etc.

I have also realised I have a mum who is codependent & for the age that I am, a bit too controlling. I get treated like a "third party" in the marriage. My psychologist told me I need to move out so I can start to work through changing all these issues I have.

The problem is I am REALLY scared to go & rent. I feel paralysed over it. My friends tell me I need to get out too & I know it's because they care & hate seeing me like I have been lately & how I get treated. I know I need to get out in order for my life & me to change as a person but it is seeming too much & is hard when I tell them how I feel because no one can really understand what I have gone through for most of my life.
We decided it was best for me to rent on my own for at least 12 months so I can work on myself as I don't feel comfortable with a share house. I'm worried about spending my money cause I've always saved, that it's all a really bad mistake, missing the dogs, scared I'm going to get lonely, that my friends won't be there for me & I won't ask for help or tell them how I'm feeling for fear of being seen as needy or clingy & that my head will start to think all the time.
Does anyone have any thoughts or advice?
3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I agree with your friends to move out. Then only return for a visit every fortnight or so, not too regular. This "breaking of the apron strings" is a necessity to enable you to grow.

Remain on a mobile phone and answer it if your parents ring but only if you feel like it. If it has only been a couple of days then dont answer it but if they leave a message of something urgent they can leave a voice message. Management of your phone is most important.

So you will still see your dog when you visit.

Personally I would buy a caravan/mobile home and use it to live in at a caravan park and possibly go holidaying with it also but it's subjective to the person.

Saving money is great but life is meant to spend it also.


Community Member

Thank you, I can really relate to your story and is a sign that I’m not alone growing up in a dysfunctional environment with a toxic and overbearing mother. Why don’t you try book a cheap holiday somewhere where you can relax and think things through.

Community Member

Thanks so much for your replies.

Tony I like the way you worded a necessary step to enable me to grow as I think it is the reason why I have had many missed opportunities in life & a lot of self doubt. And I will admit, I don't think I have really "lived" because of the way I am, my situation & the way my thinking is.

The phone monitoring is a good idea as there is no point if I am still going to have to deal with their issues.

My friends are right,I know they are, & I know they are finding this all really hard too. I just have constant thoughts they are going to leave me or get sick of me & then find myself looking for signs they will, but I can never tell them that so I put on a "front" like I'm ok with things.

I am trying my hardest to keep pushing along and forward, just wish the anxiety aspect would fo away.

Luna you are definitely not alone. I have found so much information out there over the last couple months online. Talks on You Tube even. It has been so insightful but also quite shattering when you realise you are the way you are because you had a dysfunctional childhood. Hope it helps you to know you are not alone 🙂