The Search for Specialness. When one loses their place of belonging, the great casualty is the sense of specialness. If the most significant person (or persons) in oneís life do not embrace, if their heart does not receive their child, the internalized message is that something is wrong with me. The great emerging need, or drive, is to feel that they are special. This loss of specialness is profound, and those who have always had a home and a heart to belong to can never fully understand this deep, longing quest for specialness. This search manifests itself in many ways. Recognition through performance or over-achieving, exaggerated giving or efforts to please, disproportionate acts of service...exaggerated or extreme loyalty to individuals or organizations, hyper sensitivity to perceived slights or preferences given in time or attention to others.
Codependency. When one loses the sense of who they are, their fractured self-image requires others, not to restore, but to complete their sense of who they are. Codependency has nothing to do with dependency, where we too strongly depend or rely upon someone. Codependency requires someone else in order to be complete. It is as though the codependent person has a part of themselves that is missing. He must lean upon another in order to experience wholeness. Thinking and making decisions apart from the codependent partner is very difficult. The codependent can be apart from the other person, but it is very difficult to think apart from the other person.
Enmeshment. The next step from codependency is enmeshment, where it is very difficult to be apart from the enmeshed partner. Enmeshment is an intimacy issue because enmeshment is an impostor of intimacy. True intimacy must have a functioning boundary system. Healthy intimacy requires space. Functioning boundaries both recognize the need for space and secure it. In codependency, some sense of self usually remains. In enmeshment, self has gotten absorbed in the other person and is lost. The sense of personhood is completely wrapped up in the other person. Though this pertains to identity, it primarily has to do with the loss of intimacy. Enmeshment obliterates intimacy and becomes its counterfeit.
Detachment and walls. These, also, are indicators of the loss of intimacy. Keeping people at armís length or, more subtly, staying in a relationship up to a certain point and then abruptly dropping it is reflective of not only the loss but of the fear of intimacy. Self-protective in nature, the walls of detachment create an isolation chamber. It is safer, but it is also terribly lonely. Others canít get in and, in the final analysis, the detached, walled-in person canít get out.
Shame. Shame is covered more extensively in the link below. Briefly, shame creates the sense that one is innately flawed. When dignity has been replaced by shame, the person no longer makes mistakes, he is a mistake; he no longer is in error, he is an error. When he fails at something, he becomes a failure. Shame