Codependents Learning to Communicate Needs in Relationships

Communication

Part of having successful relationships is learning to communicate clearly, directly, and assertively. Effective communication is the key to getting what we need and want and to having satisfying relationships with others. This is especially important when acknowledging feelings such as disappointment or anger directly, as what we need and want can be very important in our love relationship. Also, having positive relationships  and addressing codependency issues are important in keeping stress down, reducing tension, and increasing positive experiences.  What is codependency in relationships?

Codependents are people who find it difficult to ask for what they need or to stand up for themselves and often let other people push them around or take advantage. They are unable to make up their mind and may evade an issue in conversation.  This communication style can make a codependent attractive to an abuser.  Signs of an abusive person is someone who talks over people, expresses feelings in a way that violates boundaries, and who makes inappropriate demands.  During an argument this person intimidates with piercing eye contact, takes an overbearing posture, makes “you” statements in a loud voice with demanding tones, and interrupts often.  And you do not have to allow their coercive demands to control the course of your life. You have the power to live your own life by not letting the demands of others control you.

Effective communication involves acknowledging feelings directly, instead of making others guess at your feelings or having your feelings come out in other ways. In most situations direct communication is the appropriate choice. However, if you are communicating with someone who is yelling, you might be more reactive by indirectly expressing angry feelings instead of openly addressing them. This creates a disconnect between what you say and what you do. Your true feelings end up being demonstrated through actions, not words.  Many codependents protect themselves from seeing things that are too painful in addictions, (alcoholism, food, sex, gambling) compulsive caretaking, feeling miserable, guilty or ashamed.  It is okay to say no to people when that is what you want. Denying feelings does not stop pain or compulsive behavior.

Being vulnerable can be frightening, especially if we have lived with people who abused, mistreated, manipulated, or did not appreciate us. By recognizing that our rights and needs are just as important as others, we learn to be direct and clear in our statements and behaviors. We use words to forge a closer connection. We disclose how we feel in a way that reflects self-responsibility, directness, and honesty. Repressing thoughts and feelings does not turn us into the person we want to be.  Give yourself permission to say what you want and stop when you are done. Codependents are usually good at respecting other people’s opinions and needs, but do not have respect for their own. You can learn new behaviors and break demeaning beliefs about yourself that can become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Following are suggestions for assertive communication and how to resolve conflict in relationships:

Describe issues clearly and concisely. Let the other person know your concerns. Don’t beat around the bush. Take responsibility for what you want or don’t want and ask for it directly.

Take the initiative in bringing a topic up and show the other person that you respect your own needs.

Keep your focus on the matter at hand without getting diverted onto other issues.

Make good eye contact and face the person you’re speaking with, but don’t invade their personal space.

Speak firmly, positively and loudly enough to be heard.

Match your words with your true needs.

Bring up the issue with confidence.

Avoid attacking, threatening, or judgmental statements.

Be fair, truthful, and stick to your values.

Maintain a posture and attitude of equality.

Don’t apologize for your needs. Don’t expect people to apologize for their needs.

Use “I” statements: When you yelled at me, I felt disrespected. I need you to express  your feelings without yelling.

Talk ABOUT feelings, rather than act them out.

Edit unnecessary negative content.

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Thank you for reading my post. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to express needs and put an end to relationship abuse.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

Roberta

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Caring About How We Think in Abusive Relationships

"Thinking" Courtesy of Wikipedia

“Thinking” Courtesy of Wikipedia

Researchers of cognition estimate that people experience upwards to 60,000 automatic thoughts a day, and for most of us 80% of our contemplations are negative. These negative  thoughts are repetitive ideas that we continuously tell ourselves throughout our lives. They are primarily formed from experiences with feelings and actions in our family environment and intimate relationships. They are not facts and are often not accurate reflections of reality. Especially when our family communication patterns are destructive and our intimate relationships are abusive. Our inner dialogue has a strong effect on  emotional states, actions, and how we cope with life.

Imagine you have a problem with an emotionally abusive partner that you are trying to cope with. You could think, “This is not about me, I can manage, even though it is difficult,” or, you could think, “This is hopeless, there is nothing I can do right, I’m completely overwhelmed and it’s impossible to make a change.” How might you feel, think, or act differently in these situations? If you feel anger or resentment, the challenge is to acknowledge it, learn from it, and then release any self-destructive thoughts.

Thoughts can affect your reactions to your partner’s emotional abuse and your ability to cope with it too. In particular, thinking his or her abusive behavior is about you. Participating in the emotional cruelty with your partner is likely to make you feel more helpless to change and to suffer more. In contrast, thinking that makes you feel competent to cope with the relationship can make you feel better about yourself and allow you to change the circumstances. When you feel misery, force yourself to think grateful thoughts. When you feel blamed, reassure yourself that who you are is okay.

Thoughts often seem to be out of our control. Even so, the truth is that we can learn to monitor our thinking, notice thoughts that are more or less helpful, and make choices about how to counter or change those thoughts. By doing these things, we reduce thoughts that contribute to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and increase thoughts that contribute to feelings of competence, confidence, and determination. These thoughts can then help you a) act more effectively with your partner and b) stop creating your own emotional pain c) help you leave your relationship. This also helps you make emotionally fulfilling choices like spending time with loved ones, accomplishing your work or educational goals, or reducing the negative effects of your abusive partner.

The three steps to changing your thinking are to:

1. Notice your thoughts (if you are feeling bad, you’re thinking negative thoughts).
2. Ask yourself, “Is the thought helpful or harmful. Is it accurate?”
3. Change your thought, if harmful or inaccurate; counter it with a positive coping thought and behavior.

Thoughts can be empowering thoughts or self-defeating thoughts. They can be thoughts that reinforce you to believe in your value or thoughts that punish you for being or making a mistake. Looking at your own relationship experiences, which types of thoughts are most likely to be helpful? Where does your mind hang out? Make a list of these inner dialogues to help you notice the thoughts that make you feel bad. This action will help you to stop attending to the seemingly involuntary thought processes and the continuous negative monologues.

Questions to ask for empowering coping thoughts in an emotionally abusive relationship are:

1. Am I blaming myself for something over which I do not have control?
2. Are there any strengths or positives in me or the situation that I am ignoring?
3. Have I had any experiences that show that this thought is true all the time?
4. If a friend had this thought, what would I tell him or her?
5. Have I been in this type of situation with my partners before? What happened? Is   there anything different between this situation and previous ones?
6. What have I learned from prior experiences about the signs of an abusive relationship that could help me now?

These actions will help you in emotionally destructive relationships and can help you get through times of stress in healthy relationships. Listen to that voice in your head and do what you need to do to take care of your thoughts.

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Thank you for reading this article. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my experience. As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to put an end to the self-judgment and critical thoughts. And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-acceptance and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

Postmodern Learning Journey

Consciousness 17th Century Courtesy of Wikipedia

Consciousness 17th Century Courtesy of Wikipedia

The questions “Who am I?” “Who are we?” and “What is consciousness?” is fascinating to think about.  These issues carry within itself another, even more important question:  “Where do I belong?”   The answer to that question is discovered within a fellowship of friends.  I believe belonging is a core need of nearly all of us in the quest for answers and truth.  On my postmodern journey (belief there is no one objective “truth” rather many possible intrepretations of any event)  I connected with the article, The Essence of Self (Russell, 2003).  Russell believes when the mind is quiet we are experiencing our true essence which is a state of pure consciousness.  He says we develop our sense of self from people, places and things.  I have learned that the challenge is to understand that “I am” not my appearance, my work, my achievements, or my bank account, etc.  This “I am” realization is a sense of my own presence, it is not thought.  Russell describes this well in the following quote:

“When the mind is silent, and the thoughts, feelings, perceptions, memories with which we habitually identify have fallen away, then what remains is the essence of self, the pure subject without an object.  What we than find is not a sense of “I am this” or “I am that,” but just “I am.” (p. 12).”

It is during meditation that I sense this “I am.”  I feel my own presence (authenticity) in my breathe with such peace that my thinking, emotions, physical body, and the passing of time, seem insignificant in comparison to it.  It takes me beyond what I previously thought of as “myself.”  This presence is essentially me and at the same time greater than me.

Russell (2003) also delineates the concept of self, time and space in his article and I connected with his words. I can observe when my mind gets caught up in identification with the past and continuous compulsive projection into the future.   I believe Russell would say when I’m getting caught up in mind thought I am building my sense of self from time.  As soon as I am conscious of this mind process, I become present.  I seize to be my problems and emotions; I stop acting out my compulsive projections and instead become consciousness of which I really am.  The challenge is to stay in the present moment and stop punishing myself for behaviors in the past or with anxious predictions about the future.

Ken Wilber’s integral psychology model has also had a dramatic impact on my postmodern learning.  He has put into words my spiritual awakening with such accuracy that my sense of belonging to something greater then myself is much stronger.  I have learned of this postmodern thinking and shared experiences after the fact and it gives credibility to Wilber’s teaching and my awakening.  A chapter in his book, Integral Psychology (2000), “The Archeology of Spirit” was the most profound.  He writes about the experience he calls looking deep within the mind so well. “In its gentle whisperings, there are the faintest hints of infinite love,” and “It is reached by a simple technique: turn left at mind, and go within” (p. 111). The descriptions are wonderful.  I have felt the hints of infinite love during meditation and as a result, in moments of dialogue with others.

Wilber speaks of “at-home-ness” with the world developing deeper as the self integrates various “streams.”  I think of this as having a place wherein I fit, at home with self, with family, with the world.  Spirituality helps me find that experience by accepting myself, including my relationships with others, and especially my family.  Because of this, I have learned to see my relationships in a different way and to better fit with others.  Wilber calls this process identifying, “If you identify with your friends and family, you will treat them with care.  If you identify with your nation, you will treat your countrymen as compatriots.  If you identify with all human beings, you will strive to treat all people fairly and compassionately, regardless of race, sex, color, or creed” (p.116).  This passage struck me because when I had a spiritual experience as a result of losing my forearm, I than possessed the most profound need to connect with others.  This need helped me overcome the uncomfortableness with looking different and gave me the courage to be myself.  This loss was a powerful lesson in understanding that I am not my body or mind and that my real self had not changed though my outward appearance had.

My postmodern learning journey requires an examination of my invisible inner world through introspection, interpretation, and conscious awareness of my mind talk. My beliefs about subjective reality have been changed by what I am learning.  We live in an exciting time of conscious evolution in which the scientific method is inadequate in its explanations.  Modern science is uncomfortable with subjective uncertainty as are most of us.  The challenge of nonresistance to change and unpredictability is shaped and affected by our own culture, community and compulsive thoughts.  We are the shaper of our reality, environment and culture.  The good news is that we do have some control over our thinking and hold the key to our personal freedom from self-bondage.

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Thank you for reading this article.  I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-love by teaching from my  experience.  In the past, I’ve sacrificed my emotional and spiritual well-being for perfectionism and looked to others for approval at the cost of trusting my  intuition and developing my self-worth.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to put an end to the self-judgment.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

I WANT TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS ON THIS TOPIC!  PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

Stress, Chronic Pain, and Breaking the Habit of Thinking Negatively

250px-Dramaten_mask_2008aInevitably there are times of stress in our lives.  Stress, negative thinking, emotions, and pain are interconnected.  Stress makes us feel anxious, short-tempered, and overwhelmed. When the stress is internal we feel out of balance.  When stress is external and internal we experience our most difficult times with physical pain, we tend to tense our muscles, even if we aren’t aware of it, which can lead to more pain.  When we are feeling relaxed or happy, we tend to have less muscle tension, which can lead to less pain.  And when we are pain-free, it’s easier to feel relaxed and engaged in life.  We feel emotionally better and are better able to be there for ourselves and those we love.

Your thoughts and behaviors are related to your feelings and can result in more positive or more negative moods.  For example, if you spend time with friends during stressful periods, you tend to feel more balanced and peaceful in spite of your physical pain or life circumstances.  Spend a whole day sitting by yourself at home and thinking about how hopeless and helpless you feel, you are much more likely to feel down or grumpy than if you are able to be active and distract your thinking.  At the same time, it is normal and understandable that pain will sometimes make you feel stressed, unhappy, depressed, anxious, frustrated, or angry.  The goal is not necessarily to avoid your feelings and thoughts, but to learn how to manage them, along with your pain.  You have choices about how to stop the thoughts, emotions, and actions that lead to greater levels of emotional and physical pain. You may have experimented with compulsive or addictive behaviors to avoid or temporarily stop your pain.  These temporary pain relievers do not solve the problem; they postponed it.

At the same time, physical pain can be your body’s way of letting you know when something is wrong, so it’s important to be able to tell the difference between injury and pain that doesn’t indicate damage.  In addition, painful emotions can be our awakening to stop the thinking or behaviors we are doing that cause pain.  For example, a backache could be caused by an injury, but it could also be caused by our thoughts and feelings leading to unnecessary stress or tension.  Think of the saying, “ Ninety five percent of what I have worried about in my life has never happened.”  Similarly, you might have back pain because of a damaged disc, or it could be an achy muscle from exercise.  You know your body best, so it is important that you learn the differences between types of pain so that you can make good decisions about when you should try to distract yourself or change your thinking and when you need rest or medical care.

Self-care may not come easily during times of pain.  Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to take care of myself, what do I need emotionally?”  One way to benefit by taking care of yourself is to do at least one or two activities a day that you enjoy or that make you feel good.  These activities can be almost anything, from reading or watching TV to spending time with friends and family to taking a class or volunteering for a cause that makes you feel good about yourself.  One activity that is known to reliably improve feelings and lower stress levels is exercise.  Exercise activates endorphins in the brain, which are a natural painkiller and are 20 times stronger than any man-made pain medication. People who exercise regularly feel better, sleep better, and generally are happier.  In addition, exercise improves muscle tone and strength, which contributes to reduced pain.

Tips for Improving Your Well-being

  • Monitor your thinking, notice thoughts that make you feel bad, and make  choices about how to counter or change those thoughts.
  • Meditate everyday.  Sit quietly for 10 minutes; think about how you can be a better person.
  • Find positive meaning from your stress or disabling experience.
  • Reduce thoughts that contribute to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness and increase thoughts that contribute to feelings of competence.
  • Be an optimist, look for the lesson in your pain, and seek something good from your adversity.
  • Deal with your emotions.  Acknowledge stress, anger, hurt, and anxiety.
  • Take a walk every day.
  • Have regular scheduled events with close friends or family.
  • Find time to be alone with your partner.
  • Make time for laziness.
  • Be healthy inside.  Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and good carbohydrates (e.g. whole wheat bread or pasta).  Avoid junk food.
  • Treat your senses.  Light a scented candle, buy fresh-cut flowers, and indulge in a massage, or take a hot bath.
  • Sleep.  Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends
  • Be creative.  Spend time learning new things.  Work in your garden, paint, or build something.
  • Do something for someone else.  Volunteer or do something nice for a loved one.
  • Do something to make you feel the opposite of how you  feel now.  If you’re feeling frustrated and helpless, take a walk or watch a funny movie.  If you’re feeling sad read positive affirmations.
  • Put a mental wall up between yourself and the pain, thoughts, or the emotional distress.  Detach and deny your pain, box it up and put it on a shelf.

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Thank you for reading this article.  My learning journey with chronic physical pain is a result of my experience with phantom limb pain.  I was graced with the gift of self-acceptance upon realization that my forearm was amputated.  Before my limb loss, I sacrificed my emotional and spiritual well-being for perfectionism and looked to others for approval at the cost of trusting my intuition and developing my self-worth.  My drive for perfection was crushed along with my arm.  I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to put an end to self-created emotional pain.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

Coping With Chronic Pain and Stress

By learning how thoughts and actions influence our feelings and coping we can learn to reduce and better manage life’s emotional challenges.  The figure below is the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) paradigm for negative automatic thoughts leading to painful emotions and resulting in unhelpful (actions) coping strategies.  The thinking process is repetitious and circular, whereby thoughts lead to feelings that lead to actions continuously ( I could not add directional arrows to my diagram).   Thoughts, behaviors, and emotions affect our physical experiences and sensations, including emotional pain, and vice versa.  How we think also affects the severity, intensity, and duration of chronic pain episodes, emotional pain, stress levels, and disease progression (i.e., diabetes, terminal cancer, arthritis,  back pain, etc.)

THOUGHT

                                          “I’m not achieving enough”

PHYSICAL PAIN & STRESS LEVEL INCREASE

                                         w/NEGATIVE THINKING

ACTIONS = “Isolate”                                             FEELINGS = “Fear”

This approach teaches us ways to change thinking and behaviors to best cope with stress/pain and reduce negative thoughts.  You may believe that talking about your fears is a weakness.  Or you may perceive that other people believe these things, causing you to feel embarrassed and angry.  Either way, you might hide your fears from others, criticize or make excuses for yourself, and smile when you are feeling sad.  It is estimated that a deep thinker (perfectionist) has somewhere around 60,000 automatic thoughts per day.  Research shows that for most people, 80% of thoughts are negative and repetitious.  As the saying goes, “It is a bad neighborhood in my head and I try not to go there unsupervised.”

You may believe that there is nothing that can be done to stop your negative thinking and to better cope with stress.   Learning to tune-in to ourselves, learning to listen to ourselves takes practice. You may be dependent on others for approval in order to cope or don’t talk to anyone about your concerns.  Lastly, you may believe that you need to get rid of your problems on your own in order to live your life.  You believe that you have to endure alone. These beliefs are mental traps!!!

Thinking you are not achieving enough during these unpredictable times can be stressful and tiring and this can make it hard to think clearly, leading you to feel frustrated and hopeless.  However, it is possible to improve your mood and to learn to cope effectively with your problems that remain unresolved.  By learning to focus on the things you have control over, you can change parts of your reality by choosing how you will think and behave.

 Total reality is made up of at least the following parts:

1) What you see, hear, and can measure, 2) how others think and act, 3) how you think and feel, and 4) what you do.

EXAMPLE:    Different responses to negative thinking and stress can produce many types of  “realities.”

WHAT YOU SEE, HEAR, AND CAN MEASURE

My thoughts tell me I’m going to lose everything, I’m  not good  enough, and I must be worthless.

HOW OTHERS THINK AND ACT                                               1.  Supportive

2.  Dismissing

3.  Critical

 

HOW YOU THINK (you have a choice)                                    1.  This is what my mind does.

2.  I can change my thoughts.

3.  I can’t stand it!

WHAT YOU DO (you have a choice)                                        1.  Isolate

2.  Get angry with others.

3.  Appreciate what is good in my life.

4.  Learn techniques to cope effectively with stress.

Negative thoughts may be interfering with your life by keeping you from doing the things you want to do.  It is important to remember you do have some control over your thinking.  You may feel vulnerable and powerless when negative feelings appear.  But keep in mind (excuse the pun) that you can learn to notice your thoughts, feel your feelings, figure out if there’s something you need to do, and then go on with your life.  Life works best when you take charge of making change in your thinking.

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Thank you for reading this article.  My learning journey with chronic physical pain is a result of my experience with phantom limb pain.  I was graced with the gift of self-acceptance upon realization that my forearm was amputated.  Before my limb loss, I sacrificed my emotional and spiritual well-being for perfectionism and looked to others for approval at the cost of trusting my intuition and developing my self-worth.  My drive for perfection was crushed along with my arm.  I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to put an end to self-created emotional pain.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

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Stopping Complusive Mind Chatter

Thinking Courtesy of Wikipedia

Thinking Courtesy of Wikipedia

Meditation is the single most important thing you can do for yourself each day to stop compulsive mind chatter.   Starting the practice of meditation is often a salvation.  Your authentic self will appear in moments of quite awareness, and in non-resistance to the present moment, the dialogue in your head will stop and so will the compulsive emotional pain.  During meditation one’s still self can become present and is empowered to de-identify with the drama the ego manufactures in order to feel alive and keep the negative chatter going.  By practicing meditation you will experience stillness, peace and self-acceptance.  We all have the power to stop attending to the seemingly involuntary thought processes, the continuous negative monologues, and the repetitive victim stories playing in our minds.  Emotional, physical, or mental pain can be used as a gift to motivate you to stop the mental fighting in your mind.

My experience with emotional trauma and chronic pain has been a major influence on my values and self-care.  I have been moved by intense struggling into accepting “what is.”  When I practice acknowledging that my emotional pain is self-created and I am not a victim, my thoughts commence to change dramatically.  Moment by moment I practice giving up my attachment to past, future and present thoughts to make living in the present my main focus.  I have found peace through this surrender and a profound need to demonstrate kindness through my actions.  The compulsive drive for more, better, new, in order to feed a false image and ineffectively heal emotional wounds is no longer fulfilling to me.  This awareness came from an accumulation of personal losses, emotional pain and chronic physical pain.  I use to have a voice in my head that continuously attacked and punished me for not doing enough.  I decided I would no longer tolerate the self-created misery and unhappiness.  The negative thoughts still lurk, but I practice observing and releasing them without judging.

I have found it is necessary to practice not taking people or situations personally and to stop building negative thoughts.  The minute I make a situation “about me,” my fear is in charge and creating a story.  I have learned that the challenge is to respect that who “I am” is not my minds activity, my appearance, my work, my achievements, or my bank account, etc.  This “I am” realization is a sense of my own presence, it is not thought.   As soon as I am conscious and stop the compulsive mind chatter I’m hearing, (i.e., “Hello old friend that has come here to make me feel like crap, you can go now”) I become present.  I seize to become my reactions and negative emotions; I stop acting out my compulsive projections.  I quit beating myself up and instead become conscious of my present worth.  The challenge is to remain in the present moment and give up identifying with the drama for things that happened in the past or with fearful projections into the future.  I take responsibility for my actions and self-respect.  I recognize that I am continuously creating my minds reality and I give myself permission to be “perfectly imperfect.”

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Thank you for reading this article. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-love by teaching from my  experience.  In the past, I’ve sacrificed my emotional and spiritual well-being for perfectionism and looked to others for approval at the cost of trusting my intuition and developing my own self-worth.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to put an end to the self-judgment and self-bondage.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

How Codependents Leave Abusive Narcissistic Relationships

Featured

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

You may be feeling crazy because you love a narcissist and are afraid to leave the abusive relationship.  It will be easier to help yourself leave the more you know about codependency and narcissistic personality disorder.   Abusive narcissists require someone who is willing to cater to their needs and to give up their own desires.  Narcissists are self-destructive people with concealed low self-esteem and insatiable needs for attention and nothing to give. They parasitically attach to a giving, supportive person who avoids center stage and thrives on taking care of others.

Expecting something from an abusive narcissist who has nothing to give can make a codependent feel crazy.  Trying to pretend that the narcissist is someone he or she is not can drive you wild.  So what is codependency?  Codependents are people who have spent years negotiating with reality concerning particular people from their past and present.  Codependents spend years trying to get mom or dad to love them in a certain way, when that parent cannot or will not.

The development of codependence has its roots in dysfunctional family systems and occurs over a fairly long period of time.  Overly rigid, dogmatic, or authoritarian types of families where there may or may not be alcohol abuse or dependence appears to produce codependency.  These families tend to emphasize discipline and control where rewards are given for compliance with strict and often illogical rules.  Children learn that any positive feelings about self are dependant on the mood of someone else.  These families may appear to be perfect to neighbors, but there is a great deal of pain and secrecy behind closed doors.  Children learn early to not express their thoughts or feelings and to ignore family behavioral problems.   This family survival response effectively raises the child’s tolerance for emotionally abusive and inappropriate behavior in others.

As adults, these children have a greater tendency to get involved in abusive painful relationships with people who are unreliable, emotionally unavailable, or needy.  Lacking entitlement to their feelings, these adult children tend to be indirect about their needs, deny feelings, and distrust intimacy.  They start with the belief that love is sacrificing for my partner and putting up with what ever my partner wants to dish out.  This is a set up for making the abusive relationship more important than you are to yourself.  Generally, codependents feel consistently unfulfilled in relationships and are the ones who tend to get deeply stuck in purgatory with an abusive narcissist.

If you are a codependent in a relationship with an abusive narcissist and are asking yourself, “Why am I feeling so crazy?”  It’s time to let the narcissist go.  It is time to let him or her off the hook.  Like your caretakers, the abusive narcissist is constitutionally incapable of loving you. That doesn’t mean you can’t love that person anymore.  It means that you are ready to feel the immense relief that comes when you begin accepting the truth and stop denying reality.  You release the narcissist to be who he or she actually is.  You stop trying to make that person be someone he or she is not.  You deal with your feelings and walk away from the abusive relationship. You stop letting what you are not getting from the narcissist control you and you take responsibility for your life.  You then begin the process of healing and loving yourself.

Get angry, feel hurt, and land in a place of self forgiveness.  Your life in purgatory will end.  You will no longer be a victim of abuse.  You will recognize that you have been mistreated and allowed yourself to be mistreated.  You will no longer create, seek out, or re-create situations that victimize you.  You stand in your power and no longer live in quiet desperation.

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Thank you for reading this article. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my  experience.  In the past, I’ve sacrificed my emotional and spiritual well-being for perfectionism and looked to others for approval at the cost of trusting my intuition and developing my self-worth.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about relationship abuse and what it takes to put an end to the self-judgment.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.