I was emotionally overwhelmed. Feeling trapped. Like there was no way out.
When I was in the final stages of an abusive relationship my self-esteem was shot. I was numb to my feelings. I wasn’t allowed to have anyway. His always took priority over mine.
I was a zombie, just trying to survive.
I feel trapped. Emotionally overwhelmed
I kept thinking.
I miss the old me
How did I become this person?
I barely recognized myself anymore.
These are the words I hear from so many of you who write to me each day:
I want my power back
Yep. I know what that feels like.
I know your pain.
But don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Narcissistic relationships are codependent ones. This is how it works.
Narcissists have suffered deep childhood trauma. To cope with this pain, they create a False Self – an inflated sense of self and ego.
This False sense of Self-demands an insatiable need for validation and admiration. That comes from outside of themselves, external sources. As long as they get this they don’t have to face their true selves. So they look for the perfect supply.
And that’s us. Codependents. We are the right match.
Codependents like nothing better than rescuing others.
Helping them overcome the trauma of their past.
We put their needs and feelings above our own. We focus all our attention on them. We tell them how much we believe in them, even when we start to see the first signs they’re not good for us. Ignoring those red flags.
That is what a narcissist needs. Someone who’ll put them first. To feed off and make them feel good about themselves.
The narcissist believes they have found what they need and start by being nice to us.
They love to bomb us and sweep us off our feet. The relationship will go on fast forward. They’ll push for commitment quickly and want us all to themselves.
This feels flattering at first, but it’s all part of their plan to isolate and control us. They need to protect their supply.
Narcissists can’t keep their mask up for too long. Particularly with those who get close to them.
When it slips we start to see the real them. That darker, abusive side.
Intimate relationships scare them. If we get too close to them we might see their true selves. The one their False Self-guards and protects at all costs. This is way too painful for them, too close for comfort.
They need to push us away. Sabotage the relationship. That’s when they hurt us.
It’ll be emotional. Or physical violence.
But then after abusing us, they fear to lose us. Or more to the point, losing their supply.
They need to get that back, no matter what it takes. So they hoover us.
Their False Self-goes back into action in full force. Saying how sorry they are, telling us they love us.
That wasn’t me
That was my troubled past; because you said or did this; …. (insert anything here that is about them blaming someone or something else for their behavior, not them)
They need to gain back control. Make us dependent on them again. Need them, adore them, love them, feed their ego again.
If we ever question their bad behavior or abusive actions, they use insidious manipulative tactics. Like gaslighting.
They’ll lie to your face, even when they know you know they’re doing so. They’ll accuse you of doing exactly the abusive thing they’re doing. Claim they’re the victim, not you.
They’ll bring others in as back up. Allies they tell you to agree with them. You’re the crazy one.
If we ever have feelings. Get angry or upset over what they’ve done to us, they’ll flip it to deny them. Tell us we imagined it, exaggerate things or that we are too sensitive.
We are always to blame for them and their behavior. If not, they’d have to face the truth. It’s them. Their true selves. The one they’re running from and don’t ever want to have to face.
Repeat this cycle over and over. It’s no wonder we end up confused.