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.
It’s more complicated than that.
Codependents also have deep-seated insecurities.
A fear of abandonment. In some ways, we too have a troubled or at least, dysfunctional past.
We subconsciously feel someone who is damaged and needs us is unlikely to leave us.
When our abusive partner hurts us. Push us away. That fear is palpable.
We’ll do anything to get them back. Have them tell us they love us again.
Couple this with low self-esteem and abuse that’s diminishing it further.
We start to believe we are to blame.
It must be me.
We stay. We push all our feelings down and focus on theirs. We need to make them happy again. It’s up to us to fix things.
The trouble is a narcissist’s need for approval, admiration, and adoration is like an empty bucket. You will never fill that need.
All those years of trying to do this, in the hope you’ll fix the relationship. Get that loving person you believe is trapped inside the back. It’s killing you instead.
You’re left emotionally overwhelmed. Feeling trapped. Nothing you’ve tried has worked so far and now you’re spent. Wondering where the old you went.
That was me. I was a shell of myself.
The thought of leaving them is terrifying. Especially if there’s the complication of kids. But, the thought of enduring more of this pain and the rest of your life like this is gut-wrenching too.
No wonder you’re feeling trapped.
You need to try something else.
How about letting go? Stop trying to save them from themselves.
What about thinking about you for once? Where are you in all this? What about putting your needs first?
You are not his (or her) therapist. Their mother (or father). They are an adult capable of looking after themselves.
So, first things first. It’s time to take your focus away from them.
Look after you.
Stop wasting your energy, when it’s better used to heal you instead.
It’s time to take your power back.
If the fear of the future scares you. If big decisions about whether to leave them or not overwhelm you. Don’t think about that now. You don’t need to know all the answers just yet.
You just need to take the first baby steps to recovery and forging a healthier path.
First things first.
This is what they are.
Here Are 5 Steps That Can Help You To Recovery
Do your best to detach from them and their behavior. It’s not your fault or responsibility. Allow them to feel the consequences of their own actions. Instead of always picking up the pieces for them.
2. Put You First
Start by doing one nice thing for yourself every day. Whatever that is. A surf. A walk with your dog on the beach. A bubble bath. A guilt-free purchase of something that makes you feel good. One nice thing every day.
Related: How To Build Your Belief In Yourself