Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Free From The Narcissist: Are You Co-Dependent? 5 Signs

"I'm through with you
You're one bridge I'd like to burn
Bottle up the ashes, smash the urn
I'm through with you
I don't wanna be part of your fun
Don't wanna be under your thumb
All I wanna be is DONE…" 

The Band Perry

 - Done | MetroLyrics 

When someone has grown up in a home where one parent is controlling, narcissistic… downright abusive, it's often obvious who the one is that needs to get some professional help… who needs to seek counseling, consult with their Pastor, check out some self-help books… gain some self-awareness, etc.

The one hurting everyone. 

What is rarely ever discussed is the others in the home…. their spouse and yes, even the children... and how they all are affected by the destruction in these homes. The children certainly carry the risk of wounds inflicted from their controlling, narcissistic abusive parent into adulthood… and possibly into their frame of minds when dating and who they later marry. They may often be affected by their negative upbringing even if not consciously aware that they are. These toxic relationships between parent and child have long-time (but don't have to be long-term) effects and it's essential that grown adults get the therapy and insight needed before delving into the dating scene so as not to carry over any baggage that will hinder them from developing a healthy relationship with the right person… versus the wrong one.

What is this insidious affliction that 
affects the spouse of an abuser and their children?


It sneaks up on you… like a thief in the night and takes and takes… it steals from you without you even being cognizant because you are so incredibly busy throwing yourself into the relationship… everything for the "good of the relationship"…. that you don't realize you are actually contributing to the ongoing craziness around you… no, you don't realize it… maybe you deny it…. maybe it's painful to admit…  but when someone continues treating us like less and less…. and yet we continue to jump around like a frenzied squirrel trying to "fix it all"…. and however more puzzling at any cost…. that's a huge red warning sign… something is far from healthy or right in this picture.


If you begin to place more value in the relationship and it's success than your own self-worth and esteem… it's time to re-evaluate and begin the process of setting clear, firm boundaries. If you grew up in an environment where one person was the dictator and the other was pushed around and told "how things were gonna be"… if one person was never shown any respect or listened to, if one person was never consulted regarding their thoughts and opinions, if one person was continually overrun with hostility and zero compassion by the other… it puts you at a greater risk of choosing one of these figures to model after… either the abuser or the abused…. the latter also known as the co-dependent.

If you've grown up in a home
 with less than healthy 
examples to follow…
 it's imperative to get some help with 
learning healthier ways to live…
before beginning a 
relationship of your own.

5 Signs Of Co-Dependency:

1. Appeasing your spouse. Are you willing to put up with any negative behaviors from your spouse that belittle or demean you? In other words… are you enabling the destruction (obviously not purposefully, but in a way that hasn't come to light yet, because so often when we are living day to day we become blind to what's around us)  that they are causing? Do they believe you will put up with anything and never leave? If they think this it may be a sign of a huge imbalance in the relationship. Yes, we shouldn't feel threatened every time there is a spat and live in fear of being dumped, abandoned, etc… yet if one person feels like they can treat you like a dog with no chance of consequences… you walking away… that's a big issue.

2. You feel you have to keep everyone happy. It's natural after living in an unhealthy home environment for years where you watched one person trying to keep everyone's moods on an even kneel and yet they then walked on eggshells; inevitably suffering from anxiety. Yes, you can overcome this. Yes, with a good therapist you can learn to not live this way and stop the toxic subscription of "if you aren't happy then I'm not obviously doing well enough" mentality. You don't have the power to make anyone happy or keep them in that state of mind. You are a human being, not a magician with a hat full of tricks. Your worth is not based on their feelings or state of mood.

3. Trouble with confrontation. Most people don't like a scene made, yes, we all get that. But if you find yourself experiencing difficulty voicing your needs at all, (preferably in a firm, calm manner) then it's time to seek some help. If you find yourself always being the one who backs down, who gives in, bites your tongue to a fault, who can't seem to set firm boundaries but instead avoids or waffles when someone tries to meet you head on… that's a sure sign it's hard to stand firm in what you believe and need from others in relationships. 

4. Sacrificing to a fault. Love always involves some sacrifice, yes…. if two people who were self-absorbed got married… how much love would be shown? Undoubtedly, none. If one selfless person married a self-absorbed one… one person will surely begin to feel cheated eventually… namely the selfless one. It's fine to sacrifice but love should be an ongoing exchange of giving, giving (and giving more) and receiving by both… again, between two people, not one who ends up feeling chronically depleted and jipped.

5. Help is a four letter word to you. You grew up in an environment where you no doubt had to be strong… you coped by learning that to rely on others meant giving up any to the little control you had because your world felt so incredibly out of control…. so later you compensate by doing everything yourself. You are the self-sufficient one, the one who "does it all" and prides herself for it too. The problem with that is… it affects your relationships. Your spouse if you married someone healthy would really love to do something nice for you occasionally (like help you carry the groceries in, maybe drive you to your eye appointment, or help you organize the garage) but instead they are met with a bristle and an "I can do it myself!" attitude. Instead you can begin training yourself to change in small steps… you can ask someone "Oh, do you mind grabbing that bag and bringing it to the car? Hey, thanks for helping!" You don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders anymore… you never did…. you aren't that five, ten, fifteen or twenty year old anymore who was made to feel like if you depended on anyone for any little thing you were putting yourself in a precarious position, of feeling indebted, or made to look weak. (And by the way… the right man won't make you feel that way and put you in the position of feeling indebted to him). I personally know this issue, it's been a longtime battle for me… yet it's far better than it was and yes, it is entirely possible to find freedom! It is possible to let someone help you… and yes, even healthy… it's not a sign of weakness like you've been led to believe from your childhood. 

"You're An Overcomer"

 ~ Mandisa | Overcomer 

A New Chapter… A New You

Just because we have lived in a less than healthy home environment doesn't mean we are destined to a lifetime of unsatisfactory relationships. The key difference in whether someone thrives is self-awareness. If we are aware of our weak spots, our trouble points, etc… we are then equipped to take the next step… learning what to do to remedy the issue and begin the process of change. It won't happen overnight. It was a learned behavior from the beginning; a tiny seed that sprouted and grew like a sturdy beanstalk year after year…  and now what has set in must be unlearned in tiny steps combined with prayer… each step bringing you closer to the finish line… each step a moment that brings a victorious smile of satisfaction… that brings life to you and the ones around you… because each time we begin the process of becoming more of who we are meant to be… each time we shed the old and throw on the new… we  are closer to becoming all we wish to be and more.

What we all ultimately want is to be free…. 

To be free from the past…

To be free from those past chains that hold us back…

To be free from those voices that cloud our vitality and instead bring darkness…

To be free to love those around us fully and not have the ghosts of our past standing between us…

Because when we are free… 

We are ready…

We are ready to find that love, a healthy love exists and yes, we want to take it by the horns…

We want to scream our love for him from the rooftops uninhibited, we want to cry those tears of joy without hesitation, we want to throw our arms around him in delight, we want to sing love songs on a Saturday night drunk on laughs and tea out our noses… we want to feel like the big kid we never were allowed to be… we want to be unashamed, unattached, selfless but not to a fault… we want to be extended a helping hand without terms and conditions… we want to confront the issues that matter with love without wavering…

we want be released from the chains to our past and instead look at him, the one we love with the surest of affirmation that YES… 

we are absolutely, without a freaking doubt ready… 

we are ready for the next chapter and it's going to be the most beautiful one yet.

© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014 


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