.image from pinterest here
This is a video interview style conversation between Teal Swan and Ross Rosenberg.
They discuss the reasons why codependents and narcissists attract each other, and why they are attracted to each other. The level of need …the level of the emotional wounds they carry…usually from childhood abuse and neglect…usually matches.
The worse the toxic loneliness the codependent has, the farther on the scale of narcissism the partner they are attracted to will be. If someone is very needy to the point of a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, then they are likely to end up with a narcissist who is a 7 on the scale of needing to dominate and control someone.
Both partners have old emotional wounds. The severity of the wounds usually match, with couples that end up attracting and staying together. Although the relationship is very painful to the codependent, they stay because the pathological loneliness that occurs when they are alone feels worse than when they are with the abusive partner.
Teal and Rosenberg agree with each other on some points, including that most all narcissist and codependents come from a family with a narcissistic parent, or a psychopathic parent. The children in these families have to learn how to survive.
Codependents learn that they have to make their narcissist parent happy by taking care of their needs and worrying about their feelings all the time. It is a “conditional” kind of love. They learn that love is based on how much you sacrifice, care for, and comply with the needs of the other person.
It is an interesting chat between the two of them. There are some places where they present different views. I agree with a lot of things that are said here, with some exceptions.
I disagree with Ross Rosenberg when he says that the narcissist was the child that was not favored by the parents and that their level of trauma was worse than that of the codependent. He might be seeing things from his personal experience and assuming that it is the same for everyone.
From listening to my clients, I know that the narcissists were not all “more abused” than the codependents. I have heard stories of horrific abuse from the clients I have, and these clients came out to be very compassionate and kind people .
So everyone that experienced terrible abuse does not come out to be a narcissist. People develop based on their own soul and their own natural personality traits , and how that interacted with the atmosphere in the home growing up.
Codependents tend to have trouble setting boundaries because they were conditioned to feel selfish when they would ask to be heard, or when they expressed their own needs. Even though the codependent can realize that the narcissist is demanding and overstepping their rights in the relationship…the codependent cannot always tell how to set boundaries for themselves in a way that feels like they deserve it.
There is a heavy conditioning in the home with a narcissistic parent. The parent is the focus of the universe in the home. They demand that everything revolves around them and their wants and needs. Children are often punished or shamed for expressing their feelings about anything.
The narcissist needs to disassociate from the abuse while it is occurring. They create a false reality to endure the abuse. The codependent also may do this, but not in the same way the narcissist does.
The narcissist creates a false self that is able to endure the abuse. This false self continues into adulthood and become the mask they live behind. They become demanding and manipulative like their narcissistic parent.
The codependent is desensitized to the abuse, because they had to endure so much of it as a child. They often to not recognize abuse for what it is, when it begins in the relationship. By the time they do realize it, the time has passed for easily leaving the relationship, because the addiction is fully kicked in.
Two abusive parents can come in various combinations of Cluster B personality disorders. If you grew up with two parents that were abusive, then you went through hell and there is emotional trauma that is still affecting you as an adult.
The DSM designates narcissistic personality disorder as a personality disorder, along with a few others. Malignant Borderline personality disorder is often co-morbid with narcissistic personality disorder. But is has some extra characteristics including extreme mood disregulation and fear of abandonment.
Psychopathy is called anti-social personality disorder in the DSM. It is extreme narcissism with some other characteristsics, including a disregard for the law and rules of society. Narcissism is on a spectrum, which has anti=social personality disorder at the far right side.
Histrionic personality disorder is also a Cluster B personality disorder. It is narcissism with an obsession with sex. The histrionic is a female disorder, whereas the majority of psychopaths are male…but not all.
Two people with a cluster B personality disorder sometimes get together for various reasons. Neither of the partners is equipped to raise children with kindness or compassion. They care about themselves and not the needs of the children.
Depending on the combination of personality disorders, the couple may stay together or break up. Two narcissists can sometimes work together to each get their needs for narcissistic supply met. This is not a loving relationship, but a functional agreement.
Children of two narcissists will be subject to extreme manipulation and control by the parents. Both parents are abusive, in an emotional and mental way. One or both may be sexually inappropriate with the children. Often one parent will turn a blind eye to what the other one does to the child.
Adult children of narcissists have C-PTSD from the years of on-going abuse. Covert abuse can damage the child as much or more than overt physical abuse. Adult children of parents that were covertly, mentally abusive don’t always know that they were abused at all. The damage is there, but the adult child of mental abuse does not know what is wrong with them.
People with C-PTSD from abuse often have depression, and anxiety disorders. They may have problems with executive function, which is the part of the brain that helps us to organize, manage our lives and other skills that most “normal” people use to survive.
Day to day tasks can be difficult for people with C-PTSD. Sometimes people do pretty well surviving for years, and then suddenly have an emotional / mental crash, when the repressed trauma begins to bubble its way to the surface.
It is common for adult victims of abuse to be lured by narcissistic predators. There are certain characteristics of a survivor of abuse, that attract predators to prey on them. Low self esteem makes it easy for the predator to invade the victim;s boundaries. A desensitization to abuse makes it easy for the abuser to confuse the victim into rationalizing the abuse.
The first step to recovering from C-PTSD from childhood abuse is to recognize abuse…and to call abuse “abuse.”
Recovery from abuse requires re-wiring the neural pathways of your brain. Growing up with narcissist means years if conditioning and brainwashing. Many of the beliefs that you hold deep in your subconscious are false. Negative feelings about yourself and your capabilities come from brainwashing from the narcissistic family.
Getting therapy of coaching can help you to sift through the abuse, and to identify what false beliefs you are carrying. If you are being held back in life by mental tapes that keep playing in your head, these messages can be changed and your brain can be re-wired so that you can be your authentic self.
There is nothing wrong with you. You have great self worth. Understanding the true value to your authentic, natural self can help to get your life back on track. Any therapist or life coach you work with needs to have an understanding of narcissistic abuse and narcissistic abuse syndrome.
If you are interested in coaching for overcoming narcissistic abuse and C-PTSD from abuse, you can check out the gentlekindness web site. There is a contact page where you can send me a message to let me know you are interested in setting up coaching.
Visit the site here..http://www.gentlekindnesscoaching.com/
You can also get more information and connect with other victims at the facebook page here….https://www.facebook.com/gentlekindnesscoaching/?ref=bookmarks
I have videos about abuse and abuse recovery at my YouTube channel here.…https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJw1QUDzb59PbWTcnGjGJ7g/videos
November 15th will be my 8 month anniversary of NO CONTACT with my abusive partner. I still have narcissists in my family that I want to break contact with but I am stuck in the situation for the time being. Let us hope that I can get on my feet and be able to take control back of my life to the fullest extent.
Beware of the “hoovering” techniques of the narcissist.
They will take you through the stages of idealization, devaluation and the discard. Then they often come back to you a few months later or even years later and try to hoover you back in.
This hoovering process is like a vacuum cleaner sucking up dirt. That is why it is called hoovering…like the Hoover vacuum cleaner.
Hoovering techniques can be calling or texting you with kind words and seemingly sentimental feelings. You want to believe that they cared about you once upon a time. So when they tell you that they miss you there is a natural tendency to want to believe that they have left over feelings for you from the relationship.
One of the hardest parts of recovering from narcissistic abuse is the acceptance that the narcissist did not love you ever. Love does not go along with abuse and manipulation. The idealization phase was an act in order to get you hooked.
Once the narcissist had you conditioned to behave in the way they wanted you to, that is when they dropped the idealization phase.
Their mask slipped and they began to be cruel, sarcastic, uninterested , and otherwise abusive to you.
The devaluation phase of the narcissist is the ultimate example of taking someone for granite.
The narcissist feels entitled to use you and they do not care what you have to give up for them. They have no concern for your future or your mental and emotional health.
When they try to hoover you back into a relationship with them, they will say whatever you want to hear, in order to gain your interest and curiosity. One of the reasons that people get lured back in is the fact that the narcissist did not allow them any closure to the relationship.
This lack of closure is something that the narcissist uses to their benefit.
They never allow any closure to their relationships because they want you to feel their presence in your mind without being able to fully let them go. It is a way that they can torment you ling after they have left your life.
It is like they are still lurking in the darkest edges of your mind, even when you have not seen them in months or years.
So when they text you or email you out of the blue, it is not the same as someone else who you broke up with. With a normal person who you broke up with a long time ago, it is a different feeling when they contact you out of the blue.
But the narcissist never really left your mind, so when they contact you it is like the longest “silent treatment” in history.
This is as opposed to running into an ex. partner that you had closure and reasons for the break up that you both understood.
In some cases this is exactly the intention of the narcissist. They are punishing you with this extended silent treatment so that if they decide to hoover you back in later on, you will be more careful not to upset them.
Once you have experienced being discarded cruelly, with no closure, seemingly out of nowhere, your brain has trouble letting go of it.
Your brain is designed to integrate memories into the part of the brain that holds past experiences.
If there is no proper closure then the memories of that relationship cannot be properly integrated. This is one of things that causes PTSD.
The memories are not properly integrated into the part of the brain they are supposed to be stored in. So the memories come up when you are triggered and they feel like they are happening right now in the present. rather than the in the past.
The narcissist counts on you having PTSD and not being able to put the relationship in the past. If you never put it in the past then it is easier for them to hoover you back in. The other thing they count on is the fact that you probably have toxic loneliness.
When you have toxic loneliness, it is more likely you will fall for the lies of the narcissist when they try to hoover you back in. The pain of the loneliness is something the narcissist promises to relieve for you.
The problem with that is that the narcissist will use you and then abuse you again. Your pathological loneliness will be relieved for a while as they take you through the idealization phase again. But if this is the second round of a relationship with them, then they will hit you even harder with the devaluation phase.
Why does the narcissist hoover you back in?
Usually they left you for a new victim. The were preparing the victim while they were still in the relationship with you. Once the victim was mesmerized and under their spell, then you were discarded with no regard for your feelings or even your financial stability that they may have broken.
They move on to the new victim to elicit narcissistic supply. They sometimes will text . email or call you because they only want to use you in order to make the new victim feel triangulated. They use you to make their new victim feel jealous and threatened, so that they will “behave” better.
This triangulating is how the narcissist gets you to do what he wants because you feel like he will go with the other person instead. He will lie about how the “other” person is so much better than you. more cooperative than you. less manipulative than you, more reliable than you…whatever.
So you may be being used as the third person of the triangle to torment their current victim.
It may also be that they need you for some other reason, such as their is something they want you to do for them. They will use you until they get what they want and then they will put you through the breakup again, with no closure.
The second discard can be even worse than the first one. Please keep this in mind before you decide to give the narcissist a second chance.
Your reality will be manipulated to the point where you will question your ability to tell reality from non-reality. You will be shamed this time even worse than the first time.
The fact that they were able to lure you back in after abusing you will make them have a stronger contempt for you. They will load you with contempt and disgust until you feel like you are garbage.
Please keep in mind the red flags of abusers and make sure you keep your boundaries.
If someone lures you back in and you keep your boundaries then you will quickly notice when they begin to cross them. You will see how angry they become when you do not abide by their rule of the “double standard”…meaning they can do whatever they want but you have to do what they tell you to do.
Do not allow others to tell you how you should feel, what you should believe or anything about who you are.
Do not allow a partner to tell you that you are too sensitive, or mentally ill, just because you resist letting them control you.
If the eyes are the windows to the soul then grief is the door. As long as it’s closed it’s the barrier between knowing and not knowing. Walk away from it and it stays closed. But open it and walk through it and the pain becomes the truth.
Dexter tv series
The above quote is from the TV Series called Dexter. Ironically it is the psychopath Dexter that says this in episode 2 of Season 2. He was coming to terms with having murdered his own brother.
As you know, psychopaths do not experience remorse or empathy like the rest of us but the writers of the show have to make the character likely somehow. It is hard for people to feel empathy towards a character that feels nothing. So they added this bit about Dexter feeling remorse about his brother and they gave the character PTSD from a childhood traumatic experience.
The quote itself does tell a truth that I want to talk about with you a little bit today. The grief from narcissistic abuse is complex and difficult to overcome. It is multi layered and often easier to ignore than to deal with.
The pain from narcissistic abuse encompasses all of you. In some ways it is more painful than the abuse you experienced when you were with the abuser. People who never went through this have no idea why it seems to take us so long to “just get over it.”
The “red pill” reference is from the movie The Matrix. in the movie there was a red pill that was taken by people who felt that they wanted to see reality for what it really was.
As Morpheus says in the movie “You were born into a prison you cannot smell, or taste or touch”
Taking the red pill meant a dissolving of the illusion of the matrix. The matrix was a false reality that the abusers in the movie (generated by the computer brain) created to make the people submissive. The computer fed off of the life force of the human bodies, while the actual bodies were in pods with tubes feeding off them.
To the abusers the people were only food. The false reality that was created for them was designed to keep them from knowing they were being abused. The people just go through their lives oblivious to the fact that abusers like the computer brain even exist.
Before we take the first red pill, victims are unaware of the scope and magnitude of narcissistic and psychopathic abuse. The first red pill comes with an earth shattering force that knocks the wind out of you. There are days when you wish you could take the “blue pill” which erases your memory about the matrix.
After the first red pill are more red pills. Little by little we realize just how insidious the abuser really was. The abuser haunts our nightmares and keeps us awake at night. It is like they left a piece of them in our minds.
In The Matrix, Morpheus says “Unfortunately no one can tell you what the matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. “
Once we begin to heal from the abuse and hear other victim’s stories, we see how narcissists are all around. We begin to feel like everyone is a narcissist and are almost paranoid as we search the faces of each person we meet.
The truth about narcissism is all around us but we never saw it before. The toxic people that have manipulated and abused us…bosses, parents, boyfriends, in-laws, neighbors, landlords…
Was is better living in the matrix? Do you wish you could go back and never had ingested that very first red pill?
The answer to that question is for you to answer. Not knowing about the matrix keeps us controlled and manipulated by others.
Knowing about the matrix means that we have to live the truth of narcissism. It means that we know psychopaths really exist and are not just in the movies. They are not just in the lives of someone in the news, but they are as close to us as the neighbor next door.
There are some YouTube personalities that tell you that narcissists and psychopaths make up about 1 percent of the population. However the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has done studies that say that the percentage is more like 3 to 4 percent.
You are a survivor and a warrior. You are stronger than you think. Now you are one of the ones who has taken that red pill and can see the matrix for what it is.
Sometimes it feels like you are in more danger now, but that it just because you are aware of the danger and you were not before. The truth is that you are safer now than you ever were before.
You are learning about the red flags of abusers. You are learning about the tactics of narcissists and psychopaths. You have support from other survivors online.
Survivors of narcissistic abuse are a tribe all our own and we are hear to help and support one another.
You will learn about co-dependence and people pleaser syndrome. You are learning how not to be a target for abusive people. You will not be taken in by the love bombing again.
You are okay. You will become stronger as you go. The matrix becomes more clear as you go along. Sometimes you still want to take a blue pill and forget. Sometimes you want to forget but you don’t really want to go back.
Remember that “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This means that the things you are used to doing and the thoughts you are used to thinking will perpetuate themselves. When you practice thinking in different ways, your brain will think in new ways.
You can re-wire bad thought patterns that were programmed into you during your childhood. If you were taught that you should tolerate abuse, then it was wired into your neuronal pathways. The way to re-wire it is to think in new ways on a regular basis.
Question the thoughts that you have and the feelings that tell you that you have to tolerate abuse.
There is no going back…only going forward. Life is path and you create the path under your feet as you walk upon it. Make your path unique and magical!
Get away from me
Get out of my life
I have had enough lies from you
You have had your fun
You have done your deed
Now it is time for you
to move on to your next victim
Get away from me
Get out of my brain
I have had enough obsessive thoughts about you
You burrowed in deep
To my subconsciousness
Now it is time for you
to be washed off
like the dirt on my skin
Get away from my daughters
Get away from my sisters
They have no weakness for you
For I have learned my lesson
and passed it on
So that you will never get through
Mark my words
you will never be
Anyone of any strength
For you pick on the weak ones
and steer clear of the strong ones
Like a bully in the schoolyard
Move along on your way
In my brain you won’t stay
I have no more desire for you
Your narcissistic ways
Your abusive tactics
Will work on me no more
Get off of my skin
I won’t let you in
to do more damage to me
You tried hard to break me
And now you forsake me
But I rose above all your damage
You thought you could beat me
But you can’t defeat me
My love and compassion still live
I’ll learn to love again
and be sure to spread the word
About the monsters
that disguise themselves as people
How can I feel okay after the relationship with an abusive person ends? Why do I feel so lonely and miss them?
You will not feel ok, at the beginning. It is very painful and I empathize with the extreme emotional trauma of the breakup. Due to the tendency of a narcissist to become blended with you , when you break up, it is hard to function without them. They will do much better than you and recover faster.
The illusion is that they are very needy of you and that you are their angel and savior. It seems like they should have an emotional crisis and be in the same pain you are after the breakup, but it is usually much more painful for the victim.
You actually loved them and felt real caring for them. You probably still worry if they will be able to survive without you. But they are good at getting people to the things they want and need them to do. They will manipulate them with flattery, and a seemingly humble deferring to their expertise.
They will then appear as a helpless, victimized person who is desperate for the other person’s help. They will get help and be able to find people to be there for them. Believe me.
You can let that worry go, and that will help you to start with. You do not have to feel guilty about breaking up.
The other reason you feel pain, is that the narcissist was involved in every aspect of your life and in every part of your day. There is no thing you can do, that does not make you feel like you should be doing it with them. You feel like you should be consulting with them, checking in with them, getting approval from them.
You temporarily lost your individual identity to this relationship. It will take time to get it back and learn to make your own choices without feeling guilty. Remember, in healthy relationships, people do not have to get permission for everything they do or include the partner in everything they do all day.
There was a feeling that you thought was love from them, but it was their need to be in control over you and over everything. They scolded you if you did not call them bout your plans and also if you did not schedule your day around them.
You become used to scheduling your day around the other person. It feels like you are working as a team to d that, but the question is,”How many times did they ever, work their schedule around you? How many times did they ever put your needs before their own?”
In contrast, “How many times did you rearrange things for them because they told you it was an emergency? How many times did you sacrifice and put your needs before theirs??”
Part of you knew that this was not right. You knew that if they really loved you, then they would put your needs as a priority sometimes, especially when you were suffering for some reason. But what happened every time you needed them to help you? They suddenly had a crisis that was much more important than yours. Something suddenly came up that was a life and death circumstance with their job and they had to tell you “NO” this time.
How many times did you ever tell them no? What happened when you did try to tell them you could not do something?
How many times did they tell you “ok no problem” when you asked for something? When they did do something for you, how many times did they remind you about it? Did they use it as an excuse not to do anything for you, for a long time after that?
On the other hand, how many favors would you do for them in a row? When you tried to say “N0” to the 20th favor they asked, because you were overloaded, how did they respond? Did they make you feel like a bad partner? Did they mention the one favor they did for you? Did they seem to completely forget all of the other things you have ever done for them, like they did not exist?
Yeah, been there, done that.
It is going to hurt. But it will get less over time. The more of your identity you get back, the better. The more you become comfortable with making your choices and running your own schedule again, the better.