It is important to begin by saying that narcissists don't know they are narcissists. This is crucial to understand. As you begin to question your relationship you will undoubtedly begin questioning the narcissist, and when you do you'll need to be prepared.
Narcissists don't always know they are narcissists. We have to keep this in mind. A narcissist is like speaking to a tree. A tree is convinced its a tree. When we speak to a tree--we know that the tree believes it is a tree. But what if the tree wasn't really a tree. What if the tree was really a bush but the bush just thought it was a tree? What if because the bush was planted in a forest full of trees, the bush just assumed it was a tree too?
Are you in a codependent relationship and suffering with enmeshment?
Most of us can empathize with other people to a particular degree. When we notice a photo of a grieving mother, within us is the ability to imagine how she feels. If you were to witness someone struggling to get their car door open, you would immediately empathize with this person because you have the ability to imagine what it would feel like to be in the same situation. This ability to empathize with others is made possible through what scientist refer to as mirror neurons.
Codependents are dependent on people. We seek validation, acceptance, and permission to feel what we feel and think what we think. Even when we are 'feeling' and 'believing' we should end a friendship or some other type of a relationship like a marriage or business agreement, we struggle with believing we have a right to do so. Even when we get angry, we look to the one who has pushed our buttons for permission to feel upset.
The HARDEST thing to do in life is to learn how to LOVE YOUR SELF!!!!
It is easy to love others because we don't know all of their flaws--like we know our own.
It is easy to love others--because it is easy to fantasize about the idea that someone else is totally freaking awesome--because we are not aware of their shadow side.
“You never tell me how you’re feeling”, it’s a common complaint that men often hear. For many, it’s the first salvo in a long conversation that will cause their partners to touch on their deficiencies, and lack of emotional intimacy and disregard for their partner’s emotional needs. Ironically, the more a man is berated for not having feelings, the less likely he is to share them with the one pointing the finger. Oddly enough, conversations like these often times end up ignoring the man's feelings altogether.
Let's take a look at this dilemma, shall we?
Narcissists need a toy to play with. Much like cats play with mice, narcs like to lay in waiting until the mouse feels secure and is out in the open. Once the mouse is out in the open and is feeling safe, that is when the cat strikes the hardest. When the mouse least expects to be taken over, that is when cats enjoy striking the most.
Codependents are sadly comfortable with being uncomfortable. When we are in relationships, we have no data for harmony. We settle for the discomfort because we don't know any other way of living. Neurosis, fear, anxiety, lions, and tigers, and bears OH MY! This IS our way of being.
Healing would come much faster if we could begin to ingest this idea of healthy vs unhealthy. If your relationships bring you anxiety, then they are NOT healthy and they do NOT serve you.
A true narcissist cannot see, feel, or hear you. They are concerned with how you impact their life. They are not concerned with how they impact yours.
Those of us who have been marked by the scars of emotional and physical abuse in childhood or as adults know how deep the trauma can penetrate. Our bodies heal, we grow and we cast off many of the superficial appearances that marked us as victims, but the emotional aftershocks remain long afterwards.
Since the early days of psychiatry we’ve known that abuse can put sufferers at risk of depression, self-harm, addiction and PTSD but it’s only recently that the effects it has on the very development of our brain became clear.