For most of my life, I struggled with self-worth. I did not truly believe I was worthy of love, understanding, acceptance, kindness, or appreciation. In the back of my mind was a core belief that sounded something like, "Nobody really likes you or loves you. You're not good. You're not smart. You're not pretty. You're not funny. Why would anyone want to love you? It's your job to prove to others you are good enough and when they finally say that you are good enough, then maybe you will be. Until then, keep working at trying to be good enough." This unconscious pattern of thought kept me bound as well as broken, seeking the approval of others.
When we are codependent, it is like we are living under water. We aren't really living at all. It is as if we are outside the fish tank looking in, wondering when we will finally feel like we belong, or that we are good enough to belong. The illusion that we are not good enough is strong and innate, we never question the idea...
Anyone who has every been abused by a narcissist will tell you it is a maddening experience. First of all, narcissists can appear to be exactly what we have been looking for our entire lives. They can be charming, alluring, inquisitive, curious, gentle, kind, considerate, wise, capable, strong, independent, charismatic, and they can even appear to have empathy. Well, at least they can present with these wonderful characteristics when we first meet them. When you are dealing with a narcissist, you are dealing with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of a personality. They are wolves in sheep's clothing and just when you least expect it, their true agenda begins to surface.
Eventually, as a narcissist's true agenda begins to surface, you might be taken off guard by their sudden shift in demeanor, out of character insensitivity, passive aggressive comment, or blatant disregard for your feelings. Because they have spent so much time love bombing you and convincing you how truly amazed they...
On Mother's Day of this year, my mother suffered another stroke. The hematoma on her brain has caused her to also begin experiencing seizures. Along with each seizure her heart has stopped each time. All of this is on top of her dementia diagnosis.
My mother is the classic codependent. Born to two raging alcoholics, my mother and her two brothers were never raised. Instead, they were born, shuttered from one apartment to another, and essentially existed on the outskirts of the lives of their two alcoholic parents. At nineteen, she met and fell in love with, another adult child of a raging alcoholic, my dad. Like moths to a flame, these two wounded souls found one another, felt an instant connection, married, and began to raise a family.
Growing up I never felt like I could connect with my mom. As a child I would liken this inability to connect to having a pane of clear glass that existed between us. I couldn't see it, or touch it, but I could sense it. I was sure she...
When I walked into my therapy appointment for the first time, I was seriously doubting my sanity. At the same time I was also obsessing about the self-doubt I felt about being in therapy at all. I was ingrained to believe that self-care was a form of selfishness. It was only because I was so desperate I went at all. Migraines, rashes, hair loss, eczema, and severe asthma were all killing me slowly. I knew in my heart my unhappy marriage was a key to why I was falling apart and seeking therapy felt very much like my last hope.
Within the first hour of the session my therapist diagnosed me with codependency. I had no idea what codependency was, but I didn't care. I was just happy there was a name for what I was experiencing. For years I felt like I was losing my mind and with a name for what I felt, I was feeling relieved to say the least.
My first assignment was to go and buy the book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. I didn't walk to the Barnes and Noble...
It is probably one of the most emotionally challenging things to do as a human being Setting boundaries with those we love and care about can be difficult and anxiety provoking. So how do we know when we should set a boundary?
It is certainly a complicated question and it has helped me to develop a certain protocol around boundary setting. It is not failproof, but having some type of concrete plan has helped me feel less anxious when put in a difficult spot by someone I care about.
1) If someone is talking poorly about me and not to me, that is something I generally brush off unless this person is someone who claims to love, honor and respect me. If I am spoken poorly about by someone who claims to care about me and our relationship, my general rule of thumb is to confront them personally.
It is always best to first ask the person if what we heard is true before we go assuming gossip is...
For those of us who grew up in dysfunctional homes, we may have not understood at the time that we were being brainwashed to think and feel the way our parents did. When we were small, the soil that was our fertile, innocent, virgin subconscious minds were being downloaded with all sorts of weeds. If our parents were racists, feared spending money, or spoke poorly about those in different religions, as adults we must begin to understand that childhood rearing is in fact indoctrination. If your parents were well adjusted, balanced, fair, civil, kind, nurturing, empathetic, attuned, generous, accepting, understanding human beings, more than likely the indoctrination you experienced has benefited you. But, what if, your parents weren't so kind? What if your parents treated you with indifference, were alcoholics, narcissists, emotionally abusive, passive aggressive, minimizing, condescending, or physically abusive? What kind of impact would that type of...
This coming Thursday, May 25th, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time, I will be hosting a live free webinar.
I will be introducing The 12-Week Breakthrough Coaching Program and answering your questions live.
This webinar should last approximately one-hour, but because I can be long-winded, (ha--no kidding) I cannot promise that I will not go over the hour.
You must register to attend.
I cannot promise that I will answer all the questions posed but I promise to do my best.
Often times clients ask me, "How can I change the narcissist in my life?" Because I also teach about The Law of Attraction, it seems that clients sometimes get confused when it comes to blending narcissistic abuse recovery with the ideas that imply that if we can change the way we look at things, the things we look at will change. I totally understand that, which is why I felt the need to shed some light on this particular subject.
For the record, a true narcissist believes in the visions, perceptions, beliefs, desires, and needs they hold inside their mind. They generally tend to be fixated and immovable perceptions, that they are not willing to shift. In fact, they believe so strongly in the perceptions they hold of themselves and others, that penetrating their beliefs would be akin to a toddler trying to scale the Great Wall of China, barefoot, with a cinder block strapped to their back, in the dark, and surrounded by hungry wolves. What a...
Codependency symptoms are wide and varied. It is important to remember to avoid black and white thinking when trying to better understand codependency symptoms. Keep in mind that codependency is rooted in a poor sense of self and that the way codependency shows up in you or within your relationship can rely heavily on what might be going on in the moment.
Generally speaking, if you have been raised to feel invisible, unloved, and like you are not enough, chances are you will probably experience some codependency in your life. Symptoms of codependency include but are not limited to;
Narcissistic abuse is insidious. Unlike physical abuse, there is no event per se, or outward sign that abuse has taken place. Narcissists abuse in the dark, behind closed doors and in the emotional realms. Most of the wounds they inflict are untraceable by the human eye.
If you are a love starved codependent, who, like most codependents, has suffered from attachment trauma, you will probably be immediately drawn to a narcissistic type person. Their charisma, confidence, allure, and self-assuredness can be captivating, although some narcissists can appear vulnerable instead. Many of us fall for narcissists because they appeal to our need to be accepted by someone we view as an authority. Having perhaps never felt loved by our caretakers, and thus the authorities in our lives, has left a gaping hole within our heart space that only a person with an equal vibration to the ones that caused that wound can fill.
Unconsciously, it is as if our hearts believe that only the same intellect...