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Signs of a toxic relationship

"Lisa, why do you always talk about toxic relationships, narcissism, and childhood trauma? Shouldn't you talk more about happy things?"
 
Not that long ago, I received this DM on Instagram. I smiled for a bit and then realized it might be helpful to know why we need to know the signs of a toxic relationship.
If you were raised by pushy, self absorbed caretakers, or by those who were immature, and did not know 'how to' attune themselves to you as a child, you may have been taught to DOUBT your inner reality.
 
If your father or mother was narcissistic, immature, abusive, aloof, and or emotionally cold, you may not have a strong self of self that has the ability to VALIDATE how you feel. If this is the case, you will NOT readily acknowledge abuse for what it is. Instead, you will deny, rationalize, and normalize abusive behavior because as a child, you were not conditioned to feel as if how you felt or experienced the world was important.
You may even chase after...
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It is healthy to ask

What do you generally do when you have a need for clarity while speaking to someone?
 
What do you generally feel when someone has lashed out at you, verbally abused you, and is using you as an emotional punching bag?
 
What do you do when you are sick, feel unwell and have those who ask you to take things on you know you cannot?
 
If you were taught to believe it was your responsibility to do what others think you should do because NOT doing what was expected might be seen as rude, unkind, or selfish, it is time to take a good long look at how well you do at setting healthy boundaries.
 
If you were taught to believe love was conditional and it was your job to absolutely become what you knew others wished for you to become, you may have a hard time asking for space and time to consider choices that are most authentic for you.
It is healthy to 'ASK' and to show up for your authentic self, even if you know your truth will disappoint some. Those who...
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Gaslighting Narcissist

Gaslighting Narcissist 

 

Narcissists are cunning, manipulative and exploitive.

 
They seek those who are agreeable, kind, empathic, and often in emotional pain to dominate and control. It is never the fault of someone whose emotions were exploited by a narcissist, when they find their minds have been scrambled like eggs by a predatory type personality, period!
 
Gaslighting is utter abuse at every possible level.
 
A narcissist will gain your trust, draw you in, become everything they have learned YOU need, and once you are dependent upon them for all of your emotional needs, they've got YOU!
 
A narcissist will brainwash you over time to believe that YOU are the one with the problem. Since they have convinced you -- you should trust them, you do, but what you don't see is how they, at the same time have manipulated you to feel insecure about your thoughts, feelings, perceptions and decisions.
 
Double Jeopardy has begun!
 
If you...
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Why You Cant' Have Healthy Relationships

Why You Can't Have Healthy Relationships

 
Codependency is tied to shame, loneliness, poor boundaries, and a lack of life skills. When you are codependent, unhealthy relationships are the norm. You don't naturally watch after the self, and you tend to worry more about what others think about you than what you think about you. The past has become your NOW and you have no clue how to change what needs to be changed. Sadly, healthy relationships slip away as unhealthy dynamics continue to flourish.
 
Codependents tend to stay in toxic relationships even when they know they are toxic. Codependents will complain, cry, withdraw, and can find themselves living with intolerable anger and frustration. Patterns from the past, deep fears of abandonment, poor boundaries, and a lack of self makes it impossible to confront all that needs to be properly dealt with.
 
If you're codependent, you need a connection to the self and faith to believe that the self you are is valuable,...
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Denied Love

Denied Love Does Not Make You Unlovable

 
"It's all in your mind."
 
You've heard that been said before and it's true.
 
Our identity is a mix of what we learned about the world, the meanings we attached to those experiences, as well as the emotions that naturally surfaced during particular instances, and the memories that were consolidated over time.
 
If you learned life was unpredictable, abuse was the norm, love was not a given, and that your body, mind, soul, heart, tears, cries, needs, wants and space were irrelevant, you may not understand that those experiences shaped your IDENTITY.
 
Not feeling worthy, good enough, seen, valued, understood, nurtured, wanted, loved, respected, appreciated are all experiences that have been stored in your memories. Over time, these memories become neurological pathways that stem from the innumerable ghostly doors that live in the subconscious mind.
 
These doors hold our boo boos; the ones that went...
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Codependency is Living in the Past

Codependency Recovery 

 
When you are codependent, your mind is living in the past. All of the survival techniques you learned as a child, keep you on the codependent -- narcissistic treadmill, unaware you are dancing with another unaware dance partner. Two wounded peas in a pod, rinse, repeat and recycle patterns from the past; patterns that were based on trauma, abuse, neglect and rooted in survival.
 
Narcissists don't always know they are narcissists. They may know they are selfish, callous, and short tempered, but they often quickly justify, and rationalize their lack of empathy for how their razor edged tongues and cold hearts impact other people. They are quick to hush guilt away and to silence the whispers of the conscience.
 
If a narcissist steps on your toes, it will be your fault, and if you are highly sensitive to abandonment, you are the one who offers the standard, "Oh I am sorry. Please forgive me." The narcissist will remain in the lead as...
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Codependency and Honoring the Self

Codependency Recovery Means Honoring the Self 

 
Learning to live in the grey zone is a challenge for someone struggling with codependency.
 
Relationships can trigger all sorts of anxieties and cause us to fear rejection and abandonment especially when dismissed by someone we care about.
Consider the budding friendship with a coworker who you have begun to enjoy spending time with, who out of the blue forgets to call you when she said she would, or worse, mocks you for asking why she did not call when she said she would.
 
Ugh...
 

Codependency and Denial

 
Healing codependents must learn to manage those parts of themselves that want to caretake, rescue, and fawn especially when they are being dismissed, ridiculed, gaslighted, and made fun of for being emotional, open, vulnerable and caring. Our normal default lands us in the denial zone, which only leads to more heartache down the road.
 
One of our greatest challenges that face a...
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