For a very long time, I was angry, frustrated, depressed, and resentful. As Melody Beattie once described, it was like the pendulum within me flew to the opposite side of people-pleasing.
Forgiving a narcissist or someone with high narcissistic traits is NOT an easy thing to do. And when you struggle with codependency, because you have a limited sense of autonomy, it is hard enough holding onto anger let alone any other emotion. Those of us who have begged narcissistic others for validation have been abused to our core. Once there is nothing left to give, anger becomes a liferaft.
By the time I figured out what was wrong was faulty programming that had lead to codependent behaviors and language patterns that were all unconscious, I was a mess. Barely holding on, I was like an infected big toe. If the wind blew, I hurt.
For years, I held onto anger and resentment and for a time, being able to connect with anger allowed me to defend myself from what seemed to be...
The brain prefers the familiar, even when the familiar causes us to repeat painful patterns from the past.
The brain prefers the familiar, even when the familiar causes us to feel arrested, stuck, dependent, angry, depressed, critical, sad, lonely, frustrated, and codependent.
The brain prefers the familiar because, by nature, predictable circumstances are far less fear provoking than fears of the unknown, even if those predictable circumstances are painful.
If we people-please when we know others are upset with us, or if we react when others do not behave as we would like them to, both may be patterns from the past our wounded inner child used to cope with emotions that caused us to fear feeling abandoned, rejected, and ultimately NOT good enough.
If we freeze or run away and dissociate from painful emotions, our brain is only trying to help us move away from thoughts that terrify us. In essence, this is a protective mechanism that helps us manage overwhelming emotions we may not...