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Inner Integration Podcast
Codependency Caused by Abuse
August 24, 2018 Meredith Miller

In this episode we’ll explore where codependency comes from, how to identify these patterns in yourself, and what you can do about it now.

You’ll find out what codependency is and you’ll get the opportunity to evaluate yourself on 30 parameters of codependency to see what you need to work on to overcome those patterns. The Codependency Inventory will also help you to compare where you were in the past and where you are now in order to evaluate your progress in rewriting the old codependency patterns.

You’ll hear the best clips from my YouTube videos on: did the adult relationship cause the codependency or where did that come from, the control factor of codependency that might be causing you to feel helpless, and the relationship between self-love and codependency.

www.InnerIntegration.com

The Journey: A Roadmap for Self-healing After Narcissistic Abuse

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:03There could be a lot of shame around admitting that the very first time that someone said to me, I was talking about my boyfriend and she's like, he's a narcissist, and I was like, what? No, no. She's like, and you need to look at codependency and you should go to a Cota meeting, and I was like, oh no, I'm not a codependent. I just had this enormous amount of shame. Deep Down I knew she was right. I just didn't want to admit it. I just wanted to like pride myself in being an independent person and I don't need anybody and I can take care of myself. And three reality was that every time I would get into a relationship would be with one of these manipulative character is rather narcissistic, sociopath, psychopath, borderline personality, and then they might. Codependency dependency was here. I would get into that relationship and then the co dependency would get significantly worse as time would go on in that relationship because that person is beating down your self respect or self esteem or self confidence. Your contributing to that by enabling it, by staying. That's the responsibility you to take for yourself, so recognized there could be a lot of shame around admitting that you are codependent. I fully admit that I had a lot of shame around that. I didn't even want to utter those words. Part of that was because I didn't want to surrender to the destiny of that word.

Speaker 2:1:15I'm Meredith Miller and this is the inner integration podcast where you can learn the mindsets and tools to help you heal after narcissistic abuse.

Speaker 2:1:25What is codependency? In essence, it's about putting aside your own feelings and needs in order to take care of someone else. It's trying to please someone else and people pleasing is self abandonment. Codependency is caused in dysfunctional families where the parents or caretakers had one of the following going on. Could have been addictions like alcohol, food, drugs, shopping work, sex, gambling could have been abused and that could be physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual abuse or could have been illness and that could have been some kind of chronic mental or physical illness. And then what happens is these patterns of codependency carry on into adulthood where the person ended up caretaking people with similar dysfunctions as their parents or caretakers, so they ended up meeting more abusers or alcoholics, addicts, etc. Maybe by now you've heard that codependency could be caused by abuse and you're wondering if you have codependency patterns because you know you've been in at least one abusive relationship.

Speaker 2:2:31AdMitting that you have codependency patterns can be very difficult. There's a lot of shame attached to that word and you might be afraid to be shamed by others who think codependency means weakness and it's not. It's not your fault that you were programmed this way since childhood. The good news is that you can work to overcome the patterns of codependency. The first step to transformation is developing the awareness of it and being able to admit it. I've got a list of 30 parameters to help you evaluate if you have codependency patterns or not. You might want to get out a piece of paper and a writing instrument, or you can use a text file in your computer or phone while answering these questions. I'm going to read through these statements and the codependency inventory. Ask yourself, do any of them sound familiar? So if the following statements are at least somewhat true for you, answer yes.

Speaker 2:3:25If it's not true at all for you, then answer no number one, you often put others needs before your own. Number two, you frequently look for approval and recognition outside yourself. Number three, you have poor boundaries. Number four, you have a difficulty saying no. Sometimes you say yes when you really want to say no. Number five, you have a deep sense of shame and feelings of not being good enough. Number six, you have a compulsive tendency to caretake people. Number seven, when you were in a relationship, you can get obsessed with thinking about that person and the relationship. Number eight, you think about your relationships more than any other area of your life. Number nine, you try to fix others and you might even have a sense that you're kind of in denial about that. Number 10, you feel low. Self worth. number 11, you often trust others more than yourself.

Speaker 2:4:28Number 12, you frequently doubt yourself, your perceptions and slash or your abilities. Number 13, you have a big fear of making mistakes. Number 14, you have a difficulty identifying your feelings and needs. Number 15, you take on too much responsibility for other people's shit. number 16, you often have rescue fantasies that his savior or a great love will rescue you from your life. Number 17, you have addiction escapes from the pain in your life such as food, alcohol, drugs, work, gambling, sex porn. Number 18, you have a difficulty speaking up and saying your truth around others. number 19, you have poor communication skills. Number 20, you often develop an unhealthy dependence on the relationships in your life to the point that you would choose to stay in an unhealthy relationship instead of being alone. Number 20, one, you have a difficulty receiving compliments or help from others.

Speaker 2:5:39Number 22, you have a hard time asking for help. Number 23, you have a fiercely independent shell of protection and then I can do it myself. Attitude number 24, you have chronic anger and resentment towards people who have hurt you. Number 25, you have a love addiction or relationship addiction. Number 26, you have difficulty talking about things with your partner. When you have relationship problems. Number 27, you tend to defer relationship decisions to others. Number 28, you often have one sided relationships where you're doing much more giving than receiving. Number 29, you tend to go with the flow and social circumstances and relationships rather than rock the boat or confront difficult issues. Number 30, you're very empathic of others' feelings and needs. If you answered yes to the majority of those questions, then you likely have codependency patterns. That's okay. There's no shame in that.

Speaker 2:6:49It just means you have work to do in order to overwrite the patterns of your dysfunctional childhood programming. Now, imagine you were taking that test for yourself six months ago, a year ago, five years ago. Would you test higher for codependency patterns back then? If so, great job. That means you're making progress and your healing and in rewriting those old codependency programs. Codependency isn't a life sentence. You can work on this stuff and heal yourself so you don't keep staying in abusive situations and taking care of abusive people. One thing is knowing what the manipulator is doing. Another thing is being able to see what attitudes and habits in yourself you want to change so you can become a healthier and happier version of you. Codependency does not meAn that you're weak. Codependency is about patterns of attitudes and behaviors that were programmed into you since childhood.

Speaker 2:7:51It wasn't your fault. These habits became your survival mechanisms in a very dysfunctional environment. Thankfully now as an adult, you can identify it so you can start working on it. Now. I want to caution you a little bit about some things. There is some information out on the internet about so called m pads or super empathic being the targets of manipulators, and here's my take on that. I believe all humans with a proper functioning conscience have empathy. That's why sociopaths have no empathy. Their conscience doesn't work. It seems narcissist also have an impaired conscience that kind of work sometimes and in some situations or for momentary fleeting moments only. When you were raised in an abusive environment, you will develop hyper empathy for survival purposes. You had to be able to feel when you're abusive, parent or caretaker walked in, what kind of mood they were in and what they needed.

Speaker 2:8:51This was the matter of avoiding attack and punishment in abuse or neglect. You learn to read the abuser to survive, and now you have something of a superhero power because you're heightened. Empathy allows you to sense more than the average human, but keep in mind normal humans are empathic. That's a general quality of human beings who have a properly functioning conscience. Your heightened empathy is usually related to codependency because as a child that hyper empathy taught you how to caretake abusive people and how to keep yourself safe and then later your empathy was used against you in adult relationships to keep you feeling obligated, to keep giving in an unbalanced and unhealthy relationship. Codependence are usually very empaThic. Healing from codependency does not mean you will lose your empathy. Empathy is a healthy quality. You just want to work on the self abandonment aspects of codependency so you can get yourself healthy, and if you let them direct your attention only towards the idea of empath, super empath.

Speaker 2:9:56What's going to happen is you might overlook the patterns of codependency, which are the things that are actually getting you in trouble with manipulative people. I also want to urge caution when you hear things playing upon your desire to feel special, like an over emphasis on empath or super empathic or another common one told to victims of psychopaths. You were selected because you're the best people on the planet. Psychopaths sometimes use phrases like that to play on the victim's desire to feel approved, have recognized, seen, and noticed. There's a super creepy movie on netflix called creep. At the end, the psychopath and murderer describes why his victim didn't even turn around to see the acts coming. he said, it's because you're the greatest person that's ever lived. No matter what I did to you. You believed I was good and I would do you no harm.

Speaker 2:10:51When you can recognize your vulnerabilities like the ones in the codependency inventory, you'll be able to be more aware of how others might be trying to use them against you and you'll be able to work on creating a new relationship with yourself and then the world around you. It all starts with you. Healing codependency comes through yourself. Care work. If you are ready to work on radical self care and key areas of your life to transform those codependency patterns from childhood, you might want to check into myself care mastery course on my homepage. That's inner integration.com. Put in the coupon code podcast 15. That's all caps, p o, d, c, a s t one five, so that's all one word together to get 15 percent off the self care mastery course for listening to this episode and being ready to transform the entire relationship that you have with yourself. Here are some of the best clips from my youtube videos on codependency caused by abuse during

Speaker 1:11:54if the norc relationship made me codependent or that I was codependent all along because before this relationship with an arc, I thought it was just a caring person, a libra, but a little insecure and with a lack of boundaries. I have the best parents in the world, nothing wrong with my use, etc. If I look at the signs of a codependent person, that was 100 percent me in this toxic relationship. Am I co dependent and is this a bad thing? It makes me feel again that a lot of things were my fault. Okay? First of all, sweetheart, that was not your fault. What happened? Okay. You were deceived. You were conned, you were tricked. It was not your fault. You went through a grooming process, which is like abuse training for this person gradually trained you to become like that. Now, here's the thing you're saying codependency is there's not a pattern that was with you since childhood.

Speaker 1:12:48You're saying your family has different dynamics, so if you weren't raised by an alcoholic and addict, a narcissist, psychopath, sociopath, borderline or other manipulative character, and by the way, I hear more and more from people now saying that one of their parents was bipolar and this bipolar person, you know, it was very abusive. My suspicion is that that parent might actually have been misdiagnosed. that parent might actually be a borderline personality and not bipolar. I don't know. That's just my suspicion. I haven't met those people. I don't diagnose people, but listening to the patterns, the patterns sound very, very similar. So If you were not raised in any of those situations because if you were raised in a family where those sorts of dynamics took place, then you definitely either became the codependent or the manipulator. Right. And when one of either direction, if you're saying you didn't come out of one of those families, none of those patterns were there.

Speaker 1:13:41your family was really healthy. You didn't have that kind of dysfunction. Right. Every family has a degree of dysfunction, but when we're talking about these dynamics, we're talking about massive dysfunction. That's like deeply scarring and wounding to the children who then grow up to be adult children who then as adults, we need to learn to take responsibility for ourselves. We need to learn to meet our own emotional needs. We need to learn to stop putting other people before us that we are our number one priority in life, that we need to honor our thoughts, our needs, our emotions, our perceptions of reality. If that was not you, you didn't grow up with those feelings, that sense of unworthiness or something. Then my suggestion would be to look at what happened in let's say this was your very first adult relationship with one of these people too.

Speaker 1:14:27Because if there had been more relationships like this, then I would say maybe you're not being 100 percent honest with yourself about childhood is that will be a pattern that's repetitive. If This was like a one off right, and this does happen sometimes. Like every now and then I talked to someone who says, okay, this was like a one off. Like I've never been in a relationship like this. and like all of a sudden I'm meeting a person like this possibly right before you met them, you went through some kind of devastating sense of loss. Maybe someone you love died, maybe you got divorced, maybe you had some kind of crisis at work. Your career was destroyed. Something happened. If some major sense of loss that can leave a person very open. I have often heard about widows and widowers who didn't really have these dynamics and then they met the narcissist, but usually if this person works with me over a period of time, we ended up pretty quickly, usually within the first month identifying that in fact they were raised by characters like this.

Speaker 1:15:22They just didn't want to admit it. They just didn't want to see it. Or they felt this enormous amount of weight, of guilt, of saying that about their parents because that person was their parents. So could be any of those things. You and only you would know that you have to be really honest with yourself because the start of self love, self love is the cure for codependency. As ross rosenberg says, Though, he calls codependency self love deficit disorder. If you haven't read his book yet, I would start there. It's called the human magnet syndrome. Why? We're attracted to these people who heard us and when you see how he describes codependency as an inability to set boundaries and then also an inability to express yourself. These are the two main manifestations that you'll see of codependency in your relationships, in ability to set boundaries with other people in relationships.

Speaker 1:16:09In other words, you let them take advantage of you and then an inability to express yourself, your thoughts, your needs, your feelings or perceptions of reality because the person is gaslighting you or putting them down or telling you that you don't have a right to any of that. Those are typically the things that the codependent needs to work on in order to no longer attract and to no longer be the magnet that attracts these manipulative people. Because if you have healthy boundaries that will repel toxic, manipulative people. If you have healthy boundaries and maintain them, because if you renegged on your boundaries, then they get away with it. They've manipulated you into breaking your boundaries very covertly. Sometimes they do that where it really seems like it's your idea and ultimately it is because your boundaries are your responsibility. One hundred percent you and only you, but setting new unhealthy boundaries will help repel those people out of your life because you're going to be saying no in saying no.

Speaker 1:16:57It was a really hard thing for codependence and as part of the recovery process is learning to say no, but this one of the most important things from the very beginning. It's like, what do you need to say no to in your life? Who do you need to say no to more often and then the other thing is working on your expression of self, the authentic expression of who you are, getting to know who you are, feeling confident in expressing that, giving yourself the permission, the validation and the sense of approval that you need to go ahead and express yourself. Those are major things that you want to work on coming out of this relationship dynamic. There could be a lot of shame around admitting that the very first time that someone said to me, I was talking about my boyfriend and she's like, he's a narcissist, and I was like, what?

Speaker 1:17:40No, no. She's lIke, and you need to look at codependency and you should go to a cota meeting, and I was like, oh no, I'm not a codependent. I just had this amount of shame. Deep down I knew she was right. I just didn't want to admit it. I just wanted to like pride myself in being an independent person and I don't need anybody and I can take care of myself and three allity was that every time I would get into a relationship, I would be with one of these manipulative characters, rather narcissist, sociopath, psychopath, borderline personality, and then they might. Codependency was here. I would get into that relationship and then the codependency would get significantly worse as time would go on in that relationship because that person is beating down your self respect or self esteem or self confidence. Your contributing to that by enabling it, by staying.

Speaker 1:18:27That's the responsibility you got to take for yourself, so recognize there could be a lot of shame around admitting that you are codependent. I fully admit that. I had a lot of shame around that. I didn't even want to utter those words. Part of that was because I didn't want to surrender to the destiny of that word. I was like, okay, okay. I get it. Those are my patterns. I do have codependent patterns, but I am not a codependent. I do not want to stay in those patterns. I'm not going to be that person the rest of my life. I'm going to heal myself. I'm going to heal those issues of codependency that I have so that I no longer play that role and relationship so that I no longer attract these manipulative people, so sometimes it's a matter of being honest with yourself about the childhood situation, about your own pattern, but for real look at it.

Speaker 1:19:13I would also look at John Bradshaw, the way he defines codependency as spiritual bankruptcy. He's got some great strategies for healing the inner child wounds around that, but maybe just maybe that wasn't you. Maybe you just had a major sense of loss and this person came into your life or maybe like your house burned down or something. You've lost everything. That kind of thing, and then they were just vulnerable and open because when things are crashing down, we're going through major transformational periods in our life. Certain things are being destroyed so that we can reimburse things, we can regrow things, but it's like the old has to be destroyed before the new can be created. If you are in that period of your life, it could be dangerous to attract some new person. When you're going through this, there is a sense of loss. You know, you're grieving part of yourself that you're leaving behind your grieving old patterns, old situations, maybe old relationships and maybe they weren't really toxic with manipulators, but you're still in this grieving process in this like rebirthing process and you're very open and vulnerable and maybe you just have the luck of running into that person right at that moment and they hook you in and then you get into this and then you're like, oh my god, I've become this and that's not me, and blah, blah, blah.

Speaker 1:20:25So what You can do is just recognize where you went wrong in that relationship. That was not your fault, but what I mean is where you went wrong was like where you started enabling these really unhealthy dynamic where you started making excuses and rationalizations for the abuse that that person was bringing into your life for the way they are emotionally manipulating you in recognizing maybe you were really naive. Maybe you just didn't see it. Maybe it wasn't that it was familiar and comfortable to you since childhood. It was just like you didn't want to believe that there was that kind of evil in the world. You didn't want to believe that you had these spiritual beliefs, so it was like everything is good and it's all for a reason and you know, whatever's happening is meant to be, and then you attract this person. You're like, oh my god, there really is evil in the world.

Speaker 1:21:12I have seen evil and now your whole reality paradigm has been shaken up and you've been awakened essentially, and that is ultimately the gift of one of these relationships is you have been awakened the universe, god, creator, whatever you want to call it, has poked you in. It's like, oh my god, my god, and you can either answer that calling or not, but you could go back to sleep. You could try and what's going to happen is you're going to keep getting into those same dynamics and relationships or you can make changes in your life. they could stop the repetition, compulsion and you can make changes because even if that relationship was the first time that happened and it didn't happen before that, I could almost guarantee that if you don't do the work, you're going to keep seeing that repetition happened. They're going to keep attracting people like that, but different flavors, right?

Speaker 1:21:59But the same manipulative energy that's happening, it's like inevitable. Why? It's a gift for you to heal something inside. It's like a waking up of you to recognize that there's something more to your life than you realize something more. What is it? What is it for you? How can you extract something like a treasure and a gift from that experience that you learned something new about yourself or you had some like bursting of a sense of life purpose for the first time in your life? Because of that, I guarantee there is some kind of gift there and that's what I would focus on extracting as you're moving forward in life so that you can use the trauma and transmute that into purpose and the bigger you grow the sense of purpose, the more it will magnetize you forward toward that in out of the gravity of the past.

Speaker 1:22:46You also want to do the work. Check out ross rosenberg's book. Check out John Bradshaw because work on healing the inner quite possibly. what you'll find is that even though you didn't have a manipulative parents, something happened in childhood, there was a familiar feeling in childhood that you had, that you recognized in that relationship, maybe appeared totally different in childhood, but the feeling was the same. And again, john bradshaw's where a homecoming for example, that book on healing the inner child, fantastic for getting to the bottom of those things and he's got questionnaires in there that will really help you see, really wake you up to realize if you have had these. Codependency Is all your life, could depend. See tendencies all your life and just didn't recognize or realize that when you answered these questions, you'll see really clearly. We just don't realize like, oh, that weird thing that I do, or like that pattern that I have always put other people first or to doubt myself and believe someone else, whatever it is.

Speaker 1:23:40When you go through these questions, that can be really eye opening because you might be like, oh my god, I'm just never saw it. I've been codependent on my life and just never saw it, so check into that because one way or another you still want to do the inner work to get yourself out of that pattern. You know you've learned that pattern. Whether you just learned it now or you've been learning it for decades. Now that that pattern is ingrained in your nervous system. You need to unlearn that. You need to change your actions, new behaviors, new perceptions, new belief system so that you don't keep repeating the same old,

Speaker 3:24:11the codependency control factor. This might be something you haven't really thought about a lot. Typically when we think about control, we think about what the narcissist does with the psychopath does, you know they're controlling your life in some way emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, spiritually in some way they had control over your life, but I would encourage you to look a little deeper and recognize that you two probably have some control issues. Oh, these Are hard to face. These are really hard to admit. We don't want to admit these. I admit I didn't want to admit that I had some sort of desire to control things, but if you think back to the relationship when You were trying to fix the person you were trying to heal the person, you were just trying to make things better. You were trying to make it work and it was like an impossible situation.

Speaker 3:24:57It was a situation you never should have settled for, but you were trying to control the outcome in some way. Why didn't want to recognize that was a control thing and maybe you didn't either. And I think one of the sentences that the phrases that I hear that really calls upon this control factor is my love will save him or my love will fix her or heal her or say one of these sorts of phrases. That's the control right there. That's where you think you have some kind of illusion that you have any control over someone else and you don't. And that's the thing, and that will only lead you to a sense of powerlessness. So if you feel a sense of powerlessness and helplessness, if you're feeling exhausted and tired, if you feel like there's all this scarcity in your life, you're. There's this lack of abundance.

Speaker 3:25:47You don't feel like your life is abundant. You don't feel like things are working well. Maybe you feel like you're taking one step forward and two steps back in. This keeps happening. You're like, you finally take that step forward and two steps back and that sort of game. And really this is coming down to the control factor. And so the only. The only solution here is to let go and let things blow. There's something you're grabbing onto that you're not willing to let go of whatever that is. It's your idea of how something has to be. It's your idea of perfection. It's your idea of some outcome that's not happening. Whatever that is, you know there's something outside of you that you're probably trying to control. If you're feeling amazing right now, if you're feeling a sense of abundance right now, you're in the flow.

Speaker 3:26:32So good job to you. So letting go is entirely a mental thing. It's entirely a mental thing, right? So like our mind has sort of like these of like how things have to be or who we have to be or how we have to be, and then if we don't do it just right, we're going to beat ourselves up about it. Or maybe we self sabotage because we're like, well, you know, I just, I can't do it. It's just, it's too much. I'm not going to be able to. Nothing is possible. You know, all of the old negativity paradigm that you've heard before and truly letting go is probably one of the hardest things to do in human life. It's really, really hard because you feel a sense of vulnerability if you don't have that control. When you have control or when you sink, you have controller.

Speaker 3:27:23When you desire for that control, it's like this false sense of security. It's not real. You have no control over anything outside of you. The only thing you have control over is yourself. Your attitudes, your actions, how you show up, where you invest all of your mental and emotional energy. That's where the true control is. Control is really just self control. It's control. You have over yourself and the universe responds to you, the world around your response to that, and I think probably one of the reasons why this is so hard is because it requires trust. It requires trust. First, you have to trust in yourself. Second, you have to trust In the universe. This universe wants to help you. It really does. You just have to get out of your own way. Letting go is the way forward. Letting go is the path of abundance.

Speaker 3:28:14This is where the magic sauce is and it's sort of like you learn this layer by layer, like you're unlocking levels of this. Like the more you relax, the more you let go, the more you get into the flow and it's like layer by layer, by layer, and you can even feel it in your body like in the fascia that connects everything. I've noticed this in the last week. The more I'm relaxing, the more I'm just letting go, just like layer by layer and every layer of that control that you release, every layer of that, that you relax more. You're going to be rewarded with that abundance from the universe, so what's in the way when you're getting in your own way, what is in the way? It's doubt and fear. That's it. It really comes down to doubt and fear and that's entirely in your mind and it starts in your mind.

Speaker 3:29:07That control factor. It's in your mind, but then it ends up playing out in your body like you might notice that you start to develop physiological problems because there are so much of this tension in your mind. You might notice there's like a particular pathway in your body. I noticed it when I pay attention, it starts like behind my neck and my head somewhere. I'm guessing that's like around the reptilian brain, which I think is where this whole control thing comes from because it's driven by fear and the fear is the reptilian brain and so it goes from there into my neck and the shoulder blade and it all gets crunched up and then it goes into my left side somewhere in the back and the rib cage and I can literally feel this zig zag. It's like a lightening bolt and then I can reverse engineer it and I realized like it's all coming from back here and so when I meditate, I'm just going to close my eyes and breathe and focus my awareness into that place inside my head.

Speaker 3:30:01That epicenter of control and practice. Breathing into that and relaxing and breathing into that and relaxing and breathing into that and relaxing and you'll be surprised what you noticed. Like patterns. Show up connections, show up realization, show up that maybe you hadn't considered before. So coNtrol is based on fear. It's driven by fear. Now, fear serves a biological purpose. When there is a life or death situation, you make a decision based on the fear that saves your life. But if you're making daily decisions based on fear, you're probably making a lot of bad decisions. They're not the best decisions for sure you've got this narrowed vision because that's what happens in fear is it becomes like this narrow vision and all you see is that, and you miss all this big picture. So it's like you lose track of the whole terrain, like you can only see the tree.

Speaker 3:30:57You can't see the whole forest. You're not going to make your best decisions that way. That's going to lead to more regret. That's going to disconnect you further from your sense of intuition and inner guidance. It's going to get in the way of that. If everything is driven by fear, you're not going to be making the best decisions. You're not going to be making the decisions that will lead to what you want in life. You're not going to be making decisions that generate a sense of abundance in your life. This universe really wants to help you. This universe is infinitely abundant. You just need to tap into the flow, which means you need to get out of your own way. So how were you getting in your way? It's your idea of perfection. You know? It has to be just like this. It has to be just like that you were raised by a narcissist or a psychopath or sociopath.

Speaker 3:31:44You learn that. You learn that like you had to do everything perfect or you wouldn't get in trouble. You were going to get punished, but the reality is that there is no such thing as perfection. Everything in life is perfectly imperfect. That's just the way it is, and you need to accept that. So when you find yourself chasing, chasing and chasing after that sense of perfection, which you might be doing right now, if you're chasing and chasing after that perfection, you gotta recognize. Let that go. Let that go. There's no such thing as perfection, okay? Sometimes we make mistakes and we look back and we recognize where we went wrong or a decision that we would have made differently if we had had more awareness if we had just calmed down for a moment. Instead of making that split second decision based driven by fear.

Speaker 3:32:33The other thing is is you know, when you just want things to be just so right and it's like just trying to control every little thing and it's like just driving you crazy because it's just not like that. Life is not like that. You can't control things like that. You know, I was at the airport a week ago, I got all these bags, you know, living down here and it's always the weight game, you know, it's always 50 pounds and you're trying to guess, is it 50, is it over, is it under and you want to fill it to the maximum, but you don't want to go over. So I get there. You know, one of my bags was 45 pounds and one of them is 55 pounds. You know, it's like four or five pounds overweight, 50 4:55. And the woman's like, well, you know, can you take out four pounds?

Speaker 3:33:11And so, you know, it's like 3:00 in the morning, I'm opening the suitcase. I got it out venus's over there was all these people in line and I'm breaking out into a sweat and I'm like pulling out items and I'm weighing them one by one. It's like one pound, half a pound. I'm like, this is not going to happen. And I'm like, I could sit here and try to control this, or I could just hand this lady my credit card and just tell her to charge me for the heavy bag. You know, she's like, $100. I'm like, fine, it's worth my sanity. Here's my credit card, you know? And just deal with it like that and just let go. Sometimes we have to make these decisions, you know, that maybe I didn't want to spend $100 on that, but to me $100 was well worth my sanity.

Speaker 3:33:51It was well worth not getting overly stressed and worked up and panic before starting that whole journey. I didn't want to start the journey on that tone. I decided to relax and let go and send it to the universe and accept. That's just the way things were. The other day I was at this organic place and they have this like little salad bar and this older woman came in and she sat down at this community table and there was the guy at the other end and they knew each other and they said hello, and she's like, oh, you know, it's not nearly as good today. They didn't have all the things I was expecting or hoping for and all the things I like and the guy goes, sounds like life. Right? Totally. Sometimes you get to the salad bar and it's kinda empty. There isn't a lot of stuff there.

Speaker 3:34:34Maybe it's kind of picked over and maybe they don't have. Your favorite stuff is at the end of the world. No. Right. That's how life is. Things aren't always exactly as we want them to be. Sometimes we try to accomplish things in life and they just don't turn out the way that we hoped or the way that we expected or what we really wanted, and for whatever reason, sometimes that just happens and it's important to trust that everything is happening for the higher good. Everything is happening for the higher good trust in the process. You know? How old are you? How old is this universe? Think about 10 years ago. Think about how much more awareness you have now then you had 10 years ago, right? Like the decisions you make now are really different than the decisions you made 10 years ago. Well, this universe is billions and billions and billions of years older than you and I don't.

Speaker 3:35:23You think it's a little wiser than us. Don't do think it's a little arrogant that you think you know everything, right? So just relax and trust that the universe is flowing the way it needs to flow. So instead of trying to control everything outside yourself, recognize that the only thing you really have control over is yourself and where you direct your mental and emotional energy. Where are you directing it? Are you focusing your mental, emotional energy on stuff that's out of your control? You're driving yourself nuts. Are you getting a lot of headaches? That's a big sign. Do you have migraines? Do you have headaches? That's a big sign that you're trying to control things and it's not working. Even ibs, things like that, you know, in the intestines get like all tight and stuff. Probably something you're holding onto and not letting go. Right?

Speaker 3:36:10The body is very symbolic in that way. So when you start to read your body, you start to understand like a mirror of your life, what are the issues that are going on in your life? So here's the filter question and the filter question is, do you have any control over that? Whatever that is, whatever the topic is, whatever the issue, whatever the problem, whatever the situation, do you have any control over that? Two possibilities, right? The first one is know, like say you realize you have no control over any of that, right? So the only thing you can do at that point is to let go and trust. The alternative is you drive yourself crazy, you drive yourself insane, you drive yourself sick, you just living this very uncomfortable, unhappy life. Okay? The other side is you say, yes. Okay, I do have control over something.

Speaker 3:37:00Okay, good. So you recognize there something you have control over there. So make a plan and take action. Do it right. There's only two things, yes or no. Do you have any control over it or do you not? So if you don't have any control over it, let it go. Start breathing, start relaxing. Maybe it's helpful to even squeeze your palm like your grip really tight. And then imagine releasing it, squeeze it really tight, and then release it because sometimes we can't leave. The mind is so intangible, right? So the body is more tangible, it's more physical, it's more real. So if you grab it in your hand and you do this and like you just tense all your muscles in, in, in body up like this, and then release it and let it go and practice that over and over. Even in situations, you know, maybe you're out and about and you're trying to get stuff done and it's just not working or driving yourself nuts, or maybe you're in the car and you're in rush hour and you have no control over that and you're just stuck so you have the steering wheel, right.

Speaker 3:37:59You just grip the steeriNg wheel and release and grip it and release and just practice that release and letting go, so the reward to letting go, the reward to not trying to control everything that's out of your control is abundance. This life, this universe wants to give you so much abundance if you would just let it right? It's a receptive thing. You can't be controlling everything if you want to receive. You can't receive that way. When you let go, it flows to you. You open to that energy and then you're just of gratitude. It's like tears of joy. It's like the life that you've always wanted is manifesting because you get yourself into that flow. I hope that you spend some time practicing this. I see. It's a big theme coming out right now. People are talking about these control issues, partly I think it's cosmic. Also, you know, just relating it to the narcissistic abuse factor and the control factor coming from codependency and not maybe even realizing that there is a control factor that you're dealing with too

Speaker 2:39:07forgotten memories about. My mother surfaced after severe, threateNing at my work in psychiatry during therapy for ptsd. I'm trying to better explain the deeply ingrained anger, distrust, and core loneliness that becomes the results and being brought up by a severely cruel, narcissistic mother and an enabling scared father. I realize now I was damaged and alone trying to live, trying all my life to repair the damage with my parents, especially my mother and all kinds of wrong people. Later on, repeating the drama again and again. There is a hole in the soul that cannot be filled only with self love. Loving yourself has no worth if no one is loving you for it and no one is loving you back. That's why self love is not the core problem, in my opinion, not being loved, used and abused creates the problem. This was an is my objection with the view ross rosenberg and many others take.

Speaker 2:40:07I know no one can heal another soul. You have to do the work yourself, but without some love and understanding from others. I believe it's totally impossible for victims of this kind of abuse to recover only by telling them they have to respect and love themselves more. That's what they often have shown, fighting for all their lives, let alone to tell them they are victims of a dance. They choSe to dance. No victim chose to dance. This dance choosing is a conscious act. The abuser chose the victim probably by now. A lot of you're like, yeah, okay. Really tuning in because you have similar question. What? What is that? you know, like the self love thing. What happened in childhood with a person, a parent not loving you in the way that you needed to be loved. so I want to bring up this metaphor about dance, which is the metaphor that ross rosenberg uses in his book, the human magnet syndrome and I think there's going to help you understand the choice and the power that you do have in that dance moving forward.

Speaker 2:41:09When I was 19, I moved to philadelphia and I discovered salsa dancing and it was like my favorite thing is. So it was like four or five nights a week. I was out dancing, salsa was young. I was able to do it and still work and everything. What I discovered was that I had to start learning how to say no in that process. So wheN you're the woman it's like you kind of wait around for a guy to ask you out on the dance floor and sometimes will be really great dancers and I would go out and it would be awesome and were dancing and song after song went by and that was awesome and I just chose to keep dancing because it was awesome until basically we both got tired or we said thank you or whatever. Then there would be the guys who would ask me to dance who weren't really good dancers.

Speaker 2:41:51They weren't awful and they weren't disrespectful. They just weren't really good dancers. So maybe after a song or so, you know, I would say thank you and I would excuse myself and go away and this was really hard for me. At first it didn't. It's hard to even realize like I had the right to say no, thank you. Or to draw that line and say, okay, I'm done now and I'm going to choose to get off the dance floor so I'm not really enjoying this. And then there would be the guys every now and then who would ask me to dance and maybe I didn't observe whatever they were doing on the dance floor ahead of time and they pulled me out there and like immediately I sensed that I wasn't safe the way they were flinging me across the dance floor and like moving into other people or just during these so hard that I owed almost lose my sense of groundedness and center trying to recover from a turn or toss or something.

Speaker 2:42:39And just remember being terrified, feeling like I was stuck at first. Like I had to keep doing this dance with this person. I didn't feel safe until the moment where I realized like, whoa, I do have a choice here. I don't like this dance. I chose to get on the dance floor. Sure. I gave it a try and you know it, it's not going okay and I don't feel safe with this person. This person's not being respectful of me or anybody else in this space. So I would just stop the dance in the middle of the song then. And not even wait until the end of the song because my life was in danger. He could throw me in the ground, I could get hurt, I could hurt somebody else. Why would I waNt to stay in that kind of situation? So I started learning how to say no to the dance and then the next time that person would ask me to dance, I'd say, no, thank you.

Speaker 2:43:21before even getting on the dance floor, because I already learned that lesson, I didn't want to get back out there with that person that I didn't feel safe with, so let that metaphor kind of get in there a little bit because it's not that different than entering the dance of the kind of dynamic that a codependent and a narcissist would have in a relationship. It's not about blame. It's about self responsibility and essentially self responsibility is your tool to take your power back. It's like when you realize you have a choice. Just like on the dance floor. I realized I had a choice and so I took my power back and I excused myself from the dance. So yes, in childhood you were not loved by your mother. Some of you, maybe it was your father, some of you, maybe it was your mother, right?

Speaker 2:44:03You were not loved by your mother, who was the most important person in the world who supposed to love a child and so that created a devastating repercussion in your psyche and your sense of trust, self worth, self esteem, self expression, and that wasn't your fault, but you can do something about it now. You can't change the past, but now you can take the reins of control over your destiny and recognize that you do have a choice in every moment. Also in this email, it was kind of longer and I abbreviated this person, said something about how the narcissist is, is self loving and this can't be with the codependent is lacking. I think that's maybe another misconception is that often we think, well, narcissism is is self love, but it's not self love and narcissist does not love themselves. They're not capable of self love or loving anyone else.

Speaker 2:44:56Narcissism is self absorption, self obsession, and not even with the real self, but with this image that they believed themselves to be. Just like in the mythology, narcissists was looking at his reflection in the water and he fell in love so much. He became so obsessed with his image that he lost his will to live for anything else and he just stared at his image until he died. Narcissists are not capable of actual love, so it's really important to recognize that self love is not like the narcissist. That is a whole other thiNgs. Self love, I believe is a natural result that comes from self care. Self care is so much more than just eating, exercising, hydrating. It's so, so much more and a lot of the work has to do with our mindset and with our attention and where and how we utilize our attention, but when you're loving and respecting yourself, as you're taking care of yourself, your subconscious starts to realize, okay, this is what it feels like to respect myself versus putting myself aside and always putting someone else's needs first.

Speaker 2:46:02Always working on getting someone else's approval or pleasing other people before taking care of my own needs. When I'm continually doing this compulsive behavior of putting other people's needs first. Of course, I don't respect myself. Of course, I'm not taking care of myself, like when you're on the airplane and the pressure in the cabin goes out and the oxygen masks comes, come down and they tell you what, put on your mask first. even if you have children and elderly next to you, you put your mask on first so that you don't pass out because if you pass out, you're not going to help anybody else. You can't take care of anybody else if you're not taking care of yourself, but this is something that we didn't learn growing up because we learned growing up that we always had to take care of the narcissistic parent.

Speaker 2:46:44We always had to put their needs first. We always had to rescue them from whatever they were going through. Whatever their self absorption was, so we weren't allowed to put ourselves first. We weren't allowed to meet our own needs. We didn't even learn how to meet our own needs. So now as an adult, you got to get the reins of that and recognize that you and only you can do that for yourself. The only other alternative is to wait around the rest of your life for your mom if she were still alive, to somehow have the epiphany that she should have actually loved you and start loving you, but that's probably not going to happen because narcissists generally don't change. I've never met one that did we even confronting my own mother. She was unable to even admit what she did was sort of like the political form of gaslighting.

Speaker 2:47:32I don't recall. I don't recall doing that. I don't know what was so bad sort of thing. So you can't keep going back there for it because if you keep going back to the source of your pain to heal your pain, you're just going to be met with the same pain and like you said in your message, keep attracting the same relationship dynamics as an adult. If you're still waiting for someone else to come rescue you from your life to come love you out of that hole of loneliness, you have to do it for yourself. So the more you take care of yourself, the more your subconscious realizes. I love myself. I love myself enough to take care of myself or respect myself enough to put my needs first, to meet my emotional needs, to take care of myself so that I'm not depending on someone else to meet those needs are hoping and praying that someone's gonna come around and save me or rescue me or that narcissistic parent is one day going to have this epiphany and wake up and give me that love that they never gave me since a child that every child deserves and it's really unfortunate that that didn't happen, but you got to recognize that to stay in that mentality of, well, it's all outside myself and the problem is all outside myself so I can't fix anything.

Speaker 2:48:39You're goiNg to spend a lifetime in disempowerment. You're going to spend a lifetime as a victim mentality because you haven't taken your power back to realize what can I do now? When you are loving and respecting yourself, it's so obvious. When someone else doesn't love and respect you. That's why it all starts with self love. That's why you couldn't see it before when you met this person and you went out into this dance or you know you weren't aware of what kind of dance it was and you just kept dancing and kept trying to fix it and kept trying to go on because you didn't really understand what was happening and so you didn't actually love yourself because if you had loved and respected yourself, you would have immediately recognized like, whoa, this person doesn't respect me when they do this and that and the other, and then when we talk about that, they completely put the responsibility outside themselves.

Speaker 2:49:31Maybe turn around and blame it on you or blame it on someone else or guilt trip you for bringing it up or rationalizing and minimizing and couching why they did it. To make you doubt yourself more so. If you're actually loving and respecting yourself, that inner alarm is going to go, whoa, I'm getting off the dance floor. This is not my dance. This is not my dance partner. This partner doesn't respect me. This partner doesn't love me. I love myself more and there is truth to the adage that says a person will stay in an abusive relationship as long as the other person, their partner is disrespecting them a little bit less than they disrespect themselves. I know that's really harsh to hear. When you think about it, you're like, well, why don't disrespect myself, but actually you do. If you're compulsive nature is putting other people first, meeting other people's needs first.

Speaker 2:50:24I kNow it looks like this really noble act. It looks like this good compassionate kind thing to do to put other people first, but that will only lead to your detriment. You got to take care of yourself yourself. You are priority number one in your life and sometimes I hear from people that say, but this is like, it's so hard to do, like how do I put myself first? I feel guilty for putting myself first. yeah, because of the programming, so maybe you need to reframe it so that self care, instead of being this thing, you feel guilty about putting yourself first. You start reframing it as self responsibility and you have a responsibility to take care of you. It's no one else's responsibility to do that for you. When you were a child, it was your mother's responsibility. It's no longer because you're an adult now and so as an adult, you are your number one responsibility, so self care, self love, right?

Speaker 2:51:14Because self care leads to self love. Naturally self care is self responsibility. It's taking care of you so that you can be the best you to show up, to take care of other people in whatever way that you enjoy doing that. Maybe you're actually a caretaker and that's your job. You get paid to take care of people. Maybe you're a mother yourself and you have several little children at home to take care of and so you have a lot of people to take care of, but it's really important to remember that you have to take care of you because if you wake up tomorrow and you are sick and injured and incapacitated, who's going to take care of your children? How are you going to take care of your children if you're not well, so let that be a wake up call to you. If you're in this mentality of, well, I got to put them first and I got to put them first.

Speaker 2:52:00You got to take care of you first because the better you feel, the more time you carve in maybe when they're sleeping or they're doing something well, you carbon this time to take care of you so that you can be the best mama you can be. Maybe you have a really important job to you and what you do really matters to you and you feel like you matter to people and that people are counting on you, so if you get sick or you get injured because you're not taking care of yourself, who's going to help those people? Who's going to show up for those people? If you can't look at it like a responsibility to take care of yourself. If you're having a hard time wrapping your mind around this idea of guilt, like the feeling of guilt that comes up when you think about putting yourself first and taking care of your needs first, we're not talking about whims and over the top demands and things like this.

Speaker 2:52:47We're not talking about that. We're talking about basic self care needs so that you can be well, so stop waiting for someone else to rescue you from your life, to validate who you are, to love you out of the pit of loneliness. There is no savior. You are the one you have been waiting for, and perhaps that early life wounding was placed in your path for a reason, not because you deserved it, but because that was part of your soul contract to awaken you to your life. Calling in some way to who you are and what you're here to do for people. I don't know what that is for you, but that's something that you want to look into. What is your purpose? How do you bridge the gap from the trauma that so pleased to your purpose through your life calling? Because in the trauma is where we find the purpose, that is the paradox of life.

Speaker 2:53:37If everything were amazing and just easy going, you would be settling into this place of complacency and boredom and not really have any challenges that shook you up, out of your daily ruts to think about things in a new way, to look at things in a new way, to take new actions and get new results, to really feel this burning passion and drive to do something, to do something with your life, to be something that you feel called to be, to leave some sort of legacy on this planet after you die. What is that? What is it that is so important to you? You get out of bed every morning. What is it that matters so much to you that you would fight to death for that? What is that? Because that's going to start leading you down that path of understanding what is your purpose and recognize that your purpose isn't some goals, some future destination, that one day you arrive at your purpose is something that you live intentionally in every moment of every day.

Speaker 2:54:38It's the reason you wake up every day, it's the reason you keep going every day. It's the reason you face obstacles and adversity and you some in the inner strength and courage to get up and do something and then later you look back and you say, damn, look what I did. Look what I overcame, and that's your calling right now is to look at your past and recognize that's where you came from, that happened to you. That was awful. You didN't deserve that and that wasn't your fault, but if you want to empower yourself forward in life, now you have to take the power back, taking a hundred percent responsibility for your life choices now and moving forward. You have to believe in yourself, especially in those moments when no one else believes in you and you don't see any other reason to believe that is your moment.

Speaker 2:55:31That is exactly the moment I'm getting chills when I think of it. That's exactly the moment when you need to tap into your belief, your belief in yourself. You can do it. You can heal yourself. You can live the life that you know you were born to live. You can diScover what that reason, that why that purpose is that maybe you haven't gotten in contact with yet and you're right. Sometimes it just takes one person, just one person believing in you to be what you need to lift yourself up off the ground to start believing in yourself like just to relight that fire, the pilot inside your heart and your soul to keep you going. That person cannot sustain you and that person cannot hold your hand the whole way and believe in you so much that you believe in yourself, but maybe you just want that to be that spark, that reignites the pilot.

Speaker 2:56:20Sometimes I doN't know what your house is like. We have sometimes these old heating units and there's this little pilot flame in there and it just stays lit. Even when you're not heating the house, this little flame just stays lit and then when you turn the heat on, it kicks up and then the heat starts kicking up, but sometimes like during the summertime or it's like not attended for a while, that flame might burn out and can be really scary to get in there and the darkness and relight that flame, that pilot flame, and so maybe that's what someone is for you, is just relating that flame and recognizing then that you need to take over that you need to believe in you. When I was at the bottom of the bottom of the bottom and recognize that not my mother, not anyone else believed in me, I didn't believe in me because one person showed up who believed in me and he just said, you know, I believe in you.

Speaker 2:57:06I know you're going to get through this. I know you're going to move forward. I know you're going to help a lot of people, and it was just like that one message that I got that I was like, yes, yes, I can do this. So if you're waiting for that one voice to relight your pilot flame, let that be my voice right now, giving you permission, if that's what you're waiting for, to relight that flame for yourself, to find that belief inside yourself, to believe in yourself and know that you can do it, that you're going to keep figuring it out. You're going to keep finding the way forward. Let me pass that forward by saying, I believe in every one of you, even if you don't know it yet, but you're listening to my voice right now. I believe in you. You can do it.

Speaker 2:57:48you are worth it and you have no idea yet what the cost could be a view giving up. You don't know how many people's lives you might not get to change for the better because you gave up because you didn't believe in yourself. ANd even if you help one person changed their life for the better, it was worse. It so believe in yourself and recognize that you do have power is the old victim mentality, is to be stuck in the helplessness and powerlessness and thinking that you don't have power, that there is no other choice, that there's nothing you can do about it and you just have to sit around and waiting for that one person to love you. That's not it. That's going to keep you stuck in that victim spiral. You gotta realize you gotta do it for you. You got to believe in yourself.

Speaker 2:58:35You got to stand up. You got to recognize you have a choice center that dance or not and forgive yourself for the past for not seeing it. You didn't know better, but now you know better and now you can see your childhood and recognize that what happened to you was messed up and that was really unfair. It really was, and it did really set you back in your life, but it was for a bigger reason, was for some reason to help you find it within yourself because when no one else believes in you, that is exactly your opportunity to believe in yourself. So self love comes from self care. It's not like you sit in front of the mirror and you're like, I love myself. I love myself, I love myself, and then you just start to believe it. Ross and I were talking about that a little bit in the interview I did with him.

Speaker 2:59:19He said, it's not about that. It's about the care work. I agree a hundred percent myself. Love builds as my self care improved. So you got to take care of yourself and start with your mind. Start with where you're putting your attention. Start with your mindset and if you're one mental perspective shift of today is that you recognize now that you do have power there. You're not powerless. You're not helpless over what happened to you. You can take the reins of your destiny in your hands and you can create the future that you want. You can cultivate that sense of self love which then radiates out, and then you have this much better radar of understanding who these people are that are coming into your life. Do they really love me? Do they really respect me? It's going to become a lot clearer. The more that you love yourself, the more that you respect yourself and the more that you love and respect yourself, the more you're going to start to attract people who are treating you on that level, so forgive yourself for the past. Empower yourself with the power of choice and self responsibility now and moving forward. You can do it.

Speaker 2:60:27Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the inner integration podcast. I hope you learned something today that helps you see from a new perspective so you can take new action in, transform your life after narcissistic abuse. Remember, you are enough. You matter and you got this. If you liked this episode and want to hear more, you can subscribe to get automatic updates on new podcast episodes as they're released or visit us online@wwwdotaignerintegration.com, where you'll get a free three part video course when you enter your name and email on the home page. Get loads of more free content to help you heal after narcissistic abuse on youtube, facebook, and instagram. Big hug to you.

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