After spending a lifetime, or even only a few years, dealing with narcissistic individuals, a substantial amount of emotional damage will have been done to you.
Recovery is not an easy journey.
The first thing you need to do is to get as far away from the narcissists as you can. Distance yourself as much as possible not only from the narcissists, but those that are in contact with the narcissists as well. Quite frankly, you have to start fresh with a whole new pool of people that have not been contaminated by the narcissist if at all possible.
Now if you have been brought up by parents who were narcissistic in their behavior, and especially if you were considered the scapegoat in this family you will more than likely have picked up, to some extent or another, an alternative program of functioning which was brought into operation then in order to survive your circumstances.
Unfortunately this program is invisible to you, but the effects of this program will be very noticeable in your life.
Some of the things you will notice are:
- You seem to attract over and over again toxic, dysfunctional people who do not treat you properly into your life, even though that’s the last thing you would ever want.
- Bad luck seems to follow you around. You try your best but things don’t seem to work out well for you.
- You try so hard to make other people happy but it never seems to work.
What is actually lying behind these things, and why are they happening?
The problem is that you took on another way of expressing yourself and communicating with the dysfunctional caregivers in your past because it was the only way you could survive. These ways of communicating have continued on, and send subtle messages to yourself as well as others about you.
You’ve got to realize that your way of thinking, acting, and communicating all have to change. They are dysfunctional, they don’t work, and at the moment, they are your greatest enemy.
Changing these behaviors is not easy. You have neural pathways that have been set up in your brain to accommodate these old patterns of functioning, and the brain is going to fight you tooth and nail if you try and change them. Changing these behaviors will feel like turning around and walking into the fires of hell. I’m not joking, it’s at times terrifying, but if you want to beat these demons that’s exactly what you’re going to have to do.
The first thing you’re going to have to do is to reconnect with your body, or the authentic self. The body is always sending you signals as to how it’s feeling. Unfortunately, if you have taken on this alternative pattern of thinking, you will be getting your signals from other people and the environment, instead of your body/authentic self. You need to get your signals from inside, and put into words what you’re feeling and why that might be. This will give you an idea as to what is the best way to approach a certain situation.
The reason dysfunctional people are constantly being drawn into your reality, and causing you so much pain, is because they pick up on the things you say and how you act; these behaviors send the message that this person does not put themselves first, and is weak or a victim. This causes them to want to attack you or use you. You have to take an objective look at how you are communicating with other people. Again, get in touch with your body so you can realize early when someone is not treating you properly and excommunicate yourself from that situation or state a boundary.
Bad luck follows you because you are putting yourself last. You are not taking responsibility for yourself because you are too busy trying to help other people, and believing that other people have better answers than you or can do something for you better than you yourself can. When you’re not in the driving seat of your own life, the wheels come off. You have to take full responsibility and initiative in your own life, though you may have been programmed to think otherwise. You might have also taken on learned helplessness if the caregivers you had did not help you to achieve things in your early years. This will make all the problems seem insurmountable as though no matter what you do, you are doomed. The wrong program has been coded into you. It’s not your fault but you can change it.
Trying to make other people happy never works. This is the faulty program that has been coded into you. You have to do for yourself first, and then what is left over you may use to help others with, but this must be done with absolutely no expectation of reciprocity. I promise you if you do this, you will notice that other people will start to respect you more, and your relationships will improve.
Many of the behaviors taken on by us who have dealt with narcissist or dysfunctional parents over a long period of time coincide very well with the behaviors of codependency. The traits of codependency are often caused from a dysfunctional childhood.
Reading this article you might deny that you possess many of these traits. However, if you are dealing with the consequences stated above, there’s a good chance that you are not able to recognize the behaviors that are causing these in yourself. This stuff is not your fault. It was done to you, however, you do have a way of correcting it now that you understand what’s really going on.
Wishing you love, wisdom, and happiness on your healing journey.
Delaney Kay – Daylight out of Darkness