Whether you are an adult child of a narcissist, alcoholic or other addicted person, you will show traits like this – no being able to say no our of fear of being unkind or facing repercussions, being ashamed of something that literally has nothing to do with you.
You may be a people pleaser, putting your own needs aside. Always looking out for other’s best interests before your own.
You may have poor boundaries and not feel you have the right to set boundaries. When someone oversteps your boundaries, you might try to explain to them why they should respect you instead of demanding – maybe you even don’t expect respect from others, but are so used to being made small, that you don’t act like an equal to everybody.
Codependency. It’s a really unflattering word and nothing anybody would choose voluntarily, but let’s face it – this is what happens to you when you are close to someone addicted for too long – be it a mother or father, a partner, sibling or a coworker. Codependency means that you will assume a form of dependency with the addict. (And yes, the narcissist is an addict – he or she is addicted to attention from others)
The dependency comes from taking responsibility for the addict’s behaviour, making excuses for them, covering for them, trying to make other people understand that the addict is not as bad as they seem. Little by little, you become an extension of the addict more than an individual and you find yourself becoming more and more invisible and more and more frustrated, feeling powerless and lost.
The cure is to start focusing on you and you might need some help to do that, because being a codependent, you are used to think about your addict, take care of your addict, react to the feelings and care about THEIR wellbeing. It is kind of an addiction in itself to be a codependent.
You can start with one of the absolute best books on codependency – this is one I recommend all clients who show signs of codependency.
Even though this book is 35 years old, it is STILL a must read for the codependent person.
Get it here:
When you are done with that, roam Melody Beatties books and enjoy her easily accessible language and straight forward explanations and tools to start working through it.
If you have a favorite book for the subject, feel to write in a comment here.
Enjoy the journey ❤