Monday, October 31, 2016

Remember, You're the Prize

Feeding someone's ego can be a form of care taking. When someone baits you to make them feel like they're more valuable than you, or that you are less than them--and when you take the bait and react--this can be a form of care taking. It may feel like the easiest route, but quite covertly, submitting to the agreement that someone else is worth idealization, awe or unmerited favor actually drains your sense of self. Propping someone up can be a form of handing over your dignity.

Examples of feeding the ego of another person include:




It doesn't seem like care taking, but codependency takes myriad forms. You are over-empathizing, over care taking for another person when that person baits you to react and you react in a way that makes them feel important. Screw them. Train yourself to detach and let go from that drama trauma bond. Remember who you are. Soothe your own need for validation. No one outside of you can do what only you can do for yourself--so do yourself a favor and RESPECT YOURSELF enough to take care of you.

This is common in codependent / narcissist relationships. Where the narcissist is the prize and the codependent plays the role of a piece of trash. Watch for it in your engagements if you are recovering from this mess.

Nobody is worthy of you experiencing repeated negative emotion.

Nobody is worthy of you bowing down and submitting your needs.

Nobody deserves your beautiful presence if they are rude to you.

You deserve to be treated with respect at all times with every one you encounter. If you're treated badly or your boundaries are violated, then you must set boundaries internally and externally. Remind yourself of who you are, remind the other of who you are, and be prepared to walk away from any one at any time who fails to respect your rights, your needs, your feelings.

You don't have to fall into the same routine and move to the same dance you've always danced. You can step out of the sequence and choose self-respecting actions, behaviors, thoughts and eventually feelings.

Don't do the heavy-lifting of someone else's ego. You have your own self to uphold.

****** side note *******

CARE TAKING may also have something to do with the "fawn" response. That is, fight/flight/freeze/fawn response from CPTSD / attachment trauma that Pete Walker speaks about in his fabulous writings. That automatic care taking, fawning behavior that is triggered in light of abandonment fears, that overriding of the cerebral cortex--fawning as a survival reflex. I've read this article over and over and over and over....

The 4Fs: A Trauma Typology in Complex PTSD
By Pete Walker

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Codependency & Caretaking

It's tempting for those of us who are recovering from codependency to engage in caretaking of others. This is a behavior that's learned in early childhood, where a child learns to take care of the needs of the caretaker instead of the caretaker noticing and meeting the needs of the child. This care taking behavior helps the child to survive, but becomes hurtful to relationships in adulthood.

The care taking behavior continues throughout life as this is the only internal working model the abused person has for relationships. He finds his value in taking care of the needs of others, and he expects not to get his own needs met. His own needs do not go away, but grow more fierce as the needs are replaced with toxic shame, and more care taking.

Care taking is taking care of the emotional needs of someone else; needs that they should be tending to themselves, or through their own professional counselor. Care taking is a compulsive behavior that wrecks relationships as it is the manifestation of codependency. It involves helping someone, rescuing them from their own behaviors.

Here's a few examples of emotional care taking that damages both parties:

A. Denying ones own needs in order to appease another person in an adult relationship.

B. Refusing to share your true feelings about the behavior of another person.

C. Refusing to ask for what you need because you don't want to be a "burden" on someone.

D. Taking the blame for causing the emotional over reaction of your partner, friend or spouse.

E. Remaining in a relationship where the other person is addicted to a substance such as gambling, sex, drugs or alcohol.

F. Listening to a friend lament constantly about his or her problems without any actions taken to improve their lives.

G. Allowing a narcissist to abuse and manipulate you.

H. Enabling someone to rely on you for something they should be doing for themselves.

I. Allowing your life to be ruled by the emotional fluctuations of a Borderline person.

I find that care taking is a compulsive behavior for codependent people. That means, it's automatic. You don't even realize you're engaging in it. You just automatically jump in there and pick up the slack of anyone who needs a "boost."

In recovery it becomes most important to take care of OURSELVES. It is not our job to make other people feel comfortable at the expense of ourselves. It's not our job to look the other way as someone we love abuses us, disregards us, disrespects or exploits us. It's not our job to make excuses for someone who is ignoring our needs while succumbing to their addictions. It is our job to draw a line in the and and say, NO. I care about ME. And I will not engage in caretaking with you.

It is our job to set boundaries internally within our own hearts that are like alarms or signals of awareness that we are engaging in caretaking behaviors that will eventually bleed us dry if we don't stop the violation. It is our job to set limits and boundaries with others.

We have to catch ourselves when we try to help others too much, when we over empathize and over give to the point that we ourselves are being ignored. We have to catch ourselves and stop ourselves, regroup and reorganize. We have to focus on ourselves and let other people have their own problems. We have to be separate. We must let go of the enmeshment and be our own person.