If someone were to take a step back and reflect on their life, what they may find is that they have been in a number of relationships with people who were narcissistic. They may even see that there are a number of people in their life who are like this.

When they think about what these people were like, what can soon come to mind is that they always needed to be the centre of attention, to be admired, were overly entitled, self-centred, and lacked empathy, for instance. Naturally, being in a relationship with someone like this would have had a big impact on them.

Two Parts

Yet, even when a relationship like this came to an end, it probably wasn’t possible for them to just put what took place behind them and go back to living their life. The reason for this is that being with someone like this is likely to have greatly undermined them.

To use an analogy, it will have been as though they were in a war zone at one moment and in the next, they were undergoing rehabilitation. Even if they were not physically harmed, their mental and emotional self will have been wounded.

A Closer Look

Due to what the other person was like, it would have been normal for them for them to be deprived. They will have given a lot to the other person, while they will have received very little in return.

As a result of this, a number of their needs would have rarely if ever been met, undermining their sense of self in the process. Instead of there being two individuals in the relationship, then, they would have been seen as an extension of their partner.

A Bleak Time

During this time, feeling ignored, invisible, used, worthless, powerless, rejected, unlovable and low would have been the norm. They are likely to have had a deep sense that they didn’t matter and didn’t have an impact.

But, each time they were in a relationship like this, they might not have been able to simply cut their ties and move on. Thanks to how worn down they were, they might have ended up staying with them for many weeks, months or even years.

Finding Themselves

After having been in a number of relationships that were like this, they could wonder why they have ended up in this position on so many occasions. They might not be able to accept that they are just unlucky.

They might also see that they were victimised by the person they were with but they can’t accept that they are inherently a victim. At this point, they could start to explore what it was like for them during their formative years.

Back In Time

If they were to do this, what they may gradually find is how this area of their life is very similar to how it was for them as a child. What this can show is that their mother or father was emotionally unavailable, consumed by their own needs, cruel and lacked empathy.

Not only this but this parent might not have been able to accept that they were a separate human being who had their own needs and feelings. If so, they would have treated them as though they were merely an extension of themselves.

The outcome

Consequently, they wouldn’t have received the attunement and love that they needed to grow and develop in the right way. Their feelings would have typically been ignored as would a number of their needs.

The attention and acceptance that they did receive would have been based on them hiding themselves and playing a role. If they did freely express themselves and acted like an individual, they might have soon been criticised, harmed and/or rejected and abandoned.

The Meaning

At this stage of their life, they were powerless and totally dependent, so they needed attention and acceptance. They then had no other choice but to adapt to their parent and lose themselves.

Not being seen, heard and supported for who they were would have greatly deprived and deeply wounded them. Feeling ignored, invisible, scared, angry, guilty, worthless, ashamed, helpless, hopeless, unloved, unwanted and hurt is likely to have been a common experience.

The Truth

And, as they were egocentric, they would have come to believe that the reason their parent behaved in this way was because there was something inherently wrong with them. In reality, this parent was likely to have been deeply wounded and unable to love them.

There is a strong chance that this parent didn’t receive the love that they needed during their formative years and ended up developing a disconnected and inflated false self to handle the pain they were in. What took place will be in the past, but the beliefs that they developed, along with the pain and unmet developmental needs that ended up being repressed, will anchor them to their past.

Awareness

If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis cover all aspects of human transformation; including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, six hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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