This a follow up article to “How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse?”
The Codependent and the Narcissist both harbour inner wounds at their core, as we see in “What is Narcissism?” and in “What is Codependency?” At this time, I would like to focus more on the Codependent’s inner wounds and why and how it’s so easy to be swayed, influenced, impacted, and harmed by those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (and other Cluster B’ types). This article also includes learning about the energetics of “energy vampires” in our lives, and steps and suggestions towards healing.
Codependency- Inner Child Wounds
Codependents become disassociated from their “inner trauma child” because during the childhood critical attachment phase, they were so deeply hurt and gaslit, writes Ross Rosenburg, and as protection, and in the attempts to keep the person safe, the brain hermetically seals the trauma. In other words, it is kept away from our awareness. Also, as a child, they had to suspend their own ideas, feelings, and perceptions for someone else, to be loved, and this caused them to “disappear.”
The body is the voice of that child, and your body’s memories are the doorway to which we can remember and free our inner child(ren) continues Ross Rosenburg. The memories are not meant to come back unless you are in a safe place. Body (somatic) memories can be safely accessed and processed through Emotional Freedom Techniques. EFT Trainer, Craig Weiner, calls EFT one of the most powerful somatic (body) release techniques. I agree!
Meredith Miller says until we are healed, our nervous system is programmed to recognize abuse as love and home; therefore, we will often attract “the pull of familiarity”; those with a similar energy, frequency and vibration to those that harmed us. She says, “until you train your nervous system otherwise and break the trauma bond with the original abuser, you will try to resolve past lessons of abuse with new abusive people.” Cognitive dissonance (confusion) keeps us stuck, as, on the one hand, this person is abusive and controlling, and on the other hand, they show intermittent acts of kindness. This can cause the mind to forget the abusive parts (abuse amnesia).
The Energetic Impact Behind Narcissistic Abuse- Psychic Vampires
A lot takes place on an energetic, “unseen” level, between a Codependent and a Narcissist. Ross Rosenburg describes “the plane of reality” between Codependents and Narcissists as vibrational in nature. If someone is not aware of the life force energy of Source, says Matt Khan, they are more apt to try and plug into you as their energy source. This has been termed “energy vampirism.” Susan Shumsky describes this as “a quality of weakness in others, and that weakness feeds on your strength and light. They demand your attention, love, time, and life force” and as a result, they drain your energy and suck it dry.
A person that has a weak, collapsed, or punctured aura is particularly susceptible to psychic (or energy) vampires (as well as lower energies, difficult experiences, mental illness, and disease) as you cannot energetically protect yourself from being drained (Shumsky).
The spiritual layer (of our aura) says Diane Kathrine, is connected to all of the chakras but predominantly the throat, third eye and crown chakras. It is thought that this is the layer that energy vampires attach themselves to when they drain energy. Dr Ramani Durvasula says energy vampires also suck out whatever security or sense of self they have and leaves them completely insecure.
Healing from Narcissistic Abuse
To heal from Narcissistic Abuse, I believe that first and foremost, we need to adopt deep kindness and compassion for ourselves and all that we have been though. We need to feel safe in our physical and emotional environments.
In the case of Codependency, our early attachment trauma needs to be addressed, and our inner child needs to be recognized, seen, acknowledged, heard and embraced. I encourage you to seek out the assistance of those specifically trained in assisting with this. Our unconscious programming needs to be addressed. This includes being aware of our thoughts, beliefs and feelings about ourselves that stem from our early experiences and all that we unconsciously absorbed. Our body and behaviour also give us as clues to what is going on deep within us. The deep shame that we feel due to this early inner wounding needs to be addressed.
Our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, emotions and body sensations are the level where I feel that EFT (emotional freedom technique) is a masterful accompaniment in the healing process! We unconsciously accepted someone else’s version of who they thought we should be, to please them. In releasing and letting go of old programming, we can learn who we truly are at our core.
Lisa Romano says, “when you are abused as a child, it is impossible to learn how to set boundaries for the self, because being ignored, neglected or abused had been the norm, the brain has no template for how to protect the divine inner child because our feelings have never mattered, our brain has no data for healthy boundaries.” On our healing journey, this becomes essential to learn. Having healthy boundaries allows us to release or let go of anyone that is not able to treat us kindly, honestly and respectfully.
We often take on blame (and beat ourselves up) for things that are not our fault, such as getting involved or entangled “with someone who used our beautiful traits against us”, says Debbie Mirza. They are master manipulators that could fool just about anyone. Healing at its deepest level ensures that we attract healthy, kind, balanced, honest, truthful and respectful people into our lives.
We are empathic and sensitive beings that developed adaptive strategies that resulted in covering up who we are. Susan Forward says you have been wounded, not ruined, and great wisdom can come from your wounds: compassion, empathy, a sensitive barometer that lets you know when people are mistreating you. We then take ALL of our new understandings, wisdom, and awareness into our lives and live our authentic truth. That is a powerful thing! There is a quote from Judith Orloff that deeply resonates with me, “as an Empath, you are part of a counter-cultural revolution to put what is humane back into humanity.” We are all in this together, and our healing is also of deep benefit to others, and the planet that we all share!
To the power of embodying and fully embracing our TRUE selves,
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- What is Narcissism? (includes more on Covert Narcissism)
- How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse?
- What is Pranic Healing?
- What is EFT?
- What is Codependency?
- Healing and Understanding Codependency
- What is Leaky Aura Syndrome?
- What is an Empath?
- Durvasula, Ramani S. “Don’t you know who I am?” How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility (p 11). Post Hill Press. 2019.
- Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (pp. 33-34, 50, 132). Harper. Kindle Edition.
- Kathrine, Diane. How to Heal Leaky Aura Syndrome. 2017 and Diane Kathrine’s Empaths Empowered Blog- Are you a Narcissist Target?
- Miller, Meredith. Inner Integrations. YouTube.
- Mirza, Debbie. The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist: Recognizing the Traits and Finding Healing After Hidden Emotional and Psychological Abuse (30). Safe Place Publishing. Kindle Edition.
- Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap. Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition.
- Shumsky, Susan G. Exploring Auras (page 149, 155, 174). New Page Books. 2006. Page