In this live my friend my sister, Randa and I talked about the following subjects:
1. What is codependency and why is it important to put words on our pain?
Far from cultivating resentment, the approach here is to get informed to identify narcissistic behaviors and manipulation in order to protect ourselves.
Randa mentioned several great books and research on narcissistic abuse and she knows what she is talking about because she experienced a toxic relationship in her life.
To understand what codependency is, Randa warmly recommends the book by Lisa A. Romano Codependent – Now What? Its Not You – Its Your Programming.
I also got trapped into a toxic relationship my friend my sister, as mentioned notably in the video “I chose to live with a psychopath by ignoring the red flags #phenix“.
It is crucial to understand that codependency leads us to make irrational decisions my friend my sister, because as empaths we are driven by the desire to please others and save them, even to our detriment.
Moreover, gaslighting is a manipulation of reality which can make us almost hypnotized, exhausted and unable to have any discernment, because we already have a poor self image.
Randa mentioned the book by Ramani S. Durvasula “Don’t You Know Who I Am?”: How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility and the one by Ross Rosenberg The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap.
Once we have understood how a toxic relationship works, once we have become aware that we were not responsible for the emotional abuse we may have suffered during childhood when we were totally vulnerable and dependent, then we can take our power and personal responsibility back in order to live our adult life more peacefully.
2. What is your parents’ role (with respect and understanding)?
Sometimes we get a very idealized version of our parents. This prevents us from connecting back to what really happened. Some of us experienced emotional blackmail, borderline personalities, suicide threats, the fear of loosing our parents love with no reason.
When I choose to be clear on the fact that I did not get the love I desired so badly to receive from my parents just because I was alive, then I can move forward.
I choose to grieve the mother I will never have and I can cry on the family I wanted to get.
I choose to grieve and to understand that I am enough just the way I am. On that note, Randa mentioned the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Doctor Karyl McBride.
I choose to grieve while not taking things personally, as taught by Don Miguel Ruiz in this great book The four agreements.
Moreover, Randa talked about the author Susan Forward, who has written Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life (I did the review of that book here: “#Book review Toxic Parents by Susan Forward“) and Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters.
You will get lots of information also thanks to neuropsychiatrist and psychoanalyst Boris Cyrulnik, notably about toxic shame and how to overcome recurring flashbacks. Boris Cyrulnik has written Resilience: How Your Inner Strength Can Set You Free from the Past.
What remains at the end of this process is compassion for the suffering of our parents who really did the best they could.
3. How to rebuild our life after a toxic relationship and what does it mean to dare to be ourselves?
Randa explains very well how we can get free of manipulation when we get clear in our mind. Furthermore, she identifies three steps on the way towards rebuild our sense of self, the self we neglected.
The first step is about getting aware that there is an issue. Then comes grief. Lastly, the last step is alchemy or turning what happened to us into something positive.
Randa also underlines the importance of addressing chronic stress thanks to mind-body therapy and grounding, for instance walking barefood in nature.
Indeed, what happened to us is stored inside our body, even when we cannot see it anymore. On that topic, a must-read book is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk.
Randa also mentioned yoga and recommended that you choose a certified teacher carefully, for instance using the website about Iyengar yoga in the US.
Lastly, it is possible to learn to remother ourselves and comfort our inner child. Joanna Smith has written a brilliant book on the topic called A la rencontre de son bébé intérieur (in French).
Thank you for supporting Randa and I my friend my sister,
Lots of love,