This idea might be uncomfortable…
The shadow side of codependent behavior is narcissistic behavior.
Now I don’t like labels and I am far from qualified to dole out any diagnosis.
For me, labeling anyone one thing is disempowering to the receiver of such a label.
I mean are any of us really one unchangeable thing. Are we not malleable, reflective and ever evolving?
I do think that defining a behavior can be a helpful framework but even that is wrapped up in our own perceptive story.
For many years I lived the reality of codependency through deep programming and behavior patterns and as such I found a partner deep in addiction and what many would label narcissism. Our behaviors matched those labels and it was 9 years of the perfect storm. The fusion almost burned the classroom of my life to the ground. So much suffering. So much victimhood. So much trauma. And there came a time when in that storm the suffering was so deeply felt I had to run for cover. To retreat for my own safety. The beginning of that recovery required that I stay in my victimhood for my own survival.
And as I meet myself even more deeply. As I turn inward in my judgements and in my glorifications..
As I do my work and navigate my shadow I see that my codependent patterns although more socially acceptable were simply a charade of narcissistic behavior.
Whipping myself in the desire to be seen, acknowledged and loved.
I’m not shaming this part of my journey. It was, in fact, part of my ultimate process.
And the clarity arrives. And the radical responsibility. And I shed. And I shed. And I shed.
Shapeshifting. Fresh skin.
I am new.
My relations are new.
I still fall into these deeply rooted patterns at times but I see the truth of them now and I shift.
I don’t feel the need to save others to be seen and known,
to villainize or patronize my partner when our ideas are different.
I seek to understand.
I am able to communicate my needs from a place of love and desire instead of manipulation and resentment.
I turn inward.
And I allow.
Others to make their choices, judgements and discernments… and I don’t have to take them on,
I invite communication and anything less than that is not mine.
And I am empowered to make my choices because I know what is healthy for my being.
For my path.
For my soul.
Friends, victimhood served me at one time. In fact it saved me. I needed the grief, anger and sadness to make the big decisions to get the fuck out of terrible abuse.
No one deserves to be treated that way. Ever.
And we can let it inform us of our own narrative and cycles. In my case I needed it to teach me about my relationship with myself and then I didn’t anymore and releasing it and moving into personal radical responsibility set me free.