The narcissist’s vortex

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Being in a relationship with a narcissist, whether that is a family member or partner, is like constantly being sucked into a vortex with no escape. Every time you think you are getting somewhere, you get sucked in deeper and deeper. Your confidence is constantly eroded, you start doubting your feelings and logic and the narcissist continues to do what he or she does best: Turning the tables on you everytime you have an argument.

They are masters at saying things like ” I never said that”, ”you are imagining things”, ”stop being so sensitive”, ” you hurt me way more than I hurt you” etc. …

Everything can & will always be used against you

Everything is always your fault

Everything is about how you hurt their feelings more than they hurt yours..

They are always one step ahead..

You will never win, you will never beat them..

The worst part is, that being in a relationship with a narcissist can become extremely addictive…

A trauma bond is created over time and the victim in this dysfunctional relationship clings onto the hope that the narcissist will become the positive person they remember from the beginning..The caring side that they were lured in with at the start, is what keeps them from walking away from the relationship..

If the relationship is with a narcissistic parent rather than a partner, then it is ever tougher for the adult child to break free..The trauma bond is even stronger, especially because a child’s love for their parents never dies and also because the brainwashing that goes on in the family home, is even more long-lasting and intense.

If you are in a relationship with someone whom you think is a narcissist and are starting to come around to this realisation, then please feel free to comment.

For support, please email me at courageisallyouneed@gmail.com

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Why is going ‘no contact’ so hard?

It’s been an extremely busy few days for me recently, which means my blog posts and youtube videos have had to take a back seat.

Work has been a priority, with little time for writing and reflecting.

I have also had an influx of emails from people needing immediate support dealing with narcissistic individuals. It always deeply saddens me to hear all the grief so many are currently experiencing and sometimes I wish I could just take all their pain away.

The ‘No contact’ question has been popping up a lot, so in this video I stress the importance of acceptance. Acceptance in this case, of the fact that a narcissist isn’t able to love or empathize and isn’t going to change and treat you better.

Once you manage to reach a place of acceptance through grief and talking with a professional, it is then easier to make the decision to go ‘no contact’.

Thanks for watching and reading

Love Athina ♥♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

When to emotionally detach from a toxic relationship or situation

Hi everyone,

This is my 2nd attempt to write this blog post, after the last one was unfortunately lost. 😦

I hope you all had a good Christmas weekend and managed to relax and enjoy time with your loved ones. For those of you who find Christmas tough due to past trauma or dysfunctional relationships, you have just survived yet another Christmas, so give yourself a pat on the back and treat yourself to something you enjoy. The New Year is nearly here and with it comes new hope and a renewed sense of direction. 🙂

The following youtube video is 1 day late, due to the fact that I allowed myself a little time to relax over the last 3 days. I caught up on some much needed sleep and I started studying for my German exam (which is fast approaching).

In my own recovery back in 2008, I was introduced to the concept of letting go of relationships that no longer served me. I was introduced to the concept of emotionally detaching from a toxic person. Although at first this was extremely hard to do, with practice and with time, I slowly started making changes for the better. I started learning to put my self-care first and to set boundaries. I started noticing the repetitive patterns that were present in my relationships and I started questioning the reasons as to why I couldn’t choose healthier relationships. In my case, the narcissistically abusive background I come from, is what influenced my choice of abusive or unavailable partners, friends & even colleagues.

This video is for those of you who are just starting out in your recovery from dysfunctional relationships, so I really hope it helps ♥

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Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

How to detect whether you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship.

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When a relationship starts off with subtle signs of possessiveness or teasing that undermines the partner, this may then escalate to full blown domestic violence.

When one partner is trying to control the other partner in ways that are sometimes confusing and feel uncomfortable, then this may then escalate to complete and utter isolation from family and friends.

Sometimes the signs in abusive relationships are so subtle, that it is difficult to tell if someone is going to end up being abusive or not. Abuse can only be emotional and mental in some relationships. It doesn’t necessarily have to be physical and sexual. In other cases, it can be a combination of mental, physical, sexual & financial abuse.

The video I did today is important for those of you who know someone you suspect may be in an abusive relationship.If you suspect that it is actually your partner that is abusive, then please get in touch and I can put you in contact with the appropriate charities and organisations that can help you.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Question & Answer- YouTube videos

Today I am starting off my series of Q & A videos, where my viewers and subscribers are able to get their questions answered by me, in a video each week. Please feel free to ask me questions on the following topics:

  • Complex PTSD
  • Narcissistic abuse
  • Dysfunctional relatioships
  • Negative thinking
  • Dealing with emotional flashbacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma Bonding
  • Toxic shame
  • Codependency

I also am happy to answer questions on how to :

  • Better manage your time
  • Practice self-compassion
  • Develop resilience
  • Stop self-defeating thinking patterns
  • Better manage your workload
  • Build confidence
  • Set boundaries
  • Deal with toxic people

Here is the first video on a question asked by one of my viewers:

Please note: **I will always keep the identity of my viewers confidential**

Thanks for reading and watching

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

Trauma bonding

Trauma bonding is the reason people choose abusive partners time and time again.

Trauma bonding is also known as Stockholm syndrome, something that is mentioned a lot when someone has been abducted.

Trauma bonding is something that starts in a person’s childhood, if they have suffered abuse or neglect.

If you are someone who keeps choosing emotionally unavailable partners or abusive partners, then this is why.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

5 tips on healing codependency & dysfunctional relationships

This video is the 2nd one of my codependent series on my Youtube channel.

It is mostly informational in text, with the help of a few cute characters! Just the way I like it! ♥

Feel free to re-blog or share 🙂

I love cute things and music…so here you go ♥

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Codependents & Narcissists in a relationship. Why are they so attracted to each other?

Happy Monday to all of you! It’s the 1st of August today and time seems to have flown by so quickly!

Today’s post is about another topic very close to my heart, due to my own healing journey from codependency to healthy love. It most definetely wasn’t easy to get to where I am. It required perseverance, determination and a little bit of hope.

To heal from dysfunctional relationships & codependency, there are 5 steps that are important to take.Having a therapist who specialises in healing from codepedency, is important in guiding you.

  • The first step is becoming AWARE that your choices or actions are dysfunctional.
  • The second step to changing dysfunction is understanding the source of the dysfunction, so where did it come from?
  • The 3rd step is grieving the loss of a healthy childhood. An abusive childhood usually leads to poor choices in relationships & life in general. Without a stable & nurturing childhood you never learn healthy love, healthy boundaries & your emotional regulation is damaged.
  • The 4th step is understanding the complexity of changing self-defeating behaviours & changing certain defense mechanisms, that protected you in your childhood but no longer serve you in adulthood. It takes time, patience and self-compassion.
  • The 5th step is actually trying out new relationships when you have made progress in your healing. You have to make a few more mistakes and discuss these with a therapist by your side, so you can see where you went wrong and how to improve this next time.

When I first found out I was codependent back in 2008, it was like the blindfold was taken off my eyes for the first time. Before learning this, I had a suspicion that something wasn’t right in my relationships but I had no idea how to change this.

I felt like I was in an emotional maze and had no idea which way to go. Everytime I thought I was making better choices in regards to who I was in a relationship with, the more unbearable the heartbreak became.I desperately wanted to be loved but wasn’t able to figure out this painful puzzle! At some point I was so exhausted from the traumatic end of each relationship & the subsequent self abandonment, that I decided to move countries! I wanted a new start…I hoped that I might meet my future husband if I moved away but I never in a million years thought I actually would..Sometimes you need a little bit of luck too!

When I moved back home to Greece after 11 years of living in the UK, I was met with more drama, a flare up of my CPTSD and a father who abandoned me over and over again. I was back in therapy again with a new therapist and was finally diagnosed with CPTSD. I was told both my parents were ’emotionally handicapped’ but that therapist never told me my parents were narcissistic. Maybe she decided at the time that it wasn’t relevant to me.

Despite this she looked after me very well. Each step I took into uncertainty, she held my hand.

I was also entered into a group psychotherapy group and it was extremely beneficial. I was in a group with 5 other people that also had similar backgrounds and it was very healing.

Support is crucial in healing. Without all this I would never have made progress.

The video above is a simple explanation (I hope) of the general dynamics of a codependent & narcissist in a relationship. Maybe you will see yourself in this and get curious. If you do, then please connect with me and I would be happy to have a chat with you.

Please feel free to re-blog this post so it reaches more people! Thank you 🙂

Much Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

 

New YouTube videos-Love addiction

This is the 2nd blog entry I am doing on love addiction, as I know how much of a struggle it is for many of you. I created 2 Youtube videos that cover the most important areas.

Pleae note that there are 2 types of 12 step programmes for love addiction.

One is called Love Addicts Anonymous (LAA) and the other is called ‘Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous’ (SLAA).

I hope you find these useful!

Love Athina ♥

 

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

Trauma bonding & love addiction

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In all my previous relationships, I always thought that intensity equaled love. I fell for the same abusive partners over & over again, that were mostly narcissistic & emotionaly unavailable. I had this deep desire within me, to fix and rescue and fight for their love. For many years I thought this was normal! In each relationship, I hoped that they would change and be able to offer me this unconditional love I was so desperately craving. What I didn’t realise at the time however, was that I was only trying to fill the void my parents’ had left after years of neglect and abuse. I was trying to resolve this feeling of not being lovable, through choosing further unsuitable partners that resembled the normality of my childhood abuse.

Each time a relationship ended I felt utterly crushed and devastated. I relived my abandonment over and over again and still had this intense feeling of  bonding with each and every one of my abusive ex’s.

The article in the link below, explains this bonding very well.

The part where it says ”there is a biological craving for intensity than no normal relationship will satisfy” is something that I deeply felt for 20 years and could never shake off..The more excited and addicted I felt to these men, the better..

I was always easily bored and not in any way attracted to healthy & stable men..I felt anxious and uncomfortable around them..This wasn’t my normal..I wasn’t normal..I was traumatised and stuck with what felt comfortable..and unfortunately comfortable for someone who has suffered abuse and trauma, is to crave more abuse and trauma..Sticking with what is familiar is more comfortable than doing something that feels unfamiliar, as us humans are creatures of habit & conditioning.

Growing up in an unsafe home makes later unsafe situations have more holding power. This has a biological basis beyond any cognitive learning. It is trauma in one’s history that makes for trauma bonding. Because trauma (and developmental trauma or early relational trauma is epidemic) cause numbing around many aspects of intimacy, traumatized people often respond positively to a dangerous person or situation because it makes them feel. It is neither rational nor irrational.

..the survivor can come to find that it can be almost impossible to relate to anyone, even family or old friends, except superficially. There is a biological craving for intensity that no normal relationship will satisfy.

http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/Content/Survivors/trauma_bonding.html

When I was first diagnosed as codependent in therapy, in 2008, I started attending a codependents anonymous group in London. I found it helpful inititially when I was recently out of a relationship but as time went on, my therapy was enough. Through the codependent meetings I also learnt about love addiction and being addicted to the need for love..This is something that I remember from the very young age of 13 where I would fantasize about my prince charming taking me away from my family and giving me everything I needed emotionally..As I got older, this intense need transformed into the most important thing in my world..Each boyfriend I subsequently had, became my everything and I felt completely hopeless and depressed without them..

This link below might be useful for some of you to identify whether you might be a love addict..This usually stems from childhood abuse, so don’t be too harsh on yourself! Healing is possible!

https://www.addiction.com/addiction-a-to-z/love-addiction/love-addiction-101/

In 2012 I was healed enough to be attracted to a healthier partner.With the help of more therapy I persevered through the anxiety of unfamiliarity and eventually got married. Marriage was something I was completely against after my parents got divorced.I never believed I could achieve healthy love let alone a marriage. I am still amazed at how much my life has changed. In 2008 I thought that life would never get better again..Now I sit across my husband and feel incredibly blessed to be loved and cherished for the first time in my life..My friends always felt more like family and I can truly say that I finally have a family in my friends and husband.

Any recovery process requires effort, patience and self-insight. It requires commitment, painful exploration and courage. It is possible to reach a deeper level of contentment, so each step forward is extremely important..

 My experience is vast in regards to relationship dynamics and overcoming narcissistic abuse. I am humbled to offer loads of advice on this blog and through my YouTube videos, as I believe that it is important to assist others on their journey. We all heal together..and we can all help each other..Whether some of you are only just starting your recovery process and whether others are ‘healed’, makes no difference..The connection and knowledge is crucial..The exchange of information is powerful..

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.