Living In Toxic Home
And if she is already an adult herself, you can still set a good example now by saying "no" to the abuse. Hope it works out for you! Sending positive vibes!
Well, being the daughter of a toxic environment myself, I would say get out. I am not sure why you think you cannot, but please don't be so codependent (as I find man empaths are) that you can't protect your daughter. That happened to me and I had to suffer many consequences when I was finally free and out of the house- I am still facing those consequences today. Due to the verbal abuse and manipulation that I came from, I had no idea how to function with healthy people, so guess what? I always ended up with the same type of abusers I came from. I also have to get over the resentment I feel toward one of my parents for not protecting me because they couldn't protect themselves (due to their empath/codependent nature). Like I said, I am not sure what is stopping you, but please consider my point of view as the daughter. Break the cycle now so she doesn't have to struggle so much in her adult years.
Yes I am a bit worried that no amount of therapy will make a difference- but I at least wanted him to try. We'll see. I think it is best that we start out with supervised visitation- if the dad even wants that. Thanks for your response and advice- I will definitely need this in the very near future!
That is what I need to do- make sure I protect my child and myself rather than please the father or anyone else. Thanks for your advice!
So, I am actually due in a month- left the father when I was 3 months pregnant because he treated me like such a burden, and of course I didn't come before drinking, partying, or staying out all night into the next afternoon.
Anyways, I am not sure of his involvement with the child as he has been back and forth about it, but I am trying to be prepared either way. I am thinking he will get to see our son every other weekend, but I am still not sure how comfortable I will be having those visits unsupervised.
Does anyone have experiences parenting with a narcissist or emotional manipulator? Did you make a plan with the person? What about boundary-setting? I am terrified of the example he could potentially set with women and relationships. I really don't want my child to soak up that dynamic (as I did as a child as well as the father did as a child- I am trying to break the cycle for my son). I have required he seek therapy and attend a parenting class which he has agreed to, possibly a way to brush me off but who knows. Any advice would be great as I start this (accidental) journey.
That's a good idea- I am just wondering what the exactly looks like. Setting up a schedule? It just feels so overwhelming because I (fortunately AND unfortunately) came from a 2 parent household. I guess I need to look up custody/visitation plans. I hesitate to call it co-parenting considering who he is- but maybe I should?
In my opinion, you must protect your children. Even if he is not abusive toward them- they will soak up your dynamic and one day (when they are old enough) they will play out that same dynamic in their relationships. That is why I left before my baby was born- I do not want my son to perpetuate the cycle of his father and his father's father. The reason the father of my child is so emotionally manipulative is because he came from a narcissistic father. The reason I am so empathetic with codependent traits is because I watched the same dynamic play out between my parents. You see the pattern? If you don't put a stop to it, your children could potentially suffer by continuing the cycle. 2 books that can help explain this: The Human Magnet Syndrome by Ross Rosenberg and The Codependent User's Manual: A Handbook for the Narcissistic Abuser by Jon Bet. The last one is interesting because it let's you see how narcissists view empaths and codependents. Hope that helps!
This definitely resonates with me, When I told him I wouldn't meet with him unless he wanted to be involved in the baby's life, he literally opted out of being involved. Now he is set to be involved again- even going so far as to ask if he can be in the room during delivery (which I am not comfortable with). I have to maintain boundaries and rules for my child which doesn't come naturally for me. However, I can't let my own issues with setting boundaries mean I allow my child to be hurt in the end. I feel like sometimes codependent parents unfortunately do not protect their children because they can't protect themselves. I don't want to allow that to happen.
Thank you for your response. I know of no one else personally that is dealing with what I am dealing with- being pregnant and alone while the dad is "back and forth" about his involvement. It is so hard right now, but I know being with the father is NOT in the best interest for me or my son. That knowledge doesn't make it any easier- I almost feel ashamed to be in my situation. And if the father does want to be involved, I am nervous about what that might look like considering the only relationships he will ever portray are those of an EM/Codependent. That is the kind of dynamic I would like to shield my son from. It is all more than I ever thought I would have to deal with, but I definitely see why I am dealing with it. I realize my patterns now and I realize how I got here. I also realize (most importantly) that I need to change these patterns. But again, thank you for your response- would love to chat more sometime if you are up for it!
I needed to hear that! I still struggle with trying to tell him in so many words to "fix himself" only for him to say agree and then further isolate himself from the situation. I still hold out hope for him (not for my sake, but for the baby) and it needs to stop. Being someone who studies behavior- I should start believing people when their behavior is pretty consistently hurtful.
I like what you said about personal boundaries. I recently set one with the EM I was dating (father of the baby) by saying "We only need to meet up if you want to meet your child, otherwise we don't have anything to discuss." He literally responded with "That is too much of a boundary to set." Who is he to say that?
I like what you said about "she will be your calmness". I feel like I constantly end up with the overly charismatic snake in the grass who keeps my anxiety on high alert because it feels "exciting". My next relationship will be "calming".
Thanks for the tips! I definitely can't bring it around my kid in the future.
Thank you for saying so because it is definitely hard to finally realize all of these patterns and how to stop them. I am working on it!
I know as an empath I always end up with emotional manipulators and the balance is very unstable. I actually just created a pretty long discussion post about this. What I have had to learn is...watch out for the types of people you can attract as someone is is more of an "empath". Emotional manipulators love to use (often disguised as needing) us and we (as empaths) love to feel needed. You can check out my whole discussion post about this. Or better yet read The Human Magnet Syndrome by Ross Rosenberg. Best of luck!
I like what you said about that "coming together feeling" that comes with a resolution. I think the best action to take is a) allow yourself to feel and process your emotions in private if that is what it requires and b) do not facilitate their behavior by allowing them to feed off you- in other words "do not be a blood doll" for emotional vampires. Also, I am very big on trying to self-improve and put those people out of my mind.
Anyways, I hope your situation with your sister continues to improve and thank you for your response!
My name is Rebecca and I am new here. I stumbled upon this site through my research in the field of psychology on relationships between co-dependents and those with narcissism/borderline personality disorder (sidenote: there IS a different between narcissistic traits and those with NPD- true NPD sufferers make up less than 7% of the US populations). I am finding there are many similarities between codependents and empaths. The main origin seems to be in the childhood of these individuals- mainly those who have suffered some sort of abuse or neglect. These types of people often end up in fast-burning relationships with emotional manipulators (BPD/NPD/or just those possessing the traits) and can even end up in long-term relationships with these emotional vampires simply because they each fulfill a toxic role in the relationship. Codependents and empaths both gain confidence in feeling needed and an emotional manipulator (EM) loves needing and/or using you. It seems that there are red flags with these EM's and I am still trying to learn those red flags out of necessity. For example, EM's have no boundaries, (and often codependents and empaths have weak boundaries so our emotional bodies are easy to infiltrate) they will often devalue you when they feel cornered or abandoned, everything is about them and what they want to do- your needs are not considered, if you try and discuss emotions/ needs with them/set boundaries/discuss something they did that hurt you, they become very defensive/threatened and belittle you for even bringing it up.
Depending on your own past, being with an EM can instantly feel like home which can cause you to feel an instant connection- due to boundary issues, the relationship often moves way too fast.
I have put so much into this research because a) I work in behavior analysis and am constantly trying to use the field to better my own life and 2) For the past 10 years (since I began dating in college) I have dated the same EM (mostly narcissistic traits/poor impulse control/covert addictions or substance abuse issues) over and over again in different forms. As a result, I have been in some terrible and abusive situations.
Now...for the biggest reason of all- I sit here 33 weeks pregnant with a baby by one of the aforementioned men. When we were in a relationship and I wasn't pregnant and sick all the time, I was a lot more useful to him. Now that I am pregnant, as you can imagine, he is not very involved in the situation at all. It is actually pretty devastating (and almost shameful) for me to be doing this without a partner. This is my first pregnancy so it is pretty terrifying overall, but I am definitely (finally) learning why I do what I do and figuring out my own pattern of behavior regrading relationships. Having a baby (especially in this situation) sort of forces you to look at your life and what you can do to stop the cycle for your child.
So, what do you think? Do you have similar stories of relationships with EMs? Have you gotten through that stage and finally settled into something healthier? Do you have specific signs you look for when determining if someone is an EM or otherwise unhealthy for your empathetic nature?
Any stories or advice would be great. I really CANNOT keep up this cycle.