Can you imagine being locked away with another person for a number of years, isolated from the outside world and seemingly helpless to escape? In the above example, a narcissist would be telling the codependent they are safe with them while trying to find an escape route for themselves! A codependent would be enabling the narcissist by supplying tools and looking the other way even though they knew the narcissist was leaving!
I have been offering online therapy for over 10 years. During that time, I have built up a speciality in many areas of psychology and helped many clients move forward. Contact me for a free consultation. I engage fully with my clients to ensure the best possible chance of recovery. I firmly believe that awareness is important but action is the decisive element of recovery. I accompany my clients along that road not only by offering sessions focusing on their issues but as a resource between sessions too.
Humour aside, sounds like prison time but might also describe the dysfunctional nature of a narcissist/codependent relationship who often live in a bubble isolated from the outside world, friends and family. We know the reason why a narcissist might want this ( isolation means no-one can counter their manipulation and lies) but for the codependent, it is also often a matter of control. An isolated space where they can fix, sacrifice and continue the endless quest to turn their abuser into someone more palatable. In this case, part of the manipulation process driven by narcissist is to be the only comfort for the abuse they meter out. This the the usual cycle, giving their victim a glimpse of the “masked” monster illusion they initially fell for.
Many codependents are seemingly stuck in relationships with emotionally distant, emotionally abusive men and one might truly wonder why they cannot just leave. I have seen many cases where it is truly painful to watch and it almost defies logic that anyone would stay in such a situation but they do. Most codependents when confronted with a narcissist will work along a continuum from codependency to counter-dependency. This gives them an element of perceived control but also leads them to being manipulated. Ultimately, they may stay counter-dependent when they decide that the best remedy to avoid getting hurt is to stay away from relationships all together. For a codependent, this is hard work.
The goal is not to avoid relationships, just bad ones and a whole new view of the world needs to be adopted. This means reframing much of what was learnt in childhood and replacing it with more positive, realistic thinking patterns. The main issue to be addressed is the missing connection with caregivers. Many codependents were either neglected, abused or subjected to a parenting style based on conditional love. One of my clients told me that she was constantly told that if she didn’t do as she was told, she would be abandoned or not loved. Not hard to see why she is now having issues.