Something else I recently learned was about counter dependency- another common issue in victims of abuse.
Counter dependency is where a person has issues trusting other people. They avoid depending on, opening up to or trusting others. They appear extremely independent, even pushing other people away. Often they have a deep fear of intimacy & fear asking for any help. When you consider what the typical childhood experiences of a child of a narcissistic parent are, this behavior makes sense. Narcissistic parents don’t care about their child’s feelings & needs, basically forcing their child to be independent of them. For a child, being pushed away by a parent is devastating. She learns early in life not to trust other people.
After reading about counter dependency, I realized this describes me very well. As an example, if my husband & I have a disagreement, I shut down with him. If he later asks how I am, my answer is always fine. What did I do today? Not much. I let him talk about his day at work or anything else he wants to, but I divulge little to no information about myself. It happens so automatically, I didn’t even realize I was doing it until the last couple of weeks. It took some more time for me to learn this behavior has a name.
As of now, I’m not entirely sure how to change this dysfunctional behavior. I am only guessing, but I think talking about my experiences would help. Mostly with God of course- He is always the best place to start- but also with safe people or writing about it in my journal. Talking, praying or writing about things can bring a clarity to you, & enable you to understand why you are behaving in a dysfunctional way. And of course, once you understand the root of your behavior, you can understand the truth which is you don’t need to behave that way. You can behave in a healthier way.
As I learn about counter dependency, I’ll share what I learn. We can learn & grow together!