Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Spotting a Co-dependent Persecutor

This morning I was reading from a new book that my therapist loaned me called "The Conscious Heart" by Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D and Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. and found this quote:

"We found only three maddening role possibilities if we weren't taking full, healthy responsibility: persecutor, rescuer, or victim."

I found this really interesting because those are the same three phases of a co-dependent cycle with a slight adjustment from persecutor to persecuted.  I had recently been thinking about the people in my life who had been my co-dependent persecutors, those who somehow had the knack for knowing how to take advantage of my co-dependent rescuing ways.

This past week I found myself in a situation that was confrontational in nature and if you know me, you know that I absolutely hate confrontation.  But because of where I was at in the moment, I found myself very angry and hurt and actually spoke my mind (so did my daughter who is worse than me about confrontation so I was really proud of her).  Anyway, later as I was thinking about the person who I had the conflict with, I realized how many similarities there were in the situation to a very unhealthy co-dependent connection I had with an old boss many years ago.

The definition of a persecutor would be someone who tries to oppress or harass someone else.  In Wikipedia it says that a co-dependent person is controlled and/or manipulated by another who is typically a narcissist or suffering from an addition.  So to sum up my definition of a co-dependent persecutor is someone who tries to control, manipulate, harass and/or oppress another.

The interesting thing is that there are people all around us who fit this definition from one degree to another and they may try their tactics on many people, but if you are healthy emotionally you will not fall into their trap, unfortunately the co-dependent person will.

Being aware of these types of people and recognizing them when you meet them will also help you not fall into old co-dependent cycles.  I thought it was interesting how in Wikipedia it also said that narcissists are natural magnets for the co-dependent person.  How do you repel these types of people when you come across them?  Well, I am sure there are lots of ways, but I looked up how magnets repel each other and found this description: they repel when similar poles (+ or -) are placed near each other.  That made me think about how the narcissist thinks so highly of themselves, so wouldn't it make sense that if you thought highly of yourself (maybe not as high as a narcissist does) then it would be two similar poles, both positive, therefore the narcissist wouldn't be attracted.  Anyway something to think about.

In the end, this week I learned that I believe more in myself than I used to as I was able to stand up for myself.  I learned how to start spotting a co-dependent persecutor.  And I learned how brave my amazing daughter is!

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