Repetition Compulsion

One of the key philosophies of Feeling is Healing is that fact that the natural state of our bodies is one of health and wholeness. Our bodies are always trying to give us opportunities to lead us back to that state.

When we experience some kind of traumatic event, it leaves an imprint in our nervous systems if it is not processed properly. Our bodies are always trying to find ways to resolve this. In terms of relational trauma, we will subconsciously seek out people who are similar to the person who originally caused the trauma. Subsciously, we want to replay the same scenario, but with a different result.  No matter how much cognitive awareness we have, the subconscious pull will magnetise us towards certain individuals and certain circumstances. This is known as repetition compulsion.

For example, if I grew up in a home in which I was blamed for everything that went wrong, I am likely to be subconsciously drawn to relationships where I am blamed for everything. This won’t be an obvious or a conscious choice.  During recovery I have been able to see how these experiences, painful as they are, can be very useful in making us aware of wounds that we still need to heal.abusive relationships

For example, a few years ago I felt attracted to a man whose hurtful behaviour towards me caused me pain.jealousy narcissist This brought up a very strong urge in me to want to fix him so that he could then love me. It also showed me that I have a strong inner conviction that I need to believe that I have the ability to change someone in order to feel safe, even though I know cognitively that this is not possible. This is very common for people who have grown up in homes that were unsafe. Believing that one can change one’s own parents to make them love them is a very strong coping mechanism to survive an unsafe and inescapable environment. 

Once we are able to see and acknowledge the patterns in our relationships, we can process the underlying feelings and release them from our bodies. We are then free to attract healthier relationships into our lives.

Tricks of the Narcissistic Trade

  1. magic tricksGathering information about the victim – staring (commonly known as the “sociopathic stare”) and asking lots of questions (the answers will later be used against you to manipulate and control you)
  2. Playing on the victim’s fears and insecurities (again they will uncover your fears by studying you and asking pertinent questions)
  3. Provocation – narcissists are professional button pushers
  4. Divide and Conquer – telling untruths to turn others against each other so they don’t team up to protect themselves against the abuse. This allows them greater control over others.
  5. Projection – the narcissist projects the characteristics they dislike in themsleves (but are in denial about) onto their victim
  6. Triangulation – making the victim jealous of another so that the victim works hard to gain the narcissist’s approval
  7. Confusion – to distract from what the narcissist is really trying to do. Confusion also ensures that the attention is on the narcissist and this provides them with narcissistic supply
  8. Emotional Dysregulation
  9. Gaslighting

These will all be discussed in greater detail in future posts.  Feel free to add any examples that you have come across in the comments below.