“For a child to avoid severe attachment trauma, they need to be adept at a form of psychological gymnastics. This requires suppressing instinctual and reflexive emotional reactions such as frustration, anger, and disappointment while reacting in a way that makes the parent feel good about themselves. The child who succeeds at modifying their emotional reactions to neglect, deprivation, or abuse is rewarded with the highly coveted position in the family as this parent’s “favorite” child. This child becomes a long-fantasized “gift” bestowed on the parent that soothes their mostly unconscious feelings of inadequacy and core shame. The “gifted child” is rewarded by being lavished with conditional love, respect, and care, while others in the family fall prey to the narcissistic parent’s damaging whims and reactions. “Excerpt from The Human Magnet Syndrome – The Codependent Narcissist Trap” – Chapter 8 The Origins of Codependency
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