We are hard wired as humans to compliance. If 9 people in a room say black is white, the tenth is likely to agree.
Is that tenth person weak? Do they have self esteem issues? Whatever it is more people would comply than not, so is it the norm to have weakness and esteem issues? It seems to me the narcissist uses this human trait to ‘gas light’ his (any) codependent to the point they are barely able to think for themselves.
I was talking to my now adult child about holding on to dreams, using them to work out what excites you, and using them to find your way through a more interesting life. Mine were battered out of me, first by my father then my ex, so much so that in my middle age with relative freedom within reach I am lost.
I’m taking small steps and finding my balance like a toddler learning to walk. I try to allow a dream but after years of conditioning I find it more comfortable to follow and my grown up children mock me.
I can see me through their eyes, the mistakes they don’t want to make. I hope they walk and run through life dancing all the way. I hope that one day I will be able to dance with my dreams too but I have 48 years of compliance to shed first.