Tag Archives: codependent

Codependency Anorexia: Are You Starving Yourself from Love?

Codependency Anorexia

Codependency Anorexia is a logical solution for people with Self-Love Deficit Disorder™ (SLDD) who are hopelessly addicted to dangerously attractive narcissists.  As a last-ditch protective strategy, the desperate codependent (SLD™) shuts down their innate and natural impulse to fall in love, thereby rendering them safe, but disassociated relational robots.  Although intimacy starvation provides a sense of power and control over real and invisible threats, it adds another of many layers of shame & loneliness to their SLDD.

It is paradoxical in a sense, as it occurs during a moment of clarity when the only obvious choice is to freeze one’s natural “love impulse,” which has, up until this time, consistently blown up in their face.  If the codependency anorexic barrier is challenged, an alarm of extreme anxiety is sounded, which does not stop until the threat has been neutralized.   At the end of the day, the codependent anorexic is safe from harm, but the cost is extraordinarily high!  Safety, without the experience of self-love and the healthy love of others, is no different from being jailed for a crime that was never committed.

Based on the Ross Rosenberg article featured here

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Self-Love Recovery Institute Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

 

Gaslighting Is Everywhere!

For more information  about the webinar, click HERE.  

To register for the webinar or to purchase the video click HERE.

Gaslighting Is Everywhere!

Gaslighting is a brainwashing strategy perpetrated by highly manipulative narcissists who live secretly and undetected in our society.  Like child molesters seeking prey, gaslighters have a keen eye for spotting vulnerable personality types who are susceptible to their pretend altruism, affection and promises of protection.

Gaslighters achieve complete control by manipulating the environment so their victims identify with an overwhelming and incurable psychological problem, which they never had, or was only a minor affliction.  The result of implanting an illness or disorder, and rendering a person helpless over it, is unfathomable distress, insecurity and paranoia.  Worst are the feelings of despair and powerlessness.

Descending into an emotional world of hopelessness and isolation, the victim is manipulated into seeking protection and solace from the very person who orchestrated their incapacitation.

Gaslighting is everywhere: secretly lurking behind the locked doors of politicians, clergy members, husbands, wives and even parents.  Gaslighters feed off a person, people, or a society that is devoid of hope and full of anxiety.  Only with such vulnerable people can the gaslighter play out their enchanting but mercilessly heinous emotional crimes.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

                         

Pseudo Narcissism / Kid in a Candy Store Phenomenon

 

Pseudo Narcissism / Kid in a Candy Store Phenomenon
Ross Rosenberg

Through SLDD recovery and the attainment of Self-Love Abundance, the SLA (Self-Love Abundant) is finally allowed and free to manifest the version of themselves – the person who they always should have been, but never knew existed.  A fitting analogy is a “kid a candy store.”

The excited and highly motivated SLA can get lost in the freedom of being their newly discovered happy and successful self.  This results in a feeling of euphoria, excitement, and unhampered enthusiasm.  Like a teenager trying on potential identities, this SLA will make plenty of mistakes, as the learning curve can be steep.  As much as they wanted the fruits of self-love and the accompanied to freedom to manifest into their true potential, they may over-do the enthusiasm.  In addition, they may make key social and interactional mistakes, because they have yet to learn the skill-set of unencumbered self-esteem (self-love) expressed in relationships or in public.

Hence, these excited SLA’s spike up the Continuum of Self toward higher “self” CSV (continuum of self-value).   Such a spike may appear  as narcissism, even Pathological Narcissism.  But it is not because the SLA can be aware of their narcissistic ways, feel badly/have empathy about it, and make necessary adjustments. And when necessary and appropriate, this “kid in a candy store” can take responsibility for their actions and make amends for them in real time.  There  is no experience or reaction of a narcissistic injury.

The SLA who loses themselves in their newfound experience/attainment of personal, emotional, and even financial wealth, may very well harm others and themselves, and not even know it.  It is therefore incumbent on these overly-excited and ambitious SLA newbies to become conscious of their narcissistic spikes, make efforts to catch them before they occur, spot them when they occur, and make amends to those who are accidentally harmed by them.

SInce the goal of healthy relationships is a well-balanced distribution of love, respect and care (LRC), it is imperative that “SLA freshman” get a chance to revel in their Self-Love Abundance, while also paying attention to how it may impact others.  Dialing down one’s excitement about a new life that is absent of core shame, pathological loneliness, the addictive pursuit of narcissists, and a relationships with similarly self-loving people, might not be easy.  But the effort to become disciplined and measured in the “candy store” will be well-worth the effort.

 

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

                         

 

 

 

Codependency Categories: Active, Passive and Anorexic Codependents

Codependency Categories: Active, Passive & Anorexic Codependents

Excerpts from Ross  Rosenberg’s book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love  People Who  Hurt Us.

Active and Passive Codependency

As a direct result of the codependents questioning themselves about being a narcissist, I categorized codependency into two sub-types: passive and active.  Although all codependents are habitually and instinctively attracted (and later bonded) to severely narcissistic partners, one is more active in their perpetual but unsuccessful attempts to obtain their narcissist’s love, respect and care (LRC), while the other is more passive.  Although both try to control and manipulate their narcissistic partners, they go about it differently.

Passive codependents are more fearful and avoidant of conflict.  For complicated reasons, mostly related to their extremely low self-esteem, fear of being alone and tendency to be in relationships with controlling, dangerous and/or abusive pathological narcissists, the passive codependent attempts to control or influence their narcissistic partner through carefully, if not meticulously, executed control strategies – most of which are intended to fall under their pathological narcissist’s radar (awareness).  Because of the secret and hidden nature of their control strategies, passive codependents are perceived as more resigned, stoic and compliant than active codependents.

Active codependents, on the other hand, are overtly manipulative in their control strategies in attempts to rectify the LRC inequity in their relationship.  Being less afraid of conflict, they often engage the pathological narcissist in arguments and confrontations.  They also are prone to aggressive altercations, lying and manipulating, in an effort to avoid being harmed or to meet their own needs.  They are therefore experienced as controlling, antagonizing and manipulative.   In addition, they may want others to see them fight, control, and manipulate their narcissistic partner, as it serves as a paper thin attempt to feel powerful and in control.

Active codependents are often mistaken for narcissists because of their more openly controlling demeanor.   Like the passive codependent, they believe that “one day” their pathologically narcissistic partner will realize their mistakes and wrong-doings and finally give them the love, respect and care they so desperately want and need.  It just never happens…

Although different “on the outside,” both the passive and active codependent share the pathological “others” self-orientation.  While the active codependent may seem stronger, more in control and more confident, both share the same deeply embedded insecurities and feelings of powerlessness.  Both are unable to break free from their dysfunctional relationship.

Codependency Anorexia – Starving One’s Self of Love

Codependency Anorexia occurs when a codependent surrenders to their life-long relationship pattern to destructive pathological narcissists.  The codependent often transitions to Codependency Anorexia when they hit bottom and can no longer bear the pain and the harm meted out to them from their malevolent pathological narcissists. It is paradoxical in a sense, as it occurs during a moment of clarity, when the codependent realizes that they are completely powerless to stop their attraction to lovers who, in the beginning, feel so right, but shortly thereafter, hurt them so badly. In an effort to protect themselves from the long line of “soul mates,” who unexpectedly convert to “cellmates,” they flip their vulnerability switch to “off,” which results in a complete shutdown of their emotional, relational, and sexual machinery.

Although their intention is to avoid getting pummeled again by the next narcissist, they unknowingly insulate themselves from the very human experience of intimate romantic love. This defense mechanism serves to protect codependents from the cascade of resulting consequences of their debilitating love choices. By denying their human need to connect and love passionately, they are, in a sense, artificially neutralizing The Human Magnet Syndrome. Or in other words, they are removing themselves from any possibility of close romantic love, healthy or not.

To maintain their codependent anorexia, codependents ultimately have to divorce themselves from their emotional and sexual selves. As a result, they “starve” themselves from the very human need to connect romantically, intimately, and sexually. Such deprivation often leads to long-term mental and relational health problems.

In the codependent anorexic state, the codependent is hypervigilant of any person or situation that would lead to a potentially harmful and dangerous intimate relationship. They often over compensate in social situations to avoid either showing interest in someone else or accidentally reacting to someone else overtures. To that end, they also deprive themselves of everyday social events, in order to not accidentally bump against a vulnerable or threatening situation or person. And if a person or event does threaten the codependency anorexic barrier, a shock of extreme anxiety uncomfortably steer them back onto their self-depriving but safe course.

The anorexic codependent is unable to recognize that their disconnection or disassociation from their vulnerable relational and sexual self is harmful, if not debilitating. Notwithstanding, they continue the path of intimacy deprivation so that they are able to maintain their distorted and deluded sense of power and control over real and invisible threats. At the end of the day, they are not hurt by another pathological narcissist. But, they also live their life in a barren desert of loneliness and fear.

Codependents cannot shake the unrealistic belief that happiness will only come if they are in a relationship. They look to other people to make them feel happy and fulfilled. It is only through an intimate relationship that they will be able to feel complete. Codependents tend to rely on a source outside of themselves – their romantic partners – to make them feel worthwhile and lovable.  As a result of the codependent’s reliance on pathological narcissists to make them feel good about themselves, they seldom experience self-love or healthy levels of self-esteem.

 

Since the codependent unconsciously chooses partners who are unwilling, unmotivated or unable to meet their personal and emotional needs, they may choose the path of control to get their pathological narcissist partner to give them what they want and need. To some, it is counterintuitive for codependents to be controlling. There are indeed codependents who do give up and take a passive victim-based role in their dysfunctional relationships. However, because most codependents take on the lion’s share of the relationship responsibilities such as child care, house cleaning, cooking, shopping, and/or financially supporting the relationship/family, they cannot afford to acquiesce and relinquish control of their family’s life. Without maintaining some semblance of control, they and their family or relationship would certainly suffer. To most codependents, the idea of stopping their attempts to get their narcissist partner to reciprocate or behave fairly and responsibly is tantamount to giving up on their relationship; something that codependents are mostly unwilling and incapable of doing.

Codependents often develop compulsive or addictive-like patterns while trying to control their narcissistic partner. Their compulsion to control someone who cannot be controlled puts them on a circular path that always brings them back to where they started: angry, frustrated and resentful. Much like the hamster on its wheel, they run around and around trying to get somewhere, but always end up in the same place. No matter how fast and how long they run, they never actually leave the place where they started – their dysfunctional relationship with a pathological narcissist. Their attempts to seek the unobtainable create a series of personal and relational failures that ultimately remind them of their powerlessness over others. This pattern is self-reinforcing. The more they fail at controlling the pathological narcissist, the worse they feel. Over time, they get worn down by their failures and consequently give up on the hope that the one-way nature of their relationship will ever change.

Codependents are slow to give up hope that their partner will eventually give them what they want, deserve and need. However, for some codependents, their patience eventually runs thin. Their naïve belief that their narcissistic partner will give them what they have so sacrificially and patiently been waiting for eventually transforms into bouts of anger and resentment. Realizing that hoping and waiting does not get them what they want, i.e., their spouse to be stop drinking, stop an affair, or to show them love and thoughtfulness, they resort either to direct or passive forms of aggression. Instead of running on their hamster wheel, they start to actively attempt to control their unyielding partner. So the stereotype that codependents are passive victims who wait a lifetime to get what they want is just not true.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

                         

 

Poem: On Becoming a Rose: The Journey to Self-Love

self-love rosenbergON BECOMING A ROSE: THE JOURNEY TO SELF-LOVE 

Inspired by Anaïs Nin.  “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

Breaking through to self-love
is the most difficult journey
for paralyzed and anxious
rose bud people,
whose roots are deeply
and inescapably implanted
in the inhospitable soil
of forgotten and discarded dreams.

The long winters of waiting
tires any rose bud
who has had a lifetime
of disappointing dreams
of not being able to open up,
to share their nectar of self-love.

The sun-drenched landscape
where happy and fulfilled roses
freely bask in golden rays of love
to share their delicious fragrance
remains the forbidden sad dreamscape
for many a frightened rose bud

Rose buds dream
of throwing caution to the wind,
risking predictable harm
and inevitable pain
for the moment of pure happiness
when hope and love
overtake the loneliness of safety

We all start off as a rose bud.
Perfect and pure,
filled with potential
to become a most beautiful, unique,
and remarkable flower.

Wounded roses
who were neither protected
nor nurtured,
know only to hunker down
in a safe bud state,
to weather unpredictable storms.

History has demonstrated
that decisions to open up,
to bloom,
have predictably been met
with the opposition of
gale force winds
and torrential storms.

There comes a time
when the courage to transform
into a beautiful rose,
the one we always were,
but didn’t know about,
overcomes our fearful vigilance
to avoid further harm.

The time is now,
to allow ourselves to understand,
finally,
that the fear of harm
brought more suffering and losses
than would have the rain, wind, and frost.

We need to bravely
be optimistic about the world,
about ourselves,
and decide to no longer settle
for loneliness infused safety.

Deciding to bloom
allows us to come to terms
and accept
our frightened rose bud life,
and why our parents
could and never would
tell us about our beautiful flower.

It is time to discard our life
as a lonely self-love deprived
and unrealized rose,
and bravely allow ourselves
to transform into the flower
we always have been.

As we vulnerably and carefully
come to full bloom,
stretch our arms out,
and connect with an unpredictable
but potentially loving world,
we will experience,
for the first time
the freedom of a flower.

Only at this time
will we finally understand
the cost of mistaking ourselves
for a rose bud,
and not the flower we always were.

The companion (to this poem) YouTube video

“CODEPENDENCY” NO MORE! HOW TO RECOVER FROM SELF-LOVE DEFICIT DISORDER

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Ross Rosenberg has pioneered 15 principles that help his
patients resolve their painful dysfunctional relationships patterns.
Have you been stuck in multiple relationships that bring mostly conflict and almost no joy? If this is your pattern, you may be suffering from what Ross Rosenberg calls “Self-Love Deficit Disorder,” which is caused by “The Human Magnet Syndrome.”

When a therapist colleague and friend recently asked me to explain what Self-Love Deficit Disorder is and how to treat it–I panicked. Although I love talking about my latest discoveries, especially my renaming of codependency to Self-Love Deficit Disorder. I paused to think of the best response. Being fatigued from seeing six psychotherapy clients that day, I considered using the therapist’s conversation maneuver of avoiding the subject by asking a similarly difficult question about a topic on which the client loves to talk. My second impulse was to skirt the question by explaining that the answers are best explained in my latest seminar video–the six-hour “Codependency Cure.”

These discoveries organically materialized in my life as a direct result of my need to heal emotional wounds and to tear down the emotional, personal, and relational barriers keeping me from experiencing self-love.

My third impulse, the best one, was to proudly and enthusiastically share my “children” with yet another person. Those who know me well understand how my Human Magnet Syndrome, Codependency Cure, and Self-Love Deficit theories and explanations are byproducts of my own family of origin issues (trauma), my roller-coaster journey to recover from it, and the joy of learning to live free from codependency. These discoveries organically materialized in my life as a direct result of my need to heal emotional wounds and to tear down the emotional, personal, and relational barriers keeping me from experiencing self-love. This is not just a set of theories I like to talk about, but a personal mission that I plan to be on for the rest of my life.

Although I wasn’t excited about the prospect of talking shop at that moment, I tapped into a well of energy and enthusiasm that gave me the much needed boost to give a condensed rendering of my latest work. But this time, I set a boundary (for me and them): it would only be a fifteen-minute explanation! I figured since I had already given many radio interviews, written many articles, created training courses, and, of course, been a psychotherapist for 29 years, it would be a piece of cake.
And … I did with time to spare! Knowing that others might ask me the same question again or would benefit from a similarly condensed rendition of my conceptual and theoretical work, I decided to create a written version of this discussion. The following are my 15 guiding principles of Self-Love Deficit Disorder and The Human Magnet Syndrome.

♦◊♦
1. “Codependency” is an outdated term that connotes weakness and emotional fragility, both of which are far from the truth. The replacement term, “Self-Love Deficit Disorder” or SLDD takes the stigma and misunderstanding out of codependency and places the focus on the core shame that perpetuates it. Inherent in the term itself is the recognition of the core problem of codependency, as well as the solution to it.

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2. The absence of self-love results in deeply embedded insecurities that render a person powerless to set boundaries and/or control their narcissistic loved ones. The person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder, the SLD, is often oblivious or in denial about their dysfunctional relationships patterns with narcissists, as to admit to it, would require them to face their core shame and pathological loneliness.

3. PNarc’s (Pathological Narcissists) have one of three personality disorders and/or have an addiction: Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

4. The SLD was once a child who was raised by a PNarc parent who flew into fits of rage, anxiety, sadness, and/or depression if and when their immediate needs were not catered to or immediately met. This child emotionally survived by avoiding their narcissistic parent’s anger (narcissistic injuries) by morphing into the “trophy,” “pleasing,” or “favorite” child that the PNarc parent needed them to be. This child grew up learning that safety and conditional love were available to them if they buried their own needs for love, respect and caring while becoming invisible.

5. The inherently dysfunctional SLDD/PNarc “dance” requires two opposite but distinctly balanced partners: the pleaser/fixer (SLD) and the taker/controller (PNarc). When the two come together in their relationship, their dance unfolds flawlessly: The narcissistic maintains the lead and the SLD follows. Their roles seem natural to them because they have actually been practicing them their whole lives; the SLD reflexively gives up their power and since the narcissist thrives on control and power, the dance is perfectly coordinated. No one gets their toes stepped on. SLD’s dare not leave their dance partner, because their lack of self-esteem and self-respect makes them feel like they can do no better. Being alone is the equivalent of feeling lonely, and loneliness is too painful to bear.

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6. Men and women always have been drawn into romantic relationships instinctively, not so much by what they see, feel or think, but more by an invisible and irresistible relationship force. “Chemistry,” or the intuitive knowingness of perfect compatibility, is synonymous with the Human Magnet Syndrome. This is the attraction force that brings compatibly opposite, but exquisitely matched, lovers together: SLD’s and PNarc’s. Like two sides of a magnet, the care-taking and sacrificing SLD and the selfish and entitled PNarcs are powerfully drawn together–sometimes permanently.

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7. SLD’s feel trapped in their relationships because they confuse sacrifice and selfless caring with commitment, loyalty and love. The SLD’s distorted thinking and value system is fueled by an irrational fear of abandonment, loneliness and core shame.

8. When an SLD sets a boundary, insists on fairness or mutuality, or attempts to protect themselves from harm, the PNarc partner punishes them with some form of active or passive aggressive retaliation. The actual consequence, or the threat of it, freezes the SLD inside their unhappy dysfunctional relationships. Over time, the PNarc achieves complete dominance over the relationship because they have systematically extracted any semblance of self-confidence and courage from the SLD.

9. SLDD often manifests as an addiction. The enthralling emotional drama of dysfunctional relationships or the belief that the SLD can control a PNarc is the “drug” to which SLD’s become addicted. Despite losses and consequences, the SLD addict hypnotically pursues their drug of choice. “Relapse” is inevitable if the SLD should leave the PNarc before resolving the underlying problems responsible for the addiction.

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10. Pathological loneliness and the fear of it drives SLDD addiction. It is SLDD addiction’s primary withdrawal symptom, which lasts between two to six months. This toxic form of loneliness is excruciatingly painful and is experienced physically, emotionally, existentially, and spiritually. In the throes of pathological loneliness, the SLD feels isolated, unloved, unsafe, and fundamentally unworthy.

11. Core shame drives pathological loneliness. It is the feeling of being fundamentally damaged, bad and/or an unlovable. Core shame was caused by attachment trauma.

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12. Attachment trauma is caused by the traumatic childhood experience of being raised by an abusive or neglectful PNarc parent. This form of trauma is largely repressed and is beyond the SLD’s capacity to remember. Attachment trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are similar mental health problems or are one of the same. Resolving this trauma requires a psychodynamic, family of origin, addictions, and trauma informed psychotherapist.

13. SLDD is not a primary psychological or emotional problem. It is a symptom of other underlying and more severe psychological problems. With the resolution of SLDD Addiction, pathological loneliness, core shame and, ultimately, the attachment trauma, the SLD will, perhaps for the first time, be able to love themselves.

14. According to the rules of “relationship math,” the addition of ½ + ½ (an SLD and PNarc) = 1, which is ½ of a relationship comprised of enmeshed and dependent partners. But the addition of a 1 + 1 (two self-loving individuals) = 2, which is 1 whole relationship comprised of mutually and reciprocally loving interdependent adults.

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15. Self-love is the antidote to codependency or Self-Love Deficit Disorder. And since the human spirit is capable of astounding feats, then the all the pain and suffering that it takes to achieve self-love is well worth the effort. George Elliot had it right: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.

♦◊♦

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has asked me about my work. It is through explaining my ideas and concepts to others that I have been able to hone in on the universal truths about which I am so devoted to teaching and writing. For more information and resources, readers can consult the Advanced Clinical Trainers website.

www.ClinicalCareConsultants.com

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The Six Stages of Self-Love Deficit Disorder (Codependency) Recovery

This is an updated version of the Five Stage Model on the same subject.  The Six Stages of Self-Love Deficit Disorder (codependency) Recovery will be an organizing construct/paradigm in my upcoming book, The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

6 stages of self love defcit cisorder recovery

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

Codependents Also Hurt Their Children

CODEPENDENTS ALSO HURT THEIR CHILDREN

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

depressed girlAlthough the codependent parent is harmed by their narcissistic partner, their codependency should not be considered a valid excuse for not protecting their children. Even with the all-powerful Human Magnet Syndrome, the adult codependent parent, like all other adult parents, carries the responsibility to care for and defend their children. However, the stark and most unfortunate reality is they predictably fall in love with pathological narcissists who they feel intractably bonded to, despite feeling abused, neglected and/or deprived. And when they become parents, they often choose staying in the relationship with the harmful narcissist over protecting their children.

Most codependent parents sincerely do not wish any harm to befall their children. In fact, they go to extraordinary measures to stop, mitigate or buffer the narcissist’s harm or abuse of the children. Despite their best intentions, they are unable to stop the resulting disregard and/or mistreatment that everyone in the family is forced to endure, except, of course, for the offending narcissist. The codependent’s inability or unwillingness to shield the children co-creates a toxic family environment in which the children are harmed and their future psychological health is compromised.

The codependent’s compulsive desire to satisfy the narcissist’s insatiable selfish needs, while also trying to control or coerce them to behave less narcissistically, results in a depletion of their energy, time, focus and emotional resources, which would otherwise be given to the children. Trying to control a person who, by definition, cannot be controlled, while unsuccessfully seeking love, respect and care from them, results in a hamster-wheel experience where their physical and emotional resources are exhausted. Tired and beaten down, they often shut down and disconnect from their parental responsibility to protect their children (and themselves).

Although I am suggesting that codependents share responsibility for the harm of their children, caution must be taken when attributing blame. Codependent parents similarly grew up in a family in which all the children were held captive by the neglect and/or abuse of a codependent and pathologically narcissistic parent. They are clearly victims of their childhood environment. In addition, without their attempts to protect their children and the love and nurturing they did give them, the sum total of psychological harm to the children would be far worse compared to being raised solely by a pathological narcissist.

Many a codependent client has lamented over how much they resented and were angry at their codependent parent for not protecting them and not divorcing or leaving the abusive narcissist. In fact, these same clients recall numerous occasions when they could have been protected or removed from harm’s way, but were not because of their codependent parent’s distorted sense of responsibility, loyalty and feelings of completely powerlessness. Adding insult to injury, their need for security, nurturing and safety was traded for their parent’s fear of living alone and feeling shameful, broken and pathologically lonely.

Often, in the beginning of codependency treatment, my clients are unable to wrap their arms around the concept that their “wonderfully loving and nurturing” codependent parent should share any responsibility for their neglectful or abusive childhood. After working hard in codependency-specific psychotherapy, there comes a time when the codependent client is psychologically healthy enough to let go of the “good” codependent parent fantasy, and realistically hold them partially responsible for their traumatic childhood.

Although this process often begins with anger and a need for accountability, it eventually transforms into a willingness to empathize, accept and forgive their codependent parent. In the process of being honest about who their parent really was and how much they were harmed by them, they are able to “own” their own codependency, while better understanding what they are doing or have done to their own children.

The codependent parent who disassociates from their Human Magnet Syndrome fueled desire/attraction to pathological narcissists also harms their children. Although this type of codependency, which I have coined “codependency anorexia,” protects both the codependent and her children from narcissistic abuse, it is still harmful.

By depriving oneself from psychologically healthy, intimate adult companionship and the children from a second parent, the children are ultimately deprived of another adult who deeply loves, respects and cares for them, and who is unconditionally committed to their life-long welfare. In addition, they are deprived of an opposite sex parent who provides an alternative gender perspective and form of nurturing. In addition, raising a family, while purposely avoiding a romantic or intimate partner, sends a message that such types of adult relationships may be dangerous and harmful.

Codependency anorexia often results in the codependent parent unfairly and inappropriately seeking to meet their emotional, social and personal needs through their children. This form of enmeshment is often referred to as emotional incest, which is harmful to a child’s psychological development.

The purpose for writing this article was not to slam or denigrate codependents, as I am a recovering codependent and a psychotherapist who is dedicated to helping this unique and underserved population. It is my intent to raise awareness about the dysfunctional parenting dynamics that are unique to the codependent/narcissist relationship, while giving codependent parents a loud but supportive wake-up call.

Yes, despite your giving, sacrificing and altruistic motives, you too are hurting your children. Even with your superior parenting skills and your genuinely loving ambitions, you are still a partner to the dysfunctional process that is harming the people you love most. I am hopeful that this article will inspire and motivate you seek help for your addictive and compulsive self-harming pattern of being stuck and frozen in relationships with pathological narcissists. Join me in protecting our nation’s most valuable resource: our children.

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Why Internet Dating Apps Have It All Wrong. The Truth Behind “Chemistry”

Why Internet Dating Apps Have It All Wrong

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Ross Rosenberg reveals the hidden truth behind relationship chemistry

Have you been working on your online dating profile? Posing for the perfect selfie? Finding the exact right words to describe your wonderful self? Sadly, and unfortunately, all of the effort in choosing the best photographs, writing one’s personal biography, and positioning oneself in the most appealing personality and lifestyle categories is all for naught; it simply doesn’t matter. Adding insult to injury, it is futile to base your hopes for a happy relationship on the careful reading and interpreting of a potential love interest’s profile, while scanning every pixel of their pics with a magnifying glass looking for potential clues or red flags. Why? Because dating chemistry is not based on your prospective match’s face or body type, musical interests, favorite foods, political leanings, education, religion, or other criteria. Dating chemistry is based on “The Human Magnet Syndrome!”

The Human Magnet Syndrome accounts for one of the most common couplings we see—the pairing of caretaking, empathetic, and altruistic codependents with selfish, arrogant, controlling, and harmful narcissists, who simultaneously fall head over heels in in love while remaining tied together in a long-term dysfunctional relationship.

What we call chemistry between two lovers is the unconscious matching of perfectly balanced opposite personality types. I describe this phenomenon in detail in my book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. The Human Magnet Syndrome accounts for one of the most common couplings we see—the pairing of caretaking, empathetic, and altruistic codependents with selfish, arrogant, controlling, and harmful narcissists, who simultaneously fall head over heels in in love while remaining tied together in a long-term dysfunctional relationship.

When a caretaking woman feels the chemistry bliss over her narcissistic romantic man (or vice versa), it is not because of any similarities she shares with him. Rather it is due to the activation of unconscious psychological attraction mechanisms that recognize a perfect “dancing partner” who makes her heart skip a beat or two. His boldness, charisma, self-confidence, and charm create the illusion that he is the man about whom she has always dreamt. Little does she know that she, a codependent, has chosen, yet again, another in a long list of narcissists.

Human Magnet Syndrome chemistry, of course, goes both ways. Mr. Perfect’s unconscious chemistry machinery has also been activated. His heart is aflutter over this perfect angel of a woman who listens to him, cries for him, and validates all of the “unfair treatment” he has received from his ex-wives who demand child support, the IRS who is auditing him, and the long line of jobs from which he was terminated for “knowing the job better than (his) bosses.” So of course, Mr. Perfect, a.k.a. the narcissist, has also hit the (dysfunctional) relationship jackpot.  At the end of the day, the codependent’s dreams of a soul mate invariably dissolve into a “cellmate” reality.

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Self-orientation is divided into two categories: those who are comfortable with giving away and not receiving LRC, and those who are more comfortable taking LRC while not reciprocating.

The multi-billion-dollar Internet dating industry doesn’t realize it, but despite all those algorithms, all that matching, and all that swiping, they are selling the Human Magnet Syndrome. When two romantic hopefuls meet, whether by chance or the result of an Internet dating site’s heralded selection technologies, they will instantly feel comfortable, familiar, and safe when their self-orientations match up. What, you ask, is a self-orientation? A self-orientation is defined as the manner in which a person distributes or takes love, respect, and caring (LRC) in relationship. Self-orientation is divided into two categories: those who are comfortable with giving away and not receiving LRC, and those who are more comfortable taking LRC while not reciprocating.

Like a dancing partnership, the caretaking and others-oriented person will naturally feel comfortable and instinctively familiar with a “dance partner” who is in need of caretaking and who focuses on his (or her) needs more than their own. The same intuitive feeling of familiarity and comfort is experienced by the other “dance partner.” Like opposite sides of a magnet, these two “human magnets” are unconsciously drawn to each other because of the way their self-orientations match up, not because of the compatibility of their Internet dating profiles or the allure of their attractive photos. It’s simple chemistry at work!

This magnetic love connection predictably begins like a fairy-tale, but quickly morphs into a painful “seesaw” of love and hate and hope and disappointment.  The Human Magnet Syndrome Chemistry phenomenon is almost always this way.  Just ask your friends, think about your own family, or analyze your own dating history. You will discover that chemistry, or that intuitive feeling of relational and romantic perfection, exists because of the connection of opposite self-orientations, not because of a well thought out list of similarities, likes, and dislikes.

Consider your own chance encounters and skillfully matched dating setups, which seemed perfect “on paper” but wouldn’t elicit the smallest of romantic sparks or chemistry.

Consider your own chance encounters and skillfully matched dating setups, which seemed perfect “on paper” but wouldn’t elicit the smallest of romantic sparks or chemistry. You will likely conclude that, when self-orientations are similar, shared feelings of disappointment and frustration are experienced, especially if there are areas of conscious compatibility. To illustrate, the smoldering sexy man with six-pack abs and the drop-dead gorgeous woman who sports a perfect set of lips and long beautiful legs just might not be a good match. If these seemingly well-matched romantic hopefuls have a similar self-orientation, then Mr. Smoldering will never connect with Ms. Gorgeous. Or, if entranced by lust, the lack of chemistry will surely be the bucket of cold water that tears these two apart.

It’s my theory that the folks at the helm of the big Internet dating companies either don’t know about the Human Magnet Syndrome, or shy away from negative and complicated “blame your parents” psychological explanations. I am sure the promise of the perfect match or soulmate sells more subscriptions than the uncomfortable truth: the bonding of similarly lonely and unhappy personality types—codependents and narcissists. It is difficult to imagine Match.com, eHarmony, or Tinder embracing the Human Magnet Syndrome explanation over their multi-million-dollar marketing and advertising campaigns that offer the promise of finding a soulmate through patented scientific matching algorithms.

Everything in my life, both personally and professionally as therapist, confirms the causal connection between The Human Magnet Syndrome and romantic chemistry. Moreover, my clinical work, personal dating, and relationship experiences along with the thousands of testaments from clients, readers, social network connections, and YouTube subscribers, all validate the codependent/narcissistic chemistry connection.

So here’s the bottom line: the romantic relationship that is brought together by an interminably strong magnetic force will survive the test of time as it adheres to the human instinct to find and stay with a partner who is uniquely compatible and familiar. According to the continuum of self theory, compatible romantic partners tend to stay true to their uniquely opposite relationship orientation. The same applies to the human magnet syndrome: We are attracted to and maintain relationships with individuals whose “magnetic polarity” differs and, therefore, is compatible with our own.

Does all this mean you should stop swiping or inputting your interests on your dating profile? No. It means you should start thinking so you can understand the underlying basis of attraction as you try to find lasting harmony with a romantic partner.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Self-Love Container Rule

This graphic was borne out of a great psychotherapy session.  It represents the duality of Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD) recovery.

 

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THE SELF-LOVE CONTAINER RULE

  • The self-love container contains only self-love (SL) & self-contempt (SC)
  • It’s filled up at 100%, 100% of the time
  • The ratio between SL & SC always equals one
  • As one decreases the other increases
  • As one increases, the other neutralizes
  • We tend to identify with the portion that exceeds 50%
  • SL & SC duality represent the human condition
  • We are not two people divided by SL & SC
  • We are a unified person who manages our SL Container
  • With the hopes of being well over the 51% SL mark

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us