Tag Archives: narcissistic

NARCISSITIC INJURIES: What They Are And How To Protect Yourself From Them

 

NARCISSISTIC INJURIES:

What They Are And How To Protect Yourself From Them

 

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

 

A narcissistic injury occurs when narcissists react negatively to perceived or real criticism or judgment, boundaries placed on them, and/or attempts to hold them accountable for harmful behavior.  It also occurs when a person does not accommodate a narcissist’s insatiable need for admiration, special privileges, praise, etc.  The “injury” also shows up when the narcissist over over-amplifies and personalizes benign interpersonal interactions, or when a person with no mal-intentions does not meet the narcissist’s impossible to achieve desires for high levels of praise and admiration.

The “injury” is often followed by the narcissist’s loss of control over his or her emotional equanimity, and a subsequent burst of passive or overtly aggressive vindictive responses.  These bouts of emotional tumult are referred to as emotional dysregulation, as the activated narcissist emotional reaction spikes and often is beyond his or her control.

In my book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us, I explain how the loss of emotional control and the reflexive need to punish an “offending” person can be traced back to the narcissist’s core shame and pervasive levels of pathological loneliness, about which the narcissist is often either in denial or oblivious (disassociated from). The hair-trigger “injury” reaction is a direct result of attachment trauma the narcissist suffered as a child, often because of an abusive, neglectful, or depriving narcissistic parent.  As much as I make a case for the distressing nature of attachment trauma the child who will become an adult codependent experiences, the agonizing experience for the child who is to become a Pathological Narcissist is far worse- there is no comparison.

In The Human Magnet Syndrome’s chapter, The Origins of Pathological Narcissism, I explain that the massive abuse, neglect, and/or deprivation perpetrated by both the Pathological Narcissist and, to a significantly lesser degree, the codependent parent, results in psychological trauma of the highest degree.  To emotionally survive this anguish, the child’s mind reacts in a manner similar to adult victims of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  When a traumatic event is beyond the brain’s ability to process, sort through, and integrate as an experience of severe trauma, it is relegated to what many people refer to as our unconscious mind.

The human brain has a circuit breaker-like response to trauma.  In other words, a natural safety mechanism that is activated when any given traumatic event(s) exceeds the brain’s capacity, or is overloaded.  The “circuit is tripped” and the traumatic experience is relegated to a part of the brain that deeply buries these memories.  In other words, the trauma is neatly packaged in what I refer to as a “hermetically sealed memory container,” which is physically located in the brain’s limbic system, specifically the amygdala.  Once buried, the trauma memory is disconnected from a person’s conscious abilities to recall the event and/or experience the emotions surrounding it.

Considering the manner in which a narcissist-to-be child processes attachment trauma, this author believes all Pathological Narcissists, or those with Narcissistic, Borderline, and Antisocial Personality Disorders, also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Therefore, underneath the narcissist’s psychological “surface,” lies a deeper reservoir of self-loathing and core shame.  Although the attachment trauma is blocked from the narcissist’s conscious recollection, they show their “ugly face” during narcissistic injuries.

More often than not, defense mechanisms successfully protect pathological narcissists from realizing the truth about their highly traumatized, shame-based, and psychologically impaired selves.  This form of protective amnesia wards off personal meltdowns (emotional dysregulation) by the psychological processes known as defense mechanisms.  Such mechanisms include: Conversion, denial, displacement, fantasy, intellectualization, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression, sublimation, and suppression.

Since the human brain was designed through the imperfect process of evolution, and not by computer programmers, neurologists, or mechanical engineers, the brain’s natural defense mechanisms by themselves are not insufficient in keeping stowed away trauma memories from “bubbling up” into the narcissist’s conscious mind. Despite the brain’s best efforts to keep the trauma cordoned off from consciousness, the “seals are broken,” and there is “leakage.”

The activation or re-surfacing of the trauma manifests as feelings of danger, insecurity, and extreme discomfort, which then trigger a cascade of angry second-level emotional responses, such as hatred, resentment, and/or disgust for the “perpetrating” individual.  The resulting emotional dysregulation, at most, is just a temporary solution to the narcissist’s misperceived threat.  Although the hair-trigger reaction emboldens and protects the narcissist, it is only temporary.  Like a loosely fitted bandage, it will eventually fall off – exposing the underlying wound (core shame).  This is when defense mechanisms kick back into action, and once again divert the narcissists away from their core shame, and toward their grandiose and entitled dissociated selves.

Narcissistic injuries are almost always projections, which is the misplacement of the narcissist’s unconscious self-hatred onto any person who they experience as threatening.   Feeling “bad,” “broken,” and/or “never good enough,” like they did as a child, is simply not an option for the Personality Disordered narcissist.  In actuality, projections are dissociated feelings of self-hatred and self-loathing, that are attributed a person who threatens the narcissist’s veneer-thin self-esteem.  In other words, projection diverts the realization of self-hatred and core shame by transferring self-judgment and condemnation onto the activating or ‘injuring” person.  Because projections intertwine with narcissistic injuries, it is only academic to separate them.

Narcissistic injuries are quite varied.  They range from active aggression, like a disapproving glance or kick in the shin, to passive aggression, which includes the silent treatment or triangulation of others against the “injuring” person.  A narcissistic injury may even occur when the recipient of the abuse does absolutely nothing It is the perception of a threat that causes the internal emotional meltdown, not the real thing!

Whether it is yelling, threatening, or even highly dangerous aggressive actions, narcissistic injuries are unnerving to many, and downright frightening to most.  They provoke an internal fury that incites punishing pronouncements, judgments, and actions against the perceived perpetrator.  The only real cure for them is to find an exit route to the interaction, and potentially out of the relationship.  Unfortunately, people who suffer from codependency, or what I now refer to as Self-Love Deficit Disorder™, find themselves powerless to Pathological Narcissists.  The reason for their attraction to narcissists and their inability to extricate themselves from harmful relationships with them is explained in full in my book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us.  Sadly those will Self-Love Deficit Disorder mistake the abuse for love, and explain away their harm (trauma) by using some of the same defense mechanisms as mentioned above.

And remember this: few narcissists learn from the consequences of their out-of-control narcissistic injuries.  Any act of contrition or remorse is just a guise to hide their fear of being abandoned by the very person to whom they are causing so much suffering.  It is a psychological fact: few narcissists learn from the outcomes of their abuse.  And when conftonted about it, they do not experience empathy, as they feel justified in their actions

10 Tips To Protect Yourself from a Narcissistic Injury

  1. Always protect yourself and your children from unacceptable harm that results from the narcissistic injury. If necessary, contact the police.
  2. Remember, narcissistic injuries are rarely about you, but rather about the narcissist himself. My video,“It’s Not About You. It’s About Them!” explains this phenomenon.
  3. Apply my Observe Don’t Absorb Technique, which is explained inmy seminar of the same name.
  4. As much as possible, do not react defensively to the narcissistic injury, as to do so will antagonize the perpetrator of abuse. See my videoand Huffington Post article on the topic.
  5. Whenever possible, find an escape route, as narcissistic injuries and the harm that follows, are meant to hurt the projected perpetrator – you!
  6. Find a good therapist who can help you uncover why you have subjected yourself to the narcissist’s harmful treatment.
  7. When in psychotherapy, consider discussing how and why the absence of self-love and core shame is at the root of your codependency, or Self-Love Deficit Disorder.
  8. Explore my Self-Love Recovery, Self-Love Deficit Disorder™, and Codependency Cure,™ materialto assist you in self-protection and personal and psychological recovery.
  9. When you find yourself forgiving the offending narcissist, consider that you are more afraid of being alone/lonely then being hurt again.  My video on Pathological Lonelinesscan help.
  10. Consider reliable intensive retreats and breakthrough experiences to uncover why your fear of loneliness trumps your ability to protect yourself from pathological narcissists and their narcissistic injuries.

©Ross Rosenberg, 2017

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)

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

 

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME, IT’S ABOUT YOU! A Self-Love Recovery Institute Retreat Exercise. Expert

This video introduces The It’s Not About Me, It’s About You Technique. It is a creative solution in managing one’s insecure and self-love deficit driven thoughts and self-analysis.  Unfortunately, too many people assume what ever angers, disappoints, or annoys another person is their fault.  Codependents, or those with Self-Love Deficit Disorder, especially beat themselves up with a constant barrage of self-defeating, self-degrading and self-criticizing thoughts.  This video explains and demonstrates the power of assuming most of a person does to annoy or upset a narcissists is really not their fault; it is the narcissists!

This technique will be featured at Self-Love Recovery Institute’s intensive retreats, which begin in mid May of 2017.

For more informationabout Self-Love Recovery Institute’s Retreat Series, click here: http://www.selfloverecovery.com/retreat-info.php

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)

 

 

 

The Holy Church of the Gaslighter. Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video Excerpt

Holy Church of the Gaslighter.  Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video 

From my 4 hour seminar, “Gaslighting Is Everywhere, which is available at the Self-Love Recovery Institute’s website: www.SelfLoveRecovery.com
 

 

Gaslighting = Narcissist Glue
This is a 9 minute excerpt from Ross Rosenberg’s 4 hour video seminar entitled “Gaslighting Is Everywhere!” In this video Ross explains how and why gaslighters use “religion” to manipulate, brainwash and gaslight thier victims.

The complete seminar contains original content created by Ross Rosenberg. The 4-hour gaslighting training has a great deal of information. Below are the titles of each PowerPoint slide that specifically illustrate the content of the seminar

1. Gaslighting Definition
2. Gaslighting History
3. Gaslighting In Movies
4. Who Told the Tin Man He Didn’t Have A Heart?
5. Gaslighting and The Human Magnet Syndrome (My Book)
6. The “Perfect Storm” For Gaslighting
7. Gaslighters (GL’s) Deplete Resources/Wear Down the GLV (Gaslit Victim)
8. GL’s Create Dependency
9. GL’s Manipulate the Environment
10. Gaslighting Creates or Exacerbates:
11. Gaslighting Creates Real Medical/Psychiatric Disorders
12. Gaslighting Potentiates Co-Occurring Problems
13. Caught in The Gaslight Catch-22 Trap
14. The Duluth Power and Control Wheel And Gaslighting
15. The Secrecy Requirement
16. Gaslighting Distortions
17. Isolation
18. Inculcation of Narratives
19. Inculcation of Narratives
20. The “Original Self-Narrative”
21. The “Self-Narrative” – Our Story of Who We Are
22. The “Self-Relational Narrative”– Our Story of Our Value In A Relationship
23. The “Other’s Self-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Ourselves
24. The “Others Relational-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Our Relational Worth
25. The Self-Love Deficit Disorder SLDD (Codependency) Narrative
26. SLDD and Pathological Narcissists Are the Perfect “Dancing” Partners
27. Implanted, Supplanted, and Indoctrinated Narratives
28. Gaslighting Is Brainwashing!
29. Exponentiating The Narrative
30. Narratives Are the Stories That Define Us
31. Swapping the Photo On The Mirror Trick
32. Stockholm Syndrome
33. Orchestrating Fake Attempts at Helping
34. “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Syndrome”
35. Married to A Gaslighting Physician Vignette
36. Triangulation
37. The Circular Brainwashing Tactic
38. Sabotaging GLV’s Faith in Professional Abilities
39. Attacking the Accuser/Focus Shifting
40. The Invisible Fence/Shock Collar Phenomenon
41. Conditioned to Have No Hope
42. GLV’s Protect the GL’s Denial Systems
43. False IQ Comparisons
44. The Holy Church of The Gaslighter
45. GL’s Are Pathological Narcissists
46. Gaslighters Are Either ASPD, NPD, or BPD
47. ASPD Gaslighter
48. NPD Gaslighter
49. The Covert Narcissist Gaslighter
50. The Malignant Narcissist Gaslighter
51. The Borderline Personality Disordered (BPD) Gaslighter
52. Attachment Trauma Pre-Grooms GLV’s
53. Gaslighters Are Like Pedophile Child Molesters
54. Societal Gaslighting
55. Political Gaslighting A-Z Recipe
56. Implant These 26 (Beliefs) & Secure Your Election!
57. Came Up The Hard Way
58. I’m A Victim Just Like You
59. I Am Altruistic And Empathetic Because I Said So
60. I’m Just Like You (Look At My Family Photos)
61. Legitimacy Through Fame
62. Everyone Changes (Chameleon)
63. You Manipulated My Statements (My Lies Are Your Fault)
64. You Must Be Hearing Impaired (I Never Said That)
65. We Are Powerless (When We Are Not)
66. My Opposition Is Your Enemy
67. Anyone Who Is on Our Side Is A Patriot
68. Blame the Country’s Ills on The Opponent
69. Shift Responsibility to Another Country
70. Blame the Victim (They Did It to Themselves)
71. Our Enemy Is Ruthless, Wicked, and Evil
72. Our Enemy Is a Compulsive Liar
73. We Must Hold the Enemy Accountable (Punish The Enemy)
74. Facts That Hurt Me Are Fake News
75. I Have Secret Connections to The Truth
76. Science Is Flawed (Neutralizing Facts)
77. Stealing Is Sometimes Good (Robin Hood)
78. Build A Wall (Isolationism)
79. Immigrants/Foreigners Will Hurt Us
80. Turn Lemonade into Lemons (Lie About Progress)
81. Protectionism (We Are Being Ripped Off)
82. We Don’t Kowtow to Bullies (Justify A War)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwYCubcqk24

The Holy Church of the Gaslighter. Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video Excerpt

From my 4 hour seminar, “Gaslighting Is Everywhere.”
 

The Holy Church of the Gaslighter.  Gaslighting is Everywhere! Webinar Video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwYCubcqk24

Gaslighting = Narcissist Glue
This is a 9 minute excerpt from Ross Rosenberg’s 4 hour video seminar entitled “Gaslighting Is Everywhere!” In this video Ross explains how and why gaslighters use “religion” to manipulate, brainwash and gaslight thier victims.

The complete seminar contains original content created by Ross Rosenberg. The 4-hour gaslighting training has a great deal of information. Below are the titles of each PowerPoint slide that specifically illustrate the content of the seminar

1. Gaslighting Definition
2. Gaslighting History
3. Gaslighting In Movies
4. Who Told the Tin Man He Didn’t Have A Heart?
5. Gaslighting and The Human Magnet Syndrome (My Book)
6. The “Perfect Storm” For Gaslighting
7. Gaslighters (GL’s) Deplete Resources/Wear Down the GLV (Gaslit Victim)
8. GL’s Create Dependency
9. GL’s Manipulate the Environment
10. Gaslighting Creates or Exacerbates:
11. Gaslighting Creates Real Medical/Psychiatric Disorders
12. Gaslighting Potentiates Co-Occurring Problems
13. Caught in The Gaslight Catch-22 Trap
14. The Duluth Power and Control Wheel And Gaslighting
15. The Secrecy Requirement
16. Gaslighting Distortions
17. Isolation
18. Inculcation of Narratives
19. Inculcation of Narratives
20. The “Original Self-Narrative”
21. The “Self-Narrative” – Our Story of Who We Are
22. The “Self-Relational Narrative”– Our Story of Our Value In A Relationship
23. The “Other’s Self-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Ourselves
24. The “Others Relational-Narrative” – The Gaslit Story of Our Relational Worth
25. The Self-Love Deficit Disorder SLDD (Codependency) Narrative
26. SLDD and Pathological Narcissists Are the Perfect “Dancing” Partners
27. Implanted, Supplanted, and Indoctrinated Narratives
28. Gaslighting Is Brainwashing!
29. Exponentiating The Narrative
30. Narratives Are the Stories That Define Us
31. Swapping the Photo On The Mirror Trick
32. Stockholm Syndrome
33. Orchestrating Fake Attempts at Helping
34. “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Syndrome”
35. Married to A Gaslighting Physician Vignette
36. Triangulation
37. The Circular Brainwashing Tactic
38. Sabotaging GLV’s Faith in Professional Abilities
39. Attacking the Accuser/Focus Shifting
40. The Invisible Fence/Shock Collar Phenomenon
41. Conditioned to Have No Hope
42. GLV’s Protect the GL’s Denial Systems
43. False IQ Comparisons
44. The Holy Church of The Gaslighter
45. GL’s Are Pathological Narcissists
46. Gaslighters Are Either ASPD, NPD, or BPD
47. ASPD Gaslighter
48. NPD Gaslighter
49. The Covert Narcissist Gaslighter
50. The Malignant Narcissist Gaslighter
51. The Borderline Personality Disordered (BPD) Gaslighter
52. Attachment Trauma Pre-Grooms GLV’s
53. Gaslighters Are Like Pedophile Child Molesters
54. Societal Gaslighting
55. Political Gaslighting A-Z Recipe
56. Implant These 26 (Beliefs) & Secure Your Election!
57. Came Up The Hard Way
58. I’m A Victim Just Like You
59. I Am Altruistic And Empathetic Because I Said So
60. I’m Just Like You (Look At My Family Photos)
61. Legitimacy Through Fame
62. Everyone Changes (Chameleon)
63. You Manipulated My Statements (My Lies Are Your Fault)
64. You Must Be Hearing Impaired (I Never Said That)
65. We Are Powerless (When We Are Not)
66. My Opposition Is Your Enemy
67. Anyone Who Is on Our Side Is A Patriot
68. Blame the Country’s Ills on The Opponent
69. Shift Responsibility to Another Country
70. Blame the Victim (They Did It to Themselves)
71. Our Enemy Is Ruthless, Wicked, and Evil
72. Our Enemy Is a Compulsive Liar
73. We Must Hold the Enemy Accountable (Punish The Enemy)
74. Facts That Hurt Me Are Fake News
75. I Have Secret Connections to The Truth
76. Science Is Flawed (Neutralizing Facts)
77. Stealing Is Sometimes Good (Robin Hood)
78. Build A Wall (Isolationism)
79. Immigrants/Foreigners Will Hurt Us
80. Turn Lemonade into Lemons (Lie About Progress)
81. Protectionism (We Are Being Ripped Off)
82. We Don’t Kowtow to Bullies (Justify A War)

When Selfish Is Actually Self-Love.

 

WHEN “SELFISH” IS REALLY GOOD

It is GOOD for SLD’s (Self-Love Deficients or codependents) to be selfish. It is like learning to ride a bike. Doing something for yourself and not caring what people think is a dangerous proposition.  “Selfish,” therefore is good.

The problem is the voices in your head have been lying to you; telling you that you are being bad, when you are just trying not to drown anymore.These voices have never been yours. Rather, they are covertly implanted narratives that were designed to confuse you, turn you against yourself, and break you down. It is time to break the gaslighting spell and regain the true voice in your head…your own! Fall a few times, brush off the pain, and get back on the “bike.”

Learning to love yourself will frighten people, who have only one way to get you to quit the nonsense of SLDD (Self-Love Deficit Disorder or codependency) recovery. They will call you a “narcissist” and try to make you feel ashamed and guilty for your moments of self-care. Scoff at the projection, this is more about them than you. Ride your bike all the way out of their life!

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hitting Bottom: When The End Greets the Beginning (Poetry by Ross Rosenberg)

I wrote this twenty years ago, when I had hit what I thought was the bottom of my life.  The poem helped me put into words the trauma i had endured while in a relationship with a very abusive woman.  It served as a catalyst to understand and eventually heal the highly traumatic abuse I had endured.

Although the trauma of the relationship seemed to have ended, the impact of it was embedded in my psyche.  Writing the poem helped release some of this toxic energy welling up inside of me.  Writing  it also helped me create a clear boundary from where I was and where I needed to go.

 

When The End Greets the Beginning

The Fist clenched, balled tight
Waving high in the sky
Like a tattered flag of war
Firmly declaring the message of hard fought freedom

The Arm stretched higher than its length
Wanting to go even higher
But held back by its physical limitations
Desiring to support the rage of its neighbor hand

The Body tense with anxious exhilaration
Energized by the wave of spontaneous emotion
Reacting – wanting to release
Neither knowing nor understanding the electric energy

The Mind, racing with scenes of the past
Remembering the torrent of pain
Memories frozen in time – razor sharp
Unable to understand, but finally able to feel

The Heart embattled and tired
Once protected by walls made of carefully controlled rage
Cracking, crumbling, disintegrating under their own volition
Heralding the light to pass through

The Soul, confused and bewildered
Like the newborn’s terror at birth
Interpreting the beginning as the end of safety
But all the while willing to open his eyes and greet what lies ahead

Ross Rosenberg
9/22/97

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)

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

 

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)

                         

 

Nine Stage Recovery Model for Self-Love Deficit Disorder (Codependency). Ross Rosenberg’s “The Codependency Cure”

This  is the model that I  will be writing about in my upcoming book, The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

nine-stage-model-final-copy

Stage 1: Hitting Bottom (Introducing Hope)
Stage 2: Human Magnet Syndrome Education: Breaking Free from the “Dance”
Stage 3: Withdrawing from SLDD Addiction: Battling Pathological Loneliness
Stage 4: Setting Boundaries in A Hostile Environment. Courage and Commitment
Stage 5: Maintaining Safe and Secure Boundaries. Protection, Security and Self-Care
Stage 6: Resolving / Integrating Unconscious Trauma: Healing Attachment Trauma

Stage 7: Discovering Self-Love. Building an Internal Self-Love Foundation
Stage 8: Building an External Foundation of Self-Love. Achieving Self-Love Driven Relationships.
Stage 9: Shedding Self-Love Deficit Disorder. Becoming Self-Love Abundant

The Eight Stage Self-Love Deficit Disorder (Codependency) Treatment Model. Rosenberg Codendency & Narcissism Expert

This  is the model that I  will be writing about in my upcoming book, The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

 

nine-stage-model-final-copy

 

Stage 1: Hitting Bottom (Introducing Hope)
Stage 2: Human Magnet Syndrome Education: Breaking Free from the “Dance”
Stage 3: Withdrawing from SLDD Addiction: Battling Pathological Loneliness
Stage 4: Setting Boundaries in A Hostile Environment. Courage and Commitment
Stage 5: Maintaining Safe and Secure Boundaries. Protection, Security and Self-Care
Stage 6: Resolving / Integrating Unconscious Trauma: Healing Attachment Trauma

Stage 7: Discovering Self-Love. Building an Internal Self-Love Foundation
Stage 8: Building an External Foundation of Self-Love. Achieving Self-Love Driven Relationships.
Stage 9: Shedding Self-Love Deficit Disorder. Becoming Self-Love Abundant