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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)

                         

 

Feelings Are Reactions, Not Solutions.

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Feelings Are Reactions, Not Solutions

Neither suppress how your heart feels at any given moment nor fall prey to
pragmatists who mandate that feelings need to be productive. Safely expressing
or letting go one’s emotional energy engenders self-love, self-respect & self-care.
Ross Rosenberg, 2016

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.

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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

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

The OTHERS Serenity Prayer

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We have choices about our relationship with ourselves. We can live our lives out as our own worst enemy and unknowingly being a partner to the insidious and self-harming forces of Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

Or, we can allow ourselves to risk being vulnerable and courageous enough to admit that our primary problem is with ourselves. Admitting that we are the main reason we cannot love ourselves unconditionally is a daunting and risky proposition. It changes our focus from the world is unfair and unkind to us, from we are an obstacle between the world and ourselves in finding compassion, empathy and love for ourselves.

The primary obstacle to achieving self-love abundance (SLA) is the treacherous and predictable part of us that reflexively, almost instinctively, over-judges, over-condemns, or over-predicts our lack of importance or lack of worthiness to others.

Self-Love Abundance is created by our new-found ability, that unfolds slowly but progressively, to be accepting, gentle, patient, and forgiving to ourselves. Moreover, SLA is created by being optimistic with our predictions of worthiness.

How can we ever really love anyone fully, if we are mercilessly hard on ourselves?  We can’t. It is time to take this updated version of the serenity prayer to heart!

Ross Rosenberg

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

                  

“EMPATHS” ARE DIFFERENT FROM CODEPENDENTS

EMPATHSEMPATHS ARE DIFFERENT THAN CODEPENDENTS

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

Empaths Are Different from Codependents
Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CACD, CSAT

I have to be honest, I do not like when the term “empath” is used interchangeably with “codependent.” “Empath,” which has its origins in the spiritual and metaphysical world, was never intended to be a replacement term for codependency. An empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability to intuitively sense and understand the mental or emotional state of another individual. According to empaths I have spoken to and the information available on the Internet, they are highly sensitive to the emotional and metaphysical energy others. If, indeed, this extra-sensory phenomenon exists, it is definitely not the same thing as codependency.

Since “empath” has mostly positive connotations and “codependent” does not, it makes sense why it is a preferred moniker for the more serious psychological problem of codependency.
Misrepresenting codependency, or what I now refer to as Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD), only adds a layers of denial to a problem that is already shrouded in shame. In addition, it casts a serious problem in a positive light, while perpetuating the myth that SLD’s or codependents are victims, instead of willing participants in their dysfunctional relationships with narcissists.

Who can argue that being empathetic is bad? Well, it isn’t. The idea that empaths are vulnerable people, just because of a certain personality type, is an excuse, which offers no solution to the problem. Being empathic is good! However, being empathic and allowing yourself to be hurt by people you choose to be with, or are unconsciously attracted to, is not.

But one could argue that being overly empathetic while choosing to be in harmful relationships with narcissists is dysfunctional and self-destructive. “Empath” should, therefore, not be a replacement term for “codependent,” When we admit we struggle with SLDD, we are honestly and courageously confessing our pain, while describing what we need to do in order to find loving, respecting and mutually caring relationships.

I have worked with SLD’s/codependents my whole career, and I, myself, am a recovering SLD. I have learned that we can only recover from our secret hell – our magnetic attraction to narcissists – when we understand that we are willing participants or dance partners in a very dysfunctional relationship dance. We choose narcissistic “dance partners” because we have a “broken (relationship) picker.” We fall prey to our own belief that the chemistry we experience with new narcissist lovers is a manifestation of true love or a soulmate experience.

Adding insult to injury, when the cracks of the soulmate’s façade surface and we start to experience the isolating and humiliating pain of loneliness and shame, we are, once again, powerless to break free from another narcissist lover. Inevitably, our soulmate transforms into our “cell mate.” This is not the problem of an empath, but of someone with Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

The only way SLD’s get better (recover) is to understand that they freely participate in their dysfunctional relationships with narcissists. As a reminder, SLDD is a symptom that manifests through the Human Magnet Syndrome. It is an addiction that results from one’s need/desire to self-medicate (detach, numb or escape) the pain of pathological loneliness, which is fueled by the core shame resulting from childhood attachment trauma at the hands of a pathologically narcissistic parent.

self-love deficit

Admitting we have a problem that we cannot, or never could, control, is the first and most important step in SLDD (codependency) recovery. Yes, we can stop the madness! We can take the big step towards sanity, peace and fulfillment by admitting our powerlessness over our SLD and need to recover from its inherent addiction – the compulsion to be everyone’s lover, friend, confidant and caretaker, while ignoring our own needs for the same.

We can conquer pathological loneliness, soul-searing shame and our repressed or suppressed childhood trauma if we choose the difficult but healing path of trauma resolution and the pursuit of self-love. Seeking this healing and self-loving path will ultimately compel us to cast away all relationships that are exploitative and narcissistic, while moving towards those that enhance our pursuit for self-care, self-respect and self-love. The courage to recover from Self-Love Deficit Disorder is within your reach. Stop being a delivery mechanism for everyone else’s need for love, respect and care!
In conclusion, if you identify with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (codependency), rejoice in your emotional and, perhaps, spiritual empathetic gifts. But, at the same time, make the life-changing decision to take the challenging but healing path of SLDD recovery. The following excerpt from Robert Frost’s celebrated poem, “The Road Not Taken,” illuminates the importance of this resolution:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

© Ross Rosenberg, 2016
trademark-logo.png.pagespeed.ce.eY15aM7wLY Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD)

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: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

Register for Ross’s 2/26/16 Skokie IL (Chicago suburb) Codependency Cure Seminar

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Self-Love Deficit Disorder: An Interview with Ross Rosenberg

SLDDRRosenberg

Join us for a discussion with psychotherapist, author, professional trainer, and behavioral health practice owner Ross Rosenberg.  We discuss his trademarked term Self-Love Deficit Disorder, his best-selling bookThe Human Magnet Syndrome, and his next book The Codependency Cure: Overcoming Self-Love Deficit Disorder.

I’ll admit this was the first show where I did not look at the talking points. We covered everything and it was hard to stop recording. Ross was probably our most comfortable guest and we’ll look forward to interviewing him again. The information shared is invaluable and my entire team is excited to get their hands on his second book. We look forward to replacing the term “codependent” with something that empowers evolving into self-love.

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LISTEN TO THE SHOW!


SLDDRossRosenbergWhat is codependency?

Why did you change its name to Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD)?

Is there a difference between an “empath” and a “codependent/SLD?”

What is your take on the proliferation of interest in narcissism?

Have stealthy narcissists cashed in on the narcissism train?

What is SLDD/codependency addiction?

Why does the fear of pathological loneliness or the experience of it drive SLDD?

Is there are cure for  SLDD, and if so, what is it?

You are writing your second book.  What does this book cover that was not included in your first book?

How has your perception of personality disorders changed from the first book to the second?

Let’s talk about your work as business owner and behavioral health provider. Tell us about your social media presence and how do you maintain this kind of following and run a successful behavioral health organization?

Questions about the show? Email us here.


r-rosenbergRoss Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT has been a psychotherapist since 1988. He is a professional trainer, consultant and a certified addiction and sex addiction specialist. Ross owns Clinical Care Consultants, a counseling center in Arlington Heights and Advanced Clinical Trainers. He wrote the best-selling and internationally acclaimed book The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us and is in the process writing the follow-up, The Codependency Cure: Overcoming Self-Love Deficit Disorder. His professional trainings and Keynote speaking have spanned 27 states and in Europe. Ross’s is a passionate clinician and teacher on topics ranging from codependency, narcissism, trauma, and sex and love addiction. His YouTube channel, which features 70 instructive videos, has amassed 2.6 Million views and 24K subscribers. He has been a featured on network TV and News and is an avid writer for several prominent blogs and publications.

“Just because bad events happened to us doesn’t make us the bad event” We are not the trauma.

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To some degree or another, we all carry emotional baggage. And some of us carry unresolved trauma. Ignoring it places it in the darker reaches in the part of our mind that magnetize our focus and attraction to people who hurt us. Embrace your past as a fact(s) that needs resolving. Just because bad events happened to us doesn’t make us the bad event.   We are victims becoming survivors, not the trauma. We can achieve self-respect, self-caring and self-love when we merge our conscious self into our past darker and forgotten self. It’s never too late to discover your true potential and destiny.

2016, Ross Rosenberg

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2015
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