Category Archives: counseling

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide (From Your Own Self-Love Deficit Disorder)

YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE, by Ross Rosenberg

Breaking up, quitting or divorcing, will not, by itself, solve your narcissistic abuse problems.  Because the problem is within, not around you, there is no escape.  Therefore, when you separate from your harmful narcissist, run far away, but to where can protect that hurt wounded little child inside of you, who knows nothing about being alone and happy at the same time.  Without healing the core shame that creates your unbearable loneliness, your apparent victory will last only until your next soulmate’s mask falls off.  This is precisely when you will be reminded that there is no running away from the Human Magnet Syndrome.

I wrote this in response to a Facebook friend’s elated comments about breaking up with her harmfull narcissistic boyfriend.  The point of the meme is that Self-Love Deficit Disorder (codependency), is not a result from bad choices or habits, but because of deeper unconscious forces that commander your relationship choices.  The pyramid graphic underneath the meme demonstrates my theoretical position on the matter, and the basis for most of my “Codependency Cure/Self-Love Deficit Disorder/Self-Love Recovery” material.

 

SELF-LOVE DEFICIT DISORDER – THE PROBLEM – IS ONLY A SYMPTOM OF DEEPER FORCES

SELF-LOVE ABUNDANCE IS THE “CURE” TO SELF-LOVE DEFICIT DISORDER

©Ross Rosenberg, 2017

The 2nd Edition of the Human Magnet Syndrome, which is completely re-written with over 100 pages of new content will be available on Amazon on 12/30/17  and sold on Amazon and at SelfLoveRecovery.com.

Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Self Love Recovery Institute
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The 
Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

Stop Trying to Change the Malignant Narcissist (Why You Should Never Give A Narcissist My Book).

Stop Trying to Change the Malignant Narcissist

malignant narcissistI am so grateful to the many people who have told me that my book The Human Magnet Syndrome was life-changing. Having such a positive impact on the human condition is my teenager “gonna change the world” dream come true. I couldn’t be happier!

My book was written to inspire and motivate people to understand their part in thedysfunctional dance they have been irresistibly drawn into their whole life. It WAS NOT written to be used as a defensive or offensive strategy in dealing with harmful pathological narcissists (PNarcs).

The “codependent” and “narcissistic” designations in The Human Magnet Syndrome were designed to identify a very serious personal and relational problem so the reader would be motivated to get help to disconnect from it. The book was never intended to be used as a retaliatory weapon to be used by angry, vindictive and/or controlling codependents, or what I now refer to as individuals with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD). Similarly, it wasn’t written to be used as a countermeasure against narcissistic harm.

The mere mentioning of my book to a PNarc is almost always counterproductive, as it will ALWAYS trigger a negative reaction, no matter how much you believe otherwise. I strongly suggest that you never give a copy of my book to PNarc. Never! It will always trigger a narcissistic injury and set up a dysfunctional interaction, or dance, where the PNarc has complete control and the person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder does not.

If a PNarc learns or is told that their partner is reading my book, they will react in one of two manners:

  1. They will exhibit various forms of vindictive and indignant rage, which compels them to openly intimidate, manipulate, and consequently sabotage their partner’s attempt at SLDD recovery.
  2. This is the more insidious and harmful reaction that is common with Covert and Malignant Narcissists. In this scenario, the PNarc covertly executes a plan of sabotage and disempowerment, which may include gaslighting, mind manipulation, and continued brainwashing.

The latter is more dangerous as the PNarc is allowed to maintain their victim role, while manipulating their partner into believing that they have the problems, not them. In these cases, some of my clients, in the beginning of therapy, are convinced that they are the PNarc and their significant other the SLD. Believe it or not, a few of these clients’ PNarcs read my book, and then gave it to their partner with the continued brainwashing narrative that they are the “codependent” and their partner the “narcissist.”

Plain and simple, any suggestion that the narcissist is at fault will elicit a narcissistic injury. Giving them my book, or referring to it, while telling them you are SLD or codependent, is and will cause them to react in one of two ways. One, they will project onto you that you are the narcissist and they the codependent; or, two, they will be triggered with a narcissistic injury, and subsequently rage against you for the comment or suggestion. You will be the target of their unmitigated fury and vitriolic criticisms, and they will punish you.
The following excerpt from the Human Magnet Syndrome exemplifies the predictable negative response that PNarcs have to my work.

“According to their verbal and/or written feedback, they feel the seminar is offensive, ill-conceived, biased and even absurd. In particular, they are quite bothered by what they perceive as prejudice. These participants hear me say that codependents are the victims and emotional manipulators are the perpetrators of their dysfunctional relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the training (and this book) specifically details how both the codependent and the emotional manipulator are equally willing magnets in their dysfunctional “dance.” The codependent’s tendency to find harmful partners and remain with them cannot and should not be blamed on emotional manipulators, or vice versa.

It would appear that the severe reactions from my audience are likely products of a narcissistic injury, which occurs when the narcissistic individual felt criticized, judged or defeated.

Anger and defensiveness are the common reactions of a narcissistically-injured emotional manipulator, as they feel offended, degraded and/or humiliated when confronted about their wrongdoings.” (Rosenberg, 2013).

Depending on the PNarc’s sub-type or diagnosis, their narcissistically prompted rage will be either delivered directly (“in your face”) or passive aggressively/covertly, which is the common strategy by Covert Narcissists and Malignant Narcissists. The covert and passive aggressive form of the narcissistic injury is more harmful than the reactions from the garden variety overt narcissists. They deliver maximum damage to the triggering (activating) SLD because of the invisible, secretive and manipulative nature of their counter-attack. Examples include triangulation of family, friends or co-workers, in order to promote their victim narrative.

Sadly, and ironically, the mere fact of fighting for what SLDs most want and need — unconditional love, respect and care (LRC) — results in the loss of it. Once in a relationship with a PNarc, any attempts to control or coerce the narcissist into loving, respecting and caring for the SLD are quickly offset by a dizzying array of self-serving manipulative countermeasures. These come in various forms, depending on your PNarc’s subtype. Unfortunately, as long as codependents fight for LRC in a manner that renders them powerless and ineffectual, they are virtually guaranteed never to receive it.

I learned 22 years ago that setting boundaries, resolving conflict, and defending myself from a PNarc was a complicated and dangerous endeavor that left me feeling worse than I felt before the ordeal. I was surprised to learn that my repeated and unsuccessful attempts to control my PNarc’s neglectful and harmful treatment were the primary interactional components of our relationship. My behavior was so automatic and reflexive that I was completely oblivious to it. Adding insult to injury, the only predictable outcome of my control compulsion was feelings of shame, loneliness, anxiety, and anger.

We must learn that PNarcs are never the primary problem. Instead, it is a SLD’s distorted and delusional belief system that compels them to keep trying to change and control their PNarc partner, who has a great deal riding on not letting you succeed. Despite ample evidence that SLDs can rarely effectively and consistently control their PNarcs, they blindly continue.
In conclusion, please do not use my book or other works to wage a battle against your PNarc. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, I beseech you to Observe and Don’t Absorb your PNarc into oblivion!

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.
You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it!
– George Bernard Shaw

About Ross Rosenberg, MEd, LCPC, CACD, CSAT

Ross is the author of the Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us.

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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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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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.

 

sl container copy

 

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

                  

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

steven

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

                  

Invisible Trauma and Paleotherapy. 11 Tips to Heal

anais nin

Paleotherapy and Invisible Trauma.  11 Tips to Heal

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

When treating trauma victims (and trauma survivors), I conceptualize trauma as a metaphorical invisible wound that is shamefully hidden from others.  Many trauma victims hold onto the irrational belief that, by telling someone their story, they would be taking an indefensible risk which could have irreversible and lasting consequences.  They are also terrified of the consequences of exposing the perpetrator because of real or imagined judgment, rejection from loved ones and the consequent loss of important loving and supportive relationships – social and familial isolation.

They avoid sharing their trauma with others, including a psychotherapist, because they believe: “I am permanently broken,” “I will be blamed,” “I must have deserved it,” “No one will believe me,” “People will be mad at me” and “No one loves a broken person.”  The most prevalent thought that motivates the burying of the trauma wound is “It will get worse by telling someone,” “The perpetrator will hurt me again or someone I love” and “The perpetrator is more believable than me.”

These unfortunate victims consequently commit their trauma wounds to oblivion.  They both consciously and unconsciously decide to permanently and deeply bury what happened to them and never utter a word about it again – to others and even to themselves.  Similar to a person with a real physical wound who avoids medical treatment, they hide it from others in hopes that it will heal by itself and the pain will eventually go away.  But it doesn’t.

Sadly, some of these trauma victims spend the rest of their lives unaware of their festering, debilitating and painful wounds.  The suffering they do allows them to connect to the result of the core wound, not the trauma itself.  In other words, it is less threatening and easier to attend to the palatable consequences of the invisible wound than the source itself.  And, if by accident a mere memory fragment should come to mind, the person will run further from it, cover it with another layer of denial, or just preoccupy themselves with a dysfunctional partner and/or seek to further self-medicate or numb it away.

Unfortunately, the longer the trauma wound is left untreated, the worse it actually gets.  Repressed (unconscious) trauma might seem gone, but it actually gets worse over time.  No thanks to shame, it grows and morphs into a more destructive force, attracting more and more shame like a strong magnet does to paper clips.  Accumulated shame always becomes toxic, which consequently requires our conscious and unconscious mind to spend more energy in denying, forgetting or forcefully not thinking about what had happened to us. This process adds even more layers of shame.

With each passing year, the buried trauma wound is covered by successive layers of “sediment” which, because of the forces that push down on our life, becomes a harder rock-like boundary “protecting” the trauma memory. Because of the powerful natural psychological forces of compaction, the original trauma eventually converts into a “fossilized memory” or “trauma fossil” that has become completely inaccessible to memory.

With meticulous care, and help from a mental health professional, we can carefully and cautiously dig, hammer and chip our way down to the original layer of sediment where the trauma fossil has been ensconced in rock. Such “paleotherapy” work is not for the faint of heart and requires courage, focus and persistent but gentle efforts to crack through rock-hard layers of forgotten time while, at the same time, not damaging the fragile nature of our former wounded selves – the trauma fossil.

And only when all of the traumatized parts of our former selves are unearthed, carefully sorted through, and put back together, are we finally able to understand what happened to us so long ago. The reconstruction of our trauma story paves the way for both an emotional and intellectual understanding of how we almost became psychologically extinct. Although “paleotherapy” may be a frightening endeavor, it is, perhaps, the only way to courageously heal our trauma wound at its source – and relieve a lifetime of suffering.

This takes a great deal of courage and vulnerability. George Eliot’s advice has never been more important to believe in than now: “It’s Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been.” We just have to fight for what we should have been if we were not traumatized as we were.  Commit this to memory: “The antidote to trauma is self-love.”  Trauma recovery creates self-love. The battle to heal and overcome our trauma is well worth it. I guarantee it.

For a powerful discussion (video) on courage and vulnerability, I highly suggest viewing Brené Brown’s video, “The Power of Vulnerability.  https://goo.gl/up87PQ

Eleven Tips to Healing Your Invisible Wounds

  1. Seek psychotherapy with someone who specializes in trauma resolution/healing.
  2. When choosing a therapist, seek feedback from other therapists or people you know who have seen this person.  It is that important.
  3. Slowly unlock your “secret vault” and take a risk by disclosing a secret to a trusted friend.
  4. Bring new “light” into your life by creating or broadening your social network. Remember this saying: shame, like moss, grows in the dark.
  5. Write a story about what you would have been like if you had not been hurt. Let yourself imagine that perfect world.
  6. Write a letter to your wounded self about your willingness to care for her.
  7. Write a list of all the dreams and goals you had to let go of because of your trauma.
  8. Write a list of all the dreams and goals you want to commit to. Make them broad and big; you can always narrow them down the next time you do this exercise.
  9. Write, but to not send or deliver, a letter to the perpetrator(s) about your feelings about what they did to you and the consequences you suffered.
  10. After each writing exercise, journal about the feelings that bubble up.
  11. Discuss these writing exercises with your therapist or a trusted and capable professional.
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

                  

 

Brené Brown.  Brene Brown Books.  The Gifts of Imperfection.  Daring Greatly.  The Daring Way. I Thought it was Just Me.  Rising Strong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brene Brown  Brené Brown