Tag Archives: healing trauma

Self-Love Is So Unmanly! Ross Rosenberg on Narcissism, Addiction, and Self-Love Deficiency in Men

Episode 26: Self-Love Is So Unmanly! Ross Rosenberg on Narcissism, Addiction, and Self-Love Deficiency in Men

They’re sexy, they’re interesting, and they ignore you. Obviously, they’re your type.  Your intense attraction to this person must be love. So, you enter into a relationship. Soon, your dream lover morphs into a bit of a nightmare. They’re a bottomless pit of need– full of unreasonable expectations, vicious insults, and insane demands. Your own needs and wishes don’t seem to matter to this person at al l… So, you leave, right?

Well … Not, if you suffer from what psychologist Ross Rosenberg calls “self-love deficiency disorder.” Men struggling with it tend to be attracted to narcissists like moths to flame. They stay in relationships with narcissists, no matter how poorly they’re treated, because of an inability to recognize their own inherent worthiness. They feel, subconsciously, that they have to constantly prove that they are worthy of love by sacrificing their own needs and desires for the love of someone else.

 
http://www.dangriffin.com/self-esteem-relationships-man-rules-podcast/

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

Dream house

Building Your Dream Home – The Importance of Self-Love

Building Your Dream Home – The Importance of Self-Love

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

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

in a metaphorically dilapidated and dangerous home that fools us into believing it protects us from the risk of harm and danger.  As much as we may want to blame another person for building the house, making us stay inside it, or inoculating us with fear for wanting to move out of it, we must face the fact that we are also responsible. Since we are not chained inside of the house, the captor needs the captured to believe they belong in such a house.  Believe it or not, the locks on the outside doors were installed by both partners.  The challenge is to realize that you always carry the keys for the deadbolt locks and the password for the security alarms.

In reality, this “safe house” of ours has always constricted our growth potential by not allowing us to believe it’s safe to go “outside”; to realize we can, in actuality, weather being soaked by spring’s torrential rainfalls, buried by winter’s knee-deep snow, or burnt by summer’s scalding heat.  We have been manipulated into believing the locked doors and security systems of our dysfunctional dwelling protect us from all of these things.  The fortified steel bolt locks that we agreed to, or were talked into installing, never actually protected us.  On the contrary, they trapped us in a home imbued with the absence of self-love, where every wall, floor, and ceiling is stained with fear, negativity, and pessimism.

It is time to ask ourselves about the truth and validity of the frightening and dangerous nature of the world that lies one step beyond the entrance of our home.  Have we been force-fed a version of reality that was meant to keep us frightened and cocooned in our home?  Or did we concoct our own scary story of the outside world to protect our wounded, sensitive and vulnerable hearts?  The truth be told: the walls we believe protected us also entrapped us…stopped us from healing the wounds responsible for our beliefs of being permanently homebound and an emotional invalid.

Do we mistakenly believe the risk to venture out into the seemingly unsafe community of unknowns and potential perpetrators is far less risky than staying put in our slowly shrinking and suffocating home?   Similarly, have we lulled ourselves into believing the dangers of being vulnerable and hurt on the outside are worse than the inescapable ongoing trauma of being imprisoned within the seemingly protective confines of our own home?   If so, we may have been tricked into believing the value of supposed protection and safety, over the potential for personal, relational and emotional freedom and self-love.

It is time to take an honest inventory of what is missing in your life and what you are longing for and have spent a lifetime dreaming of.  Honestly and courageously calculate the real differences between what would be both lost and gained by living in your home, or venturing outside of it.  You will be surprised at how you were manipulated into believing your small and increasingly dangerous home was never safe.

Now is the time to imagine a home that is big enough for you to move freely and without restriction; one that speaks to your bright future, not the lurid and frightening memories of your past.  You can have that dream house, the one you always wanted, but mistakenly believed you never deserved.   But before you start thinking about a new home, it is crucial that you realize the home you need to build and then move into is already inside of you.

Wrap your arms around the idea of knowing you deserve such a home.  Sit with this new-found knowledge and marinate in the idea that your future dream home can actually be acquired.  Also, if possible, come to terms with the restricting and freezing nature of your fears and doubts, which have been instilled inside of you since you were a child.  Life will open up so many possibilities once you understand and accept your insecure and fear-based beliefs about the past, present and future were purposely forced upon you in order for you to believe in your dependency, weakness and lack of personal power and control over your own life.

Deciding to move and then actually making plans might be exciting at first, but you will get scared and doubt yourself.  Be prepared to feel scared and insecure.  Take your time, don’t panic and stay present.  And whatever you do, DO NOT waver in your commitment to build your inner foundation of self-love, self-respect, and self-caring.  Moving into a home before your own personal foundation is solid is a dangerous proposition!  If there are cracks, then your “house” will be reduced to “rubble” if bad weather should come your way.  Building your home (self-love) inside of yourself before rushing (escaping) into another dwelling, will ensure a long-term and safe home, fit to carry you brightly and self-lovingly into the future.

When you get to the point where you know deep in your heart that you are ready to move, don’t rush to pack up and hire movers!  In addition, before throwing away or donating any of your old and dingy material possessions, work first on fortifying your new foundation of courage and resiliency, while establishing mutually loving, respectful and caring relationships outside of your current, soon-to-be former home.  Then, you will be ready to start looking for your dream house!

When you do find your new home, make sure its foundation matches your own.  A home that has both a solid infrastructure and rock-solid foundation will bring you joy and happiness that you once could not have imagined and, once experienced, will protect you with every bit of the self-love you so courageously have built up over time.  Despite the rainstorms, blizzards and heatwaves, you will be safe from harm and live in an environment of peace, happiness and potential.

Now is the time to imagine, build, move into, maintain and cherish your future home, in which the foundation and every brick are made from self-love!

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

                  

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