Shadow Work for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

Shadow Work for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

 “Shadow work is, at heart, about developing self-awareness and ultimately, self-acceptance and compassion. Shadow work is often both therapy and more spiritual, helping you see the different parts of yourself.” ~Maggie Wooll

Advanced Self-Help Healing: Shadow Work in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

If you’ve found yourself dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship, chances are you’ve found yourself feeling lost, unseen, unheard, and even completely invisible. You might not be sure who you are anymore.

While nearly everyone could benefit from shadow work, for narcissistic abuse survivors, not only is it something that could temporarily soothe some of the pain you’re dealing with, but the long-term application could change everything for you.

For survivors, going this deep can be far more difficult and painful than most people realize. I can relate because I’ve been there myself

Narcissists are so good at manipulating us and keeping us under their thumbs that we are often left feeling like a hopeless mess, with no sense of who we are or what we want. Shadow work may offer exactly the help you’ve been looking for if you’ve found yourself in this situation.

This is just one reason why shadow work is so important for narcissistic abuse survivors.

How can you do shadow work on your own?

Good news – shadow work is one way you can “self-help” your way through recovery. In fact, I recently launched a new series to teach you about shadow work in bite-sized pieces.

Want to participate? It’s free – just follow this playlist to learn about and get prompts nearly every day through my new shadow work series. You’ll also be able to access it through this website. 

 

Who created shadow work?

Carl Jung, a psychologist from Switzerland, is reportedly the first person who conceived of the idea of the shadow self. In Jungian psychology, the word ‘shadow’ refers to hidden parts of our being. 

Jung described it as the “unknown dark side of the personality” that was “instinctive and irrational.”

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain,” Jung said. “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

He also noted that the shadow is prone to psychological projection. This, he said, would lead to perceived personal inferiority within yourself, just as you might notice that someone else has some sort of perceived moral deficiency.

What is Shadow Work?

“The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.” ~Carl Jung, Aion (1951)

Shadow work is a term used to describe the process of facing your own darkness.  It’s meant to help you find and fix the “broken” parts of yourself. In other words, shadow work will help you to identify the parts of yourself that you are afraid to look at, either because they are taboo or because they might not be so nice (or because you might feel embarrassed or shy to share them with anyone else – sometimes, you’re even hiding from yourself).

Shadow work is about facing your inner darkness head-on and finding a way to heal from narcissistic abuse and trauma

Shadow work reconnects us with our spiritual selves, helps us find the parts of ourselves that have been broken and damaged (and even little habits we just don’t love about ourselves), then guides us on the path to personal growth and empowerment.

How do you know you need to do shadow work?

When I first learned about shadow work, I thought I’d already healed from all of my damage and had nothing left to fix – at least nothing much. But sure enough, I still had plenty of deep-rooted issues – and it really helped me to clear my head, my heart, and my mind so I could evolve into the next best self I could be.

Often we don’t realize that these things exist within us until someone else points them out to us through their behavior toward us (or sometimes even just by using language like “you’re not good enough”).

When we hear something like this from another person (in whatever form), it feels like confirmation of all the things we may already know about ourselves but that we haven’t been able to face before now – so instead we project those thoughts onto other people instead.

Now, there’s another thing to think about: if you’re anything like me, your first instinct when you started noticing these things was to just shove it down and stop the behavior rather than going to the trouble to work through it and move forward in a healthier way. 

What’s the difference between inner child work and shadow work?

If you’re wondering what’s different between inner child work and shadow work (or even the difference between inner child and shadow self, know that you’re not alone. When I began to research shadow work, I suspected they were either connected or were one and the same. 

And, according to my research, they are indeed connected. The way I understand it, shadow work encompasses more than the inner child, but does include the inner child. 

So, in layman’s terms, the inner child will be healed as one part of the shadow work, but the shadow encompasses your whole life up to this point, along with all of the latest traumas.

When you grew out of being a child, your inner child stayed stuck – but your shadow continued along the way with you and saw the rest of the stress and mess you experienced. 

How is Shadow Work Used by Narcissistic Abuse Survivors?

Shadow Work can be used as a sort of “self-help therapy” when you’re going through narcissistic abuse recovery.

Many narcissistic abuse survivors report that doing shadow work has helped them to reclaim their identity and find their true self-worth again after being manipulated and controlled throughout their relationship with a narcissist.

Shadow work involves looking at aspects of your personality that aren’t healthy or positive, so they can be brought to the light and resolved through positive action steps like journaling or meditating on them until they resolve themselves internally.

Shadow work can also help survivors deal with painful memories related to the abuse cycle itself (i.e., flashbacks).

This process is often difficult for people who’ve experienced narcissistic abuse because they’re triggered regularly by things like social media posts or news articles about similar situations happening around us today.

At what point in narcissistic abuse recovery is shadow work most effective?

When you’re ready to do your shadow work, you’ll need to be beyond the first stage of recovery if you’re going to be effective and not retraumatize yourself too much. Why? 

At the beginning of recovery, you might find yourself sort of spinning and feeling very raw. In this state, you’re not going to be very effective with shadow work, due to both your own fragile state and the fact that you’re going to be trying to figure out the narcissist and their own psychology at this point.

That’s exactly why I believe that shadow work will work best for survivors who are in the last stages of healing and evolving after abuse.

As we muddle through the early steps of recovery when we’re often feeling like it’s painful to even be awake, much less digging into ourselves to find the hidden broken parts.

We’re just not there yet; we’re not really ready or even equipped to do our shadow work as we suffer through the early stages of recovery. 

But by the time you’ve gotten past the first few hurdles in recovery, you might be looking for a deeper or more advanced way to work through your traumas and finally, release them – once and for all. Shadow work might be just what you need.

How do you know where you’re at? Take the DUO test and find out.

How to Start the Shadow Work Process

You’ve just taken the first step in this process by reading the information above. Now, it can help to understand why you need to do this work and how it will help you heal from narcissistic abuse in ways that other healing modalities can’t.

5 Steps For Doing Shadow Work

You might feel like you’re beating your head against a wall, but you will get there. We will be using a modified version of my DUO Method to do our shadow work together.

Here are the steps we’ll follow doing our shadow work. 

  • Step 1: Identify the problem. What do you want to work through or fix in yourself? (Discover)
  • Step 2: Acknowledge the problem and accept it. Accept without condition both the problem and yourself in the process – you’re not bad or evil because you’ve struggled with this or any other issue. (Unconditional self-acceptance)
  • Step 3: Look at the problem (this is where you have to dig deep) and do your research to understand it. (Understand)
  • .Step 4:  Be honest with yourself about what’s been going on, who’s been involved, and how this has impacted your life in a negative way for years now, even when it was just one or two small things happening every once in a while that added up over time until all of a sudden everything changed overnight…because it usually does! (Overcome)
  • Step 5: Unconditionally accept and learn to love you for YOU. This is where evolution happens for a survivor. 

Shadow Work Prompts for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

One of the simplest and most effective ways to start your shadow work is through journal prompts. You’ll want to get a dedicated notebook or to even use YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok to record yourself and your efforts in mind and to keep your thoughts in place and organized. 

I’ve recently launched a new series for narcissistic abuse survivors on my video platforms. Here’s the first video for your convenience. (I’m using the hashtag #shadowworkforsurviors on all platforms – so feel free to follow wherever you prefer. I’m on YouTube, TikTok, IG and Facebook Reels)

If you want to get a jump start on this process, you can start by taking some time to answer each of the following questions in your journal or video diary. 

  • How can I feel safe in this world?
  • What is my worth, and how am I going to get it back?
  • How do I trust people again, or do I even have the capacity to trust people again?
  • What are some of the ways that I have been damaged by being in a relationship with someone who was toxic like this one was?
  • How do I express my emotions now that they’re no longer being oppressed by my abuser’s behavior?

There are simple ways to begin doing shadow work, but it takes a long time and can be painful. In any case, it’s totally worth the effort. You can do it!

Takeaway 

  • Healthy relationships are a challenge for anyone, especially those of us who have been through narcissistic abuse. However, by doing shadow work, you can heal your past trauma and find the confidence to move forward with your life.
  • Shadow work can be used as part of the process of healing after narcissistic abuse. The idea behind it is that when you have been in an abusive relationship, you have become confused about who you are and what is real. Shadow work offers the opportunity to rediscover yourself and redesign your life.
  • Your abuser has controlled your reality by gradually changing how you think, how you feel, and what makes sense to you. As part of this process, they may also have convinced you that there are parts of yourself that are negative or bad.
  • It can be helpful to think about shadow work as a process of facing the parts of ourselves that we have been avoiding (the shadow). This might include our pain, our feelings about being controlled or manipulated by others, or even just our own feelings about ourselves.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

8 Distinctive Tricks to Immediately Change Your Emotional State

8 Distinctive Tricks to Immediately Change Your Emotional State

When you’re a survivor of narcissistic abuse, you may have trouble managing your emotional state, especially if you’re deep in the throes of grief and anxiety as you transition to life without the narcissist. Issues connected to C-PTSD and other after-effects of the trauma you’ve just experienced will run rampant in your mind and body until you find a way to heal. 

In the meantime, there are so many things you can do to help yourself feel better right now. For example, you could use a pattern interrupt to shift from feeling weak and worthless to feeling empowered and worthy. 

What is a pattern interrupt?

A pattern interrupt is a way to stop one of your habitual reactions. This can be helpful because you can stop yourself from reacting in an unhealthy way and choose a better response. It can also be used to help your brain notice small things that you might otherwise overlook.

This concept is commonly used in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), as well as other self-help practices, to help people change their habits, thoughts, and emotions. In other words, pattern interrupts are deliberate actions that break undesirable habits.

You can use pattern interrupts to redirect the flow of a conversation when it’s going too far off-track, or when you’re ready to move on to talking about something else. They’re also useful for breaking up long monologues by other people.

Most importantly, pattern interrupts can help you get through the difficult moments in your relationships, including the one you might have or have had with the narcissist. This way, you can truly begin to heal yourself and take back your life – one baby step at a time.

How does a pattern interrupt help? 

Pattern interrupts are highly effective for so many different aspects of narcissistic abuse recovery, and this is one more way they can be used. During and after a toxic relationship, your grief, anxiety, and depression can become automatic behaviors – patterns – that you fall into without thought.

So, when you begin to work on letting go of the narcissist and the toxic relationship, you can use mindfulness to pay attention to your thoughts and ideas, and then you can choose to use a pattern-interrupt to change it. 

Try These Simple Pattern Interrupt Ideas

Pattern interrupts are part of NLP (Neurolinguistic programming). Sounds complicated, right? But it’s so simple. Here are some quick and easy-to-implement pattern interrupt ideas for you.

  • Try a simple affirmation you repeat to yourself in the moment.
  • Try standing up and moving into a different room of the house.
  • Try taking a quick shower.
  • You can brush your teeth or hair or wash your hands.
  • Try to count all of the items in a room that are a certain color.

There are so many other options to interrupt these toxic patterns in your own mind. Here’s a quick video where I explain pattern interrupts in more detail.

Pattern Interrupts to Change Your Emotional State Quickly

If you need to change your mood or emotional state in a hurry, you have options available to you. Your emotional state affects your attitude, focus, decisions, and your ability to act.

The ability to manage your emotional state is a powerful skill that must be mastered if you want to be able to get the most out of each day. If you can control your emotional state, you can be happier and more successful.

Surprisingly Effective Pattern Interrupt Strategies for Emotional Control 

1. Move.

Your emotions are actually body feelings created by your thoughts. If you move your body, the way your body feels will change. Moving is one of the most effective ways to change your emotional state. There are many ways to use your body to alter your emotions. Here are just a few options:

● Stand straighter.
● Do jumping jacks.
● Dance.
● Stand up quickly.
● Spin around.
● Walk like a robot.
● Run.
● Skip.

2. Laugh.

Laughing feels really good! Make yourself laugh and you’ll feel differently, and the change is instantaneous.

● Think about something funny.
● Watch your favorite comedian.
● Talk with your funniest friend.
● Read a joke.

3. Give yourself a change of scenery.

It’s amazing how much difference you can feel if you just move to a new location.

● Spend an hour at the coffee shop.
● Go to the library.
● Walk around the park.
● Sit out on your back patio.

4. Do something that frightens you.

If you want to take your mind off your current thoughts, fear is an effective way to do it. Your emotional state will change, guaranteed.

● Strike up a conversation with an attractive stranger.
● Have that conversation you’ve been avoiding.
● Go to the pet shop and ask to hold that scary-looking snake.

5. Drink a large glass of cold water.

A good drink of water can change how you feel. Making sure that it’s cold makes the experience jolting. Pour yourself a tall, cold glass of water, stand outside, and drink it.

6. Use heat or cold.

Anything that impacts your body significantly can impact your emotional state, too. Heat and cold are all-encompassing experiences for your body. Your attention can’t help but notice them. Your brain and body are also taking notice. Your blood vessels expand or contract. You sweat more or less. There’s a lot going on when you expose yourself to significant temperatures.

● Sit outside on a hot or cold day.
● Take a hot shower or bath. Sit in a hot tub or sauna.
● Try a cold shower or bath (this is known to help tone your vagus nerve – which is shockingly effective in helping to heal your trauma).

7. Sing or hum.

Singing is a novel way to change how you feel. If you’re not used to singing, it can feel awkward. If you sing regularly, you do so because it’s enjoyable. Either way, your emotional state will be impacted. (Also good for the vagus nerve!)

8. Do something new or unexpected.

Shock your system by doing something totally out of character.

● Pull out the bike you haven’t ridden in years and go for a ride.
● Take a walk around the neighborhood if you rarely do so.
● Go out to a new restaurant.
● Call an old friend you haven’t spoken to in ages.
● Eat a tablespoon of hot sauce.
● Shake things up.

You have an emotional state of some sort every waking moment of the day. The real question is whether or not it’s a useful emotional state. Even more importantly, is it the optimal emotional state for the current moment? You can change your emotional state with practice. You can even change it quickly!

Get Help With Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

8 Powerful Self-Care Tips for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

8 Powerful Self-Care Tips for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” ~Katrina Mayer

When you are in the grip of narcissistic abuse, it can be hard to think about your own needs. You may be so preoccupied with what is happening to you that you feel numb, or so angry that you feel like an emotional volcano about to explode. Either way, it can be hard to take care of yourself.

Is Self-Care Selfish?

No matter what the toxic people in your life would have you believe, self-care is not selfish. It is essential in order to maintain your physical and emotional health. And this is even more important for people who have survived narcissistic abuse because, for many of us, our whole lives have been about making other people happy. It’s time to focus on yourself, possibly for the first time in your life.

Have you survived narcissistic abuse?

If you have been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know how frustrating and exhausting it is to repeatedly deal with their crazy-making and mind games. When they aren’t treating you like your feelings don’t matter, they are making you feel crazy for having feelings in the first place! It can be that hard to be in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), but you probably already know that it is possible to leave such relationships when you learn how to recognize the signs of narcissistic abuse and how to set boundaries.

What you might not realize though is that self-care is a vital part of healing from narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship. If a partner or ex-partner has been abusive toward you, you might have experienced a lot of trauma. It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning, and even to take care of yourself and your needs when you’re in the depths of recovery.

Why is self-care important in narcissistic abuse recovery?

Everyone heals on their own time frame, but by practicing some self-care tips for narcissistic abuse survivors you can improve your quality of life and begin the process of healing from narcissistic abuse. But without proper guidance, healing from narcissistic abuse can be long and arduous.

It’s very common for adult children of narcissistic parents (ACONs) to suffer from Complex PTSD. Worse, many ACONs also end up getting into romantic relationships with narcissists and other toxic people – it feels normal to them. That’s why, without proper support, it is so easy to fall back into old patterns.

Did you lose yourself to narcissistic abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a particularly vicious form of psychological abuse. It is important to recognize that narcissistic abuse takes a toll on your mind and body.  After experiencing an abusive relationship, it is normal to feel like you have lost yourself. You may also feel like you don’t know how to take care of yourself anymore. These feelings are often due to the way you were treated in your past relationships and can develop into a very unhealthy pattern if not addressed. After abuse, your whole sense of self needs to be rebuilt and nurtured.

Self-Care Tips for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

Self-care is important for all of us, but especially for those in the healing process following narcissistic abuse. You can use these self-care tips as tools to help you heal and recover from the effects of narcissistic abuse and re-establish a sense of inner peace within yourself. Even if you have not left your abuser yet, self-care can help protect your mental health while you decide to leave or work on other aspects of your life that are related to the abuse.

Here are some self-care tips for narcissistic abuse survivors:

1. Remember You Are a Whole Person.

It may sound silly, but if you are still reeling from the abuse of a narcissist, it can be difficult to remember that you’re still a whole, multifaceted person. Narcissistic abuse survivors often find themselves existing in a fog of confusion and pain, and being told repeatedly that they are “crazy” or “imagining things.” It can be hard to muster the motivation or energy for self-care when you feel so beaten down. If you’ve been abused by a narcissist, it’s important to know that what you’re experiencing isn’t your fault. Narcissists are experts at gaslighting their victims into believing that they have no right to their own feelings or opinions. You have every right to grieve the loss of these relationships and experiences, and to take time to work through your feelings. You also have a right to care for yourself in whatever way is best for you. This video explains exactly what happens to you during narcissistic abuse and why you stop feeling like a whole person – this is exactly why it’s so important to take care of yourself now.

2. Assess Your Needs and Make a Self-Care Plan.

Maybe the most important step in self-care after narcissistic abuse is knowing what you need in order to feel cared for and nurtured. You’ve been through the hell of emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of a narcissist. You might just need to start by taking a bit of time for yourself. You can practice setting boundaries. Take a week or a weekend and just turn off the phones, close the door, and relax. If possible, use this time to disengage from the narcissist.  Breathe deeply. Meditate. Stretch out any kinks or tension in your body. Do something creative or spiritual.  Then sit down and write down your self-care plan. Note: Make sure you pencil in time to get enough sleep and relaxation. You can’t think straight or make good decisions when you’re stressed and exhausted. Watch this if you need to remember how important self-care is for survivors of narcissistic abuse!

3. Don’t Discount the Value of Positive Affirmations.

When it comes to reprogramming your mind after narcissistic abuse, you have to take advantage of the power of affirmations. You may think affirmations are lies you are telling yourself in the beginning. But even if that is the case, keep at it! Eventually, your mind will be reprogrammed and your truth can change to one that’s far more desirable. This video offers one simple way you can get in your affirmations while you sleep! Save it to your bookmarks so you can use it anytime you need.

4. Find A Constructive Physical Outlet To Release Negative Emotions.

You, like many narcissistic abuse survivors, may have found a way to cope with the situation in an unhealthy way. For example, you might have started drinking or eating too much to stuff away the pain, anger, and justified rage that you feel on a daily basis. You know those habits are quite destructive – but it feels better than the alternative, right? If this sounds like you, you might consider looking for healthy physical outlets to release those negative emotions. This is why you will want to take up kickboxing, yoga, or dancing such as Zumba classes. Those are great ways to release the painful emotions that you are feeling. Bonus: It also helps you become more physically fit – revenge body, here you come! After all, when you consider how narcissists exploit you, you have to realize that narcissistic abuse recovery is a whole-self healing journey. Get the details on that in this video.

5. Journal Away the Pain.

You’ve spent way too much time worrying about everyone else in your life – and the narcissist has facilitated this by requiring you to make them the center of your world. This means you’ve got a lot of thoughts, feelings, and unspoken words flying around inside you, likely adding to your pain. My suggestion here is to go out and buy a journal or a diary. Or just use a plain notebook if you prefer. Either way, use this to write in every day about how you are feeling, your thoughts, what you have been doing, and any other information that is important to you. The idea is that whatever you put into this journal is just for you. You can tear pages out if they are painful to read later on, or you can keep the book forever as a reminder of how far you have come. Personally, I prefer bullet journaling these days – here’s how I do it.

6. Pay Attention To Your Breathing.

Did you know that if you breathe through your mouth, you are going to feel more anxious?  It’s true! And that will only cause you to think more about the pain you had endured. The best way to stay relaxed is by breathing through your nostrils. In fact, this is something that patients that suffer from insomnia are told to do before they attempt to fall asleep. Breathing through your nostrils will help lower anxiety levels and the more you do it, the more you will rewire your brain into a calmer state. Try the exercises I share here for help.

7. Tap Into Your Creativity

I always say that narcissistic abuse recovery is a great time to start a new project. Maybe you want to redecorate a room in your home, or learn to paint. Perhaps you’d like to write a book or a story. Maybe you’re a songwriter? When you listen to songs like Stronger Than Ever by Christina Aguilera, you know she was inspired by her own healing from abuse. And this is a positive way to deal with pain and trauma. Channeling your pain into creativity is highly therapeutic. Or, if you’re struggling with finding a project because you’re drowning in your own clutter (a common issue for survivors), you might try a decluttering project, as described here.

8. Ask For Help

Possibly the most important step to practicing healthy self-care tips for narcissistic abuse survivors is surrounding yourself with supportive people who understand what you’re going through. I think it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are millions of people who have experienced the pain that comes with being in an abusive relationship, so don’t feel like your situation is unique or uncommon. If you are struggling, be sure to look into finding a therapist and/or a narcissistic abuse recovery coach who understands what you’re going through. They can give you some helpful tips and since they may have been there themselves, they can empathize in ways no one else can. There’s also the option to join a small Zoom coaching group. If therapy or coaching aren’t within your budget, you can also join a free support narcissistic abuse recovery support group. The more support you have, the better! It MATTERS.

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

Observe, Don’t Absorb, Self Love Deficit, and Gaslighting

Observe, Don’t Absorb, Self Love Deficit, and Gaslighting


I recently interviewed Ross Rosenberg, one of the pioneers in narcissistic personality disorder, narcissistic abuse recovery, and codependency. See part one of the Rosenberg interview on YouTube.

Who is Ross Rosenberg?

Ross Rosenberg is a psychotherapist and author of The Human Magnet Syndrome. He owns the Self-Love Recovery Institute. He is an expert on narcissism, codependency, and the relationships that happen between the two. He developed a treatment program that solves. if not cures, codependency or self-love deficit disorder. He is one of the pioneers in the field of narcissism and narcissistic abuse recovery. He has taught and spoken all over the world. In fact, he has an informative webinar coming up based on his extensive work in this field.

How did Ross Rosenberg create his Observe, Don’t Absorb Technique?

“The Observe Don’t Absorb technique was created without knowing what I was doing,” Rosenberg told me, adding that it was 30 years ago when he’d been in an extremely abusive relationship. His partner at the time had BPD (borderline personality disorder).

“I realized had all the power over me if she could trigger me and get me mad, because she, like any person with BPD, would get angry, hurt me, and then cycle back and become in love with me again,” Rosenberg said. “And so the best way that she could feel better is if she could make me as angry as she was.”

Once he realized what was going on, he knew he needed to do something to protect himself.

“So, I developed this technique to safely and in a healthy manner disassociate from the environment and the person trying to trigger me or activate me,” he said, adding that the lesson comes from a George bernard shaw saying that goes, “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

How does the Observe, Don’t Absorb Technique work?

Rosenberg said that the whole point of the Observe, Don’t Absorb Technique “is the narcissist, when they want power over you, they want to get you into what I call their wrestling ring, and that is where they always are in control, and they have all the power.”

“So once they get a reaction out of you, through many techniques (including induced conversation technique), you lose your power because narcissists know how to fight,” he said. “They know how to manipulate, they know how to guilt and shame; and an SLD or codependent can never stand their own.”

“Essentially, the Observe, Don’t Absorb Technique is a way to safely disassociate from a narcissist who gains power by triggering your emotions and making you fight them in a fight that you can never win,” Rosenberg said.

What is Self-Love Deficicit Disorder?

Rosenberg said he’d never liked the term codependency because “codependency” is antiquated and it doesn’t really mean anything anymore.

“So I decided to come up with a replacement term, and it took me a while to figure out, but ultimately it was Self-Love Deficit Disorder, and that’s the problem,” he said. “And the person (with the problem) is self-love deficient, so SLDD for the problem, SLD for the person.”

He said he came up with these terms to help people understand that “what they’re suffering from not only has a name that fits the problem, but also gives you direction on what to solve in order to not to have that problem anymore.”

Ross Rosenberg’s definition of narcissism

Rosenberg said that as he was writing his book, The Human Magnet Syndrome, it was incredibly important to make specific diagnoses so that people knew what he was talking about.

“There are so many people out there on the internet, Youtube, TikTok, everywhere, that use the term, and they don’t have a mental health background,” he said. “So I don’t use the word narcissism; I use the word pathological narcissism.”

“These individuals have personality disorders as defined in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual used by psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and psychologists,” he said. “So I don’t use the term narcissist to talk about someone because that’s an ex that’s a description of someone is being narcissistic, but when I say pathological narcissist, I am talking about someone with a personality disorder.”

He added that pathological narcissists are harmful to the people around them and unable to understand or know what they’re doing.

“And perhaps they don’t care; they perpetuate harm on others,” he said. “The term pathological narcissist refers to someone with borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or anti-social personality disorder.”

“So, therefore, when I use the word narcissist, I’m using a term that is a clinical explanation of a mental health disorder.” Rosenberg continued. “So now there’s little dispute on who’s a narcissist or not because therapists, doctors. professionals such as I cannot use a term unless they fit the diagnostic profile.”

Ross Rosenberg on Gaslighting

“Gaslighting is a manipulative ploy used by pathological narcissists who have sociopathic traits,” Rosenberg said. “In other words, they know what they’re doing. They’re not the garden variety narcissist who’s oblivious to their narcissism.”

“Gaslighting is a manipulative, systematically perpetrated strategy that pathological narcissists use to control and often hurt their victims,” he continued, adding that narcissists do this by instilling a narrative about a person that something is wrong with them, when nothing was.

Or, he said, narcissits will manipulate you “with a problem they had that was originally mild, while systematically manipulating the environment to prove their narrative.”

Of course, the victim eventually recognizes this fake narrative and identifies with the problem. And, Rosenberg said, “As the gaslighter manipulates them to identify with the problem,  he then builds a narrative that they are needy, unlikable, and would do better if they isolate.”

The Cherry on Top of the Gaslighting Sundae

“The cherry on top of the gaslighting sundae is then the gaslighter portrays himself as the only one that loves, accepts, and will protect the victim; therefore, the victim has taken on a psychological problem or disorder, feeling broken unlovable, and encouraged to isolate,” he said. “And then picking the person that has designed the whole plan. And then no one in their outside world – friends, family, or loved ones – can get to them to try to bring them back to reality. And therefore, they are trapped – and sometimes forever trapped – by the scheming, sociopathic, gaslighting narcissist.”

Question of the Day

Have you ever heard of the human magnet syndrome before? What about SLDD and SLDs? Have you heard of those, and could you relate to his points about gaslighting? Would you please share your thoughts share your ideas, share your experiences in the comments section below this video and let’s talk about it,

Helpful Links:

How Narcissists Destroy You and How You Can Put Yourself Back Together

How Narcissists Destroy You and How You Can Put Yourself Back Together

If you know what it’s like to experience narcissistic abuse, then you might understand the level of damage that narcissists can do. It is profound and life-altering – and not in a good way. Narcissists destroy you, but if you want to put yourself together again, you can absolutely do it – starting with focusing on understanding what happened to you. Your next (and most important step) is then moving forward into intentionally healing and embracing your true self. Let’s talk about it.

How do narcissists destroy you?

Narcissists are masters of manipulation and control, but the effects of being in a toxic relationship with someone affected by narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are life-changing. The narcissist’s form of psychological and emotional abuse is so harmful that most survivors find it impossible to go back to the way things used to be after recovering from narcissistic abuse.  Their trademark lack of empathy and compassion spills into every interaction with you.

Here are just a few of the ways they destroy you through narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.

  • They make you believe you’re unworthy of love or respect.
  • They require and take absolute control over your life.
  • They drain your life of energy, confidence, and happiness
  • They see and treat you less like a person and more like an object.
  • They destroy your self-esteem.
  • They isolate you.
  • They shame you.
  • They use your kindness and devotion against you.
  • They make you dependent on them.
  • They manipulate you into staying with them, first through future faking and later through fear, obligation, and guilt.

How can you rebuild yourself and your life after narcissistic abuse?

There are several steps you can take when you’re ready to rebuild your life after narcissistic abuse. In this video, you can learn about how narcissists destroy you, and the psychology around it, plus (and most importantly) exactly what you need to do to find the strength and self-awareness you need to detach from the narcissist and how you can heal and move forward. You’ll learn about how can narcissists manipulate you into giving up everything you care about for them, and you’ll understand why it feels like you might never be able to recover. Plus, you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to embrace your power and take back your life and your SELF after narcissistic abuse.

Have you been destroyed by a narcissist?

If you feel you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or you might do better with a therapist. But, first, you have to decide what to do from here – if you’re unsure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

 

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Guided Meditation for Self-Acceptance and Self-Love

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Guided Meditation for Self-Acceptance and Self-Love

If you’re like most survivors of narcissistic abuse, you might still be struggling to feel good about yourself. You might also not be very self-accepting, and most of us don’t end up actually feeling like we have any self-love to speak of – not to mention self-confidence. For that reason, I wrote this self-acceptance and self-love inducing guided meditation for you.

I worked with a professional voice artist to create a simple, relaxing, and motivational meditation for self-acceptance that leads to unconditional self-love. You can listen in the morning to get you going or play it while you go to sleep at night. I suggest you use it for at least 30 days for maximum effect.

If you like the idea of healing while you sleep, you might also want to add in my four-hour guided sleep meditation for narcissistic abuse recovery and healing, right here. 

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Meditation for Self-Acceptance That Leads to Unconditional Self-Love

See guided meditation on YouTube

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Affirmations for Self-Acceptance that Leads to Self-Love

I accept myself as I am.

I deserve to be loved and I am worth loving.

I have many positive qualities and traits.

I am not perfect, but I accept myself as I am.

Everyone has positive and negative characteristics.

I am comfortable with who I am.

I am becoming more accepting of myself as I age and mature.

I have learned a lot about myself over the years.

I accept the good and the not-so-good easily and comfortably.

I know that perfection is unattainable, and I am okay with being imperfect.

Life can be challenging and dynamic.

As I strive to strengthen my skills and abilities, I do the best I can with what I have.

My imperfections make me unique and interesting.

I embrace my imperfections and invite the world to experience them.

I accept myself without condition.

I avoid trying to live up to the narcissist’s image of the ideal person.

I can be a perfect me, as myself in any given moment, and that is enough. To try to do anything else is an exercise in futility.

I am honest with myself regarding my personality, physical characteristics, and view of the world.

A high level of self-acceptance allows me to experience the joy of life.

Life can only be fully experienced from a perspective of self-acceptance.

Today, I accept myself, just as I am.

I am also willing to accept others as they are.

I am practicing acceptance on every level.

Self-acceptance is a key part of enjoying life.

I love and respect myself without condition.

Despite what I may have believed before, I now know that the love I have for myself is the most important love of all.

When I love myself, I am better able to love and care for others.

I am better to myself and the world when I am able to love myself.

I have great respect for myself and my many accomplishments, even the small ones.

Self-respect is a big part of finding my own happiness and fulfillment on my own.

I don’t need anyone else to be happy.

I treat myself with the respect I deserve.

I am worthy of self-respect and enjoy feeling good about myself.

I am learning to maintain high standards for my behavior and face the world in a way that allows me to sleep peacefully at night.

My good friends and those I consider my family are proud to be part of my life.

It is easy for me to show them love and respect because I maintain these qualities for myself as well.

I attract more healthy, like-minded people into my life.

Self-love and self-respect make it possible to have authentic relationships with others.

By accepting and loving myself, I am able to give the same gift to others.

Much of my self-respect comes from the willingness to accept responsibility for my own life.

The respect I feel for myself springs from this place.

I am able to avoid worrying about the negative opinions of others because I am in control of my life and emotions.

Today, I appreciate my unique qualities. I remind myself how wonderful I am and that I deserve love and respect from the world, but most of all from myself.

Every day, my self-esteem is growing by leaps and bounds.

I am learning to be independent and I know that I am enough, just as I am, in any given moment.

I am fortunate to be overflowing with self-esteem.

My self-esteem is limitless. It continues to grow and blossom.

As my self-esteem increases, I feel more powerful and peaceful.

As I grow in my healing, I realize that having a high level of self-esteem makes my life simple and light.

Knowing that I can handle any challenge that comes my way frees me from worry and concern.

I avoid making mountains out of molehills.

Temporary setbacks are barely noticeable.

I focus on what I can control, what I can affect, and I don’t worry about things that are beyond my control.

My capabilities are tremendous.

I can feel myself growing stronger each day in my mind, body, soul, and abilities.

As I heal, I feel myself growing on a spiritual level. I am getting closer and closer to being my true self.

I love myself just as I am.

I know with certainty that I am lovable and capable.

I know without a doubt that I deserve good things, and I take inspired action as needed to manifest my best and highest self.

I am comfortable revealing myself to the world.

I am free from worrying about the approval or rejection of others.

I am totally at peace with who I am, and I do not make apologies for it.

My certainty in my abilities is rock-solid.

Even in the face of adversity, I am confident in my ability to be successful.

I know that I will make it.

I know I can do what I want as long as I am willing to put in the effort.

My happiness and success are certain as long as I persist in moving toward my goal.

I already have everything I need to win.

My self-esteem serves me well.

My professional and personal life are positively influenced by my self-esteem.

I am strong, confident and full of love and light.

Today, I enjoy many benefits of strong self-esteem as my self-esteem increases.

Each day I grow more capable and confident. Life becomes easier. The world is my oyster.

Next: Try this guided, four-hour sleep healing meditation.

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