Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Narcissist's Strange Relationship to the World Around Her

A narcissist has no proper relationship with herself. She unknows the self inside and identifies with something external, her projected image, instead. Hence, NPD has often been called a "disorder of the self."

Now THAT'S a pretty important relationship to foul up. If you don't relate to yourself, how can you relate to anyone else?

Narcissists don't. They relate to other human beings as objects. You know - objects, things to use and ab-use for self-serving purposes. Things that have no rights, no right to be even. Things that have no feelings. Tools.

Until that fact sinks in, you just don't "get" malignant narcissism. You keep acting on the premise that the narcissist has some feelings for you, some conscience. And that premise is all wrong. Based on it, nothing makes sense. Hence you keep pinching yourself and wondering whether it's you or the N that is crazy.

The more I see, the more impressed I am by how a narcissist relates to the world around her. These are just my observations, but they are based on a lifetime of experiences fit together like the pieces of a puzzle - for what that's worth.

It's like she goes around with an artist's pallet and paintbrush in hand, painting over reality here and there, almost whimsically and on the fly, to make it more to her fancy or liking.

I think this is a lot like little children do as their minds and personalities begin to take shape. Their mind becomes a playground. They discover how it can be used to "alter" any reality they don't like. They tend to get carried away in flights of the imagination like Alice in the Looking Glass Room.

To us in the real world, the world Alice is in there behind the Looking Glass looks like this one. But beyond the edges of the glass (our look into her life) nothing is the same as in the real world. (More on this in the book.) In fact, Alice says that it's as different as can be.

She made it that way in flights of reckless fancy, often on a whim, just to make her world more interesting and exciting than the real world.

This reminds one of all the reckless experimentation with LSD and other mind-altering drugs, especially during the 1970's.

Fortunately, children normally attain the Age of Reason, when they develop a preference for truth and reality. Partly, they learn to fear the terrible power of the mind to alter perception and delude itself. Partly, they want to grow up and live in the real world like older kids and adults do.

They still daydream and take off on flights of the imagination. But they clearly distinguish between dreams and reality now. For example, they won't insist that you set a place for their imaginary friend at the table anymore.

The more I see, the more I suspect that narcissists never really made it to that point. From time to time they will say something that betrays their presence in some strange other world.

Ms. Painter does the same thing with the people in her world. She paints over them to make a work of art of them, one more to her liking. In doing so, she reduces them to caricatures. Pay close attention to the way she talks about others, and you will see that.

I am constantly struck by how similar these characterizations are to those of a novelist. In a novel, you don't want your secondary characters and minor characters to distract attention from the main characters, so you deliberately draw what we call "flat" characterizations of them. Caricatures. Often called "cartoons," because they have no depth.

To keep them from being bland and boring, you spice up the hero's sidekick with some eccentricity that makes him entertaining. In fact, in novels where attention is on the plot or whodunit, even the main character (e.g., Inspector Poirot) may be little more than a cartoon with some entertaining idiosyncrasies.

Notice that this is what a narcissist makes of the people she talks about. They aren't people; they are characters. There's a difference, you know. They aren't even realistic characters with depth; they are cartoons, caricatures.

She may describe a person as a "Kris Kringle" one day and as a "b****-slapper" the next though.

Because she is an artist, you see, CREATING and EDITING these cartoons on the whims of fancy, reducing human beings to them.

If you ask her about these people, you will find that she actually knows nothing about their character. How could she? She gets 100% of their attention without giving back any of hers. So, how could she have noticed anything about their real character?

All have but bit parts in an autobiographical work of fiction that is all about her.

Of course the narcissist is shallow too. How could she not be shallow? She doesn't identify with the real person inside; she identifies with the image she paints of herself. Another mere character, not a real person.

This is why a narcissist will be a Nazi one day and a socialist the next. She is just another character she creates. So, she can change that character any time the story isn't going the way she wants.

And she does everything possible to make the world reflect her fantasy. Her fantasy about you. (Through character assassination.) Her fantasy about the past. (By pathological lying.) Her fantasy about herself. (In con artistry.) She couldn't possibly have greater contempt for truth.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Malignance and the Narcissism

Most people find out nothing about narcissists until they get destroyed by one and go searching for answers on the bizarre incident. Before they learn more, their idea of a narcissist is of a person with a sky-high opinion of themselves, period.

They associate narcissism with self-love (which never made sense to me) and with grandiosity, haughtiness, snobbishness, megalomania, thinking you're just IT – God's gift to the world.

But most narcissists don't inhabit an environment in which they can let that all hang out. In fact, most of the narcissists I have known did not come off that way at all. Therefore, you usually won't notice the grandiosity in a casual acquaintance who is a narcissist.

That's because narcissists have subtle ways of sending their subliminal messages through their behavior and treatment of you.

For example, I'd hate to admit how old I was before I realized why my father threw his road rages. Duh! How could I have been so dense for so long? I suddenly realized that he was doing that to make us stop talking to each other in the car and pay attention to him. He couldn't stand our paying attention to each other, so he had to stop us and silence our conversation and make us focus our attention on him (and whatever his yanking the car around was liable to crash us into).

It wasn't till I'd caught on to a few of these tricks that I noticed the common denominator – that these were attention-getting behaviors. Behaviors designed to deny anyone else any available attention.

He wasn't even smart and he had a dozen sneaky ways to routinely get attention without you realizing what he was up to. But he was just being more subtle about it than than the blathering female narcissist who just yaks at you at 90-miles-an-hour for 3 hours without pausing for a breath. We can't help but see that she is a glutton for attention, but he, just as big a glutton for attention, flies beneath our radar.

And you can see why a man devises sneaky tricks to command all available attention and deny you any: being a jabberbox would get a man laughed in most worlds. But a woman can get away with it.

It's the same with narcissists' grandiosity. Most use sneaky, subtle ways to aggrandize themselves.

Therefore, the average person's idea of a narcissist is very misleading.

I am always somewhat puzzled when authorities on the subject and others talk as though that is what bothers people about malignant narcissists.

I suppose that if you're somewhat narcissistic yourself (and I don't mean that in a bad way – I just mean that if your personality is toward that end of the spectrum), you are going to be irritated by a narcissist hogging all attention and denying you any.

But, first, I don't think that most people are like that. And second, I doubt any normal person (narcissistic or not) is bothered that much by the grandiosity. It's silly, pathetic, so how can it make you angry? I bet people with narcissistic tendencies just immediately dislike and avoid malignant narcissists.

I can't say when, but it was at a very young age – probably around the age of 8 or 9 -- that I began to view my father as pathetic. It was like I was the adult, and he was the child: I had to cut him some slack, because he just wasn't strong enough to quit bolstering his ego at our expense. He needed a lower set of standards, poor thing. I viewed his Big Man act as silly folly.

I bet this is generally true – that children catch on to the essentials much sooner than we adults realize.

All I know is that I didn't mind him paying no attention to us. I know it cheated and hurt me in many ways, but his negative attention was so offensive that I was just glad to be left alone by him.

What bothered me was him picking a fight with my mother every single day. That and all the other malignant stuff.

I bet that's generally true too. People who have had to take a narcissist mind the malignance in malignant narcissism, not so much the narcissism.

If you marry a malignant narcissist, and he or she can get others into the sack, your narcissistic spouse WILL be a serial cheater. He must prove that you have no control over him. That you and your marriage mean nothing to him. He fears relationships as ropes that tie him and therefore must betray every bond of good faith.

That's a lot worse than putting up with his grandiosity.

If you work with a narcissist and do a better job than him, he must get you fired and ruin your career so that he is better than you.

That's a lot worse sin than grandiosity.

In fact, Pathological Envy is his middle name. I knew a narcissist once who looked at others with hatred for being well when he was sick. How's that for malignant?

Narcissists will hate you for just being happy, because happiness is something they cannot have. So, they will make you unhappy, as unhappy as they can.

Narcissists will hate you for your virtues, especially the ones that stand out in contrast to their own flaws. And they will have to fix that by spreading vicious calumny about you.

Grandiosity is nothing compared to the malevolence in that.

Just look at that list of things they do so far. All are ways of destroying someone or something. That's the common denominator. That's what malignant narcissists are – destroyers. (Which reminds me of the cry of the Apocalypse to "Destroy the destroyers!")

THAT'S what's important about malignant narcissists. What they do to people is no minor matter.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Idiot Wind

You often hear people talk as though the only victims of narcissists are a certain type of people - weak people, who more or less ask for it and attract narcissists like magnets.

That's stupid, and I wish these stupid people would plug in their brains, because a smart monkey probably knows better than that. By far, the greatest number of victims are the children of narcissists. They "attracted" their narcisstic/predatory parent like a magnet, eh? Well, yes they did, by being vulnerable with easily hurt feelings. Shame on them!

You know, like the wolf - who goes for the tender lamb instead of of the grisly ram. Wolf is no fool.

Another large class of victims are people who did nothing but have the misfortune of working with a narcissist and doing a better job than him or her. They get their reputations and careers destroyed. They "asked" for it too, eh? They "attracted" the predator like a magnet simply by failing to be mediocre like the rest of the crabs in that bucket. Right?

Ah, the Idiot Wind.

No doubt, since narcissists demonstrably go for easy prey, they must also seek out people whose feelings can easily be hurt. I have no doubt that they will prefer to target someone with low self-esteem unless an option with high self-esteem would be a feather in their cap or of greater use some other way.

But look what the idiots are saying. They are making out emotional vulnerability as some sort of flaw that makes the victim deserving of abuse! DESERVING of it.

That makes vulnerability morally equivalent to a sin.

But that isn't the end of the idiocy. This vulnerability is to BLAME for the abuse.

That's ass-backwards: they have the vulnerability being to blame, not the predation. Look at the relative weight given this flaw of vulnerability in the victim as opposed to the predation of the abuser. It's plain to see what idiots think is the worse sin.

This is just the old "Bad-things-don't-happen-to-good-smart-people-like-me" superstition. That's why they blame the victim: they want to make-believe that it can't happen to them. And when it does, they deserve exactly as much sympathy as they gave.

I have known many people of low intelligence who use their heads far more and are far smarter than these idiots, some of whom have PhDs and MDs.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

The Narcissist Makes Everyone, Including You, Think that You Are the Dependent One

Who is needier than a narcissist? More dependant?

Their dependence is the dependence of any parasite on its host. This dependence is the very essence of their so-called "relationship" with you. It is the relationship you have with a tick or disease. That's all there is to it. Nothing for YOU in it at all.

They truly are emotional vampires and probably are the type storytellers had in mind when they invented the story of the vampire. They NEED your blood/suffering. They feed on it. They will die without it.

Why? because it's the only thing that makes their existence bearable. Just look at what lowdown, dirty, rotten things these gutter slimes have done through life. Wouldn't the memories haunt you to the point that you couldn't stand yourself? A character of white trash put it succinctly in a movie about racism once when asked why he treated black people like dirt: "Because if you ain't better than a n*****, you ain't better than nobody."

Narcissists are doing the same thing. Down in that gutter they need to feel better than somebody else. It's the only thing that can make them happy. Because it's the only thing that makes them feel good.

About themselves. For awhile.

As a drink is the only thing that makes an alcoholic feel good. For awhile. No booze – they get to feeling worse and worse until they are dying for a drink. They WOULD die for a drink. They would die for just the few minutes release from feeling so bad that drink will give them.

Same thing with the heroin addict.

Narcissists must constantly resist falling into the abyss - awareness of what a lowdown thing they are. How? By playing a stupid and irrational mind game: they think they raise themselves out of that gutter by tearing someone else down and walking all over that other person.

Ah, what a high they get! They thump their chest and give a Tarzan yell. That's just Tarzan's way of saying, "Look Ma! Ain't I grand?"

They are sucking that person's lifeblood. They are feeding on it. They are bleeding him or her of self-respect.

That's how they get self-respect, by stealing that which belongs to others. For, what they do is so despicable that, for sheer shame, they'd otherwise have to kill themselves. As one narcissist herself put it to me, she'd be one of those suicides who doesn't even leave a note.

So, they play this game to fight off awareness of what a contemptible thing their conduct has made them. It's what keeps them alive = from killing themselves. It's how they live.

And of course doing this just gives them more shameful conduct to bury that way. It's a vicious cycle.

Now, of course, this neediness of theirs, this parasitic dependence on their host, isn't grand. So this fact of their existence constantly challenges their delusions of grandeur.

That's where being a Projection Machine come in. They ward off awareness of their humiliating neediness by projecting the semblance of it off onto their host.

I know one who blew me away some years ago with "but then maybe because I'm so gosh-darned independent I just don't understand people like that."

My jaw hit the ground. She was 40 years old and had never left the nest. She never paid rent. She made more money than her father but never even bought or paid for her own food and toiletries or cigarettes. Yet in her narcissist eyes, she was so gosh-darned independent. The suckling pig didn't need her parents: in the Land of Pretend, THEY needed HER!

Now is that crackpot thinking? Or is that crackpot thinking?

Therefore, never underestimate the power of a narcissist's upside-down and backwards brain to warp the real world into a work of fiction that twists thinking and perception a full 180 degrees!

In fact, here's one bit of advice I will give: notice these farces. They're hilarious. A sense of humor goes a long way toward healing. It also keeps you from falling under the spell of these crackpots.

I gave another example a few days back in How to Kill Your Sister and Get Away with It.

The narcissistic teacher is desperate for attention. Hard to believe, but true: even being a teacher doesn't fulfill her need for attention.

Yet her ego won't allow her to call her sister for someone to talk to. But though she has tried many baits, she can't sucker the sister into calling her or having anything to do with her (though they live across the street from each other). So the pretext of "helping the needy sister" is the only pretext the narcissist's ego will let her call her sister on. Get it? That way the narcissist doesn't need her sister, the sister needs her.

And so the narcissist must dissemble to hide her need for attention. She must make it seem as though the sister is the needy one, the one who needs someone to talk to. For years, she has tried to sucker her sister into reestablishing a close relationship with her. Presumably, the result would be the same as historically it was: the N never condescends to call her sister, but plays her sister like a fish on the line to call her. Then, she doesn't even let the sister get one sentence out about why she is calling: the narcissist has already launched into a three-hour monologue.

Sound familiar?

So, who's the one who needs someone to talk to. Or "AT", I mean?

Games, games, games. That's all narcissists do is play stupid games like this. Narcissists ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS blame the victim by protray the victim as asking for it and even liking it. They always claim that their victims have a martyr complex.

Clue: the martyr complex is thinking you are underappreciated. Oh, woe is you, because things don't get done, or get done right, if you don't do them. So you do, do, do for everyone all day long. And nobody appreciates how you sacrifice for them. Oh, woe is you.

That's the martyr complex, and it has nothing to do with abuse. Nobody wants abuse. How can sensible people believe such a bizzare assertion? Indeed, they refuse to believe known facts that are far more believable than this absurdity. What? Do people just love to believe the bizarre?

This absurd claim that the victim wants it is most shocking in the case of rape. When are people going to learn to quit playing the fool for him or her every time a narcissist opens their mouth?

Narcissists do everything possible about the material circumstances of the relationship to make YOU seem like the needy one and THEM seem like the independent one.

For example, women, beware any man who tries to get you pregnant before marriage. Or, even immediately after marriage. That's a patented trick of these spiders to ensnare you in a web.

Both men and women, beware of any lover who can't stand your family and friends around. Another patented trick to isolate you. The narcissist picks fights on the sly and then comes running to you whining about how mean your family or friend is to him or her. They come running to you telling you that your mother or father or sister or brother or friend said this or that.

Do you hear a snapping sound? That's your lifelong relationship with that friend or family member breaking. You will never know that the narcissist is lying, because you have taken the bait and will stop communicating directly with that friend or family member. That is housebreaking, my friend, otherwise known as con artistry.

Know it when ANYONE has come between you and others and is cutting off direct communication between you two. No one who does that is ever up to any good.

Before you know it, you are isolated and alone in the world. At that spider's mercy. Because you are dependent on the narcissist alone for all that we get out of human companionship.

That ain't nothing. Human beings need love and appreciation. We need it like we need the air we breathe. But if a narcissist has isolated you from the rest of the human race, so that you depend on the narcissist alone for all these things, you are in trouble, baby.

The narcissist is doing that to cut your ties to other important people in your life. Like a cowboy, or a pedator, he is just cutting his target out of the herd. He wants you dependent on him alone for human companionship.

Then all he need do is toss you a scrap now and then. Otherwise, he can do anything he wants to you, and you won't leave.

Yet another example, again one that usually applies to women. So, he got you pregnant several times already. How gallant that he says to quit your job and that he will take care of you. Don't do it, lady! This is another patented tactic of narcissists and other spousal abusers.

When he has burned all the employment bridges behind you, the honeymoon will be over. You'll feel trapped in the web this spider has woven and feel dependent on him.

But in my experience and judging by what I've learned from others, that feeling of dependence on the narcissist is more perceived than real. It's largely due to projective identification = what the narcissist says and does to make you FEEL like a worthless wretch who NEEDS him.

Yes, of course, if you are dependent on the narcissist's income, you are dependent on the narcissist's income. But does that dependence come close to the absolute dependence of this vampire on you for a daily drink of your blood, which he cannot live without?

To him or her, you are nothing but a rat they keep for this purpose - you know, for a vampire's "transfusion" every so often.

This is similar to the phenomenon known as "the kept" woman." Just as some men pay a lot of money to support a "kept woman" for someone to have sex with, narcissists will spend a lot of money to support a woman kept to abuse.

Any drug addict will pay whatever it costs to maintain a constant supply so he is never without a fix. This doesn't make narcissists not niggardly. In all other matters, they are niggardly to the hilt. But when it comes to spending whatever it takes to keep someone handy to abuse, they show how desperate they are. No price is too high, because they NEED that constant fix.

So don't let these pushers get you hooked on their money, life in the fast lane, or anything else they can try to buy you with. It will make you feel dependent on them.

And don't fall for their efforts to brainwash you into thinking YOU need THEM. It's nothing but projective identification.

You CAN walk away, in almost every case.

I'll never forget the moment I realized this. Here I was, clinging to a narcissistic abuser for dear life. I'll never forget where I was and what had just happened when the little voice in my head said, "You need THAT?"

No I didn't. I immediately went out and bought new door locks.

A few weeks later I began to notice how good I was feeling. I was astounded by the fact that, while I was with the narcissist, I had gotten so used to feeling bad, that I wasn't even aware of feeling bad anymore. But now, when I began to feel good, I realized how bad a case of hookworm anemia makes you feel.

Indeed, when you get rid of a parasite, you are getting rid of a disease.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

OT: A Thaw! A Thaw!

It's about time!

The last I heard, we were in for a new kind of "severe weather" I'd never heard of before. Ready for this? (Drumroll) "Freezing Fog!"

Sounds like the Monster of the Deep or something.

Well, I guess I always knew that fog could form and freeze, but....

And it does. It produces the worst kind of ice, sometimes called "black ice." I'll never forget riding home after a visit to relatives on a Sunday night when my father said that, jeez, the road felt like it was getting slippery. He couldn't believe it, but he kept feeling it - you know, like you're steering the back end instead of the front end...ever so daintily.

So, he pulled over and got out and almost wiped out. He'd have been flat on his back if he hadn't had hold of a door handle to catch himself. It was that slick. We all looked at the coating on the road in disbelief: you couldn't tell it was there. (And here in Wisconsin we get very good at detecting any icyness and knowing exactly where we're likely to find it. But this black ice had us completely fooled.)

But the Freezing Fog was nothing: It was the two ice storms before that did us in.

But it's melting now! Now we're getting Thawing Fog! Yeah! Yeah! Bah, humbug on white Christmases!

At last my back door will be cleared (which would have required a pick-axe till now).

Doesn't take much to make me happy, does it?

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The Dependent Mindset of a Narcissist

Doubtless, in my last post, you noticed the similarity in the attitude of your typical narcissist and the attitude of the dependent people I mentioned in the examples.

Hopefully your politics button wasn't pushed by those examples to make you resist the known truth and...

(a) go deaf to my assertion that these are not bad people REFUSING to lift a finger for themselves and help their neighbor.

(b) fail to see that the people in those examples came from different races, difference socio-economic status, and different cultures.

So, you can't blame it on culture or poverty or anything else you'd like to club your political opponents with: it's just the way people are. Dependency causes it.

The problem is that dependent people become childlike/childish. They view themselves as here to be taken care of. They feel that they have a claim on other people's lives.

Like children do. Unfortunately, this is right and natural in children but not in grownups.

It explains one of the phenomena that people who live with narcissists put up with every day. An example is worth a thousand words.

John comes into the kitchen ten minutes after five and sees that Mary is washing windows. He fools around to get her attention. He horns around, kinda like an annoying hornet.

If he gets really desperate, he might stoop to the humiliating act of asking, "When are we gonna eat?"

"When I get done with this."

He goes and lays down. After about ten minutes, he returns. Horning around again. "What time is it?"

"Look at the clock (stupid)."

This goes on and on. (It used to drive my mother crazy.) He never will admit that God Almighty is hungry and wants something to eat. That would screw up his God-Almighty act! He shouldn't have to ask. Mother Mary is here to take care of him and see to all this infant's needs without him having to utterly degrade his godhead by asking for anything.

Kinda like the Queen of England. I bet she never has to tell anyone that she's hungry and that it's past time for her lunch. Does she?

Same with King John here.

Mamma Mary is here to see to all his needs. I mean that exactly: that's WHAT SHE IS HERE FOR in that child's mind.

So, nothing else should take precedence, even for a moment. She is to attend to him (like the servants wait in attendance on the Queen) to anticipate his every need and fulfill his desires without his ever having to ask for anything.

Indeed! Think how it would degrade the King to have to ASK for anything! Or to fetch something to eat for himself. (See the case of Lee Harvey Oswald in the book.) Oh, horrible! Horrible! Your narcissist just cannot bring himself to do it. He would rather die.

No exaggeration. He would rather die than do anything to screw up up is King act.

I hope the screaming irony isn't lost on you: this is the mindset of children.

Children view themselves as here to be taken care of by others. It's their mindset - that is, a system of assumptions that forms a framework for the mind, limiting the ideas one can get.

That child or that narcissist CANNOT GET THE IDEA to lend a hand and help Mom with the windows. He can't get the idea to go to the refrigerator and find something for himself. He can't get the idea to say, "You are busy. How about if I go out and get some take-home for supper?"

The stupid, stupid, stupid narcissist cannot even GET any of those bright ideas.

Simply because in his world Mamma Mary is there to take care of him. She is to pay constant attention to him so that she can detect the moment he feels hungry. (Whenever Mamma fails to detect that, Baby bawls in anger at her for it.) Since taking care of him is what she exists for, she must drop everything and rush to fix him supper.

And she isn't doing that, so he feels deprived of SOMETHING HE IS OWED. Just like those people in the examples, who believed that they were OWED that vacation in prime-time, that salvation by Uncle Sam, and those handouts from their fellow Americans.

What magic magical thinking can do. One minute you are incurring a debt or being given a gift or privilege. The next minute, your benefactor is the debtor in your eyes. Read more on The Denial of Remorse and Gratitude (by Nancy McWilliams, Ph.D. and Stanley Lependorf, Ph.D.)here.

A sure sign of this mindset is the inappropriate anger when these grandiose expectations are not met. "Waah!" You don't think they're important! "Waah!"

Though you are moving heaven and earth to bring aid to them in an area to which there is no land or sea access and virtually no dry ground for air access...even bringing troops home from a foreign war to help them. "Waah!" You don't CARE about them! Waah!"

Not adult behavior.

Yes, afterward, adults would have plenty of angry things to say about the bad planning and bureaucratic failures, but they wouldn't be caught dead screaming accusations as ridiculous as that.

When people make excuses for malignant narcissists, I don't buy them. This is because you cannot get a malignant narcissist to cut it out. You cannot reason with him. You cannot make him grow up. The harder you try, the more vehemently he flies in your face with his Infant/King (take your pick) act.

So, it is willful, even if in adult narcissists this behavior has become such a habit that they are doing it off-handedly without consciously trying to put you down.

Nonetheless, there is comfort for the victims in knowing that adult narcissists ARE programmed to do this. It isn't always calculated to devalue you. Remember that. It isn't you. They do the same thing to anyone in your position.

They just can't be grownups. That would end the Game of Pretend, and they'd rather die than check out of their fantasy.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Danger of Dependance

This is the first of two posts on dependancy. This first one speaks of it in general terms. The next one will relate it to narcissism and to why we must avoid becoming dependent on a narcissist.

After the First Gulf War, a citizen of Kuwait, who was a friend of one of our teachers, came to speak to the students at our school about his experience. I was bowled over by something he said.

He said that the people of Kuwait had learned a very important lesson. When Saddam Hussein's Iraq attacked, they, as a people, were paralyzed. They offered no resistence whatsoever. Iraq went through Kuwait like a hot knife through butter because in Kuwait it was every man for himself as the Kuwaitis all just fled into hiding and sat there waiting for ... guess who?

Uncle Sam ... to come and save them.

He said that he and his countrymen were ashamed of this, that they should have at least organized some resistence and done whatever was possible to help themselves and each other. But they sat there as if helpless.

Then he explained what was wrong with them. He said it was because they had the mindset of children.

Let's consider that mindset. Try to remember it if you can.

What do children do in an emergency? Imagine that a tornado has just gone through your neighborhood and that your family comes out of the basement onto a scene of destruction. You set your little girl down in a safe place and go off to see if the neighbors are OK. She sees the neighbors' puppy caught under a tree limb and crying in pain. What does she do? Does she think, "I can go over there and try to help that poor puppy or at least pet it till someone strong enough to move the branch comes along."

No. It isn't that she refuses to help that puppy: it's that the thought that she might help it never even crosses her mind. It never occurs to her that she can and should do something to help that puppy herself. She just sits there waiting for some grownup to come along and take care of things. Why? Because she's a child. And that is a child's role.

Therefore, in any disaster, children will sit there, literally picking their noses, and just waiting for some grownup to come along and take care of them. They won't lift a finger to do anything to help themselves, let alone each other. Even though there be things they could well do to make things better.

They just never even THINK of doing anything themselves. They are children. They view themselves as here for OTHERS to take care of.

The man from Kuwait said that the people of Kuwait had become like children. How? Was it because they were lazy and degenerate? No! Was it because they were poor? No! To the contrary, the people of Kuwait were all rich by any standards. They all lived on such a generous monthly handout of oil money from the government that the citizens of Kuwait didn't have to work for a living.

The entire work force of Kuwait was comprised of foreigners. The Kuwaiti people were so well off they didn't even cook their own meals or clean their own homes. They got a monthly allowance from the government to pay others to do everything for them. Foreigners built the roads, ran the oil fields, doctored them, taught in their schools, maintained law and order ... everything.

In other words, the Kuwaiti people were dependent on a nanny state so wealthy the handouts were huge. The people of Kuwait had become so used to being taken care of that they lost the ability to take care of themselves. He said that the Kuwaiti people were determined to change this.

Not that timy Kuwait should have been able to hold off Iraq, but the Kuwaitis should have been able to resist and slow the advance of the invasion to be worthy of aid by lending a hand in their own defense. For their own sakes = the sake of their self-respect.

We saw a similar phenomenon within the City of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. The City of New Orleans is unique in that a huge percentage of its people were dependant on the welfare state. And they behaved differently than people outside the City of New Orleans did.

They had become like children who just sat there wringing their hands at what was going on around them and complaining before the wind had even died down yet that the federal government wasn't there already and taking care of them in the middle of a storm bigger than Great Britain.

You could tell that it never occured to them to do anything about those injured people on that flooding stairway themselves! President Bush was supposed to be there taking of that. It never occured to them that since he wasn't, maybe they should do something about the situation themselves.

This was also about the only example of a disaster in America resulting in a breakdown of law and order (though it was exaggerated by a magnitude of about 15 times in the press). Normally, when a hurricane strikes, the lights go out, or the earth quakes, there is no looting and no increase in the crime rate. In fact the crime rate usually falls. Presumably that's because even the bad guys are busy helping to dig their neighbor out of the rubble. They don't view the disaster as nothing but a chance to get away with something while the cops have their hands full.

Again, that would be the mindset of children: when the teacher leaves the room, they act up, because they have no sense of responsibility.

Outside the City of Orleans, that helpless whining just didn't happen. People showed wonderful resourcefulness and energy and love for their neighbor. They were too busy helping themselves and their neighbor to rag at the TV cameras about why the 101st Airborne Division hadn't parachuted in yet (since that would have been the only way to get federal aid there at the time - though this is not to deny that it did take way too long in the end and was a fiasco).

Again, this isn't because the people in New Orleans were lazy or degenerate: it is because dependancy had robbed them of something. It had left them feeling powerless, as powerless as children.

But they aren't. They have just been killed with kindness.

Here's a third example. A few years ago, 15,000 people died during a heat wave in France, the country that boasts it has the world's greatest healthcare system, which is absolutely free for all. Yet these people died because there were no hospitals open.

They were mostly elderly poor, who seldom have fans or air conditioning. It was during August, when everyone is on vactation, so all the hospitals are closed. When the morgues started filling up, no one in the government, no doctors or nurses - no one - cut short their vacation to return home and deal with the mounting disaster. There was no effort to OPEN THE HOSPITALS! The dead weren't discovered for weeks because neighbors and relatives never thought to check on them and see if they were OK.

That was for someone else to do, you see. That is Mother Government's job. Make sure you're clear on this: it wasn't that these are all mean people who refused to care for their neighbor: it just never occured to them that they should care for their neighbor.

They view the government as here to take care of them, and they view themselves as here to be be taken care OF by the government. Just as children view their parents as here to take care of them and view themselves as here to be taken care OF.

When that's your mindset and you see a ditch that needs digging, you don't grab a shovel. You never even THINK of grabbing a shovel.

The common denominator in all these examples is dependancy. People dependant on handouts (or any form of being taken care of) become like children. This would happen to you or I if we became dependent, too.

I remember a group of Russians speaking at our school just after the Fall of the Soviet Union. One man explained to us how difficult the situation was for the Russian people. He said that only the very old, those who knew what life was like before Communism, knew what to do in the brave new world. They showed resourcefulness and soon were setting up livlihoods for themselves, selling chickens, cabinetry, or whatever else they could think of to earn a few bucks. But the younger were totally hapless.

In their world the governemnt had picked a career for them, educated and trained them for it, found a job for them, and then took care of all their needs for life. When the government was no longer there to do all that, they were left as helpless as orphaned children. (In fact, their progress in such a short time since is amazing! They certainly are fast learners, but it wasn't easy to change that dependent mindset.)

Now this sounds like an indictment of socialism, and I guess it is, but note that an extreme right-wing government makes people just as dependant on it, with the same outcome. Coming from a different angle, Nazi Germany, for example, made the people just as childishly dependent on Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich.

Next time, I will show that narcissists never outgrow the child's mindset. I will also show how dangerous it is to let a narcissist make you dependent on him or her.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Is NPD a character disorder? Or a personality disorder?

Is NPD a character disorder? Or a personality disorder? There is quite a debate going on about this.

It's obviously a character disorder. The law here classifies it as such, and I have explained why. There can be no doubt about this, because narcissists are devious, diabolical, and predatory. They sneak around to do wicked things on the sly and cover their tracks with dissimulation. They take great care to pass for normal, to camouflage themselves.

But is it a mental illness too? People as respectable as Dr. Robert Hare are not sure whether narcissists and psychopaths are truly mentally ill.

And the going "definition" of mental illness as "coming to the attention of a mental healthcare professional" (I love unintended humor!) is so ridiculous that it prevents any definite answer.

Homosexuality used to be classed as a mental illness, but the winds of political correctness shifted and guess what? So so did the belief of academia and the mental healthcare establishment - all in lockstep. Now, cigarette smoking is deemed by them a mental illness. And so is drug or alcohol use.

Those facts disallow attributing any credibility to their judgement. They are just weathervanes.

As long as they refuse to define things properly, this question about NPD and psychopathy will remain in the air.

I don't argue against NPD being called mental illness though. It may not be, but my gut instinct is that adult narcissists really do experience things in such a perverted way that it is no stretch to say that they are mentally ill. For example, they experience your pleading for their affection or comfort as an attack (on their grandiose false image of being above even noticing a bug like you). They experience an attempt to appease them as a stimulus to increase the violence of their attack. This is so bizarre that I lean toward calling it a mental illness.

I do think though that the establishment gets the cart before the horse. They seem to think that the mental illness cause the narcissistic behavior, and I suspect that it is the other way around. If you think and behave the way a narcissist does does from early childhood, never growing up and attaining the Age of Reason, if you have a long, long, long list of unforgivable things you've done and had to twist your mind to rationalize, you WILL warp your mind.

Though I am not a religious person, I do think religion has it right here. Spiritual illness is the after-effect of wrongdoing. (Repressed) shame and guilt are the demon at the door, collecting the toll you will have to pay to turn your life around. That's the old "captivity to sin" concept. Shame and guilt goad you on further and further down that wrong path.

This is because people think they have to do it again tomorrow to prove it wasn't wrong and stupid when they did it yesterday. 'Well, did that prove it? Maybe not. Maybe I should do it again WORSE tomorrow and see what happens.'

And so, like serial killers, they keep pushing the envelope. They get worse and worse, giddy with what they discover they can get away with. If you get on that runaway freight-train ride, you DO become ill, in every sense of the word, including ill-willed.

And if you relentlessly twist your thinking, you WILL warp your mind. The mind needs to be taken care of like the body. If you abuse it to make it believe absurdities, it won't work right.

I suspect that this is what happens to narcissists after they have done unspeakable things at an early age. It's downhill for the rest of their life. Only getting nailed and punished will have any restraining effect on them whatsoever. This, religion's explanation, makes sense whether you interpret it in a secular or religious context.

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The Narcissistic Projection Machine

Narcissists really know only a few tricks. One happens to be projection, and they practice it so much that it becomes second nature. Hence narcissists love to commit character assassination by calling the party they're tearing down (to look better than) the narcissist. Kinda like the French intelligentsia accusing America of being the grandiose one, the narcissist. A joke.

Where is the character assassination coming from? Where is the inflated measure of self importance (grandiosity) coming from? Where is the envy coming from? Where is the grandiosity shamed by needing the other party's help? Where is all the dissing and denigrating coming from? Where is the rage over nothing on a regular basis? Where is the dehumanizing charicature coming from? Who's making all the wild accusations?

That's yer narcissist. Every time. Always a living, breathing Projection Machine. Your first clue? He or she is trashing somebody else.

They just cannot get the difference between true greatness and grandiosity. You can tell them a million times that grandiosity is a gross overestimate of importance and greatness. They always get it exactly backwards and accuse the great one (like the great leader or the great inventor or the great builder or the great nation = America) of being "grandiose". It is too complex an idea for them to comprehend that you are not grandiose because you are important: you are grandiose because you're a piss-ant who thinks they're important.

Never expect narcissists to comprehend that.

And who cares more about their fellow human beings than those who spend their blood and treasure saving them? Those who make a virtue out of looking the other way while dictators mass murder their own people would have us think that sacrificing your blood and treasure for others is the very oppositie of what it is. They characterize it as, of all things, "selfish" and "brutal".

And the punch line is that they characterize their looking the other way as the "humanitarian" behavior. They keep a perfectly straight face while saying this! They call that (of all things) "loving peace."

Enough to make the head spin.

There is just enough room in the skull for the brain to get twisted all the way around backwards and upside down. All you have to do is arrive at your desired conclusion first, and then think backwards to justify it.

People who just think whatever is popular today will swallow it whole without ever noticing how absurd your "reasoning" is.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

The Sacred Right of Self-Defense & Self-Preservation

When you tell someone that it is a sin for them to yell back or hit back or whatever if someone is attacking them, what are you saying?

I wish the holier-than-thou control freaks who like to exert control over others by restraining them at every turn, would put themselves in the victim's shoes just once.

When you tell a victim that this is what God wants, you are telling them that God put them here to take abuse from anyone who dishes it out.

Yes, you are. He put them here, omniscient and knowing this would happen, stands by allowing it to happen, and commanding victims not to lift a hand or raise a voice in anger to defend themselves. So he certainly didn't put them here to take care of themselves. To the contrary, he demands that they just take abuse, so that's what he put them here for.

Not a good way to get them to love your God.

Huh? Would you tell them they must let that bully kick their automobile? Never, right? Because an automobile is a thing of value.

Let the brain-dead think the next thought themselves. I won't state the obvious.

If you tell the wolves that God put sheep here to feed them, they love God. He is the God of the wolves. But the sheep don't like him, because he ain't the God of the sheep.

Just one example of how hypocrites actually give their God a bad name with all their thoughtless babbling about him when they use him as a schtick to control others.

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The Fallacious Assumption that Children Are Mindless

A new comment on an old post: The Fallacious Assumption that Children Are Mindless.

The comment adds to examples of budding narcissists in children. The post shows how the narcissist's behavior is practiced since early childhood and can shock you with the wickedness you detect in that child when you catch Angelface in the act.

For all our show of concern and liking for children, the average adult really looks condescendingly down on them. They are viewed as stupid, not just inexperienced, as though they don't think, as though they aren't smart enough to be diabolical. Wrong.

Remember that three-year-olds invent the Temper Tantrum and expertly manipulate adults every day of the week with temper tantrums. Not so dumb, after all, are they?

But what usually happens when a child is caught doing something wicked or diabolical? People blow it off. They even blow off the torture of animals or bullying at school with the line, "He/she is just a kid."

Which is why he/she gets big without growing up and becomes a monster.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Rewards of Befriending a Narcissist

This is for an overlooked class of victims.

For every spouse abused by a narcissist, there are several children of narcissists abused by them. And, in most situations, the narcissist has had the power to get co-workers fired and/or to destroy careers, so the narcissist also leaves a trail of these victims in his or her truculent wake through life.

And then there are the friends. People who once were friends of the narcissist and all of a sudden one day found their guts hanging out in a narc attack, to be left wondering forever afterwards what they did to make the narcissist so mad that he or she ripped them to shreds and refused to see or have any contact with them anymore.

In the cases I know of, this pattern began in childhood. So, the eviscerated former friends in a narcissist's past form a long line of people he or she has just used up and then savaged before throwing them in a dumpster along the way.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever had a friend who suddenly blew up at you one day and spoke just viciously, tearing you to shreds, to the point of tears, and then refused to see or talk to you again? Still bewildered by it? If so, stop wondering what you did.

This seems to follow a rigid pattern in narcissists. As usual, it's counterintuitive, but once you catch on, you see that it makes perfect sense.

Remember that narcissists do everything FOR EFFECT, not because it's a true expression of their thoughts and feelings. Never forget that it's ALL just an act. Every smile. Every frown. Every word. It's an act designed to manipulate a certain type of response from you (their mirror). For example, they will be a Democrat one minute and a Republican the next if it suits their purpose. Their rages are often just put-ons to intimidate and steer your behavior into the direction they want. It's not real. Yes, they may work themselves up into a fine fury, but it's artificial, so a minute later they've forgotten about it.

You probably just stopped being a source of narcissistic supply. That is, you probably stopped being a mirror that she saw a flattering reflection of herself in when she was blathering at you. How? You probably just started to yawn now and then when she was blathering nonstop at you for hours. It always happens - eventually her friends get tired of it, especially if there is something going on in their own lives that they would like to talk about. They start having better things to do than hang on her every word for one of her three-hour monologues.

I have discovered that this is all it takes. Or, it could be that you have just proposed marriage to her. Oh-oh, you are professing love to her, which calls for reciprocation. Or, maybe you have a terminal illness and need her comfort and affection = need HER to listen to YOU, to hear your fear and pain. In either case, one might as well ask for blood from one's tick. She is gonna take off.

(The only giving she does is at a profit: she is delighted to bring you casseroles and do other material things that she can make an ostentatious display of and make sure everyone knows about ... to carve out that saintly false image of hers. But any giving of herself? Forget it, it ain't gonna happen.)

She is like a bee in search of nectar. You're just a flower - supposed to give, not take. And keep giving in abundance.

When one flower is tapped out and stops supplying it, she just flies off in search of another. She doesn't do this in anger: she simply loses all interest in you, because you are no longer useful to her. Since she has no feelings for anyone whatsoever, you might as well be a screwdriver that broke, so she just gets a new one.

Indeed, you mean nothing to her so why should she have any real feelings of anger toward you? Any anger she feels is nothing more than the anger of a little child at a broken toy. She just gives that toy a whack and forgets it as she goes off to get a new one.

Then why the ugly scene at the end? I have learned that she always says goodbye with one of those nasty stings. She has been doing this to her friends since grade school. She rips into that person the last time she talks to them.

It's just a parting shot. Why? Why not? She is done with you, so she has nothing to gain by being decent to you today - she will never see you again.

In other words, when she's dropping you, she does it because there's no reason not to anymore. This is one of the most difficult facts to face about malignant narcissists: they are predators. They need no reason to attack: they need a reason NOT to attack.

Therefore, when it's the last time they're going to see you, there is no longer a reason not to attack you. There won't be any adverse consequences.

So they attack just because this is a golden opportunity to dump a load of projection and projective identification on someone. It's a golden opportunity to feel powerful by having a powerful effect on someone. They feel great afterwards. They not only relieve their moral constipation by dumping their load on you, they get high off the power rush in trampling you or tearing you to pieces.

And what's to restrain those urges? Any morals? Any conscience?

So, if this has ever happened to you, you probably just had a close encounter with a malignant narcissist. Be glad that you had to serve as her toilet only once in your life.

If a normal person gets mad and breaks up with you, there is a reason. Maybe not a good or just reason, but a reason nonetheless - a reason you should wonder about and want to know. But a narcissist is like a thunderstorm. When a thunderstorm roars through you don't sit there afterward wondering what you did to provoke it, do you?

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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Smear Campaign of the Abuser

Someone posts a question in the comments on this posts The Smear Campaign of the Abuser, asking for advice.

Here's my two-cents' worth:

1. An innocent person acts like an innocent person and denies the slander.

2. BUT the great majority of bystanders, for corrupt reasons, will refuse to stop believing the lies, no matter how perfectly you prove your case.

3. They will, howver, instantly get their nose out of where it doesn't belong the moment they see it is liable to get cut off.

4. The only real help you can expect is from outsiders. They have nothing invested in your slander and are not afraid of the narcissist doing the same thing to them.

I'm sure others have much to add at

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Bully Teachers

Speaking of teachers, here is something all students and parents should know.

Narcissistic teachers (and weak teachers) use something I call "scapegoat discipline." Believe it or not, they actually target a kid in each section at the beginning of the year. This kid is the selected class scapegoat. Whenever the teacher isn't getting what he or she wants, they start yelling at the scapegoat for something.

The reason is simple: Only one kid gets abused, so the others and their parents don't care.

But all kids are intimidated by the show. In other words, the teacher abuses one kid to control the others. Simply by making an example of the scapegoat.

This is nothing rare. Every schoolyard bully does the same thing. Every brutal dictator does too. The Jews served Hitler in this capacity for example, just as the Christians served Nero.

The abuse of the scapegoat escalates to shocking levels, just the most vicious looks and snarling and contempt you ever saw - way over the top. Truly, anyone who witnesses it should think Teacher belongs in a padded cell, but incredibly these smooth talkers get away with it, year after year.

Of course the kids hate these blow ups. But who do they blame for them? Not the teacher. They are afraid of the bully teacher, so they suck up to him or her. They have nothing but admiring praise for him or her. They blame the scapegoat for always doing something to set the bully off.

So now the scapegoat is a pariah, on top of it all. Anyone who blows that off is devoid of empathy. Kids kill themselves over stuff like that. It ain't no minor matter. And every adult who knows of it is morally obligated to protect any child from it.

It ain't good for your unabused child either. It sucks him into the ganging-up on the scapegoat, which he will have to project his shame for. It teaches him to blame the victim and suck up to bullies. So ALL parents should be concerned when they discover this happening to ANYONE in one of their child's classes.

The gradebook can be evidence in some cases. For, at least in one case I know of, the bully teacher would actually mark the scapegoat on the seating chart the first or second day so she could remember whom to target.

The target seems selected on basis of vulnerability in the cases I know of. He could be a kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe she's a wallflower. Maybe he has been in trouble with the school before. Maybe a kid with no father and drunk for a mother. Whatever.

Weak teachers who use scapegoat discipline always impressed me as slipping into it rather than plotting it. They don't act so terrorizingly crazy when they get mad either. They are just trying to blame their incompetence on having a section "stacked" with "bad kids," so that the constant uproar coming from their door ain't their fault.

They will often target two or three kids in a section (instead of one) to take all the blame. Scapegoat discipline just passes the blame though, it doesn't establish discipline, because the weak teacher can just scream. She can't terrorize anyone. So, the gross unfairness just provokes more disrespect of her than it deters.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

How to kill your sister and get away with it

Here is another example of how narcissists operate. The sheer amount of roundabout trouble the narcissist goes to and the amount of time she must have spent plotting this thing will probably amaze you. But if you had only one thing on your mind 100% of the time, you'd probably be this way too.

A narcissistic woman has always abused her older sister. They are both in their fifties now, but up until a few years ago, the abuse included physical beatings. That stopped when the sister finally fought back, bodily throwing the narcissist out the back door and kicking her (so that she whirled to get it in the ass) when the N tried to come back in.

Now the narcissist looks for sneakier ways. Recently, she heard that her sister has pneumonia and promply started having a jerk (let's call him Craig) with a pickup truck and a snowplow on it come over to plow her sister's driveway every time a few snowflakes fall.

In giving him instructions, the narcissist, who is a teacher and therefore quite able to speak coherently when she wants to, jabbered in a confusing manner about how it would probably be impossible for him not to block the gate with the snow he heaped up. It might enable her sister's dog to climb up a pile and out over the little wire fence, so he should pile it at the gate, not along the fence beyond where the snow belonged. And she also went on and on about how this driveway "was the worst in the world to plow," so that nobody would get mad at him for it.

Cunning, eh? Whatever a narcissist is up to, they dress it up as the very opposite. In this case, she was dressing up abuse as "help."

As I've said previously: that ain't mental illness. That is just plain diabolical. So, it's about time some folks woke up and smelled the coffee about narcissists.

This true story has an interesting twist though. Craig, our plowman, is just as mean as the narcissist (and may be one himself). He has a record, a bad attitude toward women, and has been thrown out by his second wife. He liked the idea. He could tell that the narcissist hated her sister and was paying him to stick it to her.

He also took the narcissist for a fool, because she just saw him plowing the neighbor's driveway one day and hired him without even asking his name. He accepts payment only in cash. He had her permission to come and get $10 "whenever it snows." So he came and spent about 30 seconds plowing the driveway for his $10 whenever as little as half an inched dusted the ground.

No narcissist, however, can bear to admit when she is being taken to the cleaners like this. Her imagination preferred to see him as "looking just like Kris Kringle."

But the ironies in this little exploit are rife. For, what was in Craig's head? He takes money from one person to do that on another person's property? He believes what a person doing a dastardly thing like that is telling him? So, he was a fool too.

Assuming they would never talk to each other, the narcissist told everyone involved, including the neighbor, lies about the others. For example, she told her sister that the plowman was "retarded" and "poor" and that she (Mother Theresa) "takes on people like that." (Organ music plays.) Thus she does the poor wretch a favor, you see. Likewise, in talking to him about her sister, she was doing the poor wretch a favor.

But she had never even talked to her sister about doing her this favor. The sister came out one day and saw that a mere two inches of snow (not nearly enough to need a plow for and stupid to use a plow on, because a plow just makes more of a mess than if you just left the snow lay) had been swept up and piled four feet high blocking her gate. Snow was also piled up right behind the garage door, so that she probably would have gotten stuck if she tried to back her car out.

About that time, her loving narcissistic sister called, wanting some humble thanks for this surprise "help." The unhelped sister asked her to contact that guy and make him stop blocking her in.

To her shock, the narcissist refused. She said it was impossible for him not to block her gate. Then there was that stuff about the "worst driveway in the world" and about the dog. Basically, the story sounds as though whatever flak entered the narcissist's head flew out her mouth.

As was her habit, she tried to drown out what her sister was saying like she had learned to back when they were three and four years old – by just yelling her sister down with a nonstop blast from her foghorn. It was a whirlwind of projection and irrationality in which she even accused her sister of saying things two seconds ago that she hadn't said. In other words, the narcissist was composing fiction on the fly just to be impossible to reason with.

At that, the sister stopped trying to reason with the narcissist, because she had been through the Argument Clinic before. She just told the narcissist to quit handing her that crap.

Now the sister was angry with her too, not just with the jackass with the plow who thought it funny to do this to a 55-year-old woman with a bad heart and pneumonia living alone.

The narcissist tried to force her sister to put up with it. That was just tough. That was the way it had to be, or "You're on your own" she threatened her sister.

If that sounds weird, that's because it is. The sister had never asked for such "help" and never even knew it was coming. She has it tight financially, but she isn't in the poor house … except in the narcissist's imagination. For example, the narcissist was stunned to learn that her sister had gone to a doctor and didn't need to go to a free clinic, because she has health insurance. Only a narcissist would ASSUME that someone they NEED to look down on is that down and out.

In other words, narcissists LIVE in a work of fiction. I think this narcissist just stubbornly rejects any facts that conflict with her fiction. I have asked whether she had any "imaginary friends" as a child. She didn't, but she is sure acting now like a child who imagines that people and things are different that they are. I am conviced that, like a little child, she wants to dramatize and spice them up, to liven up her dead little world. She is like a child who will imagine a whole person that doesn't exist and insist that you set a place for this imaginary friend at the table. This narcissist's fictions about people always make their characters sound like the two-dimensional cartoon characters in a novel – you know, the unimportant sidekicks who are spiced up with some oddity that makes them stand out.

So, in the narc's fecund imagination, her sister is too poor to get by without her help. Obviously, she therefore imagined that she had her sister over a barrel and trapped in a situation where she would have to put up with this and then beg the narcissist to clear the pile of snow ( = let her out of her house) so she could get to her car.

Powerplay. If you live with a narcissist, you have been there: you get this kind of shit from them all the time. Like spiders, they go to an incredible amount of plotting and trouble to weave a web to trap you so that you have to just take whatever they dish out because they have something you need that they can withhold from you. Their majesties are grand but never grand enough to hit on anyone able to hit back.

The narcissist, of course, was too busy on Tuesday to free her trapped sister till Saturday.

Get the picture? The sister with the bad heart and pneumonia is to go out there and kill herself by trying to dig herself out. Then the narc, who stole her inheritance, gets to have the sister's copyrights as well.

The very next day, less than half an inch fell, and Craig was back. In less than a minute he had swept all the snow up to make the heap blocking the gate even higher.

There is good news in this anecdote though. Again, it is one of the few I know of with a happy ending.

The narcissistic teacher is desperate for attention. Hard to believe, but true: even being a teacher doesn't fulfill her need for attention.

Yet her ego won't allow her to call her sister for someone to talk to. But though she has tried many baits, she can't sucker the sister into calling her or having anything to do with her (though they live across the street from each other). So the pretext of "helping the needy sister" is the only pretext the narcissist's ego will let her call her sister on. Get it? That way the narcissist doesn't need her sister, the sister needs her.

This desperation, as doubtless you see, has made her go too far this time. If she had any sense, she would have acted innocent by agreeing to make Craig do it right or stop coming. But she senselessly hung herself instead.

She was going to make this ploy work whether it would work or not.

This happens with sibling abuse, because the narcissist has abused that brother or sister with impunity for a lifetime. The narcissist just cannot face facts when their best punching bag isn't easy prey anymore. They are used to getting away with ANYTHING against that brother or sister. They are used to no limits in how far they may go with that brother or sister. They are used to making the most bizarre and outrageous demands, used to getting away with the most flagrant irrationality. They forget that in the real world that doesn't fly.

In this case you can see that Craig the plowman was trespassing and the narcissist was paying him to. She steadfastly refused to correct him. When she threatened to make him stop plowing, the sister said, "Good." When the sister asked for the neighbor's unlisted phone number so that she could call that neighbor and get his name, the narcissist refused to even give her that information so that the sister could take care of the matter herself.

In short, the narcissist hung herself. The sister just called the police, and that was that. And then everyone – the plowman, the sister, and the neighbor - got to compare notes on what the narcissist had said to them about the others.

How stupid can a person get? It is only because a narcissist is fixated 100% on aggrandizing her image at someone else's expense that she did such a stupid, stupid thing. She must never have stopped to think long enough to see that she was hanging herself.

This too is common. Narcissists are so preoccupied with their image that nothing else even enters their heads. For example, in making a business decision, it's all about their image. Result? Bad business decision. Stupid, stupid business decision. And notice how easily this con artist narcissist was conned by the plowman. Typical of narcissists. Again because their preoccupation with fantasy blinds them to glaringest warning signs.

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What Provokes a Narc Attack

It wasn't till I went no-contact with a narcissist for months that I realized a narcissist is like a disease. Here I was, feeling better. I had been so used to feeling badly that I didn't even realize I was feeling badly anymore. A few months without any interaction with a narcissist and - poof - I'm a new woman!

That's a tough thing to say but true. It's because of what narcissists use you for.

And that's the bottom line: they don't relate to you: THEY USE YOU.

Like any parasite uses its host. Life with with a tick or tapeworm is unwholesome too. Life with bacterial or protozoan parasites is unwholesome. Parasites feed on you and that makes you sick.

There is no cure but to get rid of them.

Otherwise it's like trying to live with hookworm. Drop by drop the constant bloodletting WILL increasingly weaken and sicken you. You are not indestructable. You will eventually die of it.

The narcissists I have known (and quite a few that I have heard about as well) all seemed to instantly perk up like a predator the moment someone was trapped in a situation where they would have to take whatever abuse the narcissist dished out. The moment they sense that, look out. Mr. Hyde comes out.

Over the next few weeks I'll give some anecdotal examples. Here's the first one.

An old narcissist ran a stop light at the end of the block he lived in and hit another car. The driver was unhurt, and like any sensible person, his first concern was to see whether the driver who had hit him was hurt and needed help. On seeing that the other driver, too, was unhurt, most people's anger at some idiot running the middle of a red light and hitting them broadside would start to show. But this driver, presumably on seeing that the idiot was an old man, actually seemed to feel sorry for him. He was very polite and forgiving about it, probably fearing that the State of Wisconsin would take away the old guy's driving license.

Now of course when you have an accident, you must render aid, you must call the police, and you may not leave the scene. In other words, you're trapped. You must just stand there waiting for the police and take whatever abuse this old narcissist dishes out.

That was enough to turn old Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. The old narcissist blew up and dished out the crass abuse he normally dished out only to people trapped with him behind closed doors. But here he was, in public, in broad daylight, raging at a stranger on the street. The stuff he said was just wild and normally would get any man's block knocked off by the man he was talking like that to.

But, since the offender is old, you must bend over for it. You don't dare even yell back at him or give him a shove to get him to back off out of your face. Because he's old and people are idiots, YOU will be the evil one if you do anything to make him stop spitting and raging two inches off the tip of your nose. Because society gives old people a license to abuse anyone younger.

The laws of common decency don't apply to the aged, and old narcissists capitalize on their license to abuse at every opportunity.

People coming to that intersection didn't see the accident. All they see and hear is the old guy yelling as though HE is the offended party and making it sound as though the other guy was at fault.

This little story is one of the few I know of with a happy ending though. The police officer wasn't fooled. He drove up behind the old guy and saw and overheard. When the old guy turned around and saw the cop – presto chango! – suddenly the Bogey Man Monster was gone and in his place stood a meek and mild poor old man who wouldn't hurt a fly. You know, the old mask switch.

In one split second. A face change so instantaneous that no normal person could pull it off. How intimidating and contemptuous this old narcissist made himself seem to someone he could abuse with impunity, and how sweet and charming he made himself seem to a cop.

Maybe if you have never seen this transfiguration, and if you don't think about what it means, you don't know what it means. But if you have ever seen a narcissist do this, you know what it means. You have felt what it means punch you in the gut. It means that you are dealing with a devil.

You got a glimpse of Old Two Face with his mask off. But there he is now one second later. Beelzebub mocking you from behind that "Poor-little-old-me-wouldn't-hurt-a-fly" mask he now has on.

As I remarked in a comment yesterday, that ain't mental disease: that is just plain diabolical.

And what "provoked" this narc attack? Did the narcissist feel threatened in any way? Was he slighted in any way? He should have been grateful that the other driver was so kind and forgiving, but instead he took this as a sign of weakness and attacked.

It's about time the professionals started making observations instead of divinations. If they do, they will find that what "provokes" a narc attack is nothing but vulnerability.

As in any PREDATOR.

And you can't get stupider than to refuse to believe that some people ARE predators. They attack you to eat you, not because you have provoked them in any way. They target easy prey, not people who offend or threaten them in any way.

The deadheads who can't wrap their minds around this fact should just read the daily newspaper, duh. Don't tell me that people who attack total strangers, like serial killers, rapists and child molesters, are retaliating aganst any perceived threat or offense. Don't tell me that they are poor and NEED what they are stealing to survive. Don't tell me that ANYONE who abuses a CHILD does, or is retaliating against any perceived threat or offense. And show me a malignant narcissist, and I will show you someone who never misses a chance to hit on a child. Just look at the kind of things they do to THEIR OWN CHILDREN. Some folks need to wake up and smell the coffee about malignant narcissists.

One must be willfully blind to unknow that camouflaged predators do live among us.

And of course the narc later makes excuses, saying he was just retaliating against some perceived offense. Narcs are pathological liars, duh, and everyone knows it. So, what kind of fool believes them when they say this without evidence to back it up?

What's more, they lie to themselves as much as they lie to others, so they probably repress knowledge of what they're doing, twisting things to rationalize their unprovoked attacks on others. Only in moments of unwanted self-awareness do they know better. But they instantly repress such knowledge the moment it surfaces.

They don't do what they do for reasons. They do it just to do it. Whenever they think they can get away with it, that is.

You will never be cured of contact with them if you don't face this unpleasant fact about them. They don't love you. They don't love anyone. They can't.

Lamb, you are as lovable as can be, but the Wolf doesn't love you. He doesn't dare let himself love you, or he'd starve. Correction: he does love you – for lunch.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

The Perfect Revenge

In case you haven't frequented "What Makes Narcissists Tick" long enough to notice the difference, I should mention that when I started, I wasn't serious about the book. (Not like I was about my other books.) It was just an easy-on-the-eyes version of the Website, especially for people on dial-up connections. I almost felt guilty about charging money for it.

But over time, I have gotten better. Comforting others has comforted me and made me neither selfless anymore nor selfish. And I find it the perfect revenge to get something positive out of contact with the narcissists in my life.

I could almost thank them for this income stream.

(But I won't ;-)

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Examples of narcissistic behavior

Examples of narcissistic behavior best reveal what is going on in your relationship with a narcissist. I see them as having value in primarily two ways.

First, many people look up "narcissism" on the Web because they have heard something about it that makes them wonder if it explains the peculiar behavior of a certain person in their life. Examples can answer that question for them. Not always, but when an example resonates with their own experience, they see it objectively from the perspective of a disinterested party and view it fairly, lighting up and thinking, "Yeah! Yeah, this guy I know does the same weird thing to me and others every chance he gets!"

Examples are nice and safe, because we view them from a distance as something that a narcissist did to someone else. Then we can dare to see the stupid mind game being played, to see that it is narcissism-in-action and nothing any normal person would even think of doing. Hence an example is worth ten thousand words, because it dispells any doubt that the jerk you know is indeed a narcissist trying to put down others by playing the same stupid game – always a variation of the Teeter-Totter Game.

Examples help others in another way. They know for sure that they are dealing with a malignant narcissist but think they shouldn't be bothered by what the narcissist does. They automatically blame themselves for their feelings as though feelings are character flaws instead of simple, emotional sensations stimulated by the subliminal suggestion in the way you are being treated.

This is as though the narcissist is punching you once or twice a day, and your reaction is to think nothing except that there is something wrong with you feeling the pain. Crazy but true. This is the way the victim is trained to react.

Result? Your reaction to narcissistic abuse facilitates it! Your reaction is to do nothing but try to improve your character to get rid of this flaw (of sensitivity) in it by getting rid of that sensitivity, getting rid of those feelings.

First, you can't. You can only bury them in the subconscious to delude yourself and have those subconscious feelings manipulate you like a puppet master. And, second, I'm sorry, but that is narcissistic.

That's the way narcissists think: they think that feelings are weakness, beneath a grand being like them. They make sure they feel none. (The ONLY time they acknowledge and explore feelings is when devising some way to really hurt feelings = the empathy of the sadist, who achieves mental cruelty to others by imagining how various things he might do would make him feel if they were done to him.)

But when reading the examples of what a narcissist does to someone else, it is safe to empathise with the victim. In other words, by considering examples, you are safe from the slander of being regarded as a bad person for feeling anger and other feelings. So, pondering examples (instead of their own mistreatment) often helps the victim to see why the narcissist's put-downs bother him, why they make him feel the way they make him feel.

I know that, in my own experience, getting in touch with my feelings was the turning point. I started to explore my feelings, asking myself just exactly how this stuff was making me feel. I mean that I dug deep until I could put my finger on exactly HOW a thing made me feel. Did it make me feel violated in some way? Did it make me feel like two cents waiting for change? And so on. And then I zeroed in on why what the narc did made me feel that way.

Guess what? I discovered that all my feelings were perfectly natural and that I was just being normal and human for feeling that way. I also saw that the narcissist was deliberately working to make me feel that way.

Needless to say, that changed everything. I was no longer easy prey.

Examples can help you see your way to such a self examination of the depths of your soul. They can therefore help you out of the cycle of abuse. Some cherished myths may have to fall by the wayside, but if you have the moral courage to know what you know, you won't mind ditching the load.

I have given up on examples helping in a third way – helping the professionals who study and treat this disease to get a better handle on it. They think the victims have nothing to tell them.

But that is narcissistic too. Breathtakingly arrogant. As if credibility is a PhD. As if the book-learning of some diviner divining in a white paper for sale is superior evidence to the first-hand experience of one who can tell you what narcissists actually say and do behind closed doors.

I myself am constantly amazed at the common denominators that ring through in the examples commenters on this blog give. Rarely do you come across one that could be made up. To the contrary, almost always you know that nobody would make up such a story, that a made-up story would be different, that this is what a real narcissist has done to them. And it is always a stunning revelation of what must be going on in that narcissist's twisted mind.

Never the same as what would be going on in a normal person's mind.

Of course clinicians cannot interview the victims of the narcissists they are treating. But that doesn't mean that they, and researchers, shouldn't be gathering all the anecdotal evidence they can harvest from the victims of narcissists in general. Until they get down off that high horse and start listening to someone besides the pathological liar on their couch, they will continue to blow it with narcissists and psychopaths.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Forgiving the One Who Deserves Forgiveness

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you have.

The same things can damage it that damage your other human relations. The deal-breaker is BETRAYAL.

Have you ever felt betrayed? If so, then you know that it is the blackest feeling a human being can have. It is devastating. It is what makes people want to just turn their face to the wall and die.

Because it shows you what you and your suffering mean (are worth) to your betrayer = nothing.

Betrayal severs any human relationship. It puts the betrayed through Hell.

Just think what this means in terms of your relationship with yourself. If you betray yourself to abuse, that betrayal severs your relationship with yourself.

How can this be? Easily. We are composite beings. We are a combination of true inner self and ego. The ego views us as others do. It's that little voice in the head that takes the viewpoint of bystanders and berates you IN THE SECOND PERSON, by saying such things as, "Why can't you hit a stupid backhand in? You are pathetic! Here you are, choking again in a big match!"

That's you (if you're a tennis player having a bad tennis day) talking to you. But why aren't you saying, "Why can't I hit a stupid backhand in? I am pathetic! Here I am, choking again in a big match!"

Answer: You address yourself as "you" instead of "I" to distance yourself from yourself. Because you don't like yourself at the moment and are disowning yourself, relating to yourself as though talking to a different person.

See what's happening to your relationship with yourself? You're not on your side, are you?

This happens to everyone, and it should serve as a strong warning of how easily our composite personality can breakdown, split.

Don't go there. Never, never, never betray yourself to bad treatment. You sin against yourself when you do, and the act WILL destroy your relationship with yourself.

Unfortunately, if you are the victim of a narcissist, it is safe to say that you have already done so.

THIS is what threatens the victim's mental health. You have allowed yourself to be abused. You see that for what it is - bending over for it, laying down for it. No matter how blessed people say that is, you know it's not. You know it is abject. You are profoundly ashamed of doing that.

You hate yourself for it, no matter how hard you work to repress awareness of that to live in denial of it. So, you have committed an offense against yourself (your human dignity). You can never be friends with yourself until you make peace with yourself.

Repair that relationship with yourself. The fruit of forgiveness is reconciliation (ask any theologian).

1. Admit that you have allowed the narcissist to abuse you.

2. Admit that it was wrong to do so, though be fair with yourself and consider the reasons why you were driven to do so.

3. Be sorry that you betrayed yourself to abuse.

4. Make whatever amends are possible and appropriate.

5. Most important - repent = promise to never betray yourself again.

You may recognize those as the 5 formal steps of repentance. They make you forgivable. They allow reconciliation to take place.

Indeed, how can you be reconciled with any offender who doesn't at least stop offending and give you some assurance that he won't keep right on doing it? It is absurd to to think that you can.

And just because it's 3AM and he is sound asleep, unable to offend at the moment, doesn't mean that a state of war doesn't presently exist bewteen you. What he did yesterday counts. What he has always done and never promised to stop doing COUNTS.

"Forgive and forget" is a line penned in Hell, not Heaven.

It is absurd to think you can have any but a hostile relationship with someone offending you in any way, especially when they have refused to stop it.

Hey, if the offender stops doing it, you can be friends again. But ONLY if he stops doing it. You don't have to be friendly to people attacking you or stealing from you in any way. It's called the human right to self-preservation, self-defense. It's a Law of Nature. The very idea that you should like and be nice to someone doing things hostile to you is bizarre and absurd.

To the contrary: You stay away from people like that. You build walls between yourself and people like that. You answer their attacks to make their attacks cost them dearly, so as to deter future aggression that you might live in peace instead of under constant attack by them. This is just common sense.

And it holds just as true in your relationship with yourself as in your relationship with others. Simply say, "I betrayed myself to abuse in the past, but I will never do so again, so I am no longer a doormat to be ashamed of."

Be on your side.

Take those 5 steps to repair your relationship with yourself - especially the last one in which you establish a firm purpose of amendment to never betray yourself to abuse again.

Now you are forgivable. So, forgive yourself. Embrace yourself.

YOU are the one who deserves and needs your forgiveness. And chances are that you are the only one who deserves and wants it.

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