Monday, March 31, 2008

Everyone's Deepest fear

A narcissist I knew found herself taking a Basic Studies course, Speech 101, during her sixth year of college (when her mother finally forced her to graduate).

She told me that the other students (freshmen and sophomores) were naive. That they took things for granted and — well, it sounded like she was saying they thought life a piece of cake. Kinda like the American Dream: if you do your best, do things right, and play by the rules, you will succeed and live happily ever after.

So, for her first speech, she thought to wise them up by showing them that they shouldn't be so carefree. In that speech she told them that they should take nothing for granted, that no matter who you are, you can have "it all taken away." Just like that. Overnight. Your job, career, your friends and family — everything.

And through no fault of your own. No matter how good a person you are. No matter how well you do what you do.

I naturally thought she was referring to the possibility of some great catastrophe, such as war, destroying lives.

But she glossed over that and zeroed-in on what she called "everyone's deepest fear," character assassination. She said that, behind your back, anyone could spread lies about you that would completely destroy you. By doing this, that person could take away everything you had. He or she could make you a social outcast, taking even your loved ones away from you. The devastating power of the lie could put you on Skid Row, where you would end up at the bottom as a rag-picker or a bag-lady. And there was nothing you could do about it.

For, you might as well be one, because, by treating you like one, they're perceptions were relentlessly making you one.

Deep down inside, she said, everyone knows this, and that it is "everyone's deepest fear."

I had to admit that she was right. I didn't yet know that she has NPD, but now I see that she was wising me up (= worrying me) too, by telling me this.

Even those who believe in God don't claim that he enforces his rules to maintain law and order. He allows destroyers to destroy to their hearts' content. Only in the next world is supposed to get around to punishing violations of his rules (though by then it's too late, so I don't see what for ;-)

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Poor Narcissist Feels Threatened

Let's take a look at this line that narcissists aren't really bad, that they lash out at you because they feel "threatened."

This idea begs the question "Threatened in what way?" and "Threatened by what?"

If you're the victim of a narcissist, you know that this "threatened" excuse is a farce, because the narcissist attacks precisely when you are anti-threatening him or her. Like when you are trying please them, when you are saying you love them, when they are already mad at you and you are trying to appease them, when you try to get them to listen to you.

WHAM – you expect the normal reaction to these friendly behaviors, but what do you get instead? The PERVERTED reaction of an attack. It's a shock tactic that takes you aback and makes you have to pinch yourself.

What on earth have you done to "threaten" the poor narcissist?

Let's look at the last example – trying to get her to listen to you.

By doing that, you ARE "threatening" her, I'm afraid. Yes.

Correction: No, you are not threatening her; you are threatening the imaginary her, the bogus "her." You're threatening her delusions of grandeur.

ANY honesty or reality does. Remember that she is a mental child playing Pretend, and she wants all her playmates to play along. That means you are supposed to follow her script. You are supposed to act unworthy of her attention or regard. When you don't play that part, she stomps her little foot at you and gets mad, throwing a temper tantrum to be so obnoxious that you give in and do what she wants.

In her self-deluding game of Let's Play Pretend, she is so far superior to you that you are beneath her notice, at the relative level of some worm or bug with respect to her. Something divine her should look down her nose in contempt at.

And, you had better act the part or she will go off at you. But here you are, acting like she owes you her attention. In other words, you're acting like God Almighty's equal.

Oh, how horrible an insult to God Almighty!!! Shame on you! You - a mere bug, a mere worm - are "threatening" her majesty by treating her as your equal! Quit "threatening" her delusions of divinity, you mean and naughty person.

The same is true for the example of telling her you love her, for in a profession of love is an implicit call for love in return. Oh, what a horrible attack on her godhead with respect to a mere bug, a mere worm like you! You are treating her as your equal. What an insult!

So, don't let the addle-headed know-it-alls confuse you. You are not threatening the poor narcissist. The narcissist is just a pervert = someone who perverts the course of logic to pervert reality. Hence, she pervertedly views love or affection or any call for engagement from her as its very opposite = a "threat."

Her Perverted Thinking Machine is not your fault or your problem. It's her fault and her problem. She is not really threatened by you acting like her equal.

In other words, she isn't fighting back against any injury or threat: she is just an aggressor targeting vulnerable prey. That is, she's abusing you to feed her ego.

To blame you for what she does to you, by saying that that you are thus "threatening" her, is as crazy as it would be to blame a lamb for "threatening" a wolf by running away when the hungry wolf feels a need to eat said lamb.

But the so-called experts cannot seem to get it through their thick heads that there is a fundamental difference between fighting others and eating them – between fighting and predation. Though they Play Pretend that they are the only ones qualified to express an opinion on the matter, they are actually the least knowledgable and qualified, because they know nothing but what they have read in speculative essays by others just as ignorant and whatever lines narcissists on their couches have fed these collective speculators. Both individually and collectively they have almost no experience with real narcissists, let alone any real-world experience with them. And they haven't even solicited information from victims of narcissists. So, how could they possibly know what they are talking about?

Trust your own observations. Reason from facts to conclusions, not backwards, and you will learn what you need to know.

All animals occasionally fight others (including others of their own species) when those others cross boundaries to threaten their interests in some way. You can tell when this is the motive, because the moment the aggressor backs off the fighting stops, and everybody's cool again.

Why? Because when you feel threatened, your motive is to repulse the threat = self-defense. Once you have accomplished that mission, you are done.

But when your motive is to destroy the other, the other party backing down or trying to appease you has the opposite effect. Then it's a sign of weakness that just emboldens the attacker to pour on the attack more furiously than ever.

That's why when an animal attacks to eat another, it doesn't stop till it has ripped that other to shreds. That's what human predators (like psychopaths and other narcissists) do to their prey, as well.

The only way to avoid "threatening" these perverts is to just get and stay far away from them.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Sometimes I think that the worst torture one could devise for these freaks would be to lock them in a room all alone for about three days. After about an hour, they would probably have their socks on their hands like puppets, just to have someone to lie to.

Anonymous @ 6:44

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Obduracy of Malignant Narcissism

Narcissistic personality disorder is aptly characterized as a "disorder of the self." That's because the narcissist can't stand his or her self. But instead of reforming the true self, narcissists cheat. They just project a false image of their self.

And the first person they tell this lie to is themselves. It's just a stupid mental game (of self-delusion) that anyone could play. They believe the false image in the mirror; they IDENTIFY with it.

The mental problem this twisted thinking creates is twofold:

A. When you deny your true self's very existence, it doesn't matter how depraved you let it become. That doesn't count = you are totally amoral. No conscience.

B. Since your false image is just a phantom, there is no limit to how grandiose you can make it with nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Result of both A and B? You'll stoop to anything to make others look bad in order to make your false self look grandiose by comparison.

And what about the guilt and shame you incur in the process? You must project it off onto a scapegoat, preferably the very victim. Now your perversity is perfect.

And then there's even more guilt and shame to smear off on someone else.

See what's happening? Every smear just produces more to smear.

This is why malignant narcissism is a runaway freight-train ride from childhood on, a vicious cycle of bad behavior that soon passes a point of no return - when you do something so evil that you'll never be able to get real and face your true self in a mirror.

The things you do to trample others ("glorify" yourself) this way are abhorrent. People would abhor you if they knew. Indeed, you would abhor yourself if you faced facts about what you have become.

So, don't expect an adult narcissist to change. It ain't gonna happen.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pathologizing and Treating the Victim Instead of the Narcissist

When confronted with the facts about the mental healthcare industry, many people are justifiably skeptical, asking, "Now why would they do that?"

That's a fair question, because the answer isn't obvious. This post will explain what is going on.

Let's say that you are a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other clinical therapist. While you're hanging out your shingle, you're thinking, "I wonder how many psychopaths and other malignant narcissists there are in this community."

Let's say that your best guess is about 10.

The trouble with them is that treating them is a PITA. They make you angry with their constant put-downs and game-playing. You get nowhere with them. And you must work hard to work with them at all. There is no drug you can just prescribe and say, "Come back and see me next month." So, the drug companies lose interest in you if you treat these patients. Your clinic isn't happy, either.

The only time narcissists are candidates for drugs is when in a very rare life crisis, which depresses them and often makes them lose control of a drug or alcohol habit. But that doesn't last long. They find a new host to parasitize and are problems anymore.

Hmmm. Not much reward in treating them, is there? In fact, it IS a fact, that most mental healthcare professionals will not treat psychopaths and other narcissists. They just say that nothing can be done for them.

But wait - look. Every narcissist has a trail of victims in his or her wake. Psychologically injured victims. The pupils of your eyeballs turn into dollar signs $$.

If the narcissist has risen to a position of administrative power, these victims might number in the dozens (sometimes many dozens) of people who have have been calumniated, fired, blackballed, and made permanently unemployable - having lost their families and all their friends as a result. Even the narcissist who is but a laborer has 10 or so family members, close friends, co-workers, and neighbors trampled and writhing in agony in his wake.

For your 10 narcissists then, the victim list is 100-200 people! More lucrative math, eh?

And these are people who are already down. They have been browbeat mercilessly with the brainwashing that they are defective. In other words, they are at least half-convinced that they are mentally ill already, and all you must do is reinforce that notion. That's easy, if you make-believe it yourself.

Just act like their savaged FEELINGS are a mental illness. Act like they are crazy if they don't lay down for it and act like it never happened. You guys can make anything - ANYTHING - sound like a mental illness.

The narcissist refuses to believe that he's sick and refuses to cooperate, but these people trust you and can easily be persuaded that something is wrong with them (so long as you say it with a sympathetic look on your face) and will conscientiously cooperate to improve themselves by going along with whatever you say. Indeed, if nothing else, they'll experience a placebo effect.

They need someone to listen, someone to think they aren't so bad, and they think you're IT. They will cling to you, so long as you put on what they most need - a sympathetic face.

These people are, of course, oppressed and therefore depressed, so you can prescribe drugs to your heart's content. Narcissists put up with treatment only for a short time - until they find a new host to parasitize, but the victims of narcissists can be kept in your appointment book for life if you play your hand right.

Enter "codependency disorder." A way for mental healthcare professionals to capitalize on the harm a narcissist does. Exploiting the victims.

Because it is much easier and more profitable to blame and pathologize the victim in the name of "treatment" than it is to do anything about the victimizer.

Follow the Money

Health insurance companies pay for physical healthcare. They began doing so in the 20th century, after medicine began to strictly adhere to science and to scientific standards for establishing the existence of a disease and the safety and effectiveness of standardized treatments for it. You can imagine what would happen if the insurance companies had to pay for the wares of snake-oil salesmen and treatments of quacks.

But that is exactly what they would be doing if forced to pay for mental healthcare. The DSM has more than tripled the "official" list of mental illnesses, from 107 in DSM-I to 365 in DSM-IV. That makes 365 billable diagnoses by any clinician who can find something in the DSM to label you with. My favorite is the personality disorder next to the check box named "other," a very popular diagnosis.

One must have been born yesterday not to see right through this racket.

Not one "mental illness" has an established etiology (cause) or has been proven to exist. The rest of medicine cannot charge you money for treating such hypothetical conditions and diseases with hypothetical treatments. So why should the mental healthcare industry be able to get away with that?

For example, homosexuality used to be on the list of mental illnesses but was removed when that idea became politically incorrect. The reverse happened with cigarette smoking, which now is officially a mental illness that you can charge for treatment of.

Nor have the vast majority of treatments and drugs been proved either safe or effective. In fact, even paranormal "illnesses" and treatments pass for legitimate mental health care!

In other words, unlike other branches of medicine, mental health is still plagued by snake oil salesmen and quacks.

The bottom line is the bottom line: See the book, Making Us All Crazy, by Herb Kutchins. The DSM applies the language of mental illness to everyday behavior, transforming ordinary reactions to life's vicissitudes into BILLABLE pathology.

In Congress, the same faction that constantly speaks of the "evil" drug companies is being lobbied by them (in league with clinical academia and the APA) to force health insurance companies to pay for mental healthcare. The hypocrites. In bed with the same entity they call evil in any other context.

Can you imagine what that would do to health insurance premiums? In fact, one large reason for the sky-high premiums now is the fact that more and more mental healthcare is being covered under some private plans. Like the colleges, the more money the clinicians and drug companies suck, the higher they mercilessly jack their prices to suck whatever price the market will bear.

So, long as people can't get the bright idea to control COSTS, and are under the spell of the screamers who say the answer to take ever more money from the rich to pay for the rest of us - so long as this stupidity reigns, it perpetuates the skyrocketing vicious cycle that threatens to take down the nation's economy within the next 20 years.

The mental health clinicians, clinical mental health professors, and the big deals in the APA laugh at the real scientists and researchers among them, just like MDs laughed at Louis Pasteur when he proved that germs exist and cause disease, trying to get them to wash their hands before surgery. They scoffed, because they just knew better, you see: they were (say the word in a breathy tone) doctors.

And so, today, this branch of medicine needs a housecleaning from top to bottom (one that establishes it firmly on the foundation of real science) rather like the rest of medicine underwent in the last century.

There you have it - why the mental healthcare industry does what it is doing and lacks credibility. This chicanery undermines the entire industry, even those clinicians who are not just mediocre parrots and really are delivering helpful counseling.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Rat Game

In a psychological experiment, you can take a bunch of lab rats, put them in a cage, and equip it with a button that delivers a treat when they push it.

You know what happens: soon those rats will learn to push it like crazy.

Then alter the button so it sometimes delivers a painful electric shock instead of a treat. Those rats still keep pushing it.

Then alter the button some more, so that it often delivers a painful electric shock instead of a treat. Those rats still keep pushing it.

Fix it so that pushing the button almost always delivers a painful shock. Ditto.

Fix it so pushing the button always delivers a painful shock. Ditto.

Long after pushing the button never delivers a treat, those rats keep pushing that button until it kills them.

Now rats certainly don't seek pain, so what's the matter with these crazy rats?

But they aren't crazy (at least not till near the end). Or codependent ;-) They are just normal rats in a perverted world that has gone upside-down on them. In that abnormal world, their normal behavior betrays them to the opposite of what they're after.

That's because pushing the button delivered pleasure at first. If it had delivered pain at first, they'd stay away from it forever after, no matter how frequently you later set the button to deliver a treat. Even if they then accidentally discover that it sometimes delivers a treat, they will never intentionally touch it.

This is because nature hasn't equipped their brain's hard wiring (basic instincts) to accommodate such a situation. Therefore, once rats have LEARNED to associate something with pleasure, that's it. It seems desirable forever after. Since such flip-flopping perversity never occurs in the natural world, their brains aren't equipped to deal with it. Only perverted people change things so that a source of pleasure becomes a source of pain.

People react to the Rat Game the same way rats do.

Your first two weeks in a new place of work. The resident narcissist comes up to you, and though he ranks no higher than you, he gives you a job evaluation without ever having seen your work. He tells you that you have a lot on the ball.

That's your treat. Instead of asking him who he thinks he is to be judging your job performance, you are flattered and want more of what he's selling.

You'll get nothing but treats like that for awhile, and then suddenly one day you'll get a painful shock instead. When you greet him, he will give you nothing but the stink-eye and look away, refusing to speak to you.

After your shock wears off, you will suffer wondering what terrible thing he thinks you did. You will try to make him give you treats again.

But he will always be unpredictable. He will be able to get mad at ANYTHING or to praise you for ANYTHING. It's totally arbitrary, because he can make anything good sound bad and vice versa. He can judge you as "too this" or "too that" at his whim.

But you will keep pushing that button till it kills you.

A therapist taught a woman I used to know about this, because her husband abused her with it.

It's a very common game. One narcissist told me that "the best part is that you never even get to know what you did" that made him mad.

That's because it wasn't anything you did that made him mad. His anger, like all the faces he puts on, is just a pumped-up put-on to draw the reaction from you that he wants.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Does Codependency Therapy Help or Hurt?

It seems to me that the adult children of narcissists who learn of NPD and then go through the natural process of dealing with this stunning revelation fare better than those who get involved in codependency therapy.

You are at first enormously relieved, because your instincts were right and the brainwashing was wrong: it wasn't your fault, and you weren't the defective one. But then come the memories and the pain and all the emotions they generate. You go through them. You gain much understanding.


Yes, you do learn who loves ya and that you must look out for yourself first in life. But you just lost your naivete, that's all. You (correctly) view your abuse as the narcissist exploiting your love and goodwill, which are virtues - not as him or her exploiting what the preachers of codependency regard as a FLAW in you - your vulnerability. (Which is exactly the view the narcissist takes. Hmm.)

If that parent is still alive and plaguing your life, you stop enabling by making changes to distance yourself as much as possible.

Then, six months, a year, or two later, you're beyond it. Because those emotions are spent, and you have put that parent too far away from you to hurt you anymore.

The people who handle it naturally like this have no problem talking about it, either. They will give you frank, straight answers about that parent.

But just listen and compare their voices to the adult children of narcissists in support groups that preach codependency therapy. The latter still seem enslaved to the idea that there is something wrong with them, that they need much improvement and have been struggling at it, some for many years.

They go against nature on everything, as though what a person is naturally inclined to do is always dangerous or something.

So, for example, instead of feeling their feelings, they repress them. Because in that religion, being made to feel bad or angry is a sin: you're supposed to have one emotion = happy, happy, happy. No matter what is done to you - happy, like good people are. (Which is again the view the narcissist takes.)

Years later they are still fighting to conquer those repressed feelings, which they consider a character flaw in themselves. Any little thing that happens calls those painful feelings to consciousness, so that they must be stifled and repressed again.

Again, for example, instead of contemplating their memories in the light of what they now know, and having a good cry, they eschew thinking or talking about it. They think it's a sin to think or talk about what happened to them, so they repress memory too, because just talking about the childhood abuse or that parent is "failing to take responsibility" for your life in that religion.

You must take responsibility for the hurt done to you. Narcissistic abuse hurt you only because you are weak and let it hurt you. You must pump up your self-esteem (which is telling the victim to do exactly what a narcissist does) and just "blow off" abuse and all other unhappy things so that you stop being guilty of ever feeling any negative emotion about anything.

In other words, you must act like it didn't happen. Which is exactly what the narcissist tries to make you do.

Consequently, the adult children of narcissists under codepency therapy act like war veterans who come home and never talk about the harrowing experience. But, unlike war veterans, they won't even talk about it with other war veterans.

And these people constantly have to puff up their self-esteem because every little thing still deflates it. Which is no wonder, because they believe they are flawed for having their feelings.

How is this "casting off victimhood"? It looks to me more like re-vicimization. Is this codependecy therapy not picking up right where the narcissistic parent left off?

Add it up. It sounds like therapists took this therapy for the VICTIM right from mouths of the NARCISSISTS on their couch! For, this is exactly the line the narcissist hands a therapist about his or her blame them.

And notice the wholly negative nature of this "positive" therapy: Rule 1: Don't feel what you feel. Rule 2: Don't remember your past. Bossy, bossy, bossy.

Where is the proof that this therapy is effective? Nowhere. Why? If it really works, why don't the practitioners show us the proof? They offer nothing but the kind of unreliable testimonials you can find posted on a website that sells tablecloths or some other merchandise.

Since codependency therapy is so involved with 12-step programs, here is a well-kept secret about 12-step programs: A scientific review of comparative studies of various 12-step programs show that they are no more effective than any other kind of treatment for alcoholism.

But here's the kicker: no studies have been done to establish whether most of these other treatments are effective at all. That's indefensible. Why are there no such studies? Are the AA and APA afraid of what the results would be?

The existing SCIENTIFIC research allows us to say nothing more than Dr. Edward V. Nunes, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia notes - that certain elements of A.A. are known to be effective:

Some of the wisdom embodied in A.A., such as the notion of persons, places and things that trigger drinking, are very much a part of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is a scientifically driven, empirically validated treatment.

Therefore, the other treatment methods and the rest of the 12-step program may be ineffective for all we know. We do know that at least 1 in 5 alcoholics achieves long-term sobriety on their own, with no treatment at all. Do any of these treatments beat that benchmark?

The NYT tries to downplay the facts by suggesting credibility in the whining that this reveiw refused to accept the pseudoscience usually put forth as "proof" of the 12-step program's validity. In other words, they whine that no junk science "data" was allowed in this scientific review. Specifically, they complained that this scientific reveiew cited only randomized, carefully controlled studies = real science.

Get it? Very funny. Can't the NYT tell a joke when they quote it?

The people who let that stinker have NO CREDIBILITY whatsoever, and the NYT shouldn't lend them the semblance of any. You do nothing but misinform by "balancing" the known truth with a known lie. The NYT is irresponsible for even quoting that crap. The defenders of the 12-step program should have been warned that if they couldn't come up with something credible and legitimate to say, they wouldn't be quoted at all.

Otherwise, from now on the NYT must quote a flat-earther every time to "balance" any source quoted as implying that the earth is a sphere.

And I'm not being facetious. I'd be surprised if there were no legitimate criticism one could make of this scientific review. So, its opponents don't have to try to legitimize the illegitimate...unless that's exactly what their goal is.

They're just trying to discredit real science and pass off their pseudoscience as superior - with nothing but fast-talk to people who don't know enough about science to see how absurd they're being.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Responsibility" Wrap: Narcissist Hurts You to Make YOU Guilty of the Sin of Feeling the Pain

Remember when you were a child and you used to say that "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"?

Even little children instinctively know enough to hide their pain when someone has hurt their feelings. This instinct is good, even when the enemy isn't really an enemy - just a friendly opponent in a tennis match. Don't let the emotional effect on you of bad things show. It encourages the adversary.

But keeping them to yourself doesn't get rid of those feelings, does it?

Children, however, live in very different minds than normal adults do. Like Alice and Peter Pan, they don't distinguish between fantasy and realty, preferring fantasy, where they learn the (delusory) power of magical thinking. In some cases this pretending goes so far as to imagine into existence an imaginary friend, expecting Mom to set a place for her at the dinner table.

So, children have no problem getting rid of unwanted feelings. They just pretend them away. They just pretend their feelings aren't hurt.

They aren't really altering those feelings though. They're just repressing awareness of them to the subconscious and pretending to have other, good, feelings instead.

You can tell, because their behavior is such as proceeds from bad feelings, the repressed ones, not the feelings they pretend to have. In other words, those repressed feelings are still there and having their normal motivational effect on the thinking that controls conduct.

Unfortunately, however, the child is unaware of those buried feelings and therefore unaware of why she's doing what she's doing.

When feelings are repressed, it takes a good deal of of introspection to get in touch with those feelings again, so that you know why you're doing whatever you're doing.

I'll never forget this little exchange between Sister Mary Peter and a budding sixth-grade narcissist who had done something vicious that was totally inexplicable and whose mother was there and totally snookered by the conning brat. Seeing that the mother was willfully obtuse, Sister Peter got blunt...

Sister Mary Peter: Why did you do it?

Narc: I don't know.

Sister Mary Peter: Do you know what we do with people who don't know why they do things?

Yes, people who don't know why they do things are seriously mentally ill. And when you bury your natural feelings, that is what you are doing to yourself. You will soon NOT know why you are doing things.

But narcissists aren't the only people who refuse to grow up and quit clinging to the cherished myth that they can make unhappy feelings go away and make them into happy ones instead. Many people cling to this belief that "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" because I am strong and I have high self-esteem, when really all I have is a habit of lying to myself.

One thing I remember about the Bible is how virtually anything can be "uncircumcised." Like your heart. Your eyes. Your ears.

In fact, according to the Bible, things that are circumcised can suddenly get uncircumcised. Kinda calloused-over with some crusty shield.

So, I had a hard time figuring out exactly what this figure of speech means. But, like a dog with a bone, I kept at it till I got it.

Nothing uncircumcises a head faster than stating the simple, self-evident truth that we cannot control our feelings, that feelings are not conduct and therefore cannot be right or wrong.

Just state that plain truth to many people and you can almost see it happening: that person's forehead suddenly gets thick as a brick. Reason bounces off it like missiles bounce off an Abrams tank

Uncircumcised Head

They act like they didn't even hear what you said. They just come back with, "But" and a reply that assumes you can control your feelings and that certain ones are sins.

How's that for being blockheaded? They can't even give you an answer - just nothing but this complete dodge all the time.

Which is absurd. Feelings are sensations, emotional sensations. You cannot alter sensations (except with hallucinatory drugs and hypnosis). If you get burnt, you should feel burned. If you don't, something is wrong with you. If the narcissist punches you in the face, he is responsible for your pain, not you. If he forces you to your knees and shoves your face into garbage he threw all over the floor, he is the one responsible for your anger, not you.

To think otherwise is incredibly stupid. The cause of a sensation is the stimulus that produces it, not the mind of the person who experiences it.

The worst thing about repressing unwanted feelings is that burying them locks them inside. They never go away then! Just as normal physical pain motivates action and then passes, normal feelings motivate action and then pass whether action has been taken or not.

But denied pain paralyzes and then just festers in the subconscious, motivating negative behavior (usually passive-aggressive behavior) like an unseen puppet master. And not just against the abuser - but rather against any available target, people who had nothing to do with the person who abused you. Hence we see many people subconsciously getting even with a parent by mistreating their spouse decades later.

That's crazy.

So, the very premise that codependency therapy rests on is invalid. Manifestly invalid. Of course people swear by it, though. But that doesn't mean that codependence "therapy" works. It just means that they think they have made their bad feelings go away. But they have merely brainwashed themselves and were conned into doing so. Sooner or later the price for doing that will have to be paid.

The pain of narcissistic abuse is sheer torture. I have no doubt that it drives many mentally healthy people all the way to suicide. And often without the narcissist even laying a hand on the victim. It's THAT bad when you're bludgeoned with it day after day after day.

But in my own experience, I found relief when I stopped trying to fight those feelings off. When I asked myself why I was angry, sad, outraged about this or that. When I accepted my feelings as having a valid cause and owning them. I could see that my feelings were a natural human reaction to what had been done to me. I no longer felt like a pressure cooker about to explode. I could bear it. And it got better - just a little better - every single day.

Feelings are nothing to fear. Felt feelings motivate behavior, but they don't rule it. And felt feelings never killed anyone.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

2nd Banality of Sounding Smart Award

This deserves another Banality of Sounding Smart Award.

First, the facts:

The Guardian, Wednesday March 21 2007: A "sadistic" foster mother was found guilty yesterday of subjecting three children in her care to a horrifying catalogue of physical and mental abuse over 20 years.

Eunice Spry, 62, beat the children with sticks and metal bars, scrubbed their skin with sandpaper and forced them to eat lard, bleach, vomit and even their own faeces.

Now, I don't know about you, but I find that conduct evil and that woman evil (unless she is insane rather than psychopathic). Hold the applause, please. It takes no rocket scientist to see that ;-)

But if you want to sound smart, like an intellectual, you must pull this stunt (See the 9:09 anonymous comment). Like David Wilson, professor of criminology at the University of Central England in Birmingham and author of Serial Killers: Hunting Britons and Their Victims, 1960-2006:

The Guardian, March 21, 2007: We are all child-haters

Sadistic foster mother Eunice Spry is no different to the rest of us - she reflects a culture that despises young people. ...Children in this country are routinely battered, raped, abused and all-too-regularly murdered. ...Yet, in the same way that Spry's case seems to be being reported to exonerate the rest of us, so too these simple, awful criminological realities get hidden in notions of "stranger danger" (surely the worst ever aphorism in our public policy), and predatory paedophiles stalking playgrounds waiting to abduct our children. And whilst this does - very occasionally - happen, we consistently choose to ignore the all-too-banal source of the overwhelming reality of child battery, abuse and murder - parents.

Hear that echo? It's the old "banality of evil" buzzword being used to make both evil and the evildoer not evil...just banal = trivial and commonplace, like us the unwashed masses.

This banal intellectual closes thus:

Eunice Spry is no different to the rest of us - she merely reflects a culture which has increasingly become, at best, intolerant of young people and at worst child-hating.

Via Normblog in No different from hot air in which he responds to Wilson's "fatuous" statement:

I assume that the academic discipline David Wilson professes in contains intellectual resources which would have enabled him to make his point about parental violence against children without the absurd overstatement and the slur on all those who love and cherish their children.

This nonsense is part of the poisoned fruit of the condependency tree. The monstrous theory has been stretched into the widespread belief among the "experts" that child abuse is banal because nearly all parents abuse their children, making virtually everyone codependent, which is the cause of any negative emotions we experience in adulthood.

Otherwise, we'd blithlely never feel a slight or offense, you see. Nothing would make us feel sad or angry. So, whatver some jerk just said to you isn't what makes you angry today: it's your mother several times having been too busy to read you a story when you were four.

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Update on Codependence

A additional note on the previous post.

Do check out the links at the end. One thing they show is that codependence theory started out sensibly as the realization among the family members of alcoholics that their behavior "enabled" the alcoholic.

We all likewise see how our behavior enabled our abusers until we caught on.

The problem with this idea came with pseudoscience. You get a bunch of theorizers sitting in their ivory towers, speculating (hypothesizing) to come up with something new and different to say on the subject. Why? For attention, of course. Publication. Getting "known" as an "authority" on the subject.

Which places a premium on saying something attention-grabbing.

But they do no research. This so-called "scientific literature" is highly theoretical and speculative = basically just essays on the subject. Essays - not experiments and valid statistical data.

At best they refer to "clinical studies." (See what's wrong with that here. And the drug companies love clinical studies! You can get virtually any drug approved with them.) But mostly their idea of "scientific research" is to quote the mere speculative essays of others doing the same thing!

Where, pray tell, is the "scientific research" in that? Quoting the mere theorizing of others is supplying no valid EVIDENCE. That ain't scientific research, because it ain't scientific data. Unfortunately, most people don't realize this. They wrongly consider these sources reliable JUST BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN FOOTNOTES, even when those footnotes refer to no valid "evidence." Smoke and mirrors.

This burlesque plus the eternal desire to blame the victim have bastardized an originally sound idea and made a monster of it, as every new voice that comes along tries to stretch illogic to an even greater extreme than his or her predecessors did. Pop psychology at its greedy worst.

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Nonsense Check on Codependence

The preachers of codependence say that you are to blame for how the narcissist's abuse makes you feel. They say that no one can make you feel anything. That if you feel bad about abuse, it's your fault. Specifically, you lack self-esteem. Shame on you. That makes you a victim. And it's bad to be a victim.

If that isn't blaming the victim, I don't know what is.

I ran across this example on the web: It starts off in the title saying that no one can make you feel anything, though the writer admits it's hard to achieve this mental armor.

Lets say someone comes up to you and says you are a liar. Inside you know you always tell the truth, you are confident in that and don't feel threatened by the accusations of this other person because you know youself, you know how you treat people and you don't care what others believe about you, you let your actions speak for you. The idea is if your self esteem is HIGH enough, and you are not dependant on the opinions of others, then you would be able to blow this off and feel secure in the knowledge that you are not a liar. The power then, that this other person seems to have over you is lost because you know the truth and you have faith in yourself/ your higher power.

It's hard to know where to begin disentangling this mess.

Presumably, the third sentence contradicts the second because the writer got the cart ahead of the horse and meant to say that 'only if your self-esteem is high will you be able to know that you are not a liar, etc.' Which is absurd. Your self-esteem can be in the pits, and you'll still know that you're not a liar.

This literary spaghetti confuses mere insecurity with being brain-dead, so brain-dead that if someone tells you that you are 3 feet tall, you believe them.

And what follows doesn't follow: "You know you always tell the truth, so you are confident and don't feel threatened by the accusation, and you don't care what others believe about you." There are two – count 'em, two – absurdities in that sentence.

First, being honest makes you feel unthreatened by the accusation that you are a liar? That's absurd. Being honest does not make you immune to damage by being called a liar. If you are a liar, THEN you suffer no real damage by being called a liar, because then you are just getting the reputation you deserve. That's justice. No foul. But when you're honest, that false accusation can make your whole past life go up in smoke. That's damage. The threat is real, and if you don't feel it, you are off ga-ga land.

Second, because you know you're honest, you don't care what others believe about you? That's a non sequitur. And anyone who says they don't care what others think about them is either deluded or lying.

Now for the self-esteem thing. First, self-esteem itself is but a feeling. It's your emotional response to how you treat yourself. People who force you to knuckle under to abuse beat it down, because they have made you stoop.

So, this guy is saying that if you pump up one feeling enough (your self-esteem) you won't ever be made to feel other (bad) feelings? That's another non sequitur.

That's two gigantic leaps of illogic.

Your self-esteem, among other things, will figure into your emotional response to this false accusation or any other kind of abuse. But the main factors will be whether the accusation is true and who the accuser is.

For example, have you ever incurred the wrath of a tempestuous little child? She stamps her foot at what you're saying and yells, "You're a liar!" You are not going to be bothered by that, are you? In fact, you'll be amused and have to try to hide your amusement so as not to rub it in. Why? Because you don't feel threatened by the accusation of a child.

But if your boss calls you a liar, that's a whole different thing. You are threatened by that, just by virtue of who he or she is. And you can't make his power over you go away by just pumping up your self-esteem.

So, the circumstances and the accuser have much more to do with your feelings than your self-esteem does. If you need fear that this accusation is going to be spread all over town, you are off in ga-ga land if it doesn't evoke a very strong negative emotion in you.

And any sensible, thinking person knows all this, so where is this half-baked doctrine coming from?

What's more, if it is a FALSE accusation, you will be all the more angry. Correction, you will be outraged, because your sense of shame and your sense of justice are being outraged. Yes, your sense of shame, because (contrary to this sloppy thinking) shame isn't guilt: shame is something others put on you. It wounds the innocent far more deeply than the guilty. Indeed, the most damaged are the most innocent.

Note that this preacher of codependcy even says that you don't counter the false accusation. You just let your actions do the talking. In other words, you act like the offense didn't happen.

If that isn't aspiring to victimhood, I don't know what is.

I'm a firm believer in the victim rising from the dust as soon as possible and thundering with both fists in the air.

What's so horrible about admitting that other people's treatment of you can make you experience negative feelings as well as positive ones? Is that too scary, or what? Isn't it narcissistic to be in denial of that fact? Why do people need to feel in control of their feelings? And notice how it all comes down to power in the end. Why do people feel the need to be more powerful than their abuser? That too is exactly how the scared-of-his-own-shadow narcissist thinks.

He NEEDS to control others because he is terrified of a world in which he isn't more powerful. He NEEDS to feel in control of his feelings because he is a big baby who can't take them. He too regards feelings as weakness, so he represses them. Deludes himself about them. He too pumps up his self-esteem. Or, he thinks he does. He just pretends he has high self-esteem and represses awareness of his low self-esteem.

I don't think the cure for narcissistic abuse is to become like the narcissist who abused you.

Some feelings are pleasant, and some are unpleasant. Some, like anger and sorrow are emotional pain. Of course we don't like feeling them. At least if we are normal we don't. But does that mean they are intolerable? That they should be feared?

I know that fear is the first thing to go when you "descend into Hell and rise again."

Owned and acknowledged, feelings are not harmful, just painful. And they pass if you don't keep them buried in your subsconscious. In fact, those unpleasant emotions are good for you in a way. They MOTIVATE you to do something about the theft or abuse. Without those feelings we'd all be pathetic wimps.

Numb ones betraying ourselves by going around and acting as though it didn't happen.

For how far codependence theory has run amok, see:
Codependence and Is It Wrong to Be a Victim?

UPDATE: Note that those who "believe in codependency" always talk as though a person's feelings automate his or her conduct. But this obviously isn't true. At a very early age, we learn to stop being impulsive. That's a character trait of childhood that normal people leave behind. We learn to keep the rational mind in control of our behavior, even when angry. So, what is wrong with these people? Have they failed to learn this? Are they still so childish that their own behavior is driven by their emotions? Listen to them. They talk as though they have no idea that a human being has any self-control. They equate feeling angry with losing your temper and acting out to do something bad.

Their unnatural solution is to numb their natural feelings instead of to just grow up and practice self-control of their words and deeds.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Doing Justice to the Normal Children of Narcissists

As I mentioned before, I am the child of a malignant narcissist. Now, can I have a sister of nearly the same age who is a malignant narcissist? Of course. But how could that ever happen if conventional wisdom is correct?

Indeed, if having a parent with NPD causes NPD, how can there be so many normal children of narcissists?

I think it's about time us normal children of narcissists demand our due. I say to all the narcissist-excusers, DO US JUSTICE or feel our wrath. Get your niggardly mits off the credit due me for turning out the way I did.

Yes, you are robbing me of the credit I deserve when you excuse the child who becomes a narcissist, by saying he or she had no choice, that he or she is just a machine whose buttons were pushed by an abusive father. When you say that, you say that I am just a different kind of machine, and I won't ignore the insult in that.

Was I too stupid to learn from the same bad example in our home? No. One of my earliest memories is of realizing my considerable size advantage and using it to suddenly push my younger sister down whenever no one was looking. Pushing her DOWN with respect to me felt oh so good. (The Teeter-Totter Game.) I would do it, see her tears, and just laugh. I really got off on it at the age of three or four. Just like Daddy got off on putting people DOWN with respect to him and then laughing at them. Big people could do that to littler people.

That is typical bullying behavior that you see on school playgrounds during the first years of elementary school.

All my sister could do was tattle. And without a twinge of conscience, I just lied, denying I had done the deed. It was so easy. Like why should I be a complete idiot and confess when Mom asked me whether the accusation was true?

Then one day, my life completely changed. This is one of my earliest and most vivid memories. I think I was four. This time Mom didn't believe me. She looked very sad and gave me the old "The-angels-cry-when-little-girls-lie" treatment.

My first thought was to laugh that off too. I could have thought, "Woops, well that won't work anymore. Next time, I'll be smarter. I'll push her down and then come running to Mom saying that she pushed me down."

But I didn't. It was one of those simple, quiet but earth-shaking decisions that one makes in a moment. Instead of laughing it off and remaining in denial, I allowed myself to see what I had done for what it was. That was the life-changing moment. For, the moment I let myself know the NATURE of what I'd done, I was deeply ashamed.

In other words, I just let myself get real. I faced what I had done. Peter Pan grew up and came out of Never Never Land (fantasy) into the Age of Reason (reality).

How ashamed was I? I was so ashamed that I not only never did that again, I became unusually gentle, kind, and empathic – to a fault even. I was a blooming altruist. And I never told another lie until I was sixteen years old.

Because my life reached a fork in the road at that point, and I chose the right one. I was tempted to go the other way, but I didn't. I never looked up to my father again.

And, though like everyone I stumbled now and then, I stayed on that right road - that WAY OF LIFE - choice by choice in the course of making me. I did that of my own free will. And I deserve the credit due me for that. And so do all the normal children of narcissists.

We all were abused and had the bad example set for us. We all saw how to exploit others for self-aggrandizement. We all were tempted to live that way. But we chose not to, and we deserve credit for that.

So, again I say, temptation is no excuse, because human beings are not machines.

If NPD were genetically caused, that would be easy to prove. Just survey ALL the children of narcissists for several generations. You would soon see the proof of inheritance in fixed ratios that echo the laws of probability, and you would soon be able to isolate the offending gene or genes.

So, why is no such research underway? Why do we get nothing but ruminations of pure hypothesizers passing off pseudoscience as science?

And the assumption that differences in brain chemical level or development is a cause rather than a effect of NPD is just plain absurd. Not only is that illogical, but since we know that mental habits CAN cause such measurable differences, the probability is that these differences are a result, not a cause, of NPD.

The very worst thing you can do for a narcissist is to give him an excuse. Talk about "codependence" and "enabling" - by the mental-health professionals themselves. Sheesh.

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"Understanding" the Evildoer

Anna Valerious at Narcissists Suck in Angry with a Narcissist? Read On..."

You don't have read much of Sam Vaknin's fanciful ideas of what creates a narcissist to see how he relieves himself of responsibility for what he is by his explanations. Mother, society, genetics, abuse, neglect. Never is Sam Vaknin ultimately to blame for choosing to be a parasitic life form. Because he feels he can explain how he, the narcissist, came to be...he doesn't have to believe he is evil. To explain the etiology of evil will, inevitably, explain it away. Who exactly is helped by explaining away evil? Do we actually make evil go away by saying it doesn't exist? Do we change evil doers by not calling them evil? No, we only succeed in making it easier for evil doers to continue their life of crime.

Yes, the narcissist wants us to "understand" him. And those who take off on excursions into "understanding" evil (e.g., even with blatantly psychotic acts of mass murdering people for being the wrong kind, through Islamist jihad) inevitably end up excusing it, sympathising with it, and blaming the victim. Valerious says this is the underlying (and inappropriate) purpose of trying to "understand" this mystery of how people become evil. The next thing you know, they find the evildoing "understandable." (Just words, words, words. What's the difference if you mix them up a little?) That lessens it. Makes it less spooky.

The psychology establishment is a prime example of how explanations for evil have been used to do away with the entire concept that evil even exists. Pretending they have the ability to find a root cause for the problems of people's souls, they have been willing to rationalize even the most base behaviors of humanity into simple, even justifiable, reactions to their circumstances. They must paste the corruption somewhere -- so they lay it on society at large in order to give a pass to the individual in the mis-guided belief that the individual's sense of shame somehow explains why he acts out. This helps no one but the evil doer. Society then has to suffer the predation of evil individuals even while bearing the blame for the evil deeds perpetrated upon it. Society is you and me. Are you really willing to bear this kind of responsibility for the acts of another over which you have no power to stop or persuade from his evil course? I'm not.

Nor I. This crap that society is the evil one is more of the typical banality of sounding smart. They just completely reverse the obvious truth to end up with the the attacker (the narcissist) as the "victim" and his prey (us) as to blame for whatever he does to us.

Master that trick and you can pass yourself off as an intellectual at any cocktail party in San Francisco or Manhattan.

Don't fall for what passes for "truth" by the prescribers of false righteousness. They want peace at all costs. They are willing to overlook the crimes of abusers in order to keep things looking good on the surface. They want you to screw yourself by pretending someone didn't injure you, steal from you, slander you, etc. They demand you submit to bad treatment so they don't have to deal with anything as messy as your hurt or angry feelings at having been crapped on and screwed yet again. See what I'm saying? These people who condemn your negative feelings are demanding you put up with being raped. They are demanding your silence. In fact, in a real sense, they are piling on with the narcissist. They don't want to be inconvenienced by your justifiable reactions to evil deeds done to you or yours. Do not give moral weight to the opinions of someone who is only studying their own convenience and therefore willing to subvert justice in the name of a false peace or truce with evil.

Give up your quest to find peace at the cost of honesty. Be honest with yourself about what you feel. Attempts to lessen the guilt of the guilty is an illegitimate way to cope with your negative reactions to them. Accept the truth that a decent person should be angry and outraged at perverted and evil behaviors.

Read the rest.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Narcissists and Conflict

One simple but easy-to-forget thing about narcissists is that, unlike normal people, they don't mind conflict. They enjoy it.

Conflict makes normal people uncomfortable. We try to minimize it in our dealings with others. Oddly, we love it in fiction (Conflict is the gunpowder of fiction, and it's near relative - controversy - is the gunpowder of journalism. Maintaining constant conflict is the secret to storytelling success). But note that this is "safe" conflict. In real life we hate what we love to see characters go through in fiction.

Narcissists have a whole different attitude toward conflict. They use it strategically to manipulate. They seek conflict. They become impossible people, flying into conflict with you over anything you think, say, do, feel, or wear. As if THEY have the right to determine what you say, think, do, feel, or wear.

This isn't just arrogance. It's a game in which you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, because they are being deliberately impossible to please.

When this is the motive, what happens when you try to defuse conflict, when you try to appease? The narcissist sees that as a sign of weakness, as sign of backing down. It just makes him bolder. This is no testing run at you anymore: now he is serious about running you over. He sees your "weakness" as REASON to come on stronger = to get madder and even more impossible. It's how he's controlling you.

In other words, trying to smooth it over, trying to appease the narcissist just backfires, making him more aggressive, not less aggressive.

So, don't do it.

This is just one of many examples of how normal human behavior backfires in Wonderland, simply because of a narcissist's alien mentality.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Malignant Narcissism and Evil

There's much ink wasted on the subject of whether narcissists are evil.

Well, yes, obviously they are. But they don't fit our traditional concept of the evil.

In our traditional concept, the evil one is evil because he loves evil and wants to be evil. He does evil for its own sake, just to do evil.

Narcissists aren't like that. They do evil for the same reason an alcoholic takes a drink - because it makes them feel good. It keeps a pain repressed.

Indeed, does an alcoholic like whiskey? No! He has a love-hate relationship with it. He knows it's killing him. But it has a hold on him. He's addicted to the high.

Narcissists are addicted to the high they get from harming others.

Yes, they DO act out of malice, because they will to hurt you. That's no accident: they hurt you on purpose and as much as they can. But only because hurting you makes them feel good.

Like any addict, their addiction is no excuse. It gives them no right to abuse. It doesn't relieve them of their responsibility for whatever they do to get that next high. So, for example, if they rob someone for the money for whiskey, they can't use their addicton as an excuse. The addiction is just a temptation, not an excuse.

Narcissists know that if you kill, you are a killer; if you lie, you are a liar; if you abuse, you are an abuser; and so forth. So, they invent an elaborate fantasy to remain in denial of what they are - what they have made themselves.

They can't bear knowing they are evil, just as you or I couldn't bear that. So they make sure they UNKNOW it, no matter what. Hence the twisted thinking and elaborate facade.

Facing the fact that they act out of malice is pointless if all it does is puff up self-righteousness. The important thing is that facing this fact breaks the narcissist's spell over you. Now you are no longer naive.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Myths about NPD

It harms the victims to tell them that narcissists are victims "suffering" from the disease, that they don't mean to hurt people, that they feel bad about it, that they are just touchy and lash out only when they feel "threatened" by you ... that it would be mean to abandon or shun them, that they aren't responsible for what they do, that it's genetic, that it's abnormal brain chemistry, that it's because you're codependent and subconsciously controlling them to make them abuse you, that it takes two to tango so that you are to blame, that society is to blame, that everyone is to blame but the freaking narcissist!

This lying must stop. One might as well tell unwitting children to come and pet the tigers.

If the mental-health establishment had a little less narcissism and a little more conscience, they'd be saying the opposite. They'd be broadcasting the warning signs and a warning people not to mess with psychopaths and other malignant narcissists, not to fall for their tricks, not to try to help them, not to try to get through to them, to just get and stay away from them.

The innocent people and animals the narcissist leaves in his or her truculent wake through life are more important. Their lives, bankrolls, careers and stolen hearts shouldn't be sacrificed to these wanna-be little gods.

Because, no matter who you are - parent, spouse, child, benefactor, best friend - you mean no more to a narcissist than a cockroach means to you. This is a hard fact to face, but one that MUST be faced.

But obviously the "caring" people don't care how many people get eaten by these predators among us, do they?

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Character Study of a Malignant Narcissist

A political psychologist, Maria Hsia Chang, has looked into NPD and done a study on a Harry Potter character, Voldemort. You can see it on this website for fans and writers of fantasy fiction.

A Study in Evil: Voldemort, the Malignant Narcissist

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Cure for independent-thinking-related mental-health disorders!

Audaceous hope via The Onion:

"Many individuals today lack the deep, abiding affection for drug makers that is found in healthy people, such as myself," Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell said. "These tragic disorders are reaching epidemic levels, and as a company dedicated to promoting the health, well-being, and long life of our company's public image, it was imperative that we did something to combat them."

Although many psychotropic drugs impart a generalized feeling of well-being, PharmAmorin is the first to induce and focus intense feelings of affection externally, toward for-profit drug makers. Pfizer representatives say that, if taken regularly, PharmAmorin can increase affection for and trust in its developers by as much as 96.5 percent.

"Out of a test group of 180, 172 study participants reported a dramatic rise in their passion for pharmaceutical companies," said Pfizer director of clinical research Suzanne Frost. "And 167 asked their doctors about a variety of prescription medications they had seen on TV."

Frost said a small percentage of test subjects showed an interest in becoming lobbyists for one of the top five pharmaceutical companies, and several browsed eBay for drug-company apparel.

PharmAmorin, available in 100-, 200-, and 400-mg tablets, is classified as a critical-thinking inhibitor, a family of drugs that holds great promise for the estimated 20 million Americans who suffer from Free-Thinking Disorder.

DSM-I: 107 mental disorders
DSM-IV: 365 mental disorders


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Mental cruelty, pain and suffering, and resources for the abused

I'm not familiar with what's typical in divorce proceedings, so I have a question that some of you may be able to fill us in on.

I have noticed that "mental cruelty" seems to be used as a justification for divorce a lot. Frankly, the idea strikes me as though it may be overused and that overuse cheapens, trivializes mental cruelty in cases where it really does occur.

Kinda like "pain and suffering" due to an auto accident.

If my hunch is right on this, it can help explain why the public seems so callous, why people don't take the mental cruelty and pain and suffering caused by psychopaths and narcissists seriously.

In fact, I am sure this is what happens with the codependancy wrap. Many of these psychologists think EVERYONE's parents abused them. That trivializes real child abuse and dumps the blame for every bit of adult anger for ANYTHING on Mommy having been too busy now and then to read you a story when you were 4. (Anything to blame the victim and all of society instead of the perp.)

Comments on this are welcome.

Links to sources of help for the victims of narcs are also welcome - like links to lists of attorneys experienced in dealing with these cases, who understand NPD and how to defeat the tricks Ns play.

Also, I hear that therapists who work in shelters seem to understand best and don't plague the victim with the old "It takes two to tango" junk or the "Forgive and forget" junk. They also seem to understand how careful a woman must be when leaving an N and can give specific advice on precautions to take. So, again, if you know of good links to add to the resources list, do post them. Any time.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Banality of Sounding Smart Award

The first Banality of Sounding Smart Award goes to...

the church with this slogan on its marquee:


Hat Tip

You get all these ass-backwards platitudes that fly in the face of reality the same way: just call the thing whatever it most ain't. Sounds so cool. So intellectual. As in making this horrifying act of destruction out to be a "beautiful creation."

See it at The Banality of Sounding Smart.

Then you can all go out and pull the same banal stunt to sound smart.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Light blogging this week

Burning the midnight oil...

Quite a few posts lately because I'm taking the week off now. Maybe a brief post if I run across anything on the Web or a brief comment now and then. But really all I plan to do is keep up with moderating your comments.

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Healing and Forgiveness

I have a question for anyone out there who can answer it. I would like to know why therapists - yes, therapists, not just preachers - think that a victimized person must forgive in order to heal.

To keep things from getting all fogged up, we must be clear on what we mean by forgiveness.

The word has a definite meaning: it is forgiving a portion of the debt incurred by the offender as your ante in a mutual act of reconciliation.

But the word is suffering a terrible bout of bastardization these days, having the guts torn out of it by being used as vague codeword for somehow managing to "stop hungering and thirsting for justice," for somehow "erasing your anger."

Woops, I forgot. Justice sounds too good in this context, I must call it revenge instead.

But, anyway, please be sure to identify which kind of forgiveness you mean if you explain why therapists instruct their patients to forgive.

A couple related questions, just to make sure we all heal good.

Let's say that a malignant narcissist tells me today that she is going to ruin my life tomorrow. Must I forgive her today? Or may I at least wait until tomorrow?

Now, hopefully, we can presume that the therapist would cut me a little slack and say that it would be understandable if I wait awhile, simply because it would be very hard to forgive the offense in advance. But I would sure like to know what the preacher's answer is.

Because you know what I'm going to ask next then, right? If I am morally obligated to forgive, I'm as morally obligated to forgive today as tomorrow.

Which could be problematic.

Like what about a crime in progress? I'm morally obligated to forgive it, right?

What does that mean? Like, I am under assault by someone committing assault-and-battery against me, and I must sign off on the debt he will owe me when he finishes damaging me? I must "give away my anger"? I must therefore put down that baseball bat and stop defending myself, right?

Well, let's say the malignant narcissist has already ruined my life. She destroyed a $50,000 professional career (the cost of a college education), calumniating me so badly that I can't get a job anywhere but at the checkout in a convenience store.

She did it 10 years ago. Which means that the malignant narcissist has by now racked up a debt of $500,000 ($50,000 a year). Plus interest. Plus punitive damages.

But I'm a bad person who fails to "heal" if I haven't forgiven her by now, right?

But let's say I do forgive her now. Am I not forgiving a crime in progress? The ruining of my life? Yes, the crime is in progress until she restores my good name, and she never will. So, am I not forgiving the $50,000 she will be stealing from me next year, and the next, and the next, until I die?

Am I not then forgiving her in advance? And I'm a bad person if I don't do so? We must forgive without restitution of stolen property?

I think I'm beginning to get it. This "forgiveness" business is just "letting her get away with it."

Now, it's one thing to be unable to do anything about it, and quite another thing to be required to do nothing about it.

I feel like Huck Finn. I say, "All right, I'll go to Hell." I am going to be a bad person and keep biding my time, hungering and thirsting for justice, reminding myself like Hamlet did that there is justice to be done, a wrong to set right, waiting for an opportunity to get my money and put her behind bars. It's bad enough to be unable to do so, but don't try to tell me that I have no right to want to do so.

And I just noticed that "healing" rhymes with "feeling," so it's easy to see why fogheads get the two confused. Healing is just not feeling that hunger and thirst and anger anymore, right?

Because the therapist says that my feelings are what's hurting me, my feelings are what make me feel bad - not the punches or the poverty.

Aye, laddies, THERE's the pathology! It's those pathological feelings of mine! I must numb them.

So, I get it now: forgiveness is like a drug, a pain-killer.

A mental one. It amounts to "acting like it didn't happen."

Yes, let's play Pretend.

All gone. I feel fine now.

That's all you have to do to make a $500,000 crime go away. Just make nothing of it.

Ruining my life was nothing.

But what if she has just taken a sledge-hammer to my car instead? Would the therapist and the preacher say doing that was nothing, too?

I don't think so. I think they'd say I should get an estimate of the damages for her to pay. Because a car is a thing of value. So, destroying it is not nothing.

You know what I am going to ask them now, don't you? I'm going to ask them why they are dehumanizing me, devaluing me all the way to absolute zero, by saying that destroying my car is destroying a thing of value but destroying me is nothing.

Though I must forgive her, she need not ask for my forgiveness. She need not give me back my good name or pay even a portion of the damages. She need not even say she's sorry. She need not even admit that it was wrong for her to do that. She need not even admit that she did it!

How come I am the only one who incurs a debt through her deed? I owe her forgiveness, and she owes me nothing.

Indeed, she need not even promise never to do it again.

Like that guy committing assault and battery against me. He does that about once a week. But I must forgive him 70 times 70 times without him ever even promising to stop doing it?

Well then, let's add this up. If it was nothing when she or he did it yesterday, it would be nothing if she or he does it tomorrow too. No penalty = no damages. Or, as we say in sports "No harm/no foul" = carte blanche = I am letting them do that to me.


The reason I yelled that is because someone with total contempt for logic, who thinks you negate a truth by simply flatly denying it, is sure to say that I am not letting them do that, as if that is a valid argument in answer. Which is exactly as valid as thinking that you prove the sky is purple simply by saying that it is.

(Psst, if your genetic instincts for survival are so anesthetized that they haven't informed you yet, I have news: some folks are amoral, like precisely the folks who attack you for no reason, so hitting back is the only way to make them stop attacking you. Yes, I'm afraid 'tis so. Sorry, their amorality doesn't take away my right to protect myself from them: it gives me the right to whack them.)

By serially forgiving the serial offender I am letting them offend me, because I am doing nothing to put a stop to it. I am doing nothing to discourage them from doing it more or again. I am not protecting myself. I am not defending myself. This conduct flies in the face of the instinct for self-preservation and therefore violates the Laws of Nature as a perversion of human nature.

That's of all things "healing"? I'd say it sounds more like self-masochism.

Yeah for forgiveness! A great idea invented and loved by all the bad guys in Hell.

By forgiving every offense – for no reason other than that it was committed and hurts me - I am letting them hurt me! Pardon my incredulity at such craziness. That allows me no more rights than his punching bag has. I mean, to be a good girl, I must thus serve myself up on a platter (the literal meaning of be-tray) and deliver myself up to continued victimization = I must bend over it.

Yes, that will make me like myself a lot. I'm being sarcastic, of course. I see that I must thus make me hate myself instead of my abuser. Because I will for sure hate myself for being such an abject worm who just lays down like a doormat to be trampled like that.

And any HUMAN being, any therapist or preacher with one drop of empathy/humanity in them, knows that. How callous of these "caring" people to tell us we're bad if we don't prostrate ourselves to abuse this way - something that makes any man, woman, or child feel so self-degraded that they hate themselves ever after.

How faithful of me to me. But what happens to your relationship with anyone who betrays you to harm or abuse? Then what happens to your relationship with yourself when you betray yourself?

I'd like to know how any therapist thinks that would be good for a person.

Now for some sanity.

The problem with feelings, like hunger and thirst for justice, anger, and sorrow is NOT that they hurt. They are emotional pain. If you repress them to the subconscious, they drive your behavior from there, without your awareness of what's driving your behavior. You have done nothing but slam the lid down tight on a pressure cooker.

That's when they can explode so you that do do something wrong.

If you accept, own, go through your feelings, like any pain they pass.

In fact, THAT'S the problem as Hamlet discovered. As time passes, so does the pain. THAT'S healing.

And when the pain of the emotion of anger passes, so does the motivation to right that wrong. So, like Hamlet, you must give yourself a pep talk every now and then to remind yourself that there is justice to be done, a better life to reclaim, and that you should never give up, never surrender, never resign yourself to defeat. Never, never, never. That you must never quit waiting for an opportunity to set the world right-side-up again.

Anyone who thinks that's bad should try thinking right-side-up.

Because forgiveness is for the repentant. To hand it out to the unrepentant is like going up to your neighbor on trash-collection day and saying, "Here, I'll trade you this 12-carrot diamond ring for that little baggie of doggie-do."

It makes a mockery of something sacred and precious.

Update: A related link

Individual and Civic Notions of Forgiveness by Sharon Lamb, Ed.D. author of The Trouble with Blame: Victims, Perpetrators and Responsibility

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Is NPD a Mental Illness?

Guess what? I don't believe what I said in that last post. I think NPD is a mental illness. (In this case at least, I see no real difference between it and what religion would call spiritual illness.)

But, unfortunately, see what the DSM's own definition of mental illness and personality disorder forces logic to conclude: that NPD is not mental illness. The DSM's own rules specifically disallow diagnosing it as a personality disorder, because neither impairment nor distress afflicts the narcissist.

The problem is with that stupid definition of mental illness. Stupid, but lucrative definition of mental illness.

In essence, it makes any state of mind that causes you a problem or makes you feel bad a mental illness. Wonderful for mental health practitioners and the drug companies. The number of mental illnesses in the DSM has exploded, and drugs for these faux "disorders" are selling like hotcakes.

Now if you are sad or angry, it isn't because of whatever makes you sad or angry, it is because you have a mental illness. Here's you're prescription, see you next month.

And magical thinking is magical thinking, whether you are a primitive people speculating that an eclipse of the sun is due to an act of Apollo or are a psychiatrist today speculating that a mental illness is due to a malfunction of the brain. Except that the psychiatrist has no excuse, because he or she has no excuse for not knowing the difference between the brain and the MIND.

The brain is just the hardware. The mind is the software our experiences and thought patterns program it with. They keep attributing to the hardware things way beyond its power to do.

They seem willfully resistant to realizing that much human behavior is sequential, that bad behavior leads one into a vicious cycle of ever worsening behavior, because of the mental games people play to unburden their conscience.

Religion is right about this. Life is a journey. We choose a path, a way of life. One thing leads to another on it. This forms the mind.

When we find ourselves on the wrong path, we mustn't cheat. We must face facts, bear the guilt, turn our life around, head back to that fork in the road, and get on the right path instead.

But many people don't do that. And so they continue on, doing a bad thing again, and worse, today just to prove it wasn't wrong and stupid when they did it yesterday. And continue on, cleansing themselves by projecting their guilt and shame off onto their betters.

And does this REALLY unburden their repressed conscience? No! It incurs more guilt and shame. Which must be mentally juggled in the same way to make it seem to go away.

It's a runaway-train ride in which, sooner or later, they do something so bad that they have, in effect, passed the point of no return, simply because no one could conscience such a deed.

Now, I see nothing in this that any faithful secular humanist can't accept.

So, where does this noise that "there are no bad people, just bad deeds" come from? How absurd. If you lie, you are a liar. If you kill, you are a killer. If you cheat, you are a cheater. And if you do evil, you are evil.

Normal people strike out at those who do them harm, either in the past, the present, or as a threat in the future. They don't hurt the other because doing so gives them any pleasure. Their aim is self-defense or retribution (which is for justice, a defense of self-worth). Normal people demonstrate their aim by NOT being wanton in the damage they do their enemy. When they see they have achieved their purpose, they stop.

But psychopaths and other narcissists are predators who aren't fighting others: they are EATING others. They target easy prey, not anyone they have any reason to attack. They do it because hurting others makes them feel good = they like hurting others. And they are wanton about it. When they have you down, they start kicking. They start pouring it on where normal people would start letting up. They aren't satisfied till there's nothing left of the other party at all.

That is unnatural. Perverted = a perversion of human nature. I have no problem with asserting that such people are mentally/spiritually ill. But neither mere WORD makes them insane or irresponsible for their conduct.

Indeed, listen to our figures of speech about this: Sick in the head. Sick-o. Sick-minded. Twisted. Warped. Perverted. Mean-spirited. Psycho. (In fact, the word "psycho-path" literally means "sick in the head/mind/psyche".)

This is the only class of figures of speech that carries such negative connotations. There's no sympathy in those figures of speech and no failure to take that person seriously.

Figures of speech are the collective expression of all native speakers of a language over time. They don't lie about how we instinctively perceive things. We perceive this "ill-ness" as a kind of repulsive rottenness inside.

The question is what to do about it. I think the answer is simple: educate people to stop judging by falsifiable appearances and to both recognize and heed the warning signs to stay away from people like this. No matter how sweet and holy they act. That alone would prevent the vast majority of the damage they now do. It would also wise-up the bystanders, so that they wouldn't fall for and cover for these predators, enabling them to get away with so much. That's all: just warn people that modern society ain't a beach, that there are BAD people out there, that there are predators around, well camouflaged ones, that we have to be wary like the antelope on the African plains. When something in the air doesn't smell right, perk up and take it seriously.

And someday if there ever really does come an effective way to treat this illness, great. But till then, millions shouldn't have to suffer because the mental health establishment keeps denying the very existence of the malignance stalking us. As in this nonsense that narcissists don't act out of malice, the poor things are acting out of "fear" because they feel "threatened." Oooh, jeez, let's all go hug one then.

Give me a break. I've learned my lesson: I'd sooner go hug a tiger. And refusing to doesn't mean I hate tigers. It just means that I'm not crazy.

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