How narcissistic abuse prepared us to fight against what is happening right now.

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Credit: “Woman Warrior”/unknown artist

 

I’ve hesitated about writing about this because it sounds both a little grandiose and a little woo-woo.  But for quite some time now,  I’ve believed those of us who were hurt badly and broken emotionally by narcissistic parents, spouses, lovers, or friends — and who were able to rise above that and escape our prison and begin the long healing journey that made us realize exactly what we had been dealing with — have been rewarded with a kind of vision and clarity about the world that the average person who never suffered this kind of abuse doesn’t have privy to.

We have learned — the hard way — how to discern lies from truth, and good from evil, and we are courageous and observant enough to call out lies and evil when we see it.  Without the excruciating educations we received years ago, we would not fully understand the spiritual darkness that undergirds what has happened in our country now.   We have developed emotional armor and X-ray vision that keeps us from being taken in by the lies and the manipulation and the coldhearted evil of the cabal of bullies and sociopaths who have hijacked our once-benevolent though never perfect nation.

Trump isn’t the problem.  He is merely a huge mirror reflecting back to us our own darkness as a people: greed, avarice, lack of empathy for the most vulnerable among us, and massive-scale narcissism.   Carl Jung would call this our shadow.    Trump is really doing us a great service by showing us what we became – but that still doesn’t mean he’s not a grave danger.   We must be on our guard.

The problem in America didn’t start with Donald Trump.  It has existed for decades, starting with Reagan’s feel-good rhetoric about self sufficiency, positive thinking, and bootstrap-pulling.   It was seductive and happy rhetoric, but was also a slippery slope that led to the jettisoning of empathy and eventual scapegoating of the most vulnerable.  Soon we were placing the blame for all the nation’s ills on our most vulnerable citizens,  deriding  fictional “welfare queens” (always imagined as black or Hispanic, even though most people on welfare were actually white), poor single mothers, and the LGBTQ community and their non-existent “war on family values.”    The list of the nations’ scapegoats who were blamed for the bad economy and everything else that went wrong soon expanded to the working poor, the addicted, the middle class, non-Christians (especially Muslims), and in the last stages of our national sickness, even to the disabled, elderly, chronically ill, liberals, and even children.   Why?  Because we are all “takers,” “parasites,” and “worthless non-producers.”   We all became scapegoats of this soulless cabal of wealthy grifters, liars, narcissists and criminals and we are at the moment at their mercy — of which they have none.

Along with this divide and conquer strategy of separating and fomenting hatred between the “winners” and the “losers” and the wholesale scapegoating of the “least among us” came deregulation (the dismantling of laws that protect us from corporate exploitation and environmental hazards), more and bigger tax breaks to the most wealthy and powerful at the expense of the poorest and weakest citizens, the naming of soulless corporations as “people,”  billions of dollars given to fund the prison-industrial complex instead of college grants and money for schools,  the denial of both climate change and science itself, the beginnings of voter suppression, gerrymandering districts, rich donors like the Kochs and Mercers using their vast wealth to ensure a Republican takeover, more and harsher prison sentences for minor drug offenders (mostly poor or of color) at the same time defunding rehabilitation and mental health programs that could help those with addictions.

All this evil was done with the blessing of the Christian Right, a loosely organized group of evangelical and fundamentalist churches and religious groups that believe in a strict, legalistic, authoritarian brand of dominionist, Calvinist Christianity based on the Old Testament (rather than the Gospels), whose doctrine teaches the prosperity gospel:  the unbiblical idea that unlimited power and wealth are bestowed on the most righteous (God’s elect) and the rest of us are weak, sick, disabled, powerless, and lack wealth because we are somehow morally lacking and therefore deserve our sorry lot.   Like all narcissists, they blame the victims.   These fake Christians self righteously proclaim we only need to be “saved” and the riches and health will come, as if God is a cosmic lottery machine.  And they call us the elitists!  This is spiritual abuse.

But all this is nothing new.  It’s been going on for decades.   It’s only worse under Trump because we finally reached the point where we were ready for someone like him to rise to power.   He’s like the nasty boil that erupts that makes it no longer possible to deny there’s a serious underlying infection (and yet many still deny the infection in spite of clear evidence right in front of them).

We got what we deserved, and Trump is only mirroring back to us our national sickness.  The sickness I speak of is pathological narcissism on a national scale, which perhaps began as the result of too much pride following our WWII victory.    Even as far back as the sixties, there were glimmerings of what was to come, but it was only seen in what was once dismissed as “the loony fringe.” It didn’t really begin to come into its own until the 1980s and the era of deregulation and tax cuts for social programs, tax breaks for the powerful CEOs and corporations, and the aggressive union-busting that went along with that (the last bastion of protection for the working class).

My point is this.  All the traits of pathological narcissism we know well from our own toxic families are now writ large on the national scale.    We survivors have been schooled in how this illness works and what it does to individuals and to families.  Now we are seeing what it does to an entire country.     America is a huge dysfunctional family, with narcissistic parents (the president and his underlings) who shower gifts (but never love) on their golden children (the wealthy and powerful and white and those who make them look good) while shaming, scapegoating, smearing, and threatening to punish (by taking away healthcare, education, regulations that protect us, and clean air and water) those who are different, don’t make them look good, call them out on their hypocrisy and lies, or dare to blow whistles on them.   They gaslight us by calling what we know to be true ‘fake news.’   Scapegoated children are always silenced, but we won’t be silenced, just like our own narcissistic families failed to silence us.  Instead, they  trained us. They were our harsh teachers.  We told the truth about their toxic behavior and emotional abuse, and made our own way in the world anyway, even though we might have lost our families’ blessings, money, or their fake love.

I don’t think there’s any coincidence that the great army of us who discovered that our own brokenness was a result of narcissistic abuse came about a mere ten or twenty years before this conscienceless, sociopathic cabal of self serving narcissists, con artists, criminals, and their flying monkeys (enablers and sycophants) rose to take power over our nation and maybe the world.  I truly believe that as painful and unfair as our suffering was, if we were able to recognize it for what it was and escape from it,  we are the ones with the right sort of training and emotional resilience to lead the fight against the darkness that is threatening to destroy the world.  It’s a kind of holy war, but it has nothing to do with religion.  It has to do with good versus evil, and because we got to see firsthand in our own families of origin (or our abusive marriages or other close relationships) how damaging and pernicious this type of evil can be, we  have a huge advantage over most of seeing through to the truth of things (and where there is truth, there is goodness and justice).   We have to be careful not to let this knowledge go to our heads or become arrogant about it, because that itself can lead to its own form of narcissism and defeat our goal of returning goodness, love, and caring to the world.   I don’t think it’s too late.  Because there are no coincidences, I think there was a reason we got the harsh preparation we did (most often, we were the truth tellers, the most vulnerable, and the most emotionally healthy people in our own families), and the time has come to put our hard won skills and our capacity for empathizing with the underdog to use.

As for people who endured narcissistic abuse and are aware they did, but who still support this president and his dangerous and heartless policies (unbelievably, some of these folks completely deny his narcissism),  I believe most of them are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, in which they are still identifying with their abuser unconsciously and still haven’t completely come to terms with their own anger and shame.   I can only hope and pray they see the truth and join us in the fight.

I want to post a long comment from a reader of the N-Continuum, a better than average blog about narcissism and narcissistic abuse.  Pay attention to the way this reader (who is a survivor of narcissistic abuse) makes excuses for Trump (I have bolded the more outrageous assertions) and completely denies his obvious narcissism (calling it “healthy narcissism,” LOL).  S/he also buys into the delusion that Hillary Clinton was a far more dangerous narcissist (a common sentiment among Trumpsters), that Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris Agreement was a good thing, and that climate change is a hoax:

It’s so interesting that Hillary is displaying many signs of NPD post election. She is too angry to hide it. Her latest interviews are full of delusions and blame towards others. Even the interviewers are scratching their heads.

Those that know her want her to stop talking and also are revealing she has never admitted to failure on any count in her entire life. It’s all out there on youtube, even left wing media (which is most) are looking embarrassed.

I have still only seen Trump doing his best for American citizens, constantly under fire by manufactured “scandals” 7 days a week. All of which amount to nothing.

A little information for those that don’t know. Trump has been very interested in and commenting on politics plus has been considering running for 25 years. He didn’t just suddenly change.

That Travelgate debacle Hilary was involved in was black hearted. Really nasty, accusing the guy that worked at the WH travel agency of embezzlement because he wouldn’t use her friend’s charter service for general contracting. She could have just fired him, but no, she made a false accusation. This is all on record. He had to go through the court system and was found innocent. This is the kind of thing a toxic narcissist does. Her false statement is officially called False by the courts. This is just one shady truth about H.

I don’t think people should say Trumpers have diseased brains (Silver) or they are uneducated, have the wrong life experience, are “just seeing what they want to see”. Maybe none of this is correct and those that think Trump is a narcissist is wrong? anyone on here consider that?

I still have heard and seen nothing in particular that suggests he has NPD. I see healthy narcissism but not NPD.

I ask this question of people at the Forum and none are given. It is always the immediate leap (conflation) to full blown NPD with nothing offering the bridge to this OBVIOUS CONCLUSION that everyone on here seems to agree with.

Can someone point out just ONE thing that would tick the NPD box please? just one? besides being a bit sexist and rude on occasion? The “experts say” thing just isn’t it. Experts say “these pants will make you thin” also. Experts can be bought, can be partisan. Trump is so dividing people are abandoning their own principals to announce him NPD.

He is doing his best to keep his promises. Does anyone watch his speeches? his exiting the Paris Agreement speech today was full of heart and real concern, he picked through the layers of concern. He isn’t lying. What does he have to gain? money? power? he already had that, he didn’t need to be POTUS. Could it be he wants to help?

If he HAD stayed in the agreement the media would have said he broke his promise. Instead the news tonight opened with calving icebergs at the top of the hour. . . . disaster, the world is ending.

Actually we are in a normal interglacial period and return to an ice age is more likely. Anyone else notice “global warming” has become climate change? (so if it gets colder it’s still “correct”).

In a later comment, this commenter reveals that she has recently become “born again” and realized that God has deemed that men should have dominion over women.   Perhaps it’s simply sexism that causes some religious Trumpsters to hate Hillary so much?  Because she’s one of those “uppity women” that upsets the patriarchal apple cart of white Christian male supremacy?  Does this abuse survivor really think an abusive narcissistic husband is in his right by abusing his woman, just because he has God’s blessing to do so?  One has to wonder.

Here is a PDF article I just read that has a similar message to mine: the idea that survivors of narcissistic abuse have a special role in helping to guide the nation through this dangerous historical minefield.  It’s definitely worth a read.

Do Not Lose Heart: We Were Made for These Times

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Can anyone help?

I was changing around a few things in Custom Design, and I completely messed up with the color of the header.  I don’t use a Menu — these are the default headings used in Twenty Ten with additional items added to it.  Custom design allows me to change the color from the default black to a different color, also the hover colors.  I have been able to change both colors before, but when I was changing things around today I somehow turned this section BRIGHT PINK which doesn’t go with my background and theme AT ALL and I am very upset.  I have no idea how to change my pallet without deleting the background painting.   I can’t seem to talk to anyone live, but I did send an email to the “happiness engineers.”  I don’t find the forums helpful.  Is there anyone who can help with this?

ETA:  I was able to go back to the default black (with gray hovers) and it’s okay, but I think I’d prefer a different color.

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People who Capitalize random Words for no Reason.

randomcapitalwords

I’ve noticed something a lot of people do on social media: capitalizing random words.   There doesn’t seem to be a reason for these words to be capitalized since they are not proper names, place names, or titles.   The people who write sentences containing randomly capitalized words seem educated and intelligent otherwise, so I wonder if it’s just some new Meme or trend that’s circulating the web.  (See what I did there?)

Many people find the random capitalization annoying, and I can understand why, especially if you’re one of those sticklers for grammar (the politically incorrect term is Grammar Nazis).    I appreciate good grammar, but I don’t consider myself a grammar nazi.    When it comes to these Randomly capitalized Words, I find it amusing, even hilarious. I really don’t know why.   Perhaps it’s the silliness of capitalizing an Unimportant Word that I find so incongruous and therefore funny.   After all, humor always arises from the unexpected.

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Examples I have seen lately:

My weimeraner* dog tried to eat my Cat.

The Russian Mob that has overtaken the white house* needs to be rounded up and sent to Siberia.   (*aside here:  another thing I’ve noticed is people NOT capitalizing words that SHOULD be capitalized, and that seems deliberate too).

My therapist tried to put me on Crazy Pills but I refused and walked out.   (is ‘Crazy Pills’ a new brand name? Should I ask my Doctor if they are right for me?)

My wife just purchased a Shit ton of new Throw Pillows.  What are they good for, except throwing around because they’re always in the way.

I don’t understand why so many people want to act like Sociopaths, like it’s Cool or something?

I have to admit, I’ve been Guilty of capitalizing Random words myself, just because I think it’s Funny and I always wonder if anyone will Notice.

Here’s a thread from the Straight Dope Message Board that delves more deeply into the phenomenon:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=355786

How do you feel about people capitalizing random words?

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The best-tasting healthy stuff I ever drank.

nakedgreenmachine1

I love smoothies, but I’m too lazy to ever make them myself.   I’m not the home juicer type of person.  I hate cleaning up the mess.

Most grocery stores sell Naked brand smoothies, and they are delicious!   Bolthouse is good too, but a little too thick for my taste, and I have never tried Odwalla.

My favorite flavor is this one, called “Green Machine.”    It looks hella weird, kind of a muddy green color not unlike algae, but it tastes incredible.  It has spirulina and veggies in it, along with all kinds of fruits, and no added sugar or HFCS.    I feel healthier every time I drink it.  I’m not sure if that’s just some kind of placebo effect (because I believe it’s doing me good) or if I’m really feeling all those vitamins and minerals doing their work in my body.

Blue Machine, stuffed with blueberries and blackberries, is my second favorite, but sometimes it gives me heartburn.   Green Machine doesn’t do that.

I took photos of both the front and back of the bottle, so you can see exactly what’s in it!

nakedgreenmachine2

 

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Meet and Greet: 7/14/17

Dream Big, Dream Often

 dreambigwallpaper-pinkombre

It’s the bimonthly Meet and Greet everyone!!  Strap on your party shoes and join the fun!  

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

See ya on Monday!!

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The longest, hottest, most boring drive ever.

Note: Photos were not taken by me.  I found them on Google Image.  

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There are many dangers in driving, but one no one ever talks about is the danger of the long, boring drive.   If anything can put you to sleep, it’s the never-changing, flat as a board, monotonous landscape of Eastern North Carolina along US Route 40.     It’s dangerous because the utter lack of any features of interest can make you fall asleep.

I enjoy driving.  It relaxes me.  Sometimes I just get tired of sitting around the house.  I’m regularly afflicted with attacks of wanderlust.   Sometimes I drive places — sometimes far away — not as a means to an end, but for the sheer joy of just driving.  Sometimes I drive to faraway places just to be able to say I drove there, without having a plan once I get there.

I’ve lived in western North Carolina for 23 years but I have never driven across to the east coast and on a whim, I decided to do just that yesterday morning.    Never mind that the drive there and back totals almost 700 miles.  That’s farther than driving to my son’s place in Florida!  Never mind that the weather forecast yesterday called for afternoon thunderstorms and it was a sweltering 90 degrees out at 9 AM.  Never mind the fact that I had no plan and there would be no time to enjoy the beach even if that was my goal   since, because I can’t see well at night, I’d have to turn right back around when I got there and head back.    No, I just wanted to get out of the house and go somewhere I’d never been before.  I’ve never driven clear across my state and decided it was time to check that off my bucket list.

I didn’t expect it to be the most exciting drive ever — remember, I do these drives to relax —  but I wasn’t prepared for just how mind numbingly dull the ride would actually be.   If you’ve ever driven across South Carolina (which I have), it’s like that, only without the palmetto trees and about four times as long (or at least it seems that way).  Also, along I-26 (the route I take to drive through that state), South Carolina’s dull, flat terrain at least is peppered with interesting sights like ramshackle fireworks stands along the roadsides that are open all year long, ancient and abandoned I-houses sitting all alone in fields of tall weeds, sad trailer parks, and Confederate flags waving gaily in the hot breeze.

You also can’t get too bored in South Carolina because I-26 is scary as hell.   Everyone seems to speed on it — the so-called slow pace of the South does not apply on South Carolina highways — and by speeding I mean roaring along at 100 mph when the speed limit is only 65.   The lanes are too narrow and semis and 18-wheelers are all around you, sometimes with only two inches to spare on the passenger side.   It’s common to be completely boxed in by semi-trucks, with a deep ditch on your left as your only escape should one of the truckers decide to switch into your lane suddenly without signaling (another thing drivers seem to do a lot of there).    If you’re in one of the urban centers of Columbia, Greenville or Spartanburg when that happens,  all you can do is pray since there isn’t even a ditch in some places, but a concrete wall.

And there are lots of cops there too.  Cops who allow the speeders to keep on going if they have South Carolina tags, but will pull you over for doing 70 if they see you’re from out of state.  They consider people from North Carolina to be Yankees and apparently hate us.  I know, because I got pulled over in that state twice.  And I’m not speeding type.   In fact, I’m much more the hesitant type that other drivers get mad at for going below the speed limit.  Both times I told the officer I was just trying to keep up with traffic (I was still going slower than almost everyone else), but he wasn’t buying it and still ticketed me.  The first time it happened I had to drive all the way to Travelers Rest to appear in court (this was in the ’90s).  The other time I was allowed to pay by mail.

So my point is, in South Carolina, you can’t nod off from boredom while driving.   Nervous, angry,  hyper-alert, or downright terrified, but I guarantee you won’t fall asleep at the wheel.

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There’s none of that nail-gnawing, white-knuckling, tooth-grinding business along I-40 in North Carolina, at least not east of Raleigh.   Sure, of course, for those not used the the mountains of the western end of the state, the many hairpin curves and steep grades there can cause a lot of gnashing of teeth, cursing, and white-knuckled steering-wheel gripping.  And I do understand about those annoying and sudden telescoping lane changes and merges in the urban areas and during rush hour that can jangle anyone’s nerves, but on a weekend it’s not so bad.  My GPS tells me when these lane changes are coming up, so it’s not really a nuisance or an issue for me.  And once you finally navigate the hundred-plus mile stretch of asphalted urban sprawl with its bloated 6-to-8-lane interstates and all its feeder highways and roads that stretch from Statesville just east of the mountains and the Triad of Winston-Salem/High Point/Greensboro in the Peidmont all the way to the Tri-Cities of Chapel Hill (a charming college town), Raleigh and Durham (still part of the Peidmont), you can rest fairly easy that losing your life on the road is pretty remote (unless you nod off).

Once you pass the massive urban sprawl in the center of the state, which is pretty boring itself (not to mention ugly), you emerge into the Atlantic Coastal Plain, an area that sounds like it could be peaceful and pretty, and to be fair, it is that.   But its prettiness is marred by its devastating sameness.   A long stretch of flat two-lane highway flanked on both sides by endless short pine trees, all of the same size and width, interspersed only occasionally by the odd water tower and farmland as flat as a table, not even broken up by tacky billboards or other jarring sights, can send you into a hypnotic trance.   The various towns are well-hidden along this stretch of I-40, so you don’t even see any tall signs advertising gas stations or fast food places.   It goes on like this for at least a hundred miles, before the landscape changes to a somewhat more coastal-looking one, with even scrubbier, shorter trees and grasslands — but oddly, no visible water.

Granted, the landscape of eastern North Carolina isn’t as  jaw droppingly ugly as the New Jersey Turnpike or as delightfully tacky as US-Route 19 that runs roughly parallel to the west coast of the Florida Gulf,  but at least those things add some interest to the landscape in a kitschy, schadenfreude-ish, thank-God-I-don’t-live here sort of way.   The landscape along I-40 east of the Blue Ridge and the vast urban metropolis that marks the state’s central region lacks any memorable features at all, and all that sameness gives way only to the sad, stunted trees and swampy grasslands of the coastal plain.

ncflatlands

As I drew within 35 miles of the coast, I still didn’t see any evidence of the ocean other than sandy-looking soil along the side of the road and sometimes blowing onto it.     I kept driving, looking for telltale inlets, rivers, or boats, or something indicating the presence of the nearby Atlantic, but nope, nothing.   The stunted trees and sandy soil just got more stunted and sandier, and the land remained as dry as the Sahara.     I kept driving.   25 miles, 20 miles, 15 miles from the coast, but still no water.    Yet I knew I was near the ocean because I began to see fishing tackle places and beach shops here and there.  Here, the lack of trees failed to hide any commercialism lurking behind the exits, and it was hot.  Hellishly hot.

I drove into a gas station and got out of the car to stretch my stiff legs, get a drink and a candy bar, use the bathroom, and fill my tank, and I felt like I was inside a pizza oven. Where was the sea breeze?  There wasn’t any.    The heat was oppressive, sweltering, almost painful.  My brain wasn’t working correctly.  My thoughts limped along like 90-year old men.    I finished my business and got back in the car, immediately blasting the air conditioning.  I noticed the sky was beginning to cloud up pretty badly  and I remembered the forecast about thunderstorms.   I don’t like driving in thunderstorms, and it was also getting pretty late, so I decided right then and there to turn around and head back home — all 350 miles of long, boring drive.   I groaned at the thought of that but what other choice did I have?

The ride home was slightly more interesting.   I got to watch the development of two storms ahead and to the south of me.  I watched the towering cumulonimbus clouds spread out and turn grey-black.   Lightning flashed in the near-distance.   I would have taken pictures except for the fact I was driving.    Fortunately, neither storm hit directly, and the drive back was marred only by a a little rain, not a downpour or a hailstorm.   The storms also cooled things off, and I was finally able to turn off the air and open the windows to let in some fresh air.

I finally passed the storms, and saw nothing but blue sky and the golden light of the late afternoon sun ahead of me.   In my rearview mirror, I saw the most gorgeous rainbow I’ve ever seen.  I wanted to pull over and get a picture of that too, but unfortunately such a thing wasn’t possible in the middle of the interstate.    But I felt like my drive had been worth it, even though I’d never actually made it to the coast.    I took the rainbow behind me and the coppery rain-drenched sunshine ahead of me as validations that my decision to drive hundreds of miles to nowhere in particular for no particular reason had been the correct one.  Besides, people who have driven across the Great Plains tell me that’s even more boring — and there you get tornadoes too.

****

Further reading:

8 Ways to Survive a 637-Mile Car Trip — and Make it Amazing 

15 Things I Love and Hate About Long Road Trips

Driving Before Dawn on a Sunday Morning

Posted in boring landscapes, day trips, driving for fun, eastern North Carolina, I-26 in South Carolina, I-40 in North Carolina, North Carolina scenery, road trips, South Carolina scenery, travelogue, trips to nowhere, urban sprawl | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

How DARVO could prove which of us is telling the truth (reblog)

darvo

This is a good article I reblogged from Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole.  I think this information about determining accountability is not only useful on a personal level for those of us who have had to deal with narcissists, but as a useful way to decipher who are the real liars and truth-tellers in the current political mess we’re in.   Narcissists and sociopaths use all kinds of tactics such as gaslighting, smear campaigns, and playing the victim while making the real victim the “enemy.”    Of course, in our current political situation, both sides accuse the other of the exact same things, so it can be hard to determine who are the real victims and perpetrators.    Personally I think a quick determination of who are the real liars and truth-tellers can be made by observing who protesteth too much and which side acts more aggressive.    This can also be applied to dealing with people on a personal level and is very effective if you’re paying attention.

I have left Nyssa’s links in place.  Her ongoing tale about narcissistic abuse by two former close friends who sunk to new lows by stalking her blog is riveting and educational.

How DARVO Could Prove Which of Us is Telling the Truth

By Nyssa McCanmore, Nyssa’s Hobbit Hole

DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior.

DARVO stands for “Deny,, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.

This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.  –Jennifer J. Freyd, What is DARVO?

While re-reading this article on Shrink4Men, I came upon a section which hit me as proof to my readers (who can read Tracy and Richard‘s bizarre, intimidating and remorseless e-mail to me in the “Now I’m Being Stalked” post, and how they’ve been trying to stalk and intimidate me online and off for the past few weeks) of which of us is telling the truth:

Of course, not everyone who denies wrong doing is engaging in DARVO. Many partners and exes of abusive women are accused of things they didn’t do or of things that never happened.

Naturally, when this happens, you deny the accusation and perhaps feel a little (or a lot) bewildered. How do you know if an individual’s denial is the truth or an instance of DARVO? Freyd (1997, pp. 23-24) proposes:

“It is important to distinguish types of denial, for an innocent person will probably deny a false accusation. Thus denial is not evidence of guilt. However, I propose that a certain kind of indignant self-righteousness, and overly stated denial, may in fact relate to guilt.

I hypothesize that if an accusation is true, and the accused person is abusive, the denial is more indignant, self-righteous and manipulative, as compared with denial in other cases.

Similarly, I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior.

This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of lawsuits, overt and covert attacks, on the whistle-blower’s credibility and so on.

The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. The attack will also likely focus on ad hominem instead of intellectual/evidential issues.

Finally, I propose that the offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed. The more the offender is held accountable, the more wronged the offender claims to be.”

Please click on this link to read the full article.

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My Twitter debate with a Trump supporter.

debate

I had an interesting evening on Twitter last night.  I’d tweeted to Bernie Sanders about something he had said about single payer healthcare, and soon got into it with a Trump supporter, who seemed belligerent at first.  It started off with this comment:

Medicaid is evil. It takes money from some who rightfully earned it to give to someone who didn’t. #freemarket#FullRepeal#capitalism

I refuted this tweet hotly, and before long, me and this guy were engaged in a heated debate that went on for over two hours and ran into hundreds of tweets.

I rarely enjoy debate, and I’m not the type to try to convince people to change their views.   I’ve never liked confrontation.  Perhaps that’s due to my lack of self-confidence.  I’d rather try to change minds by writing a blog post, even though it’s more likely all my anti-Trump posts fall into an echo chamber of other people who agree with me.   Many people who disagree with my political beliefs on my blogs tend to be too aggressive, so I usually either delete their comments if they resort to personal attacks or general abusiveness, or just let them stand without replying if I do approve them.  The safe echo chamber of yea-sayers is a lot more comfortable for me than a pitchfork-carrying army of scary nay-sayers.

Verbal political discourse and debate just aren’t my thing and I feel like it’s not what I’m strong at, even when I’m sure I have my facts straight and am certain my view is the correct one.  I’m the sort of person who likes to “live and let live.”  If you support Trump and his policies, I’m far more likely to accept that and ignore you than to argue with you.

But last night was different.  I stepped out of character and engaged in a heated debate with this Trump supporter for two hours.  Not only that, but I also had fun doing it.   Although the conversation was heated, neither of us resorted to name-calling or personal attacks.    I felt like my brain was working at its highest capacity and I was able to come back at him with snappy and factual refutations to all of his (what I thought of as) lame excuses for his wrongheaded beliefs.

Engaging with this Trump supporter was fun, but still exhausting.    His tweets came faster than I could keep up with and finally my brain began to slow down.   He wasn’t going to change his mind; he just wanted a debate, which is something I find unusual in Trump supporters.   He wasn’t a complete idiot, but for moral reasons I disagree with his no-government libertarian viewpoints, even if his rationale made a type of sense, and I told him this.  He seemed to respect my right to feel morally offended by his beliefs but he stuck by his guns.

What I did find interesting was that after awhile, there were long silences from him before he’d tweet his next refutation to something I’d said.  I took those silences to mean he was thinking about what I’d said, especially since his arguments became weaker over time (or at least it seemed that way).   I don’t know whether I planted a seed in his mind or not, but I decided at that point I’d had enough and told him I had to run.  I also thanked him for his time, saying I appreciated the fact he engaged in real debate without resorting to insults or aggressive rhetoric.   He responded in kind and said he looked forward to a future debate.

When I checked my Twitter account this morning, there were several more tweets from him, replying to other things I had said.  Seems like he wants more, but I’m not sure I’m ready right now.

This was a lesson to me that not all Trump supporters are idiots who can’t engage in intelligent debate or don’t want to have their minds challenged.    It’s never a good idea to resort to stereotype, because there are always exceptions.

The last thing he said to me last night was to suggest a conservative book he had read that he thinks will change my mind (I doubt I’ll read it).   Hey, at least he reads.  I told him I hoped he’d think about some of the things I’d said.   Who knows, maybe he will.

I feel like this experience was a boost to my self esteem.

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“Get out of my yard!”

One of the funniest signs I ever saw (taken by someone else).

pokemon

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Why isn’t a mental health assessment required for a new president?

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Credit: Increasing Number of Psychiatrists Challenge The Goldwater Rule / FFRF Maine

 

My son is applying for a job as a police dispatcher.  Like all government jobs, it’s a good paying job, with great benefits, including comprehensive health care, dental, and an actual pension.   He’s already passed two of the tests and the pool of candidates is down to just a few.   He thinks he has a good chance of snagging this job, but he still has to pass a mental health examination, since a dispatcher’s job can be incredibly stressful.  You have to be able to act quickly and make life and death decisions.  You can’t let your own emotions get in the way if you get a frantic call from someone threatening to kill themselves, or from a terrified woman whose ex-lover is holding a gun to her children’s heads.    You can’t dissolve into a handwringing puddle of indecision when you get a call from someone saying their husband is having a heart attack.   You must be able to act efficiently and quickly, and keep your wits about you at all times.    The job, though it pays well and is stable compared to many other jobs, has a lot of turnover because many people find they can’t handle this type of life-and-death stress for very long.  There is good reason then, to give a candidate like my son a mental health assessment, to make sure they are emotionally stable enough to be able to handle the type of situations that will come up without snapping, becoming depressed, or even blaming themselves if something goes wrong (because sooner or later, it will: some who threaten suicide will succeed; some who have a gun pointed at their head will actually be shot).

But the job of police dispatcher is far, far beneath that of President of the United States.  Only one or two individuals will be affected at a time by the choices a dispatcher makes, while the President’s decisions have the potential to affect an entire country, or even the entire world.

We have a president who obviously has a severe mental illness.   He appears to fit ALL of the 9 DSM-IV-TR criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

 

If that’s not bad enough, Trump shows signs of severe paranoia and even a possible degenerative illness like Alzheimer’s.     It doesn’t take a trained psychologist to be able to see what is obvious:  Donald Trump’s behavior is not normal.    At best, he’s incompetent and unfit to lead a nation; at worst, he’s a clear and present danger to the planet.

Armchair psychiatrists’ speculations aside, no official diagnosis of NPD or anything else has been made for Donald Trump.   That’s because of The Goldwater Rule, which was instituted by the American Psychiatric Association to address the idea that diagnosing a public figure (Barry Goldwater’s fitness to run for president in 1964 was in question) without an official psychiatric assessment was unethical.

It’s my opinion (and that of some mental health professionals) that an exception to the Goldwater Rule should be made for Donald Trump, who is visibly mentally ill enough to pose a real danger to America and to the world.   But why wasn’t he given a psychiatric examination to determine his fitness to lead our country in the first place?

Personally, I don’t understand why a psychiatric assessment isn’t required for all incoming presidents, or even for anyone who makes the final two candidates in any election.    If my son has to take one to qualify for a job as a police dispatcher, then I definitely think it should be a requirement for any incoming head of state.

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