Shifting this blog’s focus.

moving_forward

When I started this blog back in September, its primary intent was to provide an outlet for me to journal about my experiences as a victim of narcissistic abuse and try to understand what happened to me. My early articles were far angrier than most of those I write now, because I was just emerging from a long-term relationship with a malignant narcissist and was still suffering from PTSD to some extent. I was finding my bearings as an independent person and learning how to make my own decisions and find out who I really was.

It was the best thing I ever did. Journaling brought me far, so very far–but lately I’ve wondered why I’ve been having more trouble coming up with new ideas and getting less excited about what I do post.

I feel like this blog has been stagnating. I’ve been less interested in focusing on my past and all the negativity that goes with that. I’m moving on and growing, but something happened that really brought home the fact I was ready to take this blog (and me) to the next level.

At first it seemed like a negative, hurtful thing, but today I realized what happened was exactly what needed to happen to bring me to the next level and take this blog new places it hasn’t gone before. As I’ve said so many times before, everything that happens can be a learning experience. People who appear to be your enemies can actually be your teachers.

It was brought to my attention–due to a very controversial article I wrote the other day (far more controversial than I realized it would be!)–that most or many ACONs object to what they think of as my “narc hugging.” Some people have said I’m too wishy washy about them because of statements I have made where I’ve admitted I have some empathy for them (actually I only have empathy for what they could have been, not for the way they are now). Several people I thought were friends have even speculated that I’m a narcissist myself! That hurt a lot. I briefly considered not blogging anymore!

But I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding surrounding Borderlines, who can easily be mistaken for narcissists to those who don’t know much about the other Cluster B disorders. I think that’s why I need to write more about BPD.

I never did and still don’t accept the things narcissists do, and will never forget the abuse they inflicted on me. I will also never stop empathizing and trying to offer support to those of you who have suffered such abuse. I understand how painful and frightening it is. I have been there. But at the same time, I’m simply tired of focusing on all the negatives and on my sad and abusive past. Instead, my desire is to better understand people with NPD (let me reiterate this does NOT in any way mean I condone or approve of their abusive behaviors). This does not in any way mean I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt or continue to stay with them.

I also have recently become interested in further exploring my own Borderline personality disorder, and as a Cluster B disorder, writing about BPD isn’t taking me too far away from the original focus of this blog. I’ve already been writing about BPD a lot more lately anyway.

So to sum up, while I will still address the serious issue of narcissistic abuse and offer a place for victims to vent and get support, future articles will focus more on understanding both NPD and BPD (and other personality disorders), without “selling out” or turning against victims of abuse or forgetting what we have all been through.

I already started this shift when I started writing articles about treating or healing narcissism (I have now included BPD in the static page about that because treatment methods for both disorders are so similar).

I just felt like this blog had reached a place where it couldn’t go any further with the focus it had. I wasn’t getting as excited about writing new posts anymore and I couldn’t figure out why. Now I know why–I needed a change in focus. I didn’t realize that was the solution until several people vehemently objected to the article I mentioned above.

I don’t approve of narcissism, but I simply don’t need all that anger and negativity in my life anymore. I feel like I’m coming to a place where I want to better understand the people who abused me, and that will help me better understand myself.

I realize I may lose a few followers in implementing this shift (I think I already have when I posted the linked article above), but I don’t think it will be many, because really, not a whole lot will change. In addition, I also expect to gain a new type of follower that might have looked askance at this blog before as just another ACON blog. Another way of saying this is I hope more Borderlines will follow this blog.

I feel like I’m growing and moving forward, and making this slight change will help me with this transition. You may have noticed I changed the blog’s title back to it’s original, “Lucky Otter’s Haven” and took out “Museum of Narcissism” because I will also be writing about BPD just as much as NPD. I also think “haven” has a more positive feel to it than “museum of narcissism,” which suggests a sort of freak show. Running a freak show is not my purpose or desire. I also changed the tagline.

I hope most of you welcome these changes and continue to read and support this blog.

God bless,
Lauren Bennett

48 thoughts on “Shifting this blog’s focus.

    • It really is a journey, isn’t it? Like a living thing, a blog can change and grow as we change and grow. Some growth experiences are going to be painful but we can learn from them.

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  1. It’s great to help others, but first and foremost the writing should serve your interests and needs. I think we’d have so many more abuse survivors blogging and reaching out if the survivor community spent less time attacking and judging other victims. Bottom line, we are a scarred and hyper vigilant bunch. Too many times I see people who get offended by another’s opinion pull out the “you haven’t suffered like me ” card, or worse. Maybe that kind of bile is the very condition you’re trying to avoid by not dwelling on the hurtful memories any longer than your recovery demands. My hope is I don’t spend what’s left of my life focusing on those bastards. Chin up. Looking forward to your journey.

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    • You hit the nail on the head. I really appreciate this comment. I’m glad not everyone is so quick to pass judgment.

      I’m not ever going to let anyone else dictate what I may and may not say in my blog posts. If some people take issue with that, well, they need to get over it or just stop reading this blog. There are plenty of others they won’t object to. I know a lot of ACONs are in enormous pain, and yes, I did get that “maybe your situation wasn’t as bad as all that” card pulled on me too. I understand the pain and have been there and still am there sometimes, but we are at different stages of our journey and I’m just ready to leave all the anger and negativity behind. It does nothing for me anymore. It served it’s purpose when it needed to. If other people aren’t ready to move ahead that’s fine, but don’t judge me or tell me what I can write in my posts. This is my blog. I write what I want.

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      • I have been reading ACON anti-narcissism blogs for about 5 years. Yours is by far the best, well-balanced, bravely honest and down-to-earth blog of all that I’ve read. Perfect? Of course not, no one is. Do I like every single thing you write? No, but I like 99% of it, and the 1% I don’t like could be my bad and not yours, because I am not perfect, either. Heck, I don’t like every single thing I write, either.

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        • That means so much to me, what you said.
          No one is perfect and to expect a blogger to never offend you in any way, shape or form is just so unrealistic. I do need to grow a thicker skin though. But being called a narc for stating an opposing opinion was just too much.

          There is more, but I’ll have to save that for an email later. I don’t want to discuss it here in public.

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          • Big hugs. I am so sorry this horrible hurt happened to you. A very similar thing happened to me in the acon blogging community in 2011 right after my mother sent me a 62 page hate letter and sent copies to my family… and a week later, the day after I was talking on the phone to my precious young cousin, my only blood relative in this state, an RN with a BA in psychology, who had known my mom/her aunt all her life, my cousin said “It would explain everything if your mother has Narcissistic personality disorder” — and I felt so validated and loved — and the next day my cousin drowned!!!!! And a few days later I was bashed and judged in the online acon community for something “wrong” I said!!! And they wouldn’t take my sincere apology! Which is why I don’t like comments on my blog….

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            • Wow, I’m so sorry about what happened to you. That sucks so hard. 😦
              Yes, now I can understand not wanting comments and setting your blog to private but it’s something I’m not going to do, no matter what. But I can understand why some do. A lot of people are really hurting and hypervigilant and are quick to dismiss someone as a narc if they say something they don’t agree with. The ACON community is wonderful, but so divided among its members sometimes. It’s sad. We’re all in this together, we are all abuse survivors, so what’s the problem?

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    • I am going to email you with the details if you want to know what happened. I was crying my eyes out last night because I read that a friend of mine (or what I thought was one) said she saw “red flags” about me a while ago and she and some other people hinted I’m a narc. I felt like I’d been stabbed. It doesn’t help at all that this is something I worry about all the time.
      I realized today I couldn’t allow this to remain a strictly ACON blog anymore. I’m actually grateful to these people.
      I don’t know how some people can be so judgemental. My words were also taken out of context and twisted around into something I never actually said. I felt victimized (and outnumbered) all over again.

      Alaina, you made me feel so much better. ❤
      People here at WP have been so amazing and supportive. I’m so grateful for this community.

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      • Whew…… I am so sorry that… oh my gosh…. I …. this is just so wrong. Black and white thinking…. judgmentalism….. insisting that you see everything their way or else you are no damn good and to hell with you…. are those perpetual victims really too blind to see that when they are pointing the finger at you they have 4 fingers pointing back at them??? Talk about blind unconscious projection!

        And they think maybe the reason you think like you do is because you haven’t suffered enough? My MN momster not only tried to gas us all to death, verbally cut me down my whole life long, locked me in an asylum at age 14, and justified her actions by telling evil scapegoating lies about me — My mother also had an affair with my first husband. Hello, Is that suffering enough???? There’s a lot more, if that’s not enough! And yet, despite all I have suffered from narcIssists, I see things like YOU do: stop bashing the narcs. Have compassion. Look ahead more than you look behind.

        Of course they will probably say I suffered TOO much and all my suffering made me a narc….. or else they will say I am lying and a narc. Whatever.

        Haters gonna hate, Baby.

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        • Thanks Alaina, you are a godsend to me. Your abuse was one of the more horrific stories I have heard, but you are balanced.
          I just read the comments on the blog that’s bashing me and they just are going on..and on…and on about this. It won’t stop. I should really just stop reading them but I can’t help it. I asked the person in question to remove a particular post that gets too personal but she still hasn’t done it. The link to my article was also missing an important word (“all”) that changed the whole context of what I was really saying. I hadn’t even noticed, BPDTransformation pointed that out.

          I am also being accused of stealing another blogger’s article even though I provided a link crediting this person and a testimony to how much I liked the article. If anything it should have brought the blogger more hits. I wouldn’t have minded if it were me! But now I’m being called a thief…and a narc. I will be happy to remove it if my reblogging it was so upsetting. They’re just piling on, piling on and ganging up, and making a lot of assumptions about my character. Now, no matter what I do, they are going to read “N” into it.
          They’re being bullies who want to silence me. Not going to happen.

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          • They did it to me in 2011 when I was super vulnerable. And again in 2012 when I briefly tried to come back to those sites. I had learned and grown and hoped they had, too. But NO, they were still playing the same broken record.

            I almost got suicidal over it in 2011. My husband thought it was a demonic attack. I think he was probably right. He has been so worried, since I have been reading your blog and a few others, that I might get attacked again…… ok I am going to walk now. I just asked my husband to pray for you and i am praying, too.. Our fight is not against flesh and blood… there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world… there is no weapon formed against me that can prosper…. Lord I believe, help my unbelief…. God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven… amen.

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            • Thank you, Alaina. I am praying too. I’m sorry that happened to you more than once, it sucks. I really don’t think anyone will attack you though.

              Hopefully the rage attacks against me–that started with one little article that i don’t even think was that offensive but the blogger just disagreed with–will stop soon. I can’t believe that something that should have ended with her simply unfollowing me or whatever and moving on has turned into something so ugly and mean. I suppose I’m doing the same thing here too and should just forget about it and ignore them, but I’m beyond frustrated and and hurt right now. It’s hard.

              Shit, I’m so tired. I think I’m just going to lie down and take a nap for awhile. I need to stop dwelling on it.

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        • Alaina, you are not a narc! Your mom had an affair with your first husband??? Wow. I knew she was piece of work, but THAT…That is very difficult for me to even process the idea of (I mean, in addition to everything else she did of course) much less imagine what you went through!

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          • It was really hard… which is why I almost never talk about it. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve told my therapist about that. And I’ve been seeing this therapist for almost 5 years.

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  2. Hate is like acid , it eats at and weakens the vessel that holds it. No matter how justified your bitterness is, if you allow it to sour you to the point you become vicious to others then you’re becoming the aggressor . I’m trying to be Christian but so many religious people are like this. Their experiences and “faith” make them hard as rocks. Fruitage of the Holy Spirit,,,love , tenderness , mildness, kindness, ……ect, vs spirit of satan,,wrath, anger,,,.

    I’d just let them have their fun. And remember , most people respond the most violently when confronted with facts that hit close to the truth deep down in their hearts . You certianly hit a nerve. Lol.

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  3. I don’t see any evidence of narcissism in you, like, at ALL. You could be an incredibly clever one and have us all fooled, but I doubt that. There is something wrong with having empathy for narcs? For feeling sorry for them and acknowledging their hurt without letting them back into your life or letting them manipulate you? That’s possible and anything else would be bitterness and would eat you up inside. I do understand the necessary anger and bitterness when escaping the clutches of a narcissist and processing all the ways they’ve hurt you (and rebuilding yourself back up) and sometimes that takes a really. long. time. Perhaps that is the place where your critics are coming from. They are not at a place where they can feel empathy for the narc yet. I don’t judge them for that, because as we all know recovering from narcissistic abuse is incredibly hard. Love the direction you are taking and…HUGS!

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    • Thank you. We are all at different stages of our journeys — they may still be in the anger stage, and that’s fine, maybe they need to be, but to start dictating to others what they can and can’t write about and what attitudes they must and must not have is very judgemental and just plain wrong if you ask me. Bullying and silencing someone on a different stage of their journey is never okay.

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  4. Oh and by the way, I have had an increasing interest in Borderline Personality Disorder over the past several months so I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. 🙂

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  5. I’m glad you are going to continue to write. And I am positive that you are not a Narcissist. You were always there for me, and I didn’t have to feed you adoration cookies to keep your friendship. Your very humble.

    I definitely think we learned from the experience. I learned that I wasn’t going to waste my life feeding the Narc. I learned it was time to feed myself. The Narc can teach you good things in a crazy way.

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    • Good point, as bad as they are, everyione can be a teacher. They are our hard teachers. Thank you about the point about our friendship, I always try to be there for my friends and try not to ask for anything in return other than their friendship too.
      I do question myself a lot about my narc traits because I do have them (I don’t like them), but having N traits doesn’t make me one! At least I hope not! But now I’m ?ing myself again.

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      • We all have Narcissistic traits. If we did not, we would be severely depressed individuals serving others all day long with dangerous levels of Stockholm syndrome. We can all see how honest and humble you are in your writing. You will always have a critic. I found that some people resent honesty. People with unhealthy levels of Narcissism resent honesty. People with extremely low levels of Narcisim will critize and debunk an honest person or a rebel rouser in order to supply the Narcissists they follow. They prefer to turn a blind eye, because, let’s face it. Its easy to follow the Narcissist. Its easy to let that disordered person do the thinking for everyone else. I think often the victim of a Narc resents the Narc so much because they resent they resent the fact that they weakened in the situation of the Narcissist they know. In other words, they prefer to point the finger entirely at the Narcissist, rather then taking a good look at themselves, their codependency and learn and grow from the experience.

        I think you have healthy levels of Narcissism. But we all fluctuate. Think about Maslow’s Heiracy of Needs? We all have needs, and we often do not get our needs met. When our needs are not met, our levels if Narcissism flutuate from high to low. Maslow somewhat explained this. We all have fluctuating Narcissism. I believe, we are all have Narcissistic highs and lows. But a Malignant Narcissist is different. He/She lacks warm empathy towards others. Vaknin talks about cold empathy. I believe people who exercise cold empathy (empathic only when following the malignant narcissists belief system), have levels of Malignant, Narcisism. I believe their is a fluctuating scale for them too. Consitamt levels of high Narcissism lead me to believe an abusive childhood has caused a psychological block. However, their are many factors that are being studied, which includes the early development of an infants brain.

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        • Maslow’s hearchy of needs might be a good base for an article for you. You could use his graphs in your article. I do believe it would be a good thing to show the levels of Narcissism in a scale. I think graphics would give people a better understanding.

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          • I remember learning about Maslow’s heirarchy of needs in college psychology. It’s been years and years but I do remember the base (physical)needs have to be met first, then it goes something like safety/security –> belonging –> higher needs (self actualization) or something like that. I will have to read up on this again, it’s been so many years.

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  6. Your blog is the only ACON/narcissism focused blog that I read, because most other blogs on this topic have nothing original to say and are a dime a dozen when it comes to simplistically attacking “narcissists”.

    I would welcome if you starts to focus more on BPD. But remember, it is yet another diagnosis that lacks validity and reliability… you know that is one of the focuses on my blog which is all about BPD healing and cure. I will be interested to read what you think about “the disorder”, or more realistically, varying states of emotional developmental arrest which gets mislabeled BPD.

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    • I have already written some articles on BPD, mostly in regards to myself though, and how it affects the way I act. I definitely have more reading to do, but I’m fascinated by the differencces/similarities between it and NPD, because they are so easily confused with each other. I read a comment on another blog today that dismissed ALL Cluster B’s as equally malignant–that it made no difference if someone was ASPD (the worst CB disorder) or borderline. Many people don’t realize Borderlines DO have a conscience and DO experience empathy but just get too caught up in their emotional drama and forget about the needs of others. We feel terrible if our bad behavior is called out or we see that we have hurt someone. That is the difference. I want to educate people that Borderlines are not that bad, even if it’s still a cluster B and two subdecimal digits apart from NPD in the DSM. (NPD – 301.83 ; BPD 301.81 — or maybe it’s the reverse) Not that the numbers mean jack shit because they’re just used for insurance claim purposes anyway LOL

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      • I don’t like to sound this way, but what fool writes that people labeled BPD are no different than people labeled antisocial?
        Usually NPD is understood as a forward progression or better organized version of BPD, in psychodynamic theory. It is like a later point in a developmental continuum that goes from psychosis to BPD to NPD to healthy states of mind. I wrote about that in my article #23, if you get time to check it out one day. Many theorists like Rinsley, Masterson, Adler, Giovacchini, wrote about how in psychotherapy borderline people would gradually mutate/change into people with narcissistic traits and then into people with neurotic traits. But, their meaning of narcissism was very different than how most bloggers misunderstand it today. They meant the healthy aspects of narcissism associated with regulating self esteem and having emotional security.

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        • That’s extremely interesting! I had no idea about the theory of the continnum, with BPD/NPD in the middle of “Psychosis” to healthy.
          I have read (and remember from college psych classes–I did major in psychology but it was many years ago) that the real reason Borderline PD is called that is because it straddles the line between Psychosis and Neurosis. BPD’s can have delusions (usually of persecution rather than grandiosity) just like a schizophrenic but they are not that far gone. I think as a person with BPD begins to heal, they become less delusional and become more narcissistic (in a healthier way). I think most borderlines are very neurotic though. I know for myself, I struggle constantly with irrational fears and anxiety, and depression.

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          • Yes, the continuum-spectrum idea of mental health challenges is what I’ve been saying in many of my posts on your site! Maybe it didn’t get through before. The whole idea is that BPD and NPD are not actually discrete separable entities; there is no sudden point at which they can be carved at the joints and separated.
            Neurotic in this usage denotes a much healthier well-organized psychological state in which a person is essentially healthy, i.e. able to tolerate ambivalence and integrate good and bad feelings. It doesn’t refer to neurotic in the conventional everyday usage of someone who’s messed up and troubled most of the time.

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            • I’ll definitely be reading that article you mentioned, I love stuff like this, I love continuums (probably me being Aspie LOL) and I can’t wait to find out more about this. And no, I guess you saying this before flew right over my pea brain, haha! 😀

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            • One more thing. I’m finding that in my recovery–I’m becoming more narcissistic, but I think in a healthy way. I don’t care for this (I feel like I brag too much, for example!) but I do think it’s a stepping stone to becoming truly healthy…from being a person who had no self esteem at all just a year ago.

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            • See you should take this as a compliment when other bloggers say you are becoming narcissistic haha. Being narcissistic isn’t all bad. (Hopefully fivehundredpoundpeep, being unable to read properly, won’t now write a post saying that I said “being narcissistic isn’t bad” hehehe

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            • You read my mind. I was thinking I’m actually becoming more narcissistic because I’m moving away from BPD to health. I have yet to read the whole article (it’s long and scholarly) but I will and I reblogged it anyway because this sort of stuff is fascinating to me. I have a lot to learn!

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