When I started this blog, I remember saying I would never write about politics or religion.
Four years later, I’m writing about both politics and religion. Though not every one of my posts covers these two divisive subjects, a good percentage of them do. Sometimes I remember the promise I made when this blog was new, and feel like a bit of a hypocrite.
But then when I realize how closely our political situation (and religion too, since in America, right wing evangelical Christianity has become VERY political) ties in with narcissistic abuse and sociopathy, which was this blog’s original focus — I realize I made the right decision in tossing aside my original vow to steer clear of religion and politics.
In 2019, narcissistic abuse is no longer a matter that only affects individuals, relationships, and families. It’s the modus operandi of a criminal political organization or perhaps group of criminal political organizations that is affecting everyone under their rule on a nationwide, or even a worldwide, scale. What is happening in the Republican Party — no longer your father’s, brother’s, or even your own conservative, small government, ‘family values’ party, but a treasonous terrorist organization of white supremacists and religiofascists that serves only the wealthy, white, straight, and male — is narcissistic abuse writ large. Like it or not, all of us, to one degree or another, are affected by it.
Those of us who are horrified by what has become of America and the cruel way some vulnerable groups of people are being treated, and terrified by what Trump and his sociopathic regime may do to us next are most likely suffering some form of PTSD. If we already were victims of narcissistic abuse, we are likely suffering a relapse of Complex PTSD (C-PTSD). I know I sure as hell am. Most days I feel like I’m just barely hanging on. It’s hard to think or to function. I feel constant anxiety, and sometimes depression. When I’m not anxious or depressed, I’m in a white hot rage. Peace of mind is a thing of the past, since I never know what fresh hell each new day will bring. I know I’m far from alone.
Living in Trump’s America without being part of his cultish base feels a lot like waiting for your abusive husband to get home and not knowing whether he’ll beat you up again or mercifully just ignore you tonight. It feels like being a scapegoated child in a family of narcissists, who blame you for everything that goes wrong, even though you don’t understand what you did wrong (and probably didn’t do anything). You’re always anxious and on edge, always waiting for the “other shoe to drop.” Narcissists like to keep you off balance, and Trump and his sycophants like to create the sort of chaos and say the kinds of things that keep us all off balance and constantly on edge. What he’s doing isn’t any different than what your narcissistic mother did to you, and it has the same deleterious effect on your mental health.
Since 2016, mental health professionals say their caseloads are increasing, and most new caseloads are people suffering PTSD because of the trauma Trump is causing them. Even if his cruel and hate filled policies don’t affect you or your loved ones directly, the threat of violence, the taking away of benefits and freedoms, and the mocking hatred is always there, like a black heaviness in the room. The toxic rhetoric he and his base use against anyone who doesn’t act, believe and look the way they do never goes away, and it’s getting worse. Now he’s goading his base (through his Twitter account) to actual violence against anyone who dares to criticize him or his policies. I have no doubt he’s trying to rile up the police, the biker gangs, the gun nuts, and others to form a militia against liberals and progressives (and even moderates), truthtellers, and the lovers of democracy. Make no mistake: he’s gathering an army of brownshirts to terrorize, attack, and even kill anyone who isn’t on his side.
My point is that politics and religion in 2019 is very much tied up with narcissistic abuse and sociopathy, and to not address the fact this problem is now happening on a nationwide or even worldwide scale (and perhaps has been for a long time) is to deny that it is happening at all. To not write about current events in light of narcissism and sociopathy would be irresponsible.
My first goal in writing about these issues is to educate and make those who might not have connected this presidency with the problem of narcissistic abuse more aware that it is happening. With awareness and education, people are more equipped to see what is happening, when it’s happening, the various “tricks” they use (gaslighting, lying, blame shifting, demonization of groups, black and white thinking, employing “flying monkeys”, etc.) and take appropriate action or defense measures to guard against it.
Since most of us can’t go “no contact” with Trump (unless we have the means to emigrate to another country), we must stay vigilant and aware of the myriad ways he and his “flying monkeys” abuse us (he abuses his own base too, but they are in denial, like the cult members they are). At the same time, we can’t forget about our families, our friends, and try to enjoy our lives as best we can. The little things in life matter too. We can (and must) take breaks from the news, and focus on more positive things, and try to find joy wherever we can.
Remember that even in the most depressing and darkest of circumstances, it is possible to find joy. Read The Diary of Anne Frank for inspiration and strength. If you believe in God, pray. If you don’t, do positive things for yourself and others. Give (and get) lots of hugs. Volunteer. Adopt an animal. Do good things in your community. Everything you do makes a difference.
Don’t put on horse blinders and pretend what’s happening isn’t, but in the midst of all the black chaos, take time out for joy and friendship. Also remember that Trump is an angry, lost soul who has neither joy or true friends and never will. You are better than that and that’s why he hates us.
The other reason I write about politics and religion is because it’s a way to personally cope with what’s happening. Just as I wrote about my own abuse as a survivor of a narcissistic family and emotionally abusive marriage in order to heal, it’s also necessary for me to write about the ways I feel abused by Trump and his regime in order to keep my sanity. Otherwise I might completely give up hope and put a bullet in my head.