9/3/2016: cosmetic and other changes to this blog.
I started this blog in September, 2014 as a way to journal about the confused and conflicted emotions I was experiencing (and still experience) about leaving a narcissistic (malignant) ex I had been with for 20+ years and coping with the feelings of rejection and abandonment I’d been coping with most of my life due to having been raised in a dysfunctional and narcissistic family. I decided to make my blog public, not because I think I “know it all,” but because feedback and conversation is important to me and gives me new perspectives on what I’m feeling. It also helps me feel so much less alone. Everyone who posts here or has ever posted here has been a therapist or a teacher to me–even those who don’t always agree with me–so let me extend my thanks to all of you for helping build Lucky Otter’s Haven into a real community. I care about each and every one of you who has helped make this blog what it is.
And to you lurkers who just read, come on in sometime and introduce yourself.
There are always going to be some people who misunderstand your motives. Of course, when you blog, that’s inevitable. It’s a hazard of the trade. People aren’t always going to see eye to eye, even if they understand what you said perfectly. I know I don’t always make myself clear about where I stand and sometimes I even get confused because emotions can be so confusing, bewildering, and sometimes conflicting. That being said, I feel now is the time to clarify what this blog promotes and stands for, what it does not, and what I expect.
What this blog promotes:
1. Healing from narcissistic abuse–both to help myself and others, through sharing our experiences, stories, and providing educational articles and other media such as videos.
2. Education about NPD, malignant narcissism, and related character disorders that harm their victims.
3. Education about and my personal experiences about having BPD, AvPD (avoidant PD), complex PTSD and Seasonal Affective Disorder (the first three most likely caused by abuse when I was a child)
4. Education about ways we can better handle narcissists when and if we must.
5. Civil and intelligent conversation. We do not always have to agree, just respect each other.
6. Fun. I believe that going off topic sometimes is a healthy thing, and I also try to include humor, recipes, photographs, music and cartoons as well as articles about topics that do not have to do with narcissism or related topics. Narcissism is a heavy and dark subject, and can be very triggering. We all need a break now and then. I also believe humor and laughter is a great healing balm, so I do try to pepper this blog with jokes and cartoons that poke fun at narcissists. (This is not “narc bashing” as one person accused me of–humor is just a way to make them seem less threatening).
7. I also offer support and resources for people who have NPD (or think they do) who are self aware and willing to change. I do not believe, as some other ACON bloggers do, that all narcissists are hopeless and cannot get better. I have received a number of emails from people with NPD who are in pain and want help. I have no reason to believe these letters are insincere or their writers have ulterior motives. In some cases these people may not actually have NPD (they just think they do), but it’s not for me to judge or diagnose. I try to direct these people to appropriate resources and offer as much support as I can. That’s all I can do.
8. I have recently added BPD as a primary focus along with narcissism because I suffer from it. While people with BPD (the more aggressive types) can be as manipulative and toxic to others as those with NPD, I think most tend to fall more in the codependent/victim role and are far more likely to try to harm themselves than others. Borderlines are welcome here and I encourage them to share their viewpoints and stories. Most were victims of narcissistic abuse. I think there are a lot of misunderstandings surrounding BPD and the awful stigma it carries. Speaking up about BPD can be a way to promote understanding and educate others about this devastating disorder.
What I do not promote:
1. I do not promote trying to make a relationship with a narcissist “work” or staying with one, although there may be situations where going No Contact is not possible. In those cases it may be possible to have very little contact or work “around” the narcissist, but I don’t recommend it at all.
2. I am not being paid or otherwise compensated by any outside people, organizations, or other entities to promote their work or their viewpoints. This blog is 100% my own and based on my own ideas and experiences, and where I reblog or quote others, they are credited.
3. I do not promote the idea that all narcissists are inherently evil/monsters/destined for hell/inhuman machines/hopeless/incurable/cursed, etc. While many of their actions are evil and some have become evil because that is what they chose (and at that point it’s probably too late for them), I firmly believe narcissism is a spectrum disorder and “narcs” can run the gamut from merely annoying and self-centered but still self-aware and wanting to change, all the way up to malignant/psychopathic/sociopathic and perfectly happy being that way. If anyone has an issue with my belief that narcissism runs on a spectrum and that there may be hope for some of them, there are plenty of other blogs do not promote that viewpoint.
4. I do NOT condone narcissistic or psychopathic behaviors nor do I think we should go around “hugging the narcs.” I still think the best way to handle a narcissist is to not deal with them at all and that opinion is not about to change. That doesn’t mean we can’t try to understand them though, because understanding may make their actions more comprehensible. Understanding does not mean enabling. They are two different things.
5. This blog is not a forum for narcissists to come to get better. While I don’t hold to a “narc-free” policy (they may post here), I expect them to remain civil and respectful of the many victims posting here–and so far the few narcissists who have posted here have not given me any problems. I do include articles about healing or treating NPD from time to time, and I will communicate with narcissists who have a willing desire to change (and I have, usually through email because most of them don’t feel comfortable posting on a blog for victims of abuse). I will try to help them as much as I can (which usually means directing them to other sources because I am not qualified to be a therapist to them or to anyone for that matter), but the primary purpose of this blog is to help and support victims of narcissistic abuse, not narcissists themselves. Psychforums, Out of the Fog, and HealNPD are all good resources for people suffering from NPD who have a willing desire to change and improve the way they treat others and have more rewarding relationships. It’s my belief that a world where some self aware narcissists can change would be a better world for all of us.
6. I am not a licensed mental health professional and therefore am not qualified to diagnose anyone or offer therapy. I believe sharing our experiences and telling our stories, and education about narcissism and the disorders its victims suffer from are all helpful things that can help us get better and live a narc-free life. If anyone wants to share anything they don’t feel comfortable posting in public, they are free to email me and I will try to help as much as I can.
What I expect.
1. Civil and courteous behavior. That does not always mean “agreement.” Intelligent debate is okay and even desirable.
2. Controversial topics are okay, but please respect the views of others.
3. Religion may be discussed and is even encouraged, but using religion to shame others is not okay. Please respect the beliefs of others even if you do not agree with them.
4. No bashing of other commenters is allowed.
5. No trolling or bullying in general (such comments will be removed or not approved)
That’s pretty much it. The rules here are few.