What 2017 has taught me.

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I feel like a victim again.   I was doing pretty well emotionally until this year.  Since I left my ex in 2014 and started blogging, slowly I began to feel freer and lighter emotionally.   I felt like I was finally rid of most of my C-PTSD/BPD symptoms and the emotional work I was doing both in and out of therapy was reaping benefits.    I came to realize that I had been repeatedly victimized by others for most of my life because I acted like a victim and kept telling  myself I was one.  I became my own abuser.   Although I will never blame myself for what happened to me or the psychological problems I developed because of it (which in their own warped and unhealthy way protected me),  I realized, like Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz, when Glinda The Good Witch told her she always had the power to go home but just didn’t realize it, that I always had the power to be a non-victim, to not live in mortal fear of everyone, but didn’t realize it because the abuse I endured had made me blind to the fact I was as worthy and powerful as anyone else and deserved to be treated well by others.  I was finally seeing what was possible for me without all that paralyzing fear, shame and self-hatred dragging me down.

But the political abuses of our monstrously narcissistic and sociopathic president and his equally malicious administration has retriggered a lot of the Bad Old Me, the scared-of-everything-and-everyone me.     I won’t go into the specifics of what those abuses are since this is not intended to be a political post and I know I’m not alone in feeling so terrified and depressed at the same time.   All of us, especially those of us who survived narcissistic abuse, and especially if it was sustained over a long period of time, all know why he triggers us.

2017 has been a horror show for me.    I feel like an unwilling participant in the Trump Reality Show, all the while knowing I’m on the losing team.    This doesn’t just mean obsessing over the latest upsetting news story and worrying about the effect its outcome might ultimately have on my freedom, financial status, health, and general well-being.     I’ve also been doubting myself again.  My feelings are hurt more easily, I ruminate and obsess for weeks over insults and rejections, even by people I don’t know well.   Often I feel like I can’t function at all.   I’ve returned to feeling like a victim, and even while I know that such a self-defeating, negative attitude tends to draw in even more negativity,  I can’t help it.   Almost a year after Trump’s inauguration,  I’m generally in one of three moods: fearful, depressed, and angry — sometimes all three at the same time.  Sometimes I feel dissociated, like nothing is real anymore.   Sometimes I slide into a kind of numbness where cynicism and fatalism take over.   I think about death a lot.

But something odd has happened too.  In the midst of the darkness, my faith in God has intensified.   I know he has a plan for me, which involves illuminating the truth and serving as a voice for the vulnerable.   Even while my emotional life is presently in turmoil, I feel like God is very near and no matter what happens, I should not be afraid or give into despair or hopelessness.   Even if I become one of the casualties of this president’s policies,  and even if I have to die,  it will have meant something and I would have fulfilled His purpose for me.

As my faith has grown, my heart has changed.   I used to consider myself self-centered and unconcerned about others, even to the point of not being able to feel much empathy to others.   But that was because I felt like I constantly had to protect myself from being hurt.   It’s strange to me that even though a lot of those old “poor me” emotions have come back, this newfound concern about the world at large has not faltered and always exceeds my concern for myself.  That is definitely something new.

I realized about two years ago that the narcissistic abuse I had to endure as a child wasn’t just some random thing that happened.    It was ultimately a teacher that gave me a doctoral level course in how narcissists operate.   It was schooling to prepare me for what we are facing now on the national level.  After my rage at my abusers (and people with NPD in general) burnt itself out, I began to wonder if I was a narcissist myself, or even had NPD.    I looked at those traits I possessed that resulted from not having been validated as a functioning, worthy human being by my parents — my self centeredness, my envy of others, my tendency in the past to not take responsibility and project fault onto others, my rage, my frozen empathy, my tendency to hate (or fall in love with)  people easily — and concluded that I was myself a narcissist.   I made it my mission to rid myself of my narcissism, but at the same time (or actually, slightly prior to it), I entered an odd phase where I began to sympathize with narcissists and sought to understand them rather than keep bashing them.   I wrote posts criticizing what I felt, at the time, was an unjust demonization of people with NPD by the narcissistic abuse community.    I even started a blog documenting my self-healing journey and later, my therapy.   (That blog has been inactive since April and I have no interest in ever posting in it again).

As it turned out, that weird phase was short lived.  I had insisted that my therapist give me an NPD diagnosis, since I was so certain I had it and couldn’t work on myself properly if I didn’t have the actual label.  My therapist didn’t think I even qualified for the BPD diagnosis I had been given in the ’90s.   Instead, when I kept pushing for a diagnosis, he said he thought I had PTSD (more accurately, C-PTSD), maybe with a few narcissistic traits (“fleas” in narc-abuse parlance), but certainly not fullblown NPD.     Gradually I stopped sympathizing with narcissists too, and developed indifference toward them.   The whole topic of narcissism, in fact, had begun to bore me.   Today I could care less about narcissists, although I don’t actively feel hatred toward them.   I just feel — nothing toward them.

I’ve been puzzling over why I developed that weird empathy toward narcissists (and my conviction that I was one), because I’m feeling none of that now, with this malignant narcissist president, or toward narcissists in general.  Yesterday I finally realized why that happened.   The darkness and evil we are facing is so dangerous and so powerful, that for me to have remained in a state of hatred (which is normal for people who have recently left narcissistic relationships) would have kept me from being able to reach out and give hope to others.  Hatred, no matter if it’s born of righteous anger, is just another form of darkness, and blocks any light from getting through.  Not only would it have hindered me from doing the work that God planned for me, it would have eventually destroyed me.  Hatred eats you alive and exacerbates any narcissistic traits one has.   In order for me to let go of my hatred I had to look inward at my own narcissism and rid myself of it.  I would not have been able to see what I was doing to myself with such clarity had I remained stuck in hatred.

I know I’m not explaining myself very well, but I know I’ve changed, and all these psychological stages I had to go through happened as part of my training.  Knowing that, none of this is easy.  In fact, it’s excruciatingly painful but in an existential, rather than personal, way.   It hurts to know there are so many horrible people in the world who have no conscience, no moral center, no respect for the truth or for justice, and do not care about anyone but themselves.   It hurts to know that greed and narcissism is decimating everything good in the world.   It hurts knowing that we have a bunch of men running the country who have made it clear they want most of us to perish and are actively trying to make that a reality and are gleefully going about their mission to destroy.   It hurts to know that, to them, I’m worthless, a useless parasite who deserves to die.   Their soullessness and cruelty makes me question my own worth and is making me doubt myself again and making me act in the old ways that bring about abuse.   I’m prey and they can smell that.    But this time, it’s not just about me.   It’s about all of us who have been targeted.   The evil we are in the midst of feels eternally powerful, oppressive, almost biblical in its malice, some dark force not of this world.  It’s overwhelming.   It’s overwhelmingly sad.  And scary.  And very, very hard not to give in to hate.

Nevertheless I must soldier on.    I can’t go back.   My past gave me tools to do the work I have been asked to do, whatever that work may be.   No matter what happens, God has my back.   But it’s so hard.

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What if the far-right God is the true God?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of God lately.  The insidious rise of Christian fascism in this country is forcing me to do so.

The radical religious right’s beliefs about God — punishing, angry, and intolerant — are incomprehensible and repugnant to me.   The prospect of the Old Testament Law-based Christian theocracy this radical group of zealots are attempting to impose here in America fills me with terror, righteous anger, and makes me literally sick to my stomach.

No matter how hard I try to understand these far right religious leaders, their dominionist views, and their need for total control over every aspect of our lives (this is the same group that talks about “small government”), I just can’t.   I don’t get it at all.   They might as well be aliens from another planet.

Their message and plan for America (and yes, eventually the world) doesn’t contain a shred of love, compassion, forgiveness, or mercy.   They show nothing but contempt for just the kind of people — the vulnerable and weak — that Jesus loved and instructed us to care for.   They only care about power and money.  They will cheat, lie, exploit, destroy, kill, and even commit treason in order to get more of what they crave.    They have hijacked the Republican party by appealing to religious conservatives and their churches, and now those churches have become as corrupt and self-serving as they are.  It’s no wonder so many good people are leaving the churches.   They have managed to Christianize greed and hatred.  They believe oppressing or punishing everyone who is different from them is their holy duty to bring about their longed for Christian America.  They are no different from the Taliban or ISIS.

But there’s an enormous disconnect, because their real god is “the market” — which they consider infallible and think will solve all the world’s problems.   This is idolatry.   Trickle down economics has never worked and never will work.  Singing the praises of an unregulated free market that will always self-correct if left alone is just an easy way for them to rationalize trashing and poisoning our small planet, not having to pay their fair share, or contribute to the common good. Make no mistake — their plan for America, if it succeeds, will cause widespread, massive suffering, misery, sickness, poverty, injustice, and death — all things associated with evil and utterly alien to any civilized society.

I don’t know if I believe in end times or not, but 2 Timothy 3 is telling about the nature of the people who have claimed all the power:  

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Sound familiar?

The supporters of their fascist movement and its chosen leader are almost as bad, selling their souls at hate-filled Trump rallies held so he can puff himself up with narcissistic fuel, where they are encouraged to rough up and act out in violence against people their Dear Leader deems unfit to be treated as human beings.

A few days ago,  Dear Leader told assembled police it was okay to hit suspects’ heads on car doors as they are roughly pushed inside.  “Don’t be too nice,” he instructed them while laughing, then he turned around and spread his arms out wide as if he was expecting applause.   And of course, he got it.   Have those police sold their souls too? People seem to be selling their souls everywhere these days.

America is meaner and colder than it ever was.   Virtues of empathy, forgiveness, charity, and mercy are today seen as weaknesses or even sins — you’re called a snowflake, or a Marxist, or a bleeding-heart liberal.  If you try to remind these Bible-thumping legalists that these are the ways in which Jesus expected his followers to behave, they scoff and pull out their King James bibles and point to some passage in the Old Testament, while self-righteously telling you your God is false and “unbiblical.”  They tell you that good works don’t matter, and only faith does.

It may be true we are saved by grace alone, but if so, I believe your heart will change and you will begin to do good works and to care about others, especially the most vulnerable.  For the fake Christians in power, saying good works are meaningless simply gives them carte blanche to say they are Christian, but still go ahead and keep hurting and exploiting people.    “By their fruit you shall know them,” said Jesus, and that’s what I go by.   Are they bearing good fruit or not?

As Jack Johnson sang, Where did the good people go?  Do good people even exist anymore?   America just seems to get so much meaner and colder every day.

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But the truth is that good people are still here.  We are expressing our alarm, anger, and terror on blogs, in Facebook groups, in forums, on the streets, and in the comments sections of increasingly disturbing news stories as the country marches toward Christian Fascism.    We are crying out as our hearts break, hoping and praying someone will listen and care.   We are scared and yes, grieving that the country we love seems to have been lost.   If we are Christian, our hearts are hurting over what has been done to Jesus and his message of love, compassion, and forgiveness.    The gentle people are being persecuted and vilified just because they care — or because they need care themselves.

The silencing and oppression of the gentle people is due to differences in personality, I think.  It’s a war of values:  gentleness vs. aggressiveness, humility vs. pride, empathy vs. callousness, civility vs. rudeness, altruism vs. selfishness, egalitarianism vs. authoritarianism, critical thinking vs. ignorance, acceptance vs. exclusion, forgiveness vs. vindictiveness, integrity vs. lock-step obedience.

By their nature, gentle people have difficulty rising to the top of society.    Most get nowhere near it, because they lack the aggression and willingness to step on top of and exploit others to get there.  But the falsely macho, arrogant, conscienceless and predatory get there because because they are wired to do so.   The gentle and meek have little power because they do not go around seeking it aggressively or destroying whatever’s in their way to get it.   If they are Christians, they share their faith quietly and sincerely without requiring huge donations, huge audiences, or political power.

Like all scapegoats, the gentle people are blamed for their failure or inability to take power, or become wealthy.  If they suffer, they are callously told they brought those sufferings on themselves and got what they deserved.

The gaslighting and projection keeps getting worse.   We are told our beliefs are wrong and demonic. We are told that if we were real Christians, we should accept that Trump’s America is also God’s America and Trump was anointed by God to usher in Christ’s Kingdom.   We are told we are evil liberal obstructionists (even though it’s the president and his billionaire sycophants and donors who are the real obstructionists) and that we are cherry-picking the “nice” parts of the Bible that we like.

You begin to feel like you’re going insane.   If you were a member of a narcissistic family or were close to a narcissist in your life,  you know how crazy-making the mind games and manipulations and gaslighting can be.   You begin to doubt yourself and your own beliefs.  You start to question reality itself, because after all, everyone around you is telling you you’re crazy, or stupid, or deluded, or hysterical, or overreacting, or too sensitive.

That’s what’s happening on a much larger scale in America today.   The accusations from far-right Trump-supporting zealots (I’m not talking about garden variety conservatives here) sometimes make me wonder if my beliefs really are wrong.  What if the far-right preachers and pundits and politicians are right after all?   What if God really is a big bad bully in the sky who hates gays and Muslims and nonbelievers, and wants the rich and powerful to keep getting richer and more powerful because they are his golden children who are predestined to inherit heaven and earth? Never mind the fact that the Bible itself says the meek shall inherit the earth — you question and wonder anyway.   What if my God is the false one?

And then I start to think:   if they really are right, and their God is really the way they insist he is, would I want anything to do with him?   Would I want to live in a society ruled by their God?  Would I want to spend eternity in a heaven filled with those who worship a God who could be that cruel and heartless — a heaven where everyone looks the same and thinks and worships exactly the same way?  Would I want to live in a heaven where there are no liberals, no gays, no thinkers, no dreamers, no gentle souls, and where people don’t care about each other?  A heaven where the likes of Betsy DeVos, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell rub elbows and congratulate themselves over their moral superiority and how much power they held while on earth?

My answer is always, no, I do not.   To me, such a heaven would be hell.   And if there is a hell (I have doubts that hell really exists, but that’s a topic for another post), I think I might rather spend eternity there, with all the gentle and thinking and oppressed people.  I’d rather spend eternity burning in solidarity with Muslim mothers and their children, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, rainbow-clad gays, open-minded liberals, feminists, artists, dreamers, curious thinkers, intellectuals, tree huggers, social misfits, truth-tellers, and civil rights activists.  I’d rather spend eternity suffering with all the people the religious right’s legalistic and narcissistic God does not favor:  the weak and the oppressed and the persecuted and the brokenhearted.

They have created a God in their own image — a God who is as sociopathic, rage-filled, greedy for power, and narcissistic as they are, and I refuse to worship such a God.

And then I look around me at the natural world.   I gaze at the sunset over the mountains, I listen to the night-birds and the crickets and the trees singing in the wind.  I feel the warm summer rain on my face, look up at the night sky and marvel at the vastness of the universe and all its billions of stars and galaxies.    I listen to the rhythm of the ocean and feel humbled and grateful to be standing next to it.   I watch the intricate, delicate rosebuds on the bush outside my window burst into full flower.   I listen to my cat purr and feel his warmth on my chest as I fall asleep.

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And I realize:   no God as evil and cruel as theirs could possibly have created such a world.  No, the world is not perfect, far from it.  But it’s still beautiful, and evil cannot create beauty or goodness.  There’s no way a sociopathic tyrant of a God could have made something so beautiful and magnificent.   The bad things in the world exist because of us, not because of God.

They will keep attempting to silence us, to make us think we are the crazy ones, the evil ones, the ones spreading (or listening to) fake news, the ones who are destined to spend eternity in a lake of fire.  They will try to convince us that we are the cause of the world’s problems, while they remain blameless and favored by the Almighty.      They will try to wear us down and exhaust us, because that’s how narcissists and sociopaths operate.  A sociopathic society brings out the worst in everyone, so we will be tempted to bury our heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening, or become filled with despair, apathy, cynicism, or hatred.   We have to stay mindful and not succumb to feelings of powerlessness and fear, because that’s what they want from us.   Remember that they feed off our pain because it makes them more powerful.

We must not listen to them.  We must listen to our own truth and our own hearts.  We will be required to go against our non-aggressive, possibly introverted, sensitive, and artistic natures and speak up loudly against those who wish us harm  — in righteous anger if necessary — but we cannot lose control or act out in violence and hatred.  If we are Christians, we need to pray for our enemies, no matter how outraged we may feel.   We are fighting a spiritual war, a war against truth and goodness, and if we don’t fight for ourselves, we must fight for the survival of those we love and those who have no voice.    If we allow them to beat us down and exhaust us into submission (which they are already trying to do), then they win, and all hope will be lost.

The following verse gives me courage when I start to feel hopeless and despairing and exhausted from fighting against this scourge, and I hope it helps you too, even if you’re a non-Christian.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. — Matthew 11:29

 

 

What the Old Testament has to say about not taking care of the poor.

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We Christians already know the Gospels are filled with writings about Jesus instructing his followers to take care of the “least among us” — the poor, sick and otherwise afflicted.    We also know Jesus preferred the poor and less fortunate over the rich Pharisees of his day.    There’s not much argument about how Jesus felt about the greedy and the selfish, which is why the Christian Right usually references the Old Testament with its harsher, angrier God.   They can always find something there to use to make their greed, lack of compassion, and exploitation of the less fortunate for their own nefarious purposes (usually to enrich themselves) seem somehow moral, even God’s will.    They’re good at cherry picking from the Old Testament to excuse their un-Christian views, and cherry pick they must, because there’s plenty in the Old Testament that condemns those who worship mammon and turn their backs on the less fortunate.

No matter what version of the Bible is used, the message conveyed is the same:  we are to take care of and show compassion for the least among us, not exploit them and take away the little they have to enrich the already-wealthy.  This is exactly what the christians in the current Republican Party  (that is not a typo; I will not use a capital C to describe them because in my view they are not Christians) are trying to ram through the Senate in dark secrecy (which is in itself evil and dishonest).  Their “healthcare bill” is a lie.  It is nothing but yet another huge tax break for the richest 1% that will strip healthcare away from middle class and poor Americans, including the disabled and elderly (many who rely on Medicaid if they are in nursing homes or residential treatment since Medicare only pays a limited amount for long-term services); children, people with pre-existing conditions, older people like me who are still too young for Medicare (which, along with social security, might be gone by the time we hit age 65 or whatever the magic age is now) and families of limited means of any health insurance at all.

The huge irony here is this is the so-called pro-life party, but all they are is pro-birth.   They care more about “the sanctity of the embryo” than about a sick child who needs medical care who they would gladly deny the right to see a doctor if her parents can’t afford it.  If she dies, oh well, too bad, it was either “God’s will” or “her parents should have made better choices.”   These sociopaths and their sycophants will continue to get their Cadillac health care plans though, paid for by our taxes, while many of us must sacrifice our own right to see a doctor if we become sick, or risk losing everything we own.    Mike Pence once said that people who will lose their insurance “don’t need healthcare — they need more Jesus.”  Well, Mr. Pence, since you’re apparently one of God’s chosen ones who seems to know exactly what the rest of us who are less blessed than you need, why don’t YOU give up YOUR Cadillac plan and rely on faith healing for yourself and your own family?   If our only option after you rob us of healthcare is appealing to God for a cure and that’s supposed to be good enough for us, why isn’t it also good enough for you?   Give up your healthcare plan so at least we’re all on a level playing field.  No?  I thought not.   Of course, you don’t believe in fairness, because as one of God’s Elect, you deserve healthcare and I do not.

The hypocrisy and callousness of these swamp creatures is staggering.

Many innocent people will die if this abomination passes.     I look at Mitch McConnell, the turtle-faced, dead-eyed, smirking, Koch Brothers-funded ringleader orchestrating the secret dealings to pass this cruel travesty that will help only the most wealthy and the corporations (people just like himself), a “man” who has the temerity to try to ram this bill through in dark secrecy without  anyone knowing what’s in it except him and a few of his equally wealthy cronies — and he makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.   He — perhaps more than anyone else in this administration (and they are all horrible human beings from everything I have seen of them) — reminds me of the Undead — some demonic swamp creature who seems to garner pleasure from the idea that millions of people will suffer and die.   And he’s not the only one.

The spectacle of the smirks, backslaps, laughter, beer toasting, and glad-handing going on among McConnell, Paul Ryan, Mark Meadows, Trump, and so many other of these hate-filled white racist thugs at the Rose Garden party after “Trumpcare” passed the House back in May was a wake up call that sent chills through my soul.  I realized with no uncertain terms that these creatures sold their souls for Mammon and walk on the side of darkness.  If they profess to be Christian, it’s merely a talking point intended to gain support from the gullible red state religious types who blindly believe everything this cabal of Dark Triad power-mongers and their lying, gaslighting, fake news-generating pundits on Fox News, Breitbart, and InfoWars tell them.     Their followers and supporters are in my prayers because to my mind, they are victims of a dangerous and powerful cult whose doctrine is anathema to anything Jesus taught.

Here are passages from the OLD TESTAMENT (I’ve included many versions of the Bible to illustrate it’s not just in the translation) that show that Jesus message in the Gospels is still God’s will for us.    God is a constant and his love is for ALL of us, not just a chosen few.

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Proverbs 22:16

Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich–both come to poverty.

 

New Living Translation
A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.

 

English Standard Version
Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

 

New American Standard Bible 
He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

 

King James Bible
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

 

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Oppressing the poor to enrich oneself, and giving to the rich–both lead only to poverty.

 

International Standard Version
Whoever oppresses the poor to enrich himself and whoever gives gifts to the wealthy will yield only loss.

 

NET Bible
The one who oppresses the poor to increase his own gain and the one who gives to the rich–both end up only in poverty.

 

New Heart English Bible
Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.

 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He that harms the poor increases his own affliction and he that gives to the rich suffers loss to his soul.

 

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Oppressing the poor for profit [or] giving to the rich certainly leads to poverty.

 

JPS Tanakh 1917
One may oppress the poor, yet will their gain increase; One may give to the rich, yet will want come.

 

New American Standard 1977 
He who oppresses the poor to make much for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

 

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches and who gives to the rich shall surely come to want.

 

King James 2000 Bible
He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to poverty.

 

American King James Version
He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want.

 

American Standard Version
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his gain , And he that giveth to the rich,’shall come only to want.

 

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that oppresseth the poor, to in- crease his own riches, shall himself give to one that is richer, and shall be in need.

 

Darby Bible Translation
He that oppresseth the poor, it is to enrich him; he that giveth to the rich, [bringeth] only to want.

 

English Revised Version
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his gain, and he that giveth to the rich, cometh only to want.

 

Webster’s Bible Translation
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

 

World English Bible
Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.

 

Young’s Literal Translation
He is oppressing the poor to multiply to him, He is giving to the rich — only to want.

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Other Verses
James 2:13
For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

 

Proverbs 22:22
Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

 

Proverbs 28:22
A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.

 

Ecclesiastes 5:8
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.

On the oppressors:

Proverbs 22:22,23 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted …

Proverbs 14:31 He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he that honors …

Proverbs 28:3 A poor man that oppresses the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaves no food.

Job 20:19 Because he has oppressed and has forsaken the poor; because he has …

Psalm 12:5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now …

Micah 2:2,3 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and …

Zechariah 7:9-14 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and …

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has showed no mercy; …

James 5:1-5 Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall …

On those who give: 

Luke 6:33-35 And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank have …

Luke 14:12-14 Then said he also to him that bade him, When you make a dinner or …

Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send …

 

America is not a Christian nation.

I expect this post will make some people angry, but I don’t care.   I don’t care how much the modern GOP goes on about God and how America is a “Christian” nation. Trump and no one in his inner circle (or maybe his entire administration) are Christians.  I don’t care how often they say they go to church or quote from the Bible.  All that’s nothing but a sales pitch meant to deceive.  If they actually believe they are Christians, then they are the ones who are deceived.

Piety does not equal godliness.  As a friend of mine put it, if Satan were to start a religion, he wouldn’t use pentagrams and blood sacrifice. No, that would be too obvious. He would wrap his dark agenda that preaches the values of greed, narcissism, and selfishness in a shell of legalistic, punishing far-right “christianity.” He would use a few superficial selling points (like abortion, nationalism, and homosexuality)  to lure the gullible masses (and hijack the churches, which has been going on for decades). He would twist around the language so that love means something closer to hate, justice means something closer to torture, and where all truths are fake news.  Lies become alternative facts, rights become entitlements, and compassion becomes the “encouragement of dependency.”  He would pretend to be saving your life while he’s really sinking a knife in your back.    He would promise to uphold a nation’s constitution and “make it great again” while he’s actually trying to destroy its very fabric.  He would wave a cross while angrily preaching a doctrine that promotes chaos, confusion, terror, despair, suffering, hatred, violence, marginalization, and exclusion — the opposite of anything Jesus taught.  He would show no mercy or forgiveness should you falter or become weak under his regime.  He would punish and marginalize the most vulnerable just for being vulnerable.  He would disrespect the earth and have no compunctions about destroying it for his own immediate gratification.   He would co-opt and transform the most popular religion in the land and turn it into a weapon intended to terrorize, marginalize, and destroy souls.

The modern GOP that has hijacked our country (and is almost certainly in collusion with Russia) are doing exactly all these things — while giving God lip service.   They lie about everything, even when they don’t need to lie. Then they lie even more to cover up the lies.    Who was the father of lies?   You got it — that’s their real god.   What we have now is not a proper government OR a religion — it’s a cult.  Trump is the cult’s leader.    His most ardent supporters — most who call themselves Christians — are practicing a form of idolatry.   To them, Trump is as infallible as God.   I remember when he said he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and they would still stand behind him.   It was probably the only true thing he ever said.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness.” — Exodus 20:16
“By their fruits, ye shall know them.” – Matt. 7-16
“At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”–Matt. 24:10-12

Fake Christianity.

I have a problem.  I’m ashamed to admit I’m a Christian.    That’s because these days, open-minded, compassionate, tolerant people with a conscience give you side-eye if you tell them you’re a Christian.   They assume you embrace the far right values that many (if not most) churches today are teaching — values that embrace hatred, fear, paranoia, intolerance, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, racism, authoritarianism, nationalism (as opposed to true patriotism) and — incredibly — greed (according to many Calvinist teachings, God rewards those who “live good lives” — the select He has already chosen — financially and materially).   According to many fundamentalist and charismatic churches (especially of the Dominionist or prosperity-gospel type), if you’re poor or sick or aren’t “blessed” in this life, then you are not favored by God and will suffer eternal torment in Hell after living a life of hell.     It’s unbelievable they can worship a God who is that cruel.

I’ve doubted for a long time that the far right “Christians” who run the nation are actually Christian at all, because their values seem to be in direct opposition to anything Jesus taught.    They follow Ayn Rand’s teachings more closely than those of Christ.  The reality is that it’s simply not possible to embrace Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness and also be a Christian.  They are diametrically opposed.

Last night my doubts turned to certainty, after I watched in horrified astonishment as the GOP held a party at the  White House’s Rose Garden to celebrate their “victory” — a victory that, if it passes Senate — will destroy the lives or bankrupt tens of millions of average Americans and kill many, including innocent children and people with pre-existing conditions.    I don’t have to go into everything that is wrong with this bill, because it would fill an entire page.  That information is readily available elsewhere.   But the spectacle of watching these rich white thugs drinking beer and partying after such a devastating bill passed the House, convinced me once and for all that these monsters are not only not Christian, they are absolutely, unapologetically evil.     They may quote from the Bible and go to church and bloviate on about abortion and homosexuality, but they worship the god of Mammon.   They have sold out the American people they are supposed to serve in exchange for even more tax breaks for themselves and those just like them.  They are relentless in their cruelty and their greed is never satiated.  No matter how wealthy they become, they want more and more and more.   Last night I sat, horrified, watching these — beings (I hesitate to call them human) — toast each other and laugh about how they had stuck it to the rest of us who don’t have a prayer of ever having their kind of power and material wealth.    They were celebrating the fact that they were placing real lives at risk.  I turned off the TV, sickened and enraged and terrified by what I had seen.

No matter what they say, these are not good people or Christian people.  They walk on the side of darkness and their hearts are black and empty.   You can see it in their cold, dead eyes and their cruel, twisted smiles.    They use Christianity as a way to cloak how dark their souls really are — and as a way to get even more power.  Over a period of several decades starting in the 1970s, they have systematically co-opted Christianity as a means to win gullible and less-educated people (mostly in red states) over to their side.  They have persuaded them their way is the only moral way, the only American way, the only Christian way.  But it’s all lies.  Using Christianity as a selling point is a brilliant tactic to gain even more money and power because it works like a charm.   Using Christianity this way, these conscienceless criminals and power brokers have been able to hijack a nation and now have complete control of every branch of government.   But still, it’s not enough.  They want more, and more, and more.

Now their real work begins:  dismantling everything good this nation ever stood for — discouraging and suppressing and ultimately destroying our freedoms and our  opportunities and our rights and our safety nets.    Their real goal is to create misery, chaos, despair, hopelessness, illness and suffering (both mental and physical — with no means to alleviate it), ignorance, poverty, strife, cruelty, slavery, and death.  Lots and lots of death.   It’s become increasingly obvious to me that their real agenda is to thin the herd.   They used to try to hide this ugly reality, but they don’t even try very hard anymore.   It’s all but out in the open for anyone who opens their eyes and ears.   Their excuses for the horrible things they do are transparent to all but the most obtuse (or brainwashed) person.  With every decision they have made, every executive order signed, every bill rammed through without ever asking once how the people feel about it, every lie they tell, they show their contempt for humanity, especially those who tell the truth or who are vulnerable and defenseless.

But it’s much more than just a show of contempt. They really are trying to kill off or silence the most vulnerable Americans — the poor (this includes the middle class and so their decimation will take a bit longer), the sick, the unwanted, the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill (mental illness won’t be covered under this new bill but now the mentally ill can go out and buy guns — hmm, I wonder what message they are being sent?), immigrants, women, children, the unconventional, the artists, the dreamers, the truth-tellers, the whistle-blowers, and all the people who believe in justice and fairness and kindness and compassion and inclusion and opportunity and clean air and water and safe and healthy food.   They want us all gone, and as soon as possible.  Their “healthcare” bill is nothing less than slow mass genocide of those who aren’t useful to them.   They have even said so much.  If you protest against this mistreatment and yes, abuse — they scream about socialism and how the “liberal media” is destroying America.  Again, lies.   Under our new president, the lying and gaslighting has become so bad that lies are now facts, and facts are ‘fake news.’   Twisting the language and spinning lies into some kind of alternate reality is the way dictators gain their power — and it’s evil.  There’s nothing remotely Christian about what they do.

I saw this comment today under an article about the the cruel GOP healthcare bill that explains the fake “Christianity” behind such a move:

God sent Joshua to kill every man, woman, and child to take the land of the Canaanites.  The Bible is clear that sometimes God requires His people to commit genocide.

 

That’s the mentality we’re up against.  No mention of how Jesus healed the sick (without demanding payment or refusing due to inability to pay),  was friends with the downtrodden,  loved the poor and the disabled and the old and the ill, and warned about greed and what happens to those who worship money and power.    No, because all those things are “socialism” and to them, socialism is the greatest evil.     To them, socialism is “theft” from those who “earned” their riches — often through no effort of their own.

It wasn’t always this way.   There was once a time when Christianity leaned more to the left.   This used to be called the “social gospel,” something you rarely hear about anymore, though very recently there’s been a resurgence of left wing Christianity among those who can see through the false Christianity that’s pushed down our throats by the far right.  Peaceful Christian groups like the Quakers and Sojourners ministered to the poor, sick and others  in need — expecting nothing in return.  Mainstream Christian churches such as the Methodist or Episcopalian church held similar values.  Sure, things like abortion, homosexuality, and sex outside marriage were frowned upon or even forbidden, but the overall message of Christianity was one of love, compassion, and caring for those less fortunate.  Some Christians — and some (mostly mainstream) churches – still embrace this message, but the ones that were able to influence our current leaders are those that do not — and instead preach the prosperity gospel and a theology of exclusion (you’re going to hell if you are not “predestined” or chosen by God), fear (of hell and punishment on earth) and hatred (of anyone whose beliefs differ).

Starting in the late 1970s, a group called the Moral Majority began to change the political landscape, which until that time worked for the most part.   They funneled money to the GOP and the GOP knew a good deal when they saw it.  They realized they had to use Christianity to win over more supporters and soon, politicians were spouting Bible verses and talking about how schools should stop teaching evolution (or any science at all) and railing about abortion, and later, blaming those afflicted by poverty or disease for their “bad choices” or immoral behavior that led to their problems.   They preached about America being a Christian nation — when it was becoming anything but.     At the same time, the churches that had influenced the GOP were now telling their members that if they didn’t vote for so-and-so GOP politician, they were going to hell.    I have no doubt that fear of eternal damnation being constantly drummed into their minds and hearts by their pastors had a lot to do with why so many religious red staters switched from Democrat to Republican, since most would never benefit from the policies they were voting for.

Make no mistake — although they may talk endlessly about their Christianity and be able to spout Bible verses, these compassionless rulers aren’t pro-life and they don’t care about family values.    Railing on about how horrible abortion is, but denying healthcare to low and middle income pregnant women (by making pregnancy a pre-existing condition and putting pregnant women in a “high risk pool” where premiums will be astronomical) is going to make it financially impossible for many women to afford prenatal care.   For many of these women, abortion (which is far less expensive than prenatal care and labor and delivery) may seem like their only choice, so the number of abortions will skyrocket.   For those who courageously opt to have their child without the benefit of healthcare,  they will run the risk of themselves or their babies dying in childbirth — it might as well be 1917, not 2017.

Their anti-life stance goes way beyond the abortion issue.   Many of the newly uninsured will include families with children.     Last week, Jimmy Kimmel gave an emotional speech about his newborn son who had a serious heart problem.   In his moving plea, he talked about the fact that, while he is wealthy enough to have afforded healthcare for his son, even under the GOP plan, taking away healthcare from average and poor families will cause many children and babies who are sick to die.   Any bill that will force a parent of average or low income to have to face their own child’s preventable death just because they can no longer afford healthcare is both cruel and evil.

Pro-life isn’t just about babies and children.   Pro-life means preserving and enhancing lives no matter what your age or income.   Forcing older people, the unemployed, the disabled, the poor, and the sick off healthcare is sentencing them to possible preventable illness, pain, and death.   The powerful “Christians” in charge of things now think nothing about bombing other countries regardless of whether innocent civilians — including women and children — are killed or maimed.  Free public education, organizations like the EPA that protect our air and water, arts and humanities programs, federal grant programs that help kids afford college, access to scientific information about our climate and environment, organizations that help families and children thrive, and numerous other organizations that preserve and promote quality of life are all being threatened.   Their deliberate destruction is nothing short of abuse, as is the suppression of freedom of speech and truth in reporting.    To be pro-life, you must care about all human life.  To care only about the unborn and then callously offer no support or help to the already born — or rip away what support systems they have — isn’t pro-life, it’s pro-birth and anti-life.    Unfortunately, many people who are less educated or lack critical thinking skills are one-issue voters, and always vote for the anti-abortion candidate no matter what their stance on other issues — even though the pro-choice candidate may actually be the more pro-life one when you step back and view the big picture.

We live in dark times, and whistleblowers and truth tellers are increasingly in danger because they threaten to expose the real agenda of the sociopaths and abusers who have hijacked our country and hold it hostage.    Lying is their specialty.  Why would they make an exception and tell the truth about Christianity?   Look at their actions, not their words. These are fake Christians who only worship money and power.  If it’s the Enemy who’s behind far right “Christianity,” then he’s giving it a very bad reputation, and that’s precisely his intention — and to create shame in the act of calling yourself a Christian, which is what I’m struggling with these days.

***

I want to share this article someone just shared with me.   It was written by a therapist who has many patients traumatized by this president. She uses DBT principles to help them cope.   I think people may find this article as helpful as I did.

How to Stay Sane if Trump is Driving You Insane.

So, here’s what I believe about Satan.

satansfall
Painting depicting Satan’s fall from heaven.

 

I don’t know whether Satan exists or not.  But if he does, he can’t be very powerful.  He was merely an archangel, with about as much power as Michael, before he fell.  How did he get to be nearly as powerful as God himself, as most fundamentalists would have you believe?   We are told Satan “planted” the evidence for evolution, causes natural disasters, and can even create life (parasitic creatures, viruses, and cancer cells, for example). But angels never had that kind of power; only God himself can do those things.

Some argue that God allowed Satan free reign over the Earth because of free will, but that still doesn’t explain why he would suddenly have Godlike powers, like being able to create life forms and cause natural catastrophes.    No angel or archangel has ever been able to do those kinds of things.  Would God have given him that sort of power just because he demanded to have it?   I think not.

Satan is given way too much credit, in my opinion, and attributed with way too much power.   He also gets way too much attention.  It all seems like a form of idolatry to me.  As the Ultimate Narcissist, Satan would be tickled pink at all the attention he gets and power that’s attributed to him.

Personally, I think evil resides in the hearts of men.  Since we humans have trouble accepting our dark side, we project it onto an outside entity.  “The devil made me do it,” we say, not wanting to accept responsibility for our own evil actions. If there is a supernatural explanation for evil, I think it’s likely there’s a whole population of fairly weak malicious spirits (demons, if you prefer) trolling the the earth.  Collectively, they could do a whole lot of damage.   It’s also possible Satan is real, but if so, I doubt he (or any of his demons) would be planting fake fossils to “prove” evolution or recombining DNA into invasive and parasitic life forms.   Still, I think it’s wise to be very careful with or completely avoid dabbling in the occult.

Gang-stalking: is it real or just a conspiracy theory?

gang_stalking

I’ve been seeing a lot lately about a phenomenon called gang-stalking (sometimes referred to as “community terrorism”).   Gang-stalking means one person is targeted by Dark Triad people (psychopaths, sociopaths and malignant narcissists and their flying monkeys, most who don’t even personally know you) for nefarious reasons that are never specified but who want you to know you are being watched.  The stalkers seem to have an uncanny, almost supernatural way of infiltrating and ruining every area of your life, even when logic would dictate some situations simply wouldn’t be possible (such as pre-emptively knowing exactly where you will be 24/7 in order to harass you).   The goal is to drive you (the “Targeted Individual,” or “TI”) insane or to suicide–or have you incarcerated in a prison or mental institution–or even killed.   Here are two articles about it.  You can Google “gang-stalking” and find hundreds more.

https://taknbsorbemwon5.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/suspect-gang-stalking-when/

https://www.newswithviews.com/Stuter/stuter78.htm

Here’s a well written, sometimes humorous, but VERY long, article by an individual who may have been gang-stalked (or maybe not), but at least has the ability to use critical thinking, something that seems to be in short supply in these post- 9/11 days where everyone, from the benign looking cashier at the grocery store to your kid’s teacher, becomes a potential terrorist:

http://in2worlds.net/gangstalking-and-targeted-individuals

I don’t know whether to believe it or not.   Of course it’s a fact that high spectrum malignant narcissists and psychopaths/sociopaths can and do recruit flying monkeys to destroy your reputation and your life.   I’ve seen it happen to others and I’ve experienced it.   But where does their power over you end?    I don’t see how it’s possible, for example, to be treated rudely in stores or given bad or dishonest service by complete strangers or how your abuser(s) would have managed to influence them ahead of time.   How would it be possible to be “black-listed” for every job you apply for if you don’t have a criminal record (unless they are somehow able to create a fake criminal background for you)?  How could they cause random people on the street to give each other knowing looks whenever you pass by, or shout abusive things at you?  How could your abuser cause you to get the “evil eye” from strangers sitting across you on a bus or deliberately have people move into the apartment over yours who blast their music and fight all night with the sole intention to cause you to suffer sleep deprivation and drive you slowly insane?

Some people suggest a demonic, supernatural influence.  They say this exists because the world is being taken over by evil and is under Satan’s dominion.   Although I’m a Christian, I can’t accept this.   I’m a skeptic by nature.    Not because I don’t want to believe it and am in denial, but because I think there are better, more scientific and reasonable explanations for the seeming increase of horrible human behavior.   Actually I don’t think things are any worse than they ever were.  I think there are just more people on the planet and there’s the Internet and mass media and the mass panic that always ensues following a breaking news story that gives rise to all sorts of conspiracy theories.

Things were actually far worse a hundred years ago than they are now.  Abuse of all kinds wasn’t publicized and called out the way it is now.  Neither was bullying.  Back then, if you were abused (or bullied), that was just your lot in life and you were just supposed to suck it up because that was your birthright as a child, a woman, or a person of color.   What we call abuse today was considered normal.   What we would throw a parent in prison for today was just “discipline” back then, and a parent had the right to treat a child however they saw fit, even beating them daily or sending them to beg on the streets.  Or sending them to work 12 hours a day in a factory, as child-labor laws didn’t exist.  No one tried to protect you from bullies either.  There were no laws against harassment, sexual or otherwise.    In the old days, if you were bullied you’d be told to “fight back” or “stop being a sissy” if you were a boy.  If sexually abused, you just didn’t talk about it because “nice” people didn’t talk about those things.    If you did try to call out someone for harassing you (and you were a woman) you’d be blamed for dressing “provocatively” or something.   It seems like there’s more bad news today because there’s just more news.    Good news doesn’t sell so you don’t hear about it as often as bad news.    I also think where there’s overpopulation, problems develop, and there are definitely too many people in the world.   Things like cyber-bullying and identity theft didn’t exist because (duh!) there was no Internet to make those things possible. But things like slavery and public hangings did exist and no one batted an eyelash.

I don’t know about gang-stalking.  It smacks of conspiracy theory to me, but I could be wrong.  I do know that evil people can and do recruit flying monkeys and can and do target certain individuals.  It happens in dysfunctional families all the time.  Scapegoating is not a myth, it’s a fact.   But the whole idea of them having so much power that EVERY sphere of your existence is influenced, that where no matter what you do or where you go or who you turn to, trouble will follow you and there is no escape and you are just screwed?  I don’t know about that.

What are your opinions about gang-stalking? Do you believe it or think it’s an overblown conspiracy theory, like the belief that Illuminati is taking over everything? *   If you know you’ve been gang-stalked, I’m not trying to say you’re just being paranoid.  I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but I am highly skeptical.

* I’ve  come to the conclusion that all the convincing Illuminati symbolism going on in music videos, films and TV is actually a tease intended to play off our paranoia.    These industries see people freaking out about “Illuminati symbolism” and play on that, creating more of it on purpose just to get attention (and hence sell more product).

*****

ETA:  It occurred to me that since most alleged incidents of gang-stalking appeared following the passing of the Patriot Act, which gave anyone permission to spy on and report anyone else if they suspected them of being “un-American” (this could means having left wing politics, being of Middle Eastern descent, being atheist, or just being “different” in some way), that gang-stalking could be a result of this.  I hear police departments refuse to get involved and have been instructed to ignore claims of gang-stalking.    Maybe some sociopathic or antisocial people abuse this “right” and report anyone who they dislike as being involved in “un-American” activities, and government funds are used to harass the target in order to silence them.   I do realize how conspiracy-theory-ish this sounds, but it’s a possibility.

Do we give “the narcs” more power than they deserve?

demon2

In my last post, I ranted about a few bloggers that targeted me when I began to move on from my righteous anger at what my narcissistic parents and ex did to me.  About a year ago, I reached a point where my rage at “the narcs” was no longer serving me well. I began to see things in a new way–that my narcissists were victims themselves and that’s why they became so abusive.   These bloggers didn’t like that.  As far as they were concerned, I was a traitor to the narc-abuse community  as well as a narc-sympathizer. They told me I was evil and going to hell.

But that’s also when I began to see myself a lot more clearly and realized what I needed to do to begin to heal.  Why? Because while righteous anger is good and healthy when you’re trying to go No Contact or get away from abusers, once it no longer serves that purpose and you have gone No Contact, all that rage has nowhere to go.  At that point it becomes hatred and begins to poison your soul. And there isn’t anything more toxic to healing than hatred. These bloggers have become so trapped in their rage it has poisoned their souls and they have become what they hate. Unfortunately for them, they are utterly blind to it.

When I began this blog, I was a lot more angry at my narcissists, and narcissists in general. If you read some of my early posts (within the first year or so), you will notice a lot more rage and even hatred toward narcissists than in my later posts. As long as I remained in that anger, I was A-OK with these bloggers. And at the time, that anger was healthy. It was how I processed the whole experience of being an abuse victim, and it validated my decision to go No Contact. It wasn’t a bad thing and I don’t regret it. But at some point, I began to chafe at the constant narc-bashing I saw, and wondered if perhaps “the narcs” were being given more power than they actually deserve.

I’m going to make an analogy here, because it ties right into this idea. I can’t embrace fundamentalist religion for a number of reasons, but here is one of them: some fundamentalists (not just Christians, but Muslims too, and really, fundamentalist anything) gives the entity commonly known as the devil or Satan a lot more power than he/it deserves. They seem to equate his power with that of God. They tell us the world is under Satan’s dominion and we must repent and believe exactly as they do or we’re going to hell. They tell us Satan planted scientific evidence that indicates evolution exists (which means he somehow got bones into the ground that looked half-human, half-ape.) They tell us he brought every bad thing that exists to the world–disease, famine, death, war, you name it. They tell us God has allowed this because of “free will.” They quote the Bible (or Q’uran, or whatever–to back their claims). But if Satan exists at all, he’s merely a fallen angel–with about the same amount of power as Michael, the archangel–he doesn’t even come close to God’s level of might. Would Michael be able to do what God does? Would he be able to create life and rule the universe? Of course not–the idea of it is laughable. To give the devil that much power is an insult to God, in my opinion. In fact, God himself created Satan!

The power some religious people give Satan causes a lot of people to fear God because God seems to exist solely to punish humanity (who “disappointed” him by sinning) for giving in to or being fooled by “the adversary.” The whole God vs. Devil argument seems like an enormous cosmic opera, with God continuously waging war with this all-powerful entity who represents evil to God’s goodness–but in the end, God’s behavior is just as “evil” as Satan’s–judgmental, authoritarian, punishing, jealous, and controlling. In fact, I would say that God acts quite a lot like a…malignant narcissist. People have turned away from religion or are put off by it because of this punishing, negative view of God as Holy Avenger. And among those who embrace it, how many are doing so out of fear, and not out of genuine love for God? If your father was an authoritarian, punishing parent, you may “love” him but you will never be able to have a healthy relationship with him. You probably did what he said because you HAD to, not because you wanted to. You feared his wrath if you did not. You find it difficult to be happy or grow into a loving, joyful person with a satisfying life and relationships because your father’s wrath and judgment became internalized. It continues its live on inside you, as an inner critic that continues the abuse in the form of self-abuse. I think that’s often the case with fundamentalist religion too. It’s nothing more than brain-washing and negative programming whose intent is to frighten and control.  What sort of God would even WANT his creations (who he holds in contempt for even questioning that might) to quake in terror at his presence?  A narcissistic God who craves power and control, that’s who.

The point of this isn’t to make a point about religion, though (that’s a whole other post I will probably never write). Many narcissistic abuse survivors talk about narcissists as if they were actual demons. They talk about them having almost supernatural powers over the rest of us. Yes, it’s true, their behavior is dangerous and can destroy the souls of those they abuse. But they don’t have any more real power than anyone else. They are broken people, not devils. Their brokenness is what causes them to abuse others. In their own minds, I don’t think (in most cases) they actually know what they’re doing. In their own minds, they may even think what they do is the right thing–or they don’t think about it at all. They are incapable of seeing their own narcissism and how it destroys.

Some narcissists are sociopathic and actually take pleasure in hurting others. But I think that only applies to those at the top of the spectrum–the ones who have turned malignant. Most narcs are simply unaware of the way their behavior impacts others. It was programmed into them just as surely as many victims were programmed to remain victimized throughout their lives.

FATHER-FORGIVE-THEM

Narcissists are emotionally retarded, so much so they are incapable of having enough empathy to be able to stop playing out the elaborate (and mostly useless) defense mechanisms they constructed to protect themselves. They aren’t devils and don’t have any real supernatural powers; they are merely blind and stupid. Dangerous? No doubt they are, and it’s always best to go No Contact. An angry rhinocerous charging toward you isn’t evil; it’s just doing what nature has programmed it to do. It defends itself by attacking even though you mean it no harm, because that’s in its nature and it assumes you will attack first. While the rhino isn’t evil and doesn’t get its thrills from watching you bleed to death, it does what it does and it’s best to get as far away as you can. Same thing with a narc, who (unless they have become malignant or sociopathic) isn’t evil; he or she is reacting to internal programming that was probably instilled when they were very young and defenseless. In their emotional stupidity and blindness, they think you are going to attack them (or think you are already attacking them), so they instinctively jump on the offense and launch “pre-emptive” counterattacks on you. They lie to themselves about your intentions AND their own (and I think most of them actually convince themselves these lies are the truth). They may even even think what they do is “for your own good.” Just like that authoritarian, punishing father or that judgmental, angry, jealous God.

So what’s so wrong about thinking narcissists are evil and have supernatural powers or are possessed by demons? After all, they do act pretty evil. They nearly destroyed us with their abuse. They made us incapable of living happy, normal lives or developing any self esteem. Thinking of narcissists as these powerful evil entities from the depths of hell is natural when you realize what you’ve been up against and what their actions did to you. The righteous anger you feel also helps you get away from them. I think at first, thinking of narcissists as having that much power is a healthy thing because it gives you the motivation to remove them from your life. Here’s the problem with it though. Righteous anger isn’t meant to be permanent. It’s a fight-flight response that ensures survival, but when the danger has passed (and you know your going No Contact was justified), it becomes bad for both body and soul. Besides building up unhealthy levels of cortisol (the fight-flight hormone) in the blood that can lead to physical illness, never-ending rage in the absence of an enemy has nowhere to go but inward–or turn itself on innocent people. It becomes hatred and hatred will eventually destroy its bearer. You begin to see “the enemy” everywhere and are constantly on the offense/defense against real or not-so-real monsters. You begin to see narcissism everywhere, even in normal human behavior. You live in paranoia and terror and the world seems like a hostile, evil place. Your fear of supernatural and uncontrollable forces beyond anyone’s control (even God’s) can even cause you to become a narcissist yourself, in self defense.

acceptance

You can’t heal until you can let go of that rage. That doesn’t mean enabling a narcissist or staying in contact with them. But it means moving on and letting go of hatred. At some point in my healing journey, I was no longer able to hang onto my rage. I began to see them as victims too. Of course, this was heresy to some of the narc-abuse bloggers. But by thinking of them this way, they held a lot less power over me. I became less afraid. You can’t feel terrified of something that is pitiful and broken, and by seeing them as pathetic, toothless victims who were crippled emotionally, they seemed sort of…powerless. It wasn’t until I was able to do this that I began to turn my attention in toward myself–and what I could do to change me. If you’re constantly slaying dragons, you can’t have self-awareness because there’s no room for it. In your mind, if you stop fighting, you will be killed. What people don’t realize is that if you never put down that sword, even after the dragons have disappeared, you turn that sword on yourself.

Narcissistic abusers want you to be afraid. They want unlimited power. They want to control your mind even when they’re not there. So, to hold onto hatred (which is fueled by fear, so there is always terror present wherever hatred exists) is really just giving them what they want–control over your mind and soul. Ironically, thinking of them as broken people is the opposite of enabling them. What would a narcissist hate the most? Being seen as pitiful, impotent, powerless, broken, emotionally retarded people. It’s really the only way you can begin to undo the negative programming that keeps you trapped in fear and keeps you from growing into a whole person. It’s also the best revenge, because then you can thrive in spite of their efforts to keep you down.

Is the Illuminati really running everything?

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Madonna wearing the “Eye of Horus,” a commonly seen Illuminati symbol.

For awhile, there’s been a growing Internet meme that states that the Illuminati (a secret fraternal organization started in Bavaria in the late 1800s and closely affiliated with the Masons) is pulling the strings behind everything from politics to the economy to the entertainment industry, and the people we see on our TVs and the media are nothing more than puppets attempting to indoctrinate the rest of us. It’s been purported that 9/11 was an “inside job”, the 2008 financial collapse was planned in order to benefit the richest 1%, and most or even all successful recording artists, actors and other entertainers are secret members of the Illuminati and undergo behind-closed-doors initiations that involve brainwashing,  devil worship and depraved acts such as bestiality and human sacrifice. They believe Illuminati’s sole purpose is to establish a New World Order that rejects God and makes Satan its master. Fundamentalist millenarian Christians swallow this idea hook, line and sinker because it’s in keeping with Biblical prophecy and to them, is proof we are seeing the last of the Last Days, when humanity becomes increasingly debauched, soulless, and turns away from the God of the Bible toward the Self as God (which they purport the New Age teaches).

Being a person who values reason over hysteria, I’ve always been a skeptic when it comes to such conspiracy theories, but lately I’m beginning to wonder. I’ve always believed 9/11 was (at least in part) an inside job and I wouldn’t doubt the financial collapse being one also. I’ve never trusted the government or politicians (OR the powerful corporations and the people who run them) and I strongly believe our society serves and rewards the wealthiest 1%, not the masses. It’s gotten a whole lot worse in recent years too, and psychopathy and blatant narcissism seems to be in excess these days and is treated as almost a virtue and a means to get ahead. But even so, I was still a skeptic about the Illuminati and always laughed when I’d hear the “crazy” conspiracy theories. “Oh, the Illuminati again LOL!” was my attitude whenever I read the warnings of yet another whistle-blowing Klaxon. I wasn’t even sure such an organization existed, never mind have such a powerful influence over the civilized world.

But the other day I was watching some videos of celebrities who allegedly were inducted into the Illuminati (these videos are all over Youtube) and saw something frightening: at some point after their initiation (and usually immediately following or during a star’s sudden rise to fame and fortune), the light goes out in their eyes and they become flat and dead looking.  Of course, Photoshopping can do a lot to “convince” us of the truth of that, so this alone wouldn’t convince me the theory is true. Besides, the entertainment industry itself can certainly take a toll on your soul once you achieve fame, without there being any secret demon-worshipping activities involved at all. When you become famous you lose your right to any semblance of privacy or a life of your own: your life isn’t your own anymore; it now belongs to the music or film producers and powerful corporations who are motivated by money and greed, and you must maintain the image they want you to present at all times if you want to keep your contract. In essence, you must sell out to the fame-machine. In that sense, you can actually lose your soul.


One example of the celebrities-are-Illuminati meme. Fact or fiction?

So it wasn’t the entertainers’ blank, expressionless faces and fake smiles that made me think there could be something unholy going on in entertainment (most obviously in music) as well as big business and politics. It was the symbolism. Almost all successful musicians these days use a great deal of Illuminati symbolism in their performances, music videos, and publicity photos: some of these are The Eye of Horus (the all-seeing eye) enclosed within pyramids (both of which also appear on the back of the American dollar bill), certain hand signs associated with the Illuminati, one eye being covered in some way, satanic goat’s heads (the god Baphomet), checkerboard floors, diamonds, and other satanic or illuminati symbolism. Although some effort is made to make these symbols subliminal, they are becoming increasingly obvious.

It’s believed by many that these entertainers are forced to “pay homage” to the Illuminati through these symbols, and that they also serve as a “secret communication” between Illuminati members that the rest of us won’t catch. It’s also been said it’s meant to indoctrinate the masses to the idea of satanism and the unholy, softening us to the eventual takeover of the world by the devil.

Illuminati symbolism in entertainment and politics is nothing new, but less effort is made now to hide it, and some form of this symbolism seems to appear in EVERY music video made by extremely successful music stars. Photos of celebrities in music, film and TV; and politicians and business leaders often show them covering one eye or making the ubiquitous Illuminati hand signs:

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Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z are highly rumored to be high ranking Illuminati members.

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The popular “devils horns” that’s often seen at rock concerts is actually an Illuminati symbol and us used in politics as well.

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Another example of an Illuminati hand sign and another symbol, a diamond.

But even this wasn’t enough to make me think the takeover of the media and entertainment by the Illuminati might be true. It was this video of Taylor Swift performing at the 2012 AMA awards:

Taylor Swift, was, until around the time of this video (and her simultaneous switch from country to pop music), was a virginal pop-country princess whose videos and shows were wholesome enough for parents to take their preteen daughters to and Taylor was held up as a role model. Her songs were catchy and tuneful and she always dressed modestly and just seemed like such a nice person in an industry full of so much depravement and immorality. But here, we see a different Taylor. Yes, she is older and with age one would expect more “worldliness,” but I’m not so sure. This performance has been said by many to be a representation of her initiation into the Illuminati (which purportedly took place in 2009, with the Kanye West incident being a “test,” which she passed).  In the beginning of this video, she comes out on stage dressed in virginal white (meant to represent the early Taylor) but then is “raped” by the dancers (representing the Illuminati) and emerges dressed in black and red, and suddenly her demeanor changes from sweet to siren-ish. The video is full of Illuminati and Masonic symbolism too.
It’s interesting that this seems to be a pattern, particularly in the music industry: once a celebrity becomes a commercial success, suddenly they take a very dark turn and the symbolism begins to appear.

While I can’t say Taylor has lost her soul or has the dead-eye look some celebrities seem to get (in her interviews she seems quite together and happy and as nice as ever), she is now the most powerful person in the music industry and her success only seems to keep growing. Her music has also become a lot darker. Did she sell out to the forces of Satan in exchange for unlimited fame and fortune? Will she harden even more as she gets deeper into the cult? Will the light go out in her eyes? What about other successful celebrities? Are they masters of their fortune or are they really victims and slaves to a sinister force they have no control over anymore?

Is there really a such thing as the Illuminati at all? If so, does it really have that much power over our society and does it really represent the takeover of evil? Or is it all a huge delusion, the product of the overactive and paranoid imaginings of unenlightened people who don’t trust anything anymore?

What do you think? Let’s talk.

Spiritual crisis.

sun-breaking-through-dark-clouds

I’ve always hesitated about getting too religious on this blog, since people of many different faiths (or none at all) come here and I don’t want to alienate non-Christians or atheists. But there’s no possible way to write what I’m about to write without at least acknowledging the presence of God (good) and Satan (evil). I will be referencing God because He plays such an important part in what happened to me this morning, but prefer to use the term “evil” or “forces of darkness” rather than Satan or the Devil. It’s all the same thing.

This morning I had a wake up call from God. Like so many other times when God knocks me upside the head with the truth, it hurt–a lot! But ultimately, it proved to me He hasn’t given up on me yet and has shown me the way to get out of the spiritual mess I’ve gotten myself into. But when He’s not pleased, He definitely lets you know. It’s my own choice what I do with this information.

As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with depression, lack of motivation, and strange dissociative episodes, where I often feel as if I’m out of my body. My “muse” seemed to have gone AWOL without any warning. I couldn’t figure it out, and thought I was having some kind of mental breakdown or a relapse into the numb depression I was in before I started to blog.

I didn’t realize until this morning that what was happening had little to do with my mind but a lot to do with my soul. Now when I look back at everything, I can’t understand how I didn’t see it, but Evil has a way of sneaking around and convincing you it’s Good when it’s the worst thing imaginable. Evil wants your soul and will do anything it can to get it, even convince you that bad is good and good is bad, and have you questioning your faith, if you have one.

I felt like God was very far away. I prayed, but half-heartedly, and no answers were coming. It was frustrating. Had God played a trick on me, or maybe didn’t even exist? Or maybe God just didn’t like me very much.

For weeks, maybe several months, my efforts at writing new blog posts felt forced. I felt that I was losing interest in narcissism and would have to take this blog in another direction. At the same time (and this is VERY insidious!) I found myself reading a lot about dark subjects, just because I felt drawn to them somehow. Yes, I admit it: while I want to be a good person and walk on the side of what’s good and right, there’s always been a part of me that’s attracted to darkness, even though at the same time I feel repelled by it. In fact, it’s much the same kind of “attraction” I’ve always had to narcissistic men–both attracted and repelled at the same time. I know it’s bad, and know it’s bad for ME, but rationalize to myself why it isn’t that dark or why it’s okay for me to be drawn closer to it. I thought I could delve into dark subjects as a sort of “spectator,” without getting really involved. I rationalized to myself that I wasn’t offending God because I wasn’t actually engaging in these activities. The power of the demonic is in its insidiousness. The way it sneaks up on you.

false-prophet
Evil can masquerade as “good.” Be careful.

Last week I posted an article (which I removed this morning due to its content) about the use of psychedelic drugs as therapy for Cluster B disorders and PTSD. The article was at best irresponsible and misleading, and at worst potentially destructive, even…evil. But at the time I wrote it, I had somehow convinced myself it was okay as long as I prefaced it with a “disclaimer.” It never occurred to me that although I never would take such drugs myself, even as therapy (for the record, I don’t do any drugs and rarely even drink), that someone else might be convinced to do so, and find themselves in the midst of something they would not be able to handle or even in the ER! They could also find their souls in jeopardy.

That might sound dramatic but let me explain. In spite of my unhealthy obsession with dark things, I’ve shied away from anything involving the occult ever since my bad experience using a Ouija board at age 17. The occult scares me because I believe it’s possible to attract dark forces or spirits when engaged in it. Psychedelic drugs scare me too, but I find their effects (including their effects on me in the past, which were always negative) strangely fascinating. But when you take a psychedelic drug, you’re altering your consciousness and this often involves something called “ego death.” When ego death happens, people tend to dissociate quite badly. At high doses–or on strong psychoactive drugs–you lose your sense of yourself and forget who you are, where you are, or even that you’re human. At the same time your cognition remains intact. It’s at this point that many people either freak out and have a bad experience–or enjoy the experience and begin to think of themselves as “like gods” since they feel like disembodied pure consciousness and “see” things that are unbelievable in the context of the material world.

Several things can happen, and none of them are good. You can have a psychotic break and never “return,” you can “come back” believing the lies you’ve been told (that you’re “like a God” and can do anything God can do), or an outside entity (most likely, a bad one) can enter your body when you’re in this vulnerable state. I do realize some people claim to have had enlightening and even humbling experiences, and that may be the case for a few, but I think it’s the exception rather than the rule, and even then, you may have been deceived by dark forces. Some say that because psychoactive plants grown in nature and God created these plants, that they must have been put there by God for humans to use to achieve enlightenment. That may be the case but I doubt God wants us all tripping to know Him. They may have been given to us as medicine, meant to be dispensed by a doctor. We can’t know why they exist, but I have no business encouraging anyone to use them recreationally or as a method of self-therapy. There are too many risks and too many negative outcomes. It’s opening a Pandora’s box to the unknown. Just because you’re curious about what’s in that box doesn’t mean it should be opened. Personally I think psychedelic drugs are a form of sorcery (and I even said so in the article this post is about), and sorcery isn’t anything I want to get involved with.

I can’t help but think of Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge, which may have been a psychoactive plant of some sort. Look what happened to them (and all humanity) after they ate from it! God specifically told them not to eat the fruit but they did anyway. We can’t know why it was put there if they were not to partake, but He must have had his reasons. They listened to the serpent instead who told them it was perfectly okay and not to listen to God. They fell for it and their disobedience led to the Fall. No, I do not believe this was a literal account of creation (I think it’s allegorical) but the message there is still very clear: there are some things God does NOT want us to do, and it’s not for us to question His reasoning. It could be that the answer would be too overwhelming for us to handle.

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It fills me with shame now to think that in posting that article last week, I was doing the same thing the serpent was doing in the Garden. Even with all the disclaimers and admission that I’d be too afraid to undertake any psychotherapy using psychedelic drugs, that article was still incredibly irresponsible to say the least. I can’t believe I even wrote such a thing, never mind actually posting it! But the dark forces can be very convincing and even hypnotic (much like a drug–or the serpent) and while engaged in activities that are more pleasing to those forces than to goodness (or godliness), you literally can’t see what you’re doing or why it’s a bad thing. Evil literally becomes “good” and that’s the lie the dark forces wants us to believe.

I now know why I’ve been feeling so depressed and dissociated. My soul was being pulled between good and evil. Being pulled in two opposite directions, I couldn’t “move,” hence the lack of motivation and dearth of new ideas. It also explains the strange out of body experiences and inexplicable sense of foreboding and panic attacks. These are all symptoms of soul sickness. Someone on another blog has said I seem very confused, and it’s true. I am very confused and have been for some time. The dark forces use confusion to disorient us and make us more vulnerable to their attempts to win our souls to their side.

I want to do what’s right; I want to please God, but at the same time I do find dark things alluring and seductive. All my life I’ve been surrounded by evil, and stayed with a very evil man far longer than I should have. I finally escaped, and found God, but the dark forces still want to get their hooks in me and this was their attempt to do so. I’m not strong enough to resist those forces without God, especially taking my background into consideration. If I deliberately dabble in things (and this includes even reading excessively about them) I’m leaving myself wide open to go down a very negative spiritual path.

This morning I saw a comment about this blog on someone else’s blog. The comments were not positive. The drug article was called out as being “evil.” I never thought of it that way, because the last thing I want to be is evil, but I immediately realized this person was right. I don’t want to post things that could be seen that way or could harm someone’s body, mind or soul. But that article WAS very dangerous and suddenly it was like my eyes were opened. I almost felt as if I’d just woken up and seen things as they really were. I saw myself in the mirror and the reflection wasn’t pretty.

My first reaction was extreme. I felt such overpowering shame (similar to what Adam and Eve must have felt in the Garden when they covered their bodies) that for a moment I was VERY tempted to just take down this whole blog and disappear. But suddenly I felt God’s presence and another thought entered my mind–Repent. Retract the article (as well as others that have been seen or may be seen as irresponsible or damaging to ACONs or disordered people, or ANYONE for that matter) and publicly apologize. I knew that God was giving me another solution because He knows that blogging has brought me to Him and didn’t want me to destroy the gift He’d given me to heal myself. To take down this blog and disappear would be the coward’s way out. It’s the way I have handled so many other things in my life when I handled things badly or hurt someone unintentionally. But God doesn’t want us to be cowards. He wants us to take responsibility for our mistakes, to own up to them, even when it’s embarrassing.
I was wrong. There’s no other way to justify what I did.

Many people might think doing such a thing a public retraction and apology would bring more shame than just disappearing. But ironically, I felt relief and gratitude. Gratitude that God had NOT turned his back on me (as I’d feared) and still has a plan for me. A year ago he was working on my mind; now He’s working on my soul, and the lessons you learn are so much harder. God is endlessly patient with us. He knows we’re human and will mess up sometimes. I messed up big time. I asked for forgiveness but I knew that the feeling of relief and gratitude meant He’d already forgiven me, as long as I never do such a thing ever again.

And God does perform miracles too. Several small (or not so small) miracles happened following my eyes being opened this morning. I could have felt hurt by the negative comments on that other blog, but somehow I didn’t–because I knew that person was right. I didn’t feel depressed today, and I felt inspired to write this article. I realized how much I WANTED to write it. I couldn’t wait to get home to write it. I haven’t felt this excited to write any blog post in months! I just knew that it was what God wanted me to do, and God always knows what we need even when we don’t.

When I got home earlier, there was one other little miracle waiting for me. This:

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A single bright pink flower on a succulent plant in my kitchen that has NEVER bloomed in the three years I’ve had it. I never noticed it until I got home, and suddenly there it was! I felt God’s presence and knew this was Him letting me know I’d made the right choice and was pleased. So I uttered two words: “Thank you.”

I know there will be many more spiritual crises ahead of me. I’m far from perfect and never will be. But I know if I stay close to God and stray less than I have over to the allure of darkness, I may have fewer of them and find I’m a whole lot happier in general.