The Divide and Conquer tactics used by the GOP to divide the left.

divideandconquer

This cartoon clearly shows how Divide and Conquer works.

 

I think my experience as a survivor of narcissistic abuse and my subsequent “crash course” in how this type of abuse works (which is the original reason I started this blog)  is the primary reason I am now so aware of the narcissistic abuse that the Trump administration is inflicting on America and the whole world (and yes, that even includes his supporters, who are codependent to him as they would be to an abusive spouse or parent — or are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome).

One of the Machiavellian tactics used by malignant narcissist Trump and his equally sociopathic regime (and it IS a regime, which is why I call it that)  is Divide and Conquer.  Malignant narcissists and other Dark Triad people use D&C as a way to manipulate and control their marks.  Dividing people works, because it’s easier to take control over them when they are not united as an opposing force because they are too busy fighting each other to see the real danger right in front of them.

There are many examples of Divide and Conquer used by the Trump regime, but some are less obvious than others.  Rallying his supporters to hate journalists and the “fake news,” or using racist dog whistles to rile up his base against “the Other”  are more obvious examples that can be fairly easily detected by anyone who follows the news and is against the Trump regime.

One of the less obvious D&C tactics are insidious ploys to divide “the left.”   I need to mention here that “the left” is no longer limited to latte sipping East Coast intellectuals and artists, socialist Millennials, and pot smoking aging hippies.   It now refers to anyone who is against Trump and his regime.   We are at a point in history where even moderate conservatives who oppose this president (the so called “Never Trumpers”) are now part of “the left.”  George W. Bush could be considered a leftist now — that is how far right the Overton Window has moved in recent years.   But I digress.

In the past few days, I have noticed a smear campaign being used against Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  Liberals and Democrats on Twitter have been arguing and fighting amongst themselves (even blocking other people on the left who otherwise agree with them politically), over whether Nancy Pelosi should keep her job in the House or be replaced with someone younger and “more relevant.”

It turns out this smear campaign was started by the GOP and specifically Trump, who constantly tweets derogatory and inflammatory things about her, knowing she is controversial to people on the left to begin with.   Here is a tweet from the other day that seemed to be the catalyst for the current discord:

Democrats, please do not distance yourselves from Nancy Pelosi. She is a wonderful person whose ideas & policies may be bad, but who should definitely be given a 4th chance. She is trying very hard & has every right to take down the Democrat Party if she has veered too far left!

What he’s doing is taking advantage of the fact Pelosi is already controversial to divide the left even further and create deeper discord and division.  His goal is to provide a distraction from the real damage he and his regime are doing while simultaneously making the left lose focus on who the real enemy here is — and it is not Nancy Pelosi.

This is a sneaky and insidious way to divide (and subsequently conquer) Trump’s enemies and it’s being used because IT WORKS.    It’s so insidious that unless we have received an education in how to spot narcissistic abuse and Machiavellianism, we may not even be aware that we are just marks being used and manipulated by a sociopathic leader for his own benefit.

That Trump is using a common technique known to abusers and malignant narcissists is as obvious to me as the sky is blue, but it may not be so obvious to others not familiar with how narcissistic abuse works.    I recommend people opposed to Donald Trump and his regime read The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout.  This blog also features many articles about narcissistic abuse, or if you prefer, just Google “narcissism” or “narcissistic abuse” to find other blogs, articles, and resources about this pervasive problem that begins in families and between individuals and works its dark magic all the way up to our highest world leaders.

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The sick cult of Trumpism.

trumprally

I must have a stomach made of iron, because last night I actually was able to watch the Trump Rally in Pensacola, FL without vomiting.   I have never seen one of these things before in its entirety, and it was eye opening and sickening.   I’m not going to bother posting the video of it here.  If you really want to watch it, it’s on Youtube.

Trump holds his hate-rallies to garner necessary narcissistic supply and the adulation and worship he craves, but this one had a secondary purpose — to drum up support for Bible thumping pedophile and sexual abuser Roy Moore.  I believe Moore is every bit as much of a narcissistic sociopath as Trump, and birds of a feather do tend to stick together.  Between Steve Bannon, Roy Moore, and Trump himself, these morally bankrupt despots are ready to take over the GOP and remake America into their hateful, racist, homophobic, sexist, and nationalistic image and call it “good.”

Trump’s speech, as always, was full of generalizations, baldfaced lies, self-congratulatory nonsense, empty slogans, demonizations of the liberal press, and smearing of people he dislikes or that threaten him, all while puffing out his chest and clapping for himself.  As usual, he said nothing the least bit inspiring, wise, compassionate, or intelligent.  His audience soaked it all in.

I have never seen another president demonize the opposing political party the way he does.    He called the Democrats “evil, bad people” who are actively trying to obstruct what he is doing (like, maybe they are trying to save America from becoming Nazi Germany 2.0 or Mussolini’s Italy?). He even accused liberals of trying to set up an authoritarian regime that would suppress free speech and freedom of religion (yes, really).     This is the way you talk about ISIS or maybe North Korea, not your fellow Americans.   It’s the kind of rhetoric banana republic dictatorships use to divide and conquer, while disguising their corruption and moral bankruptcy by making themselves blameless.   It’s a tactic utterly alien to any working democracy.

It’s not much of a stretch to go from “they are evil, bad people” to “they aren’t human,” and “they should be killed.”   Despotic leaders throughout history have justified genocide and torture by dehumanizing their opposition.   I fully expect that if something isn’t done to stop him soon, liberal journalists, protesters, and others who disagree with Trump and his cult will be jailed.  Our First Amendment is hanging in the balance.

Trump’s speech was also a great example of how malignant narcissists use projection and blame-shifting to manipulate.   To anyone familiar with NPD, it’s easy to see that whenever Trump smears others, he is really talking about himself.   He attributes those negative qualities to others that actually belong to him.   It’s almost funny once you realize what he’s doing, and once you see it, you can’t unsee it.   He’s really smearing himself, although most likely he’s not consciously aware he is.

waltermartin

Even more disturbing than Trump’s hate-filled, despotic speech, was the spectacle of the supporters attending.   They really remind me of a cult, and in fact they are one.    Cult leaders can convince their followers that the most heinous or amoral acts are somehow A-OK if they benefit the cult’s or leader’s goals.   Charles Manson was great at this sort of manipulation.    L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, was also well-versed in it.   The Children of God “Christian” cult was a less famous example.  Cult leaders throughout history have been able to brainwash and control their followers.  They can convince their flock to believe anything, no matter how insane or wrong, using mind control and manipulation techniques.

Cult leaders can also convince their followers to commit evil or amoral acts, often against what the cult leader believes is their opposition.  L. Ron Hubbard did this by calling people critical of Scientology “Suppressive Persons (SPs) or “low tone”  and followers who were in contact with them “Potential Trouble Sources.”  Hubbard required his followers to do the same, which included  cutting ties with concerned family members who dared to criticize Scientology or their family member’s involvement in it, or shun other Scientologists who were “ethics” problems.    Trump (and his sycophants) do the same thing by calling liberals, Democrats, and leftist and even centrist media “evil” and “enemies of America,” when in reality it’s Trump and his lackeys and enablers who are the ones destroying America.

The rally started off fairly quiet, but like obsessed sports fans, once Trump got going and the attendants got sucked into his unhinged, hysterical monologue,  the audience got louder and their demeanor more fevered.  They cheered him on and chanted “MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!,” “DRAIN THE SWAMP!” and “Lock them up!”  They waved American flags and MAGA signs.  They seemed like more like fans at a rock concert than a political rally.

At the same time I was watching the live-stream video, there was a box to the side for comments.   Almost all those watching were Trump (and Roy Moore) supporters.  The comments were interesting and very reminiscent of those of young adolescents with a crush on some teen idol, obsessed sports fans, or cult members.   There was no depth or evidence of critical thinking or knowledge of politics in these comments — most were either repetitions of what Trump just said, strings of emoji hearts or clapping hands, or mindless phrases like “MAGA!” usually punctuated with American flags and hearts.  There were also comments like, “ROCK STAR!,”  “Trump rocks!,” “DESTROY THE LIBTARDS!,” and “DRAIN THE SWAMP!”   Strangest of all (but completely expected) were religiously tinged comments like “God’s Avenger!,” “KING CYRUS!” (many Evangelicals believe Trump is King Cyrus from the Bible) , “God’s right hand man!” and “THANK YOU JESUS FOR TRUMP!”   I even saw one that said “Trump = Emperor God King!” These comments were often punctuated with strings of emoji crosses or praying hands.  Most disgusting of all were comments that celebrated Trump’s spiritual or even physical beauty:   “His hair is made of Spun Gold!” and “Trump’s heart is so pure!” and “Trump always tells the truth!”

Yuck.

After watching the rally, I’m more convinced than ever Trumpism is not a political movement, but a cult.

 

The most effective defense against gaslighting.

bytheirfruits

Narcissists and sociopaths not only try to make you think you are insane, they can literally drive you insane.   They do this most effectively and insidiously through gaslighting, a method of mental manipulation in which you are made to doubt or question reality or told your feelings are invalid.   This occurs on a personal level with narcissistic people and extends today all the way up to the national and political level. It is always extremely damaging.  People who are constantly gaslighted by a narcissist or sociopath often develop PTSD or Complex PTSD (C-PTSD).

Examples of gaslighting in relationships:

“I was joking. Stop being so sensitive.”

“That’s not what I said.” (when they definitely have said it).

“You are imagining things.”

“It never happened.”

Trump gaslights his political rivals, his enemies, and the entire country on a daily basis.   I can’t and won’t attempt to list all the examples, but his Twitter account is a treasure trove of gaslighting if you can stomach it.   Perhaps the most egregious example to date is his recent denial of the Access Hollywood tape where he now denies he ever said he could “grab women by the pussy.”  Another good recent example is Roy Moore (who I believe is as sociopathic as Trump) justifying his pedophilia by comparing himself to Jesus being persecuted — he is pinning the blame on the truth-tellers (projection and blame shifting) and denying reality (gaslighting) at the same time.

When our own reality is questioned or denied, or when actual events are called “fake news” and the free press “the enemy of the people,” it’s not uncommon for us to begin to question the truth itself.   You begin to think that maybe, just maybe, the gaslighter is actually the one telling the truth and you are just nuts (which the gaslighter will happily confirm).

My favorite Bible verse ever is this one, from Matthew 7:15-20 (New Living Translation) because it’s so useful in gaslighting situations.

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.  A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.

When a gaslighter makes you question the truth or wonder if your honest feelings are invalid, I’ve found this verse stops any doubt I’m having and calls out the abuser for the liar they really are at the same time.   Look at what the person is producing.    If they’re creating nothing but chaos, destruction, fear, and misery, if they’re sowing discord instead of unity,  if they always break their promises,  don’t believe anything they tell you.    They are lying and will never produce any good fruit, no matter what they might want you to believe.

Gaslighting.

I’m pretty sure more people in 2017 know what gaslighting means than they did in 2016 or earlier.   It’s left the domain of the narcissistic abuse community and become a household word now that we have a leader who does it on a daily basis, largely via Twitter.   I see this term everywhere now.  In one sense, it’s a good thing, since people are becoming educated about what it (and malignant narcissism) looks like in a leader.    But it’s very bad that the whole world is being gaslighted now.   It’s even worse that so many people fall for the lies and act as flying monkeys who call those of us who value the truth ‘snowflakes.’

gaslighting_def

 

“Will the real victim please stand up?”

Some narcissists (especially if they’e covert) pretend to be victims of narcissistic abuse. How do you know, when someone tells you they have been abused, if they are telling the truth, or if they are just trying to manipulate you and get your sympathy so they can use and abuse you themselves later?  It can be hard to tell. This article explains the telltale signs of an impostor and how their behavior differs from that of a real victim.

Comments have been disabled; please leave comments under the original post.

Will The Real Victim Please Stand Up?

Reblog from After Narcissistic Abuse

true-vs-false-victim

It’s NOT EASY using the V word.

Personally, I don’t LIKE it. It’s not a word I’ve used to describe myself through very many situations in my life, because I am the kind of person who takes responsibility for things that happen to me. While, I certainly had choices and consequences (thus responsibility) in my relationship with a narcissist as an adult – it is the only experience I think the V label accurately describes and depicts.

I was caught unaware. I was told things that weren’t true. By relying on those things, I made decisions that put me in harms way. I was sold a bill of goods and promises by a person who was well aware that they had no intention of ever delivering on those promises nor being capable of being a good person towards me, so that he could use me for things that benefited one person in the “relationship”: THE NARCISSIST.

This being said, I don’t throw this word “Victim” around LIGHTLY. I think that the topic of FALSE VICTIM claims by narcissists should be evaluated with a more discerning eye when considering the damage and injustice done by a narcissist to the lives that their false allegations destroy.

Let’s examine the traits of a well-trained pathological liar, a narcissist; with a history of duping others and manipulating to avoid responsibility vs a credible, honest, albeit “emotional” target of the narcissist.

False Victim vs. True Victim

1.  Flat Affect.

A FALSE VICTIM isn’t emotionally vibrant and attached to the events which they are sharing that were abusive. They appear as if they’ve just gotten back from a calming vacation. Very smooth. Cool. Detached.

Whereas, a TRUE VICTIM will appear FRAZZLED, RUFFLED and SPENT. They’ll cry hysterically, appear jumpy, nervous and afraid. They’ll space out then come back to the conversation with shocking emotion. They have an urgency with their speech and inflection and it will be PEPPERED with emotions that are all over the place. There are instances of true victims of narcissists who are completely detached and disengaged; hopelessly depressed with a flat affect from the abuse. There will still be evidence of victimization in that “spaced out” appearance not like the cold, cool demeanor of a lying narcissist.

TRUE VICTIMS experience the grieving process. Shock. Denial. Anger. moving all the way through acceptance. Whereas a FALSE VICTIM will appear to get over the emotions of the experience rather quickly. They don’t appear to dwell, (ruminate / obsess) over the “abusive” experiences.

Read the rest of the warning signs in the original post.

The tears of a clown.

It’s old post night, so this one’s getting recycled again too. Ever watch a narc having an emotional meltdown after a narcissistic injury? It’s not a pretty sight.

Lucky Otters Haven

clown1

Here was one of yesterday’s search terms:
vomiting after seeing ex.narcissist begging me back

Really now? The narc’s begging you back actually made you puke?
But yes, I can definitely understand it though.

Sometimes those over the top emotional displays when you take away a narc’s source of supply by leaving them are pretty nauseating to say the least. I don’t know if it’s “acting” or desperation or what, but I know it’s not “love.”

I remember back in my 20s, witnessing the incredible reaction of a malignant narcissist boyfriend when I finally worked up the courage to tell him I was leaving him.

This was a verbally and sometimes physically abusive man who treated me like dirt most of the time, made fun of me, tried to turn my friends against me, and cheated on me as well. I had waited far too long to disconnect from him. I…

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The Narcissist’s Fan Club

The narcissist game of “Gotcha!”

gotcha

An earlier post of mine described the 8 mind-games  that narcissists all love to play.   (Please be aware this was actually a reblog of someone else’s post).  One of the more popular games, played by both covert and overt (grandiose) narcissists is “Gotcha!”

“Gotcha!” can be played two different ways, but both have the same devastating effect on the narcissist’s opponent (victim).   Both are intended to bring your mood down as low as it can go and at the same time, reward the narcissist with supply (which you provide with your emotional reaction) which makes them feel better about themselves.

Here are the two versions of “Gotcha!”

Bug.

dead-bug

This game is most popular with overt narcissists because it allows them to exercise their grandiosity and turn it into a handy weapon and suction tube for feeding.

In “Bug,” the victim always goes first.  You start the game by feeling down, depressed, or worthless after some misfortune.    The narcissist is good at faking empathy and love bombs you by spreading that phony sh*t on thick.  Eventually you let your guard down and confide in the narcissist all your woes, misfortunes,  and feelings of dejection.   You tell them your whole life story, feeling like you have found a kind shoulder to cry on.   A patient, empathic person who cares about you and wants to help you.

Not so fast, there!   Your narcissist is already planning their next move, and it has about as much to do with empathy as a Canadian Mountie has to do with a Taliban terrorist.    What is that next move, you ask?   They’re about to pull a bait and switch on you.   The next time you confide in them about losing your home, your spouse, your job, or your mental health, they will callously “share” with you all about the exotic vacation they’re planning to take, the big promotion they just got, or the new romantic partner in their lives.   They will crow about how blessed they are (“blessed” is a favorite term used by narcissists as a subtle envy-generator) and how unfair it is that others aren’t as fortunate as they are (this last is a snide put down, implying that you’re not one of the chosen people that God has chosen to shower his bounty on).

Of course you’re not an envious person, but hearing all about their perfect, blessed life at a time like this when you are suffering is too much.    The narcissist doesn’t care.   In fact, they may actually be lying to you about all those wonderful things.  They want to see you suffering and envious of them, because (1) your suffering provides them with a comparative ego boost (hey, at least they’re not as unfortunate as YOU!)  and (2) your envy inflates their ego even more.   They feed off your pain like a pig rolling in slop.

To them, you are just a bug, not worthy of respect or any real compassion.   Maybe they’ll getcha with some pitying contempt though:  “Oh, I feel so SORRY for you!”   It’s intention is to make you feel shame.  When you’re already down, expect to be stepped on and squished under the heel of the narcissist’s boot until there’s nothing left of you.

Wet Blanket.

wet-blanket

This is a game almost always played by covert narcissists.   The tactics used to win the game are very different than “Bug,” but the end goal is the same:  to make you feel like shit.

As in “Bug,” you (the victim) begin the game.  (Of course you don’t know it’s a game, but that doesn’t matter.)   You think you’ve found a friend in the narcissist because they seem so interested in you.   You just found out some great news–you got that promotion, your book is going to be published, you just found out you’re pregnant after months of trying, you won the lottery.

Naturally the narcissist doesn’t like your good news. To them, it is very bad news, because in their minds, the good fortune of someone else diminishes them.  Life to them is a zero sum game.  There can only be one winner and it has to be them.    For something good to happen to you means it didn’t happen to them which means they hate your guts because you have something which they do not.   It doesn’t even have to be something they want:  the fact you have something good at all is an affront to them.  They must find a way to ruin it for you and in effect, bring you down closer to being as miserable as they are (evening the score).

So after a phony congratulations (maybe), the narcissist becomes a concern troll.  Out of “concern” for you (and always for your own good), he or she just has to “warn” you about the dark  side of your good fortune (and if possible find a way to put you down too, or tell you why it doesn’t count).    So if you got a promotion, you’ll get a speech about how much harder you’ll have to work and how you’ll probably lose all your friends stil in lower positions.  Or you’ll be told why your promotion doesn’t really count because it’s one of those “honorary” titles or it’s really just a “lateral” move.   If your book just got accepted by a publisher, you’ll be told that publisher is a crook or their business is failing and you’ll never see your royalties; if you found out you’re pregnant they’ll tell you all about how horrible pregnancy is and about all the drudgery and loss of freedom you’ll be facing; if you won the lottery, they’ll trot out stories about people whose lives were ruined after winning the lottery or they’ll remind you that “you did nothing to earn it; it’s only chance–I could have won too!”

Of course, after you listen to the narcissist’s “advice,” your heart will feel heavy and your smile might have disappeared.    You might even be gnawing the sides of your fingernails in anxiety over all the things that could go wrong.  Checkmate!  The narcissist won and now he can feed off your new worries too.

A variation of “Wet Blanket” is actually the mirror-image of “Bug.” After you’ve shared your great news, the narcissist brings down your mood by telling you how terrible their own life is and how they never get any breaks at all. The intention is to make you feel guilty for having so much while they have so little.

Whether it’s guilt, shame or envy the narcissist is trying to induce in you doesn’t matter. They just can’t stand to see anyone happy and must take you down to their level or obliterate you like a bug if you’re already down.

Regression.

This is what’s going on with me now.    Comments are disabled here; please leave comments under the original post.

How Covert Narcissists Brainwash Their Victim (SpartanLifeCoach)

The most dangerous thing about covert narcissists is they seem like anything but narcissists, but they are masters of manipulation, deflection, and projection. If you challenge their actions, they will turn the tables on you, and act like YOU are victimizing THEM. You’ll think you are going insane–and you might go insane.

I’m dealing with someone right now who may be a covert narcissist.   The crazy thing is that this person is telling me I’m the abusive one.  They are making me worry all over again that I might in fact be the narcissist.   They’re making me feel guilty by tearfully telling me how hurt they are over something that happened ages ago.   But who’s going to suspect such an “innocent” and “vulnerable” soul of abuse, especially when they are wiping away crocodile tears?

I doubt I’m the abusive one though, because there’s a difference between them and me:  I can admit when I’ve been wrong. I can also feel sorry when I know I’ve been wrong.    In this particular case, even though I know I wasn’t wrong, I apologized anyway to keep the peace.  I just want it to be over already but apparently they do not.   It seems to me that they are still trying to get a rise out of me over something I thought was long-forgotten.  But narcissists never forget and never forgive, and will use old transgressions (or imaginary transgressions) against you until the day they die, if they can.

When a covert narcissist starts acting all butt-hurt and accusing you of abusing them, you start to question your reality (and your sanity).  You feel like you’re living in a hall of funhouse mirrors when they are telling you that up is down and white is black and you are the abuser when in fact they are abusing you.   I’m very glad I’m not that close with this individual or I’d probably be in the psych ward by now.