The bullies are winning and my heart is breaking.

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Today I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach and recovering from some terrible illness at the same time.  I have no energy.    I just want to pull the covers over my head and sleep.  But I can’t sleep because I’m so on edge.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day and I’ve spent the entire day lying in bed. I’m depressed and anxious and everything hurts.  I’m stress-eating, doing pretty much nothing but staring at the ceiling and dropping the crumbs from the loaf of lemon pound cake I bought this morning all over my clean sheets.  At least I haven’t watched the news today (I need a break from it, after this past week).   I’ve been trying to read a new book I just bought, but I can’t concentrate.  I must have read the same page about ten times and didn’t comprehend a word of what I read.

As a survivor of narcissistic and sexual abuse, this whole Kavanaugh drama that’s been on the news 24/7 for almost two weeks now has been extremely triggering and making my C-PTSD symptoms flare up.  It’s not much comfort to know I’m far from alone though.  What this government is doing is narcissistic abuse writ large, and it’s negatively affecting millions of women and children, people of color, immigrants, and even many men.  Brett Kavanaugh is an abuser.  Even if he wasn’t a sexual predator (and I think there’s enough evidence that he is), he is predator and an abuser of women.  You can tell by his smug demeanor and his fake tears, by his narcissistic rage, by his entitlement, and by his abuser non-apology (“I didn’t mean to lose control, but SHE made me do it”).  Trump loves Kavanaugh because he’s a mirror image of himself and he will do his bidding and make him immune to the law.

So now that this predator, serial liar, and all around awful person has been confirmed to the highest court in the land, I feel personally threatened.  Not by Kavanaugh personally, since I will never have to deal with him.   I feel threatened by this entire regime which seems to grow stronger and meaner every day.  The abuse they inflict seems to keep getting worse, and now it’s getting personal.   First there was the Muslim ban, then the horrible treatment of the people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, there was Heather Heyer being killed in Charlottesville by a white supremacist, and then football players taking a knee and being condemned for that.   As terrible as those things were, they didn’t seem that personal.  They were just terrible news stories, distant from my own life.  I still had hope things would turn around, people would wake up to what was happening, and good would triumph over evil.

But real life isn’t a movie with a happy ending, and things continued to deteriorate.   There were reports of  migrant kids from Central America locked in cages and forcibly separated from their parents.  I remember waking up in cold sweats from nightmares about little Hispanic children crying and screaming behind bars in cold dark cages, reaching their little hands out through the bars toward me, tears streaming down their small brown faces, and not being able to do a thing to help them except pray for them.  My nightmare wasn’t far off from the reality of what was actually happening.  Kids in concentration camps.  No privacy, not enough food, forced to drink dirty water, denied medical care or comfort.  Provided only with an aluminum foil blanket for warmth.  Ripped from their mothers’ arms and then not even allowed to comfort each other.  Abused and mocked by cruel, sociopathic guards in some cases.  Children fortunate enough to be returned to their parents looked shell shocked, their faces devoid of emotion.  They’d obviously been traumatized and were forced to  bury their feelings because living like that, in cages, away from the family that loved them, not understanding what they did wrong to deserve such treatment, hurt too much.  These little kids will be damaged for life, because a fat orange faced dictator felt like it was necessary to “deter” immigrants from coming here, and these innocent little lives were used as a tool and a warning.

And this travesty is happening in America.  In the land of the free.  In the the shining city on a hill.  “It can’t happen here.”  Really?  Oh, yes, it can.  And it is.   Who will be targeted next?

Women.   Women are being targeted now.  Especially women who dare to come forward and tell the truth about their abusers.   This regime has no empathy for survivors of abuse, sexual or otherwise, especially if they’re female.   Trump mocked Dr. Christine Ford at one of his rallies, and his supporters cheered.   A sexual predator gets confirmed to the Supreme Court, after lying under oath, committing perjury, and after a sham FBI investigation was run that turned out to be nothing more than a way to get “the left” to shut up.

Now Democrats and liberals are being targeted.    I avoid reading Trump’s tweets, but I couldn’t ignore this one, because it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck:

You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left wing mob.  Democrats have become too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern.  Republicans believe in the rule of the law – not the rule of the mob.

Let’s unpack this tweet.  First of all, it is blatant gaslighting and projection, which this man does every day.   It’s the Party of Trump (formerly the Republican Party), that has become extreme and dangerous, they are the ones who are trying to install a fascist, authoritarian government, remove our rights and freedoms, and now they appear to want to squash the First Amendment rights of anyone who doesn’t fawn at Trump’s feet.

I have never heard any president in my lifetime ever refer to the opposite party as a “mob” or “dangerous.”   Such labels were reserved for outside enemies, like ISIS or Al-Qaeda.  Our protests have been peaceful, much more peaceful than the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally that ended in the death of a counterprotester, or all the hate-filled Trump rallies where his followers chant mindlessly, “Lock her up!  Lock her up!” two years after Hillary lost the election (even though she didn’t lose the popular vote) — and even though repeated investigations found she was innocent of any wrongdoing.   THEY are the mob, not us.  The Trump party does NOT believe in the rule of law because its leaders are corrupt to the core and break the law every day.  Its followers are fueled by hate and fear, and they are growing more aggressive, as Trump stokes their rage at his rallies and encourages bullying and violence against anyone who is different from them, or anyone who doesn’t worship Trump, which means most of us.  I fear there is going to be a crackdown against us very soon, a curtailment of our rights, even though we have done nothing wrong.

In America, the bullies are winning.  Evil is winning.  It’s so triggering.  I am reminded of being the bullied, sensitive kid at school who was chased home every day by a rowdy group of cruel boys and mocked by the popular girls because of my social awkwardness.   Our president is a sadistic bully and he is surrounded by and rewards other sadistic bullies, while gaslighting and blaming and cruelly mocking everyone who has ever been a victim — or even anyone who is just a decent human being — by him and his merry band of flying monkeys.

When I think back to two years ago, or even a year ago, I realize with a jolt how much worse things have become since then — and much worse than I ever thought they could get.  I certainly thought Trump would have been impeached or removed under the 25th Amendment by now, but nothing he does or says — locking kids in cages, committing treasonous acts with Putin and Kim Jong Un in plain sight, alienating our allies, mocking women and abuse survivors who are brave enough to come forward and tell their stories — nothing at all seems to force him to be accountable.   He is apparently already above the law.  His new SCOTUS pick, Kavanaugh, was chosen primarily because he will make sure Trump stays above the law and is never held accountable for his many criminal acts and brutal deeds.    Our system of checks and balances has been hacked away at and has failed us, and now all three branches of government are completely under Trump’s control.

Even the breaking news story the other day in the New York Times that provided proof that Trump is a tax cheat and fraud who lied about his inheritance and businesses,  made barely a blip in the news.  It got buried under all the Kavanaugh drama, and no one even seems to care.  No one is going to hold him accountable for his crimes.   Even if the Mueller investigation somehow isn’t shut down,  Trump will skate, no matter how bad the charges may be.

Things have gotten worse, so much worse.  I feel it in my very cells.  It’s different now than it was even a few weeks ago.  Trump is consolidating power, he’s become more blatant and open in his cruelty and his lackeys don’t even try to hide behind a pleasant facade anymore (Lindsey Graham is a good example —  it’s almost like he’s possessed or suddenly removed his “soft spoken southern gentleman” skin suit).

The GOP has declared open season on women who dare to call out a man for abuse or for rape, and on all Democrats.   This isn’t normal.   A president is supposed to bring people together, not divide them.   Democrats have been demonized and identified as the enemy, and Trump’s tweet is preparing his base for aggression and violence against us.  To Trump and his supporters, we are the enemy, every bit as bad if not worse than ISIS.  We are fair game for whatever Trump wants them to dish out.   Martial law and curtailment of our freedom of speech is probably next.   We may even be rounded up and put in reeducation or forced labor camps.  Private prisons can make a hefty profit off our free labor.

As a Democrat and a woman and abuse survivor, I don’t feel safe in this country anymore.  I’m hypervigilant and constantly stressed.   Things seem to get better for awhile, I see a ray of hope — and then something happens and it feels like I’m on the Titanic as it was sinking, knowing there’s no way to save myself.  Or like I’m in hell, trapped in a torturous game of two steps forward, three steps back, for all eternity.   It’s as if I’m back in my abusive marriage, only this is worse because there’s no escape, no way to go “no contact.”  Trump dominates everything, he’s an oppressive presence even when I’m not seeing or hearing him.   I feel like I can’t breathe.  I wish I could flee the country, but I lack the means to do that.    And I’m so jealous of those who will be able to.

If things have gotten this much worse in less than two years, I’m absolutely petrified of what is coming down the pike next year, or two years hence.   I lack the right kind of emotional makeup to be able to survive living in a fascist dictatorship and once it’s established (if we lose the midterms I am sure it will be), all I have to look forward to is the relief of death.   I worry about my children facing a future under such a cruel and heartless regime, where my daughter can be targeted because of her gender, and my son can be targeted because of his sexual orientation.   I don’t feel like they’re safe here either and I worry about them.

Besides being terrified, I’m also heartbroken.   I remember the way things used to be here in America, how bright the future seemed.  I remember the way we took our many freedoms and rights for granted and never dreamed anything like this could happen.  I’m filled with grief so profound and heavy I can barely move.    I often wonder if this is the way women felt in Afghanistan or Iran before Sharia Law took over or the way the people of Germany felt in 1934 before Hitler seized total power.

I never thought it would happen here.  But it has.  America is dying, and this is what is feels like.

Please pray for us.

*****

Here is a similar, but more hopeful, article from Chris Kratzer’s amazing blog.  Its central message is that if what is happening in America makes you feel sick, nauseous, angry, sad, fearful, or disgusted, there is nothing wrong with you.  In fact, if you feel those things, it’s an indication you have a working soul.

If Today, Your Heart Breaks and Your Hope Is Fading

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“How to Spot a Collapsed Narcissist”

A year ago I correctly predicted Donald Trump was a narcissist who, with access to unlimited power (while at the same time aware on a deep subconscious level he was utterly unqualified for his position), would become a “collapsed narcissist.” He was already in the process of collapsing, but has become much worse. Although the term “collapsed” makes them seem harmless, that is not the case at all. A collapsed narcissist is likely to be at their most dangerous and destructive as they begin to decompensate, which actually means they consolidate power.  That’s the point we’re at now with Trump. Please read on.

Lucky Otters Haven

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The following is is a very interesting article I found on a site called  Flying Monkeys Denied, that explains how to identify a narcissist who has “collapsed” –in other words, a narcissist who has been denied adequate supply (leading to narcissistic injury), perhaps by having failed to meet his or her goals or obtain the admiration they thought was their due.    He (or she) will spiral into “pit bull” attack mode in their last ditch efforts to force others to provide them with supply.   They become hypersensitive, hateful, rage filled, tantrum throwing, angry, snappish, intolerant, and sometimes even violent.   Any pretense of niceness or charm they might have formerly displayed when things were going better for them disappears and the rage just underneath the mask of pleasantness comes out full throttle.

They still cannot accept any blame or criticism of themselves.    They project their…

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We have officially entered the Twilight Zone.

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Credit:  Stephen Crowley/The New York Times 

Only four months into the Trump presidency, and America feels like an alien planet occupied by tentacled overlords who have taken we, the people, hostage.  Yes, even Trump supporters, who seem to be suffering from a mass case of Stockholm Syndrome.  The horror author Stephen King probably summed up the situation most chillingly when he tweeted that no horror novel he ever wrote matched the horror of what is unfolding before us ever since Trump became our president.

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, he tried to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country, which, like everything else he has tried to implement, ended in failure and the ever-growing ire of people who champion human rights and sanctuary for refugees escaping authoritarian regimes.    The crazy thing about the Muslim ban was that it did not ban any countries where Trump has business interests, and this includes Saudi Arabia, a country that Trump has himself criticized for its human rights abuses and the way they treat women, children, and gays.   Let’s also not forget the  fact that Saudi Arabia may also have been behind 9/11 — or at least Trump has said they were.  Donald Trump has denigrated Islam and promised to protect us from the “Islam takeover” that exists only in his own mind, which was his purported reasoning for the infamous Muslim ban.

So, why is Trump in Saudi Arabia before he’s made any visits to American allies like Canada, Europe, or Mexico?   Why is he kissing up to their high government officials and accepting medals, the royal treatment, and signing agreements? Most unfathomable of all, why do the Saudis seem to love Trump as much as he seems to love them now?  Why does he treat them with more respect than he treats Germany’s Andrea Merkel or Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull or Canada’s Justin Trudeau?

The easy answer to Trump’s stunning hypocrisy (and the seemingly only way to resolve our collective cognitive dissonance) is the adage “follow the money,” and obviously money is a big part of it.    Although Trump tweeted yesterday that his visit was to promote peace between the US and the Islamic world (yeah, right, I really believed that one), we now learn that he was really there to sell billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia.   That’s right — he’s selling weapons to a country he has himself said was behind the 9/11 attacks.   Whether they were or weren’t behind the attacks isn’t the point.    Signing a weapons treaty with Saudi Arabia proves he doesn’t really care about the well-being of Americans.  It’s always all about the money.    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

And yet his supporters scream and rant about people who protested against the Muslim ban.  They accuse us of helping give Islam a way to infiltrate our “Christian” and “democratic” way of life here.   They can’t think critically enough to understand that granting Muslim refugees (mostly women and children) sanctuary here doesn’t mean we sympathize with the jihadists or approve of fundamentalist Islam — in fact, it means we have compassion for the victims of fundamentalist Islam’s human rights abuses and recognize that these vulnerable people are human beings who need our help.   But they are perfectly okay with our Muslim-hating president who seems to be cozying up to the very people they fear the most.

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Credit:  N/A

It’s no different than his attitude toward the Russians.    While Russia is no longer a communist country and they haven’t been thought of as an enemy in many years, they aren’t exactly an ally either.   Or they never have been until this presidency.   Donald Trump seems to worship the Russians, even emulate them.  Last week, he held a secret meeting in the Oval Office with Russian officials where no American press was invited but Russian photographers were.    Trump supporters have resolved their cognitive dissonance over Trump’s inexplicable behavior by taking up his own attitudes — to the point of chanting “RUSSIA IS OUR FRIEND” at one of their protests.    They can’t think critically enough to see their hypocrisy.   No, to them, it’s the media that’s the enemy now — a beloved right protected under the 1st Amendment — because Trump has declared they are an enemy. Now those rights we take for granted are endangered.

Again, the easy explanation for the inexplicable is “follow the money.”  Like Saudi Arabia, Russia is a country where Trump has business interests.   If the investigation turns out to bear fruit (and I am certain it will if it isn’t stymied or somehow silenced), we will see that Russia at least partly financed his campaign, rigged the election, and has been funneling money to him and his far-right billionaire cronies all along.    Of course, if the investigation finds collusion with Russia, his supporters will still find a way to defend him, or cry “FAKE NEWS!”  They truly believe Trump is more trustworthy than the FBI.  What kind of crazyworld are we in when we actually start to look at the FBI as the heroes — and even the victims? We have really fallen down the rabbit hole into an alternate universe with an alternate reality where we doubt our own perceptions and the truth is no longer required.    It’s gaslighting writ large.

It’s much more than a money trail, though.    In fact, money may not even be the primary reason behind Trump’s love for Saudi Arabia and Russia.   Trump has shown an affinity for authoritarian leaders, regardless of their ideology or their religious beliefs.   We all know about his massive mancrush on Vladimir Putin and his minions, but he’s also praised North Korean president Kim Jong Un, one of the most fearsome — if not THE most fearsome — dictators in the modern world.  He seems to admire and emulate dictators, because he himself is an authoritarian personality who believes in a harsh, punishing, “strongman” approach to governing as opposed to the democratic, egalitarian one favored by the western world.   He insults and denigrates leaders who espouse fairness, equality, and compassion — or at the very least he ignores them as if they don’t matter.    His refusal to shake hands with Germany’s chancellor Andrea Merkel compared with the hearty slaps on the back and simpering secret-sharing with Putin is very telling.

I spent much of last night and this morning puzzling over why Saudi leaders seem to fawn all over Trump and have given him a red-carpet welcome to their country worthy of a king — in spite of the fact he has repeatedly insulted their religion and culture.  Of course, we can follow the money; with Trump, that’s a given.   But there’s another reason.   They love Trump because he is so much like them.   They can identify with a man who shares their own values of repression, sexism and authoritarianism.   A dictatorial approach to governing, in their minds, trumps religion (no pun intended).   And the same applies to Donald Trump.   Unlike our past presidents (even the most conservative among them), Trump has far more in common with King Salman or Putin than he does with Andrea Merkel or Justin Trudeau — and that should be a grave concern to anyone who calls themselves an American or who cherishes freedom and democracy.

There’s one other reason why Trump loves the Saudis and the Russians, which is perhaps the most important one of all: they give him the narcissistic supply he so craves.    They probably know how fragile his ego is — after all, they are not stupid.   Trump, like many narcissists, is naive enough to think they love him, they really, really love him, when in fact they are most likely laughing at him whenever he leaves the room.    The weird thing about narcissists like Trump is the paradox of power.  Narcissists, although predatory and dangerous to most, are also very emotionally needy.  That neediness makes them incredibly naive and therefore easily manipulated.   Their unreasonable demands for adulation may cause most people (who they see as beneath them) to cringe in fear, but they will gladly grovel before most psychopaths.   Thus they become putty in the hands of psychopathic or sociopathic leaders like Vladimir Putin, who appear far less insecure and requiring of worship than Trump does.   They will do anything they are asked and jettison any values they insist they have (which they really don’t) when they see that the tradeoff is a healthy dose of narcissistic supply.    They’re the ultimate sellouts. Trump pretends to have values but it’s all a sham.  The only thing he values (besides money and power) is being worshipped and adored.

And so now we are witnessing the spectacle of our president — who promised protection from terrorism — fawning all over Islamic jihadists in Saudi Arabia.   No, I realize most Muslims are not fundamentalist crazies or jihadists, but the sentiment on the far right is that all of them are (at least up until now).    As for Trump, he doesn’t care whether they are or not, as long as they’re giving him the praise and adulation he so craves.     In comparison, the freedoms we enjoy here in America are a threat to his ego and a painful reminder of the things he refuses to see in himself.  Here in America, instead of the red carpet treatment, bouquets of flowers, and medals of honor, he must face critics on Twitter who make memes poking fun at his hypocrisy and lies, angry protesters who force him to look in the mirror, bloggers and pundits calling him out on his duplicity,and now a high profile investigation into possible treason. But the biggest insult of all to Trump’s fragile sense of self is the evil media and “fake news” that has the temerity to shine a beacon of harsh white light on the truth which he so hates — the media that, for all its faults, is keeping most of us from slipping into into an inescapable abyss of alternative facts, twisted values, and rewritten history that would drive even George Orwell insane.

ALERT: TODAY’S ARMS DEAL MAY BE ILLEGAL!

Trump’s only real achievement — which he never intended.

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On this day in which people concerned about climate change take to the streets of the major US cities and across the world to protest Republican plans to remove federal climate change regulations and dismantle the EPA  (I was going to attend a rally here in my city but skipped it due to needing extra sleep this morning),  something else happened:  Trump reached his long-awaited 100-day mark.

Trump, in typical malignant narcissist fashion, bragged shamelessly about how no other administration ever accomplished so much in their first 100 days (*cough* *snort*) — unless he is talking about his success in instilling fear, rage and hatred in the American populace — as well as alienating our closest allies.   In those things, he has certainly accomplished a lot, even though every policy he has tried to implement has failed miserably.   Even he has admitted, rather incoherently, about how his job is a lot harder than he expected.   Well, what did he expect?   That it would be just like “The Apprentice” and he could fire someone every week and that would be that?

Trump’s “achievements” exist only in his own deluded mind.  He constantly talks about JOBS JOBS JOBS but any jobs or improvement in our economy actually happened under Obama’s watch, not Trump’s.   He has done nothing to create any new jobs.   His Mexican border wall (intended to keep out the drug dealers and “bad honchos”),  repealing the ACA and replacing it with an abortion of a  “healthcare plan” that was really just another tax break for the richest 2%,  the failed Muslim ban, and many other things he has tried to implement have all failed.   He has broken promises:  “healthcare for everybody” turned out to be a bait and switch and a massive lie.  He promised protection from terrorists but may have provided the catalyst for a new world war — with North Korea, a country that is very close to being able to attack us with nuclear weapons — and very well might (personally I’m a lot more afraid of North Korea than I am of any Muslim terrorists).   He promised to “drain the swamp” — but only populated the swamp with privileged billionaires who care nothing about the average American and only about lining their pockets even more at the expense of the poor and middle class.   He promised he’d work harder than any other president, but lied about that too.   I remember how he complained about Obama’s occasional golf trips, yet Trump is using our hard earned tax dollars to pay for his endless vacations at the “Southern White House” in Mar-A-Lago and to keep his clearly unhappy wife ensconced in a vast, gold-plated New York City penthouse, which costs us millions per day.   He is a hypocrite of epic proportions who does the opposite of what he promises.    You can almost predict what he’ll do by his “promises” — if he makes a promise, you can be pretty sure he’ll do the opposite.

Perhaps worst of all, he gaslights us all every day, most infamously via his Twitter account where he blames everyone from the Democrats to Obama to the Freedom Caucus to “paid protesters” to the “failing New York Times” to SNL and other late night comedians for his own failings — and never, ever takes any responsibility or admits when he’s been wrong.    Russia?  They well may have infiltrated and influenced the election, yet not once has he ever criticized Putin or the Russian government.    Trump lies when there’s no reason to lie, and then concocts new lies to cover the old lies.  He is abusive and makes degrading remarks against women, Mexicans, Muslims, and people of color, and still, his supporters remain staunch in their support.   They are as deluded as he is.  Are they victims of a type of political Stockholm Syndrome?  One has to wonder.

Trump brags about how popular he is and about the YUGE crowds that turn out at his endless rallies (he is so fearful of not winning a second term that he MUST hold these rallies to garner narcissistic supply), but the numbers fail to back these claims up.    Trump points to FOX News and The National Enquirer (no joke) as his go-to sources that prove how popular and successful he is, and dismisses legitimate news sources such as the New York Times and Washington Post as fake news.   Basically, if any news is critical of him, it’s fake.   Like all malignant narcissists, he is unable to tolerate any criticism and desperately hangs onto alternative facts he sees in the right wing tabloids and FOX & Friends that paint him as a hero and savior.  Those of us who understand the narcissistic mind are not surprised by his deluded claims and lies about how great he’s doing and how popular he is.    In actuality, Trump has the lowest approval ranking of any new president in recent history.   And yet his staunchest supporters stick by him like dog poop sticks to a shoe.

Yes, Trump’s purported achievements exist only in his own mind — except for one big achievement he never intended:  he has inspired Democrats and independents who oppose his bone-headed, heartless and draconian policies to get involved in politics again.   He has sparked (mostly peaceful) protests across the nation and even the whole world, in opposition to his plans to destroy America and its most loved institutions.   People are scared of him — and are becoming more vocal in their opposition and have vowed to vote out Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.  In my opinion, Trump has almost no chance of winning a second term, if he even survives this one.

Had Hillary Clinton won the election, nothing would have changed.   She was unpopular with both parties, and if she’d won, Democrats and progressive independents would have succumbed to even deeper apathy and cynicism than they already were — and would — once again — have failed to turn out to vote in the 2018 and 2020 elections.   Republicans would have amped up their rage and hatred to levels we can’t even imagine now.  The end result would be that every branch of government would be even more hamstrung and gerrymandered by the Republicans than they are today.   So for this reason, I am actually glad Donald Trump won the election.   There’s one other good thing he’s done, once again never intended by him.   He’s educating the entire world about what a narcissistic leader is really like, and with God on our side, he won’t cause too much damage and we will have learned our lesson and never elect anyone like him again.

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.’

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Don’t give them what they want.

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Martha Crawford, LCSW, tweeted a series of thoughts about the Trump administration that tell us why we shouldn’t let it make us quake in terror. I know for me, her thoughts brought me some comfort. I know a lot of people are in mourning right now, and scared for their lives. We can mourn, we SHOULD mourn, but never be afraid!

This nation is a big dysfunctional family, and the vulnerable among us — the poor, the middle class, the disabled, those suffering with mental illness, the sick, the old, the very young, people of color, Muslims, Mexicans, women, gay people, and everyone else who doesn’t fit the “straight, white, rich Christian male” image — are the scapegoats of this administration and its sociopathic, very un-Christian leader.     These scapegoats comprise almost all the “children” in this “family.”  But we are far from alone.  There are more of us than “them.”   We can and should help each other, and never let our unloving, selfish “parents” make us feel afraid or helpless.    That’s giving them what they want, and they feed off it to make themselves feel more powerful. Don’t give it to them.

Yes, the shit just got real.   But the sun will shine again.

 

*****

So, listen. He has some power.
And it’s a temporal, worldly power established on a weak foundation — filled with cracks, outbursts, and hubris.
And all the myths and fairytales and scriptures tell us what happens to these kind of leaders.
And this is true across every culture — mythological texts teach us how to survive these dark “cursed” periods and how to undo them.
I’m not saying that his power is insignificant. It will destroy many, but it is fleeting because of its own unstable composition.
This administration will fly too close to the sun, will be brought down by a boy who names the truth, will sacrifice the wrong martyr.
It will transform all those who yearn to touch it into frozen statues of gold.
Its end was already written by the cruelty and avarice, the dominance and divisiveness that they wrote in the beginning of their story.
We can read those folk tales and retell those myths so we remember how to get through.
Befriend an old wise crone who seems to be a beggar, feed a magic animal, hold tight to the blessings of our mothers.
Be kind to the point of foolishness. Tell the truths that no one else acknowledges. Be quick, be clever, be resourceful.
The end of the cursed king’s story is written at its beginning. You need to use your heart and your wits to protect yourself and others.
When we all do that, it will help to bring along the fall that is inevitable. Utterly inevitable.
It’s not if. It’s how long.
And I only know it will come sooner if we aren’t afraid. Angry, sorrowful, grief stricken, joyful, generous, compassionate, and clever.
Fear and bewilderment are the ingredients they need to keep patching holes in their instability.
Feel every feeling. But find safe and quiet spaces for your fear and bewilderment. They feed off of that when they can smell it.
Be not afraid.
Do not become bewildered.
They will destroy others and ultimately themselves.
Don’t feed them your fear.
Don’t eat the fearful poison they want you to be contaminated by, because it will possess you and strengthen them.
That is our most central psychological task through the darkness — to come to terms with fear and to shake off bewilderment.
Withhold your fear from them. Do not listen to the spell that will bewilder and confound you if you are seduced by it.
Don’t eat anything they offer! Not a single pomegranite seed, not a box of Turkish Delight. Bring your provisions with you. Wait for grace.
Be kind to all potential comrades and allies. You never know of if a wounded bird is a powerful ally under enchantment.
We know what to do.
We have been here before. This is really not unprecedented. We have enacted this story over and over and over again.
It’s a story older than the Bible, older than the printing press. Older than our ability to remember these stories of survival and justice.
Whispered into our great great grandparents ears before they fell asleep at night.
We know what to do if we listen to the stories we have told ourselves for thousands upon thousands of years.