Photographer as Witness – Portrait of Domestic Violence*

Take away the tattoos and felony conviction, add a seemingly normal looking guy and a nice house and car, and you have “the boy” in my story(and probably the one in your story, too).

Read the captions: The way this convicted felon treated the woman’s little boy is exactly how “the boy” treated my son when no one was around (other than me). The reasons for the fights with me were the same, too. Acting jealous and hurt because I wasn’t giving him the love and attention he NEEDED. He was jealous of my son and demanded to be put first, before a little 4-year-old boy! (What? You can’t wipe your own ass, asshole?)

Look closely at the images: Pay attention to the rage in the man’s face and his stance. Contrast and compare that to the fear in the…

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Narcissists, Marriage, The Other Woman and Misconceptions

I’d opine 99.9% of the time, when someone walks through the doors of NPD Abuse recovery, there is an OW in the picture.  Moreover, I’d say the OW is not necessarily your rival but a tool the Narcissist used as part of the devalue and discard routine.  Whether you’re dealing with a pathological or a normal person betrayal is hurtful; however given the unique journey one takes in order to recover from this type of abuse, I think focusing in on the role the OW plays will be helpful in terms of seeing with clarity how much this really has nothing to do with you or your worth or even the OW.

After we’ve been dragged through the mud, been to hell and back and stood by our partner, forgiven all their b.s. and loved them unconditionally, out of nowhere the narcissist does an about face and begins for no logical reason to project their hatred onto us.  This is not really a hatred per se, but rather how their own self loathing manifests.  They project it onto those closest to them while they run for cover into the arms of another where they can hide their secret from someone who doesn’t have the keys to the vault…YET.

Narcissists never attach or love and so to believe they ‘hate’ us I believe is an error – they don’t hate us they envy us because even with flaws, the one thing we do posses is the ability to love, to attach – to FEEL.  They are trapped inside their own bodies, and only know two very primitive emotions…anger and fear.  I often read blogs and articles and I observe many attach ‘jealousy’ to a narcissist; however, I don’t think that is accurate as when we think of jealousy we might opine (as normal people) that we’re talking about someone’s ego that is a little shaken over the fear of ‘loss’ of an individual’s  love.  I read how some were ‘accused’ of cheating.  That’s not jealousy when we’re speaking of a narcissist that is projection…that is their disclosing what they’re guilty of.  They always have supply but since people are objects to them, they absolutely will project even if they’re the ones guilty of the sin because although they don’t love you…you are an object – their PROPERTY.  It’s important to be clear here to help break the cognitive dissonance.

Narcissists tire very easily.  They cycle through people.  Many will ask:  “If that’s so, then how did I end up married 20 years?”  I can’t answer that with any authority but I have my suspicions.  Narcissists will get married, but not for the same reasons normal people get married.  Narcissists marry because it is part of their image.  It says to the world, “I am normal, someone loves me, I am somebody, I’m not crazy”  they have children not for the same reason normal people have children but as ‘trophies’ and very often go on to devalue and discard their own children once they no longer worship them.  They cannot register that children grow up and have their own thoughts and feelings and will disagree and rebel.  A narcissist sees that as an attack and a loss of property – a betrayal…that is how fragile their egos are and how distorted their minds process normal human development.  There is primary supply and secondary supply and a narcissist will interchange the statuses of the supply stock according to his whims.  A wife becomes secondary supply the moment she says: “I do” she may not be aware of it, high off the happy love fumes, but slowly without being aware of it, she is broken down bit by bit by bit until she is operating within a shell of herself.

I think for many of us as women, we fall prey to this because we are molded to be the caregivers, to love unconditionally, we accept a certain amount of machismo is just how men are wired.  In my case, the narcissist kept very long hours “at work” I did not register this as an opportunity for him to play out his other life I really believed he was ‘hard at work’ and he’d come home in a pretty stable mood.  I had no reason to suspect anything but since they cannot feel they have no guilt so it would have been hard to detect anything strange – they are pathological liars.  If a woman is pretty secure in herself and committed to being a good wife, I can see how easily one can be deceived as with any healthy relationship there is trust – and so you may not have encountered the other life he was living unless and until you presented with some need and stood firm on his needing to be there.  That is when they will buck and rebel, and you will have to be punished for having the audacity of having any true need or expectation.  Sure they’ll take you to the supermarket, or drive you somewhere, spend a little time with you to keep it smooth – they’re not stupid, they’re just not into you – but they’re not into anyone, it’s not personal.  It’s really hard to explain the dynamics.  I can only write about this now with some type of level head because I’ve recovered.  Much of my earlier writing did show an indication of a woman gone mad.  I was the same crazy as his ex wife, and the one before her, and the one before her, wash.rinse.repeat.  I suppose I only made it four years with him because of the distance he was able to maintain throughout the relationship and because being very independent myself I didn’t feel I needed him to fill me, and so I sat on this side of the relationship with one view, while he was out there trolling for a fix.  This does not mean there was something inadequate in me, rather there is something defective in him.  Within a month of breaking up he had a new woman living with him.  What can I say?  This is what they do.  It’s got nothing to do with me.  That is what is so important for a ‘target’ to own.  There was nothing you could do about this.  They’re sick.

So, what does it really mean when a narcissist decides you need to become privy to the other woman?  While devastating to us, for a narcissist, it simply means he’s bored.  It sounds simple but narcissists are simple.  They’re six year olds stuck in an adult’s body…this individual never grew up emotionally or mentally.  They have all the trappings of appearing grown up, they can talk like a grown up, but they really don’t own what they say they’re masters of illusion.  I recall the narcissist’s ex wife sharing he walked into the yard one day and just told her straight out: “I don’t want to do this anymore I want out” there was no ‘working it out’ maybe trying counseling…nope – he simply changed his mind and POOF! Just like that ten years of a marriage down the drain.  NOW, he did justify it with many examples, and yes she did appear crazy, and he documented many a reason for his needing to be out of there, including the indirect suggestion he might have been a domestic violence victim…see how that ‘projection’ triangulation, abuser by proxy thing works?  He was able to smear her and get a group of others in his corner to protect and defend him against this horrible, terrible, ogre of a woman…until the next one is “horrible, terrible and an ogre.”

I remember early on in my process the deep pain the devalue and discard caused me.  I remember being made aware of many of his sources of supply at the tail end, it was like opening a Pandora’s box and it was a descent into the bowels of hell because I could not comprehend how one person could exhibit so many different disguises.  I trusted this person implicitly, I was not possessive, I gave him his freedom, and believed him to be someone he wasn’t.  When that box opened up and all the shit came flying out, it was too much at one time to absorb.  It was as if he was living a completely different life.  Some of the women he was practically stalking.  That sent a chill up my spine because this was not someone who decided ‘the love was gone’ or ‘had a moment of weakness’ or fell to ‘temptation’ – no this was a dude clearly desperate and using anything or anyONE as a substitute for a drug.  It became clear to me why all the women before me were ‘crazy’ and I began my road to recovery.  The discovery that it was also possible he’d hit it up with another dude was pretty much about as far as I could go with this…my mind was tattered in shreds, but the writing was definitely on the wall that this cat was beyond my ability and skills.

Narcissists in many ways know how to survive.  Their inability to attach allows them to prey on people, it’s a sport.  When a woman marries a narcissist she’s going into it thinking this is for life come hell or high water, but she’s not really making that decision, she’s been led to believe that’s what she believes because he’s mastered the ability to appear as a soulmate.  See, Narcissists target their victims and know how to get inside their heads.  They’re able to size you up, figure out where your weaknesses are and play them…you won’t see it but that is what they do.  They can spot fresh meat – naive meat, good hearted meat and usually they make the best morsels.  A marriage provides a home base for a narcissist.  They get a built in housekeeper, chef, social event organizer, they get an unpaid slave and built in sex but they aren’t going to give but so much.  They will give the illusion of giving, they’ll do a couple of things here and there, and they generally will be quite agreeable, rarely might you argue and that is why one is so cluster phucked when it comes crashing down because you would have believed you got along so well.  You might have gone so far as to believe you were soul mates…but that is exactly what narcissists are experts at…creating the fairy tale…UNTIL, they’re bored with the story.  Until somehow he feels threatened.  The threat doesn’t have to be real, he just has to feel it.  Many are working out Mommie issues…if a narcissist tells you that you remind him of his mother…that ain’t a compliment.  RUN! It’s about to get real nasty…

In surfing online I happened upon the following:

Excerpted from:

A pathological narcissist’s perception is that a relationship is not needed. the only thing they desire is the ILLUSION of self-sufficiency, not dependency, which is how they interpret another’s love. they do not love because they believe love is a dependency, an obligation, a liability and a detriment. they require immediate gratification and are not able to stay around for the deeper emotional connection which is derived from a long term commitment. they confuse physical love and emotional love. they cannot comprehend the feeling of emotional love. it is a void for them. when the physical love is no longer excitiing, they believe love is waning and eventually dies.

Sadly, they are pathetic human beings, who do not understand themselves and their behavior. most of them never will, even with years of therapy. however, the best time to begin is during middle age when they see the repetitive pattern in their lives and see no alternative ways to live a deeper, happier, fulfilling life you cannot feel personally rejected by them. you can only feel sorry that they live such an empty existence.”

I remember him in his rage screaming:  “Don’t you see!?  I’m an ADDICT! I’m empty!!! What? You think YOU can fill me?!!!” only now does what he said register…it was disclosure and no, he wasn’t an addict per se, as in actively doing drugs, but he’s a narcissist and his past addiction was more than likely self medicating that dark void.  He’d been clean 20 years…that part I do believe, but there is a difference between getting clean and working out the issues that led to the addiction in the first place.  I’m not sure with his background IF that would be possible without completely destroying him which is why today I don’t hate I can have compassion from a distance…I could not allow that hate to fester inside me, although entanglement with him has left a scar, it’s also brought a gift.

For me, I don’t have enough time in this lifetime to take the walk down therapy lane with a narcissist.  I just don’t.  I’m sorry he suffers, but I love me too much to take a roll of the dice, I was lucky to get out alive and with my sanity intact.  I can’t judge another’s actions, one has to hit their own rock bottom before they wake up and see how depleted they’ve been left catering to the bottomless and insatiable pit of need that is part of the package with a narcissist.  This is not codependence either!

About 1/3 into this journey, the new ‘target’ contacted me under the guise of having some questions.  I reached out to her before that because he owed me some money.  While devastated, I didn’t want the man and so really did not care about anything else other than my property be returned.  My words to her were: “You can have the boobie prize gift wrapped.” and I meant it.   I tried to reason with him, but given he was off on his spite fest, he figured he’d play with me.  The thing is, I have a little of my own defiance and so while hurt, that did not mean I was going to put up with his garbage.  I’m a fighter.  At a certain point I had had enough of his bullshit and I drew the line and told him straight up: “I don’t care HOW you get it, I don’t want to hear your sob stories, you get it one way or another ask the new chick for a check but I want my money or I will SUE you.”  They don’t expect that…they expect you to cower in fear and cry and whine but they don’t expect to be called to task or held to their obligations.  I also warned him since I know how he’s a master at triangulation I’d be letting the new lady know why we were going to court and so I sent her a note as the new birdie thinking maybe she could whisper some sense into his head while getting her sweet nothings in.  She didn’t answer for a few months then out of nowhere I’ve got a message in my inbox and I presume she saw a few red flags and yes, I let it tear I told her everything she might need to know as a new target. This wasn’t to get him back, but rather to try to save someone from devastation.  She tried to 8 ball me, said something like she’d deny the conversation if I ever let the cat out of the bag…poor thing.  She closed with: “He told me he used you” thankfully this was not a revelation…sadly she didn’t quite catch the ‘admission’ was disclosure.  She married him.  We know how the story goes from there…it takes a ‘special‘ person to marry a narc…only the best will do.

We No Longer Have to Sleep on the Wet Spot

I don’t resent my mother but she must have watched a lot of June Cleaver and never aspired to much other than spending her time in a dream state where the prince rescues the princess only to subject her to a lifetime of servitude and subjugation.  That or she hung out around a lot of abused children who had male chauvinistic fathers and mothers who were “happy” and “willing” doormats!  I get this was Spanish Harlem, but it even seems my culture by default is WARPED with the cultural message of what a woman’s role is compared to a man’s.  Moreover, none of this was realistic.  Most of our parents have heard of Gloria Steinem…note because I am citing her, that does not mean I am a LESBIAN (not that there is anything wrong with being one).  But there WAS a woman’s Liberation Movement even if only in ‘theory.’  If the whole goal in life despite this “RevILLUSIONary” movement was to get married, cook, clean, do laundry and darn socks all day, produce a tribe of little ones and get high off the fumes of PAM cooking spray, why was I also molded to get an education?  Was that the plan B for the “Just in case?”

I am an educated woman.  I elected to secure a bachelor’s degree simply because I am a Latina and early on I saw there were inequalities in the work place, not just based on my ethnicity, but based upon my gender as well.  I was smart as a whip and quite capable and competent – in fact, in most cases I found that early on when my first jobs were that of an Administrative Assistant, most of the time, I was doing the boss’ job.  I always thrived on a challenge; however, I also observed there was usually a “Blonde” assigned to work for the “Bigger” Whigs and her job consisted mainly of talking on the phone all day in between painting her nails.  This ‘blonde’ also usually had the perk of a much longer lunch break that went unnoticed, and earned twice my salary.  I wouldn’t say this was something I couldn’t accept if these ‘blondes’ had a little more time under their belts, but most of them only aspired to be Administrative Assistants sometimes younger than I.  It was hard to come to terms with the fact how someone so unqualified seemed to effortlessly get all the perks and even feigned incompetence when it came to addressing a paper jam in the copy machine.  It didn’t take long before I knew I had better get some ‘credentials’ under my belt unless I wanted to don the “Clean Up Woman” crown for life.  Even more of a contradiction, I really didn’t aspire to become head of the Boardroom, rather I lusted for meeting Mr. Right who would someday sweep me off my feet and we’d live happily ever after in our big house with a white picket fence complete with 2.5 children and a dog named Chiggers. 

I have to say, my childhood seemed like a setup for failure from the git go.  I have an issue with the fact my mother was the first person to BRAINWASH me.  I remember it ALWAYS being drilled into my head everything I had to do to “Keep a Man Happy”  I’m sorry, 43 years and I have yet to encounter ONE man as obsessed with keeping ME as happy as I’ve been prepared to do for him my whole life.  MOLDED to service… Better yet, MOLDED to slavery?  WTF were you thinking MOM?

My mother is not the only criminal in this movement…there was a lot of that going around.  Some might think that criminal is a harsh term to use, but in this case there is no other way to define such behavior.  Slavery is a crime.  There are Labor Laws!  According to Merriam Webster, Slavery is defined as:  One that is completely subservient to a dominating influence.  There have been a lot of victims of this underground ‘slave trade.’ There has to be because I continually witness women voluntarily accepting subjugation by their husbands and/or significant others without payment or some other form of restitution.  A pat on the head is not considered a fair exchange for services.  ESPECIALLY if I have to put in as many hours if not more in the office as you do.

I don’t want to hear “That’s just the way it is.”  That is the biggest, the LAMEST cop-out excuse EVER – it’s aiding and abetting everyone who continues to subscribe to these archaic messages and by default it makes such individuals accomplices to the crimes against women in the form of Domestic Violence. Until things change, I see little prospect of hope for society as a whole.  Moreover, why even bother educating female children if all they are being molded to aspire to is an ‘educated’ and sophisticated domestic? 

As I reflect upon my childhood, it seems clear I was constantly trained to obsess about the possibility of always losing a man because for everything I did it was prefaced with:  “Men don’t like women who….”  JESUS FREAKING CHRIST…mind you, my mother was NO domestic goddess…and so she provided the perfect environment for my apprenticeship.  The panel should not be stumped as to why somehow I always ended up with losers who despite their apparent failures on all fronts they still expected to be treated as royalty.  It was what I was molded to attract. “Find somebody ANYbody to serve.”

I know my mother meant well, but she overdosed on Disney.  The problem is that Cinderella eventually DID marry a prince, a very wealthy prince and I believe she exchanged her raggedy wardrobe for a beautiful evening gown and tiara…we can infer although it was not made explicitly clear, that once she took off with Prince CHARMing despite his covert existence as a Narc (Charm is one of the first red flags of a narcissist), she at least had a cushy set up with ‘help’ to tend to all of the palace’s domestic requirements.  Granted, she probably was reduced to the trophy wife and required to meet all his sexual perversions at the drop of a hat, he may have even been a closet bisexual.  Nonetheless, I will take a risk and conclude that in the sequel, all she was required to do was wear a shit eating grin to keep up the appearance of wedded bliss.  I doubt VERY HIGHLY that she was in that palace cooking, cleaning and scrubbing floors, if only because her being required to do that would tarnish Prince CHARMing’s image.

So how in the hell was it considered logical that I’d be groomed to be a ‘princess’ yet spend my entire lifetime at the service of others? Where is my TIARA dammit!?

Enter the NARC with his cardboard Burger King crown and his 1992 beat up Plymouth Voyager prepared to take me to NEVER NEVER land…where he got to play the lead in Peter Pan.

The Narc, was the epitome of the knight in shining tin foil that I was molded to aspire to.  He was charming, spun fairy tales better than Walt Disney and really got you to believe them.  He had a knack for subjugation too!  This was a man who was always at the ‘cusp’ of something great.  Despite the chaos known as his life, he was skilled at creating the illusion that it was a temporary glitch in the ‘game’ of life.  All he needed as the ‘cliché’ goes is:  The ‘right woman’ to make him successful…yes, remember that old adage:  “Behind every successful man is a good woman”  BARF!  I bought this shit hook line and sinker.  Maybe he’s not personality disordered, maybe he was brought up by really primitive parents who subscribed to the annals of male chauvinism, complete with a mother who was a willing doormat and this was what he was molded to expect, a queen who enjoyed scrubbing floors in between serial cheating, dominance, projection and abuse.  Had I been a willing participant in this horror flick, perhaps we’d still be unhappily together.  There was a lot of pathology gone wrong in our relationship; however, now that things are clearer, I can see how in a sense, I was molded for this, set up to be attracted to this.

Victims of NPD abuse are frequently misunderstood, invalidated and sometimes scolded for not knowing any better.  I believe that even in the midst of circumstances where one reports a fairly uncomplicated childhood, there were messages one was exposed to.  Messages about the roles we are expected to play, the parts we are expected to perform if we want to be happy.  I think those messages are bullshit and are the first sign of pathology.

Recently, I read something somewhere, can’t for the life of me remember where…it might have been a comment somewhere, a Facebook status or a blog, where a woman said she was molded NEVER to do housework but instead to expect that her future intended would have enough money to hire ‘help.’  I know in my childhood I would have been scolded for having the audacity to even expect that.  Looking back, it is how we should mold our daughters whether they come from single parent households or not.

I think our daughters do need to be taught how to value themselves, and we first do that by setting the example and not accepting shoddy behavior but demanding respect. Certainly, they should learn how to be self-sufficient, cook a meal, clean do things that make for an orderly home, but not in an effort to secure a man.  They should learn to do this for themselves and not be trained to wait for the fairy tale rescue.  I think we need to stop doing our sons laundry and treating them like mini-kings.  I think in general we need to stop indulging our children and teach them the importance of EARNING whatever privileges they get.  Society as a whole is very much based on instant gratification and it is this very mindset that is contributing to a lot of the pathology we are witnessing today.

If we’ve been caught up in an abusive relationship, it is imperative, especially if children are involved that we get out of that immediately.  Lallygagging only sends the message to our children that it is acceptable and they will follow in our footsteps.  We need to pick our asses up no matter how much it hurts and instead project an image of strength and self-respect.  Where will our children get this from if we don’t set the tone?

Will there be mistakes along the way?  Certainly…but rather than wallow in self-pity and blame, we need to allow ourselves time to mourn and lick our wounds, then we need to start having some serious talks with our children about what is and is not acceptable behavior.

I believe a lot of the pathology that exists today, has a lot to do with poor parenting.  I personally believe bad seeds are made, not born.  Are there brain changes in the personality disordered?  Yes.  Science proves that; however, I believe these changes take place as a result of constant subjecting to abuse which in turn causes a physical and biochemical change to the body and the brain.  If we want to see a decline in pathology we need to ensure that our next generation is raised properly.

We can’t leave the job to the television, video games, teachers, or the streets…we need to stand up and take responsibility.  This includes preventing teen pregnancy, as there are a lot of babies having babies, ill prepared for the responsibility.  As one person coined it:  “Chicken heads having chicken heads.” 

More than that, we need to take a real long hard look at ourselves, and figure out what are realistic expectations and if there have been any skewed messages in our blueprint, we need to begin the work of re-brainwashing ourselves that we too are deserving of certain perks in a relationship and that it isn’t necessarily our calling and duty to always have to sleep on the wet spot and change the sheets in the morning.

Beyond Highbrow - Robert Lindsay

I think the author of this piece is onto something. Hare, the acknowledged expert on antisocial personalities, tends to lump them all into one category called The Psychopath. I have problems with this.

David Lykken, recently deceased, wrote a superb book on antisociality called The Antisocial Personalities. You might be able to get it in a library. He broke them up into ~15 or more distinct types.

One major distinction was psychopath versus sociopath.

Psychopaths have damaged brains and are wrong either from birth or from early childhood. They need to have both something wrong with their brains and typically another factor, particularly child abuse of some sort, to complete their full-blown development. The psychopath is incurable, at least with our present tools. Maybe in the future we will find some way to treat them. As their brains are different, it’s going to be hard to do. Some…

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It is difficult to determine how much fear is legitimate and how much is manufactured in our minds when it comes to dealing with a Narcissist. While not a professional therapist with thousands of Narc cases I can lay claim to treating (then again who could make that claim) but having read extensively on the topic, I’m not sure if a number of our fears are warranted.  I believe we make the Narcs out to be bigger than what they are.

Early on, I absorbed that the individual qualified as insane and like any other “crazy” person, a certain amount of fear was warranted because their actions are unpredictable; nonetheless, I believe once you understand Narcissism, Narcs become pretty predictable.

There is a distinction between a Narcissist and a Psychopath. We have two distinctions here: The Psychopath who has the potential to be a cold-blooded killer then the grossly mentally disturbed jerk – that would be the NARC.

Can they both be dangerous? YES!!! Absolutely; however, let’s examine the Narcissist…We know that Narcs have a grandiose sense of self. They believe the sun, moon, earth and stars were created just for them. In fact, they are convinced that if they are unhappy, the sun just doesn’t rise…if it rains, well God is crying FOR them because they’re just too important and special to be bothered with such trivial and inferior activity…We also know that a Narcissist cannot attach himself to anyone emotionally, and does not love anyone or anything other than HIS reflection. We know the Narcissist sees us as objects. We also know the Narcissist does not leave or start devaluing and discarding UNTIL he has a few other secondary sources of supply. This is not only so that our stock value pales so he feels he got the most bang for his buck but also because once he “departs” he pretty much can take you or leave you. He very well could have done that from the start but he found us “entertaining” and “useful.”

When the Narc leaves, our purpose from his perspective has ceased to exist. Narcs know how important supply is for their sustenance, they’re not about to get caught out there without it. Will they come back for a whiff even when with someone else? Well, why wouldn’t they? If you thought you were “King” of the world, wouldn’t you feel “entitled?” It doesn’t mean to the Narcissist we’re special, it doesn’t mean he really loves us, it doesn’t mean he’s confused. It means he’s a predator, he’s self-centered, he believes he’s entitled and if you are gullible enough to bite a second time, he’s not going to be the one to stop you. Or a third time, or a fourth time, or the tenth time.  While this may sound very cold harsh and cruel…I am not certain how legitimate some of the fears are when it comes to the Narcissist as the truth is if the individual is a true NARCISSIST and there is a difference between that and a psychopath – they’re not thinking about you.  Sure, they surface from time to time (for Ego’s sake) and if they get really hard up for supply, I imagine they’d really up the ante with trying to coax you; but otherwise, for a Narcissist it’s “Out of sight,out of mind.” That was even when we were with them – EVEN more so now that it’s over. The exception might be if you beat him at his own game and left him first BEFORE he could gather his supply, then he might be out for revenge, but if you’ve been D&D’d and there is already another woman, don’t think about it…he’s not thinking about you. Work on healing.

Narcissists may like to play games, but again it’s for Ego. When it is said that you will “always” be property of the Narc, that is because if YOU continue to appease his stupidity (professionals would call it pathology), you will quite often get sucked in. The reality is, when you know what he is and know how to effectively tell him to blow off (which is the same insult to him as uncovering the mask) his ego is so fragile, he doesn’t have the cojones (professionals call these testicles) to face you.

So, understand that if you really do think that your partner or ex partner is a Narcissist, unfortunately, he’s not thinking about you.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there seems to be a lot of cognitive dissonance over this.

AGAIN, this is not the same picture for a psychopath and since we rarely know which is which, or what they are it is always wise to err on the side of caution. Nonetheless, I remain convinced for the most part, their “thinking about us” is more in our minds – a secret wish, rather than the reality.

Today we call them Narcissists as do the professionals, in the past they were referred to as “Jive MFers.”

If you believe you’re dealing with what you believe is a narcissist or a psychopath – there are other ways to rid yourself of them.

SEE:  The Gray Rock Method

Kelli from The Ability to Love pretty much nailed it in terms of choosing to re-direct. In my commentary on her blog I mentioned that this would not necessarily apply to someone new to this whole experience; however, the only way out of this really is to decide you are determined to turn it around, it’s one of those things where there is no walking around it or sidestepping but rather walking through it…

Repetition Compulsion

In the process of recovery, we often wonder ‘Why did this happen?” “How did I attract this?” “What made me vulnerable?” While there are many reasons for the whys and hows, in some cases when there have been ‘issues’ in childhood, sometimes as a result of dealing with trauma we repress certain memories and subconsciously block them in order to survive.

One probability is the concept of “Repetition Compulsion.” Sometimes unaware, we attract those who allow us to replay certain UNresolved scripts. This is not a conscious motivation. Oftentimes ‘targets’ share that there was abuse on some level in childhood and/or some trauma.

While most agree no one is immune from those on the spectrum, repetition compulsion is worth considering as a possibility along the path to recovery in terms of how any past abuse may have weakened the radars. Sometimes we believe we’ve healed from childhood wounds when in fact, there is still work to do. If repetition compulsion is part of the mix and the unresolved issues are not adequately addressed, it can lead to the repeating of ‘patterns’…I found another exceptional article on Repetition Compulsion [HERE].  The author has explored the topic in a few posts, if you scroll down towards the bottom you will be led to additional posts where they continue the discussion in a subsequent entry.

Additional Resources on Repetition Compulsion:

The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma


Repetition Compulsion (general explanation – Wiki)

Tuff Love is Bullshit

I hear a lot about “tuff love” and I see it surfacing on some of the forums.  I don’t believe in tuff love.  It is something that came out of the “Rooms” and like all trends became a buzzword and a disguise for many a jaded screwed up individual to justify abuse.  This ‘jargon’ has also made it’s way into teen programs for children who were labeled ‘defiant’ ‘out of control’ or suffering from substance abuse.  The problem is oftentimes the acting up has to do with PAIN, and the last thing pain needs is another kick in the gut.


The Trouble With Tuff Love

Tuff Love is an Excuse for Abuse

AND…what about adults implementing  ‘Tuff Love’ on other adults?

Let’s take a walk to the ‘Rooms’

“People who dare to criticize any of this sacred Group-Think dogma can be subjected to any of the punishing tactics mentioned in item 10, Personal attacks on critics.

When it comes to “Group-Feel”, A.A. has a bad case of that, too. Good members are supposed to just “stuff their feelings”, and maintain a flat emotional state that features endless “Serenity and Gratitude.” Other emotions are considered bad, and a sign that someone is failing to “work a strong program”:

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 90.

And the injunction against “resentments” is extremely strong:

‘Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease…’
The Big Book, 3rd & 4th Editions, William G. Wilson, Chapter 5, How It Works, page 64.

The only exception to this rule is anger: the old-timers are permitted to snap and snarl at newcomers who don’t conform to the program, and put them down with caustic remarks that drip with sarcasm and condescension. And they pass that behavior off as “tough love.”  A. Orange (AA as a Cult)

If you hear someone use the term “Tuff Love” RUN! What you’re dealing with is a pathological on an ego trip that gets off on abuse…there is nothing “TUFF” about love…the term “TUFF LOVE” is pathological word salad…it’s NLP…it’s BRAINWASHING…

I don’t believe in TUFF LOVE nor do I practice it…

I believe in re-direction, support, understanding and compassion…you don’t kick a dog when they’re down, nor do you feed your ego off of someone else’s pain.  Tuff Love is the abuser’s tool to come off looking like the all knowing hero, the “savior” at the expense of perpetuating the damage.  It’s bullshit.

Valentino Therapy

Don’t Call Me a Narcissist! The Official Definition.

How do we diagnose?

I was surprised to receive detailed questions about what constitutes clinically diagnosing a person as having NPDO (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Are there a number of armchair therapists out there? Or is living with one so challenging that you search the web for more information? Since I previously posted the “layman’s terms” for behavior that might be common to a narcissistic person, below is the real deal.

It’s important to note that self-diagnosis or labeling others can be a dangerous and harmful course of action, often leading to hurt or false concerns. A professional needs to diagnose an individual (often provisionally), face to face, see multiple symptomatology, with much information gathering – combined with years of experience – to make a determination about diagnosing an individual. This is neither a lighthearted endeavor nor a parlor…

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