If You Feel Stupid…

…and were involved with a Narcissist, know that stupid is exactly  how the N wants you to feel.  Know that and allow yourself the luxury of mourning what might have been, had the individual been different; mourn the illusion, but then dry your eyes, know you’re NOT stupid and move on.

When you feel stupid and naive, it’s because that’s how the N has set things up.  You were never “good enough” for him or her.  You were nothing more than a mirror and at some point you start reflecting his or her poor qualities.  You didn’t act your part, you bad mirror.  What happens to mirrors that don’t reflect correctly?

They get discarded.  They get thrown away.

Keep your eye open.  Don’t give your heart to someone until you have dated them (not slept with them, not made out with them, not played house with them) for months.  Watch the person.  Be alert for behaviors that seem odd.  Be alert for all the characteristics inherent in NPD.

Remember this, as you date:  All of us exhibit some qualities of narcissism, but it’s not a way of life for us.  True narcissists use, abuse and live their narcissism.  Don’t ever forget that as you journey through the murky waters of the dating pool.  🙂

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Let’s Have Some Fun!

Here’s an opportunity for you to post your dating horror story.  I’m working in conjunction with The Wrong Fish to find the best (worst?) dating horror story.

Click here and write your horror story.  This is anonymous, so please change all names in your post.  Don’t reveal your REAL name.

Over the next 30 days we will collect stories and then provide a poll that includes ALL the stories and you can vote for whichever is your favorite.

I’m not sure yet what the prize is, or if there will even be a prize, but hey- you get to unload, and maybe read stories that will make you think yours was a cakewalk.  Or not.  (snort!)

Have a go at it.  Be creative.  Just protect the “innocent.”  We can’t have any libel suits on our hands, yanno!

Vote!!

I’ve been writing a comprehensive book on personality disorders with an emphasis on NPD.  I’m not a psychiatrist but I know someone who IS psychiatrist in real-life and who specializes in personality disorders.  He has agreed to review this book prior to publication for accuracy of information.  I’m also going to request that he write a forward for it.

This book  will define the term personality disorder, it will provide all the DSM-IV (cited) criteria for NPD, with real-world descriptions of each criteria.  Each criterion will probably be a chapter unto itself, since there is such a massive amount of accurate anecdotal material available.

I will also include chapters on Borderline Personality Disorder since that disorder has so many crossover traits with NPD.  Depending upon how long the NPD book is (I’d like to keep it at 300 pages!) I may have to write another on BPD.   These books are being written with the purpose of helping others recognize these disorders and understand what they can do to better their situations if involved in any way with someone who is one of these disorders.

Please remember that individuals who meet the criteria for NPD and BPD don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  Why?  It’s simple.  To have something implies that one can NOT have it.  For an NPD, the realization that they are a disorder will never come, so they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  For a BPD, there’s a shred of hope, but in most cases, they, too, do not realize that anything is wrong with them, thus they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.

You will learn methods for recognizing those who are potentially NPD or BPD on the first date, but more importantly you will learn an accurate method for analyzing online dating profiles to determine whether the writer is NPD.  It’s a little more difficult to extrapolate BPD from a dating profile and not always accurate, so I won’t provide that.

The book will also contain a compassionate and common-sense guide to rebuilding emotional health during the aftermath of interacting with an NPD (remember, they don’t have relationships!) and it will provide cited research into the developmental phases of a child who grows up to be an NPD adult.  This will provide a glimpse into the why of an NPD and it will allow you to feel compassion for them, while understanding that pity is wasted and it will also allow you to learn your best method for detaching and distancing – for good.

Additionally, there will be anecdotal information based on my personal experiences, interviews with others who have had similar experiences and between each chapter there will be lined pages for you to make notes if you choose to print the book.  The book will be in PDF format and will be read-only, and you will not be able to do a “save-as” so you can make electronic notes.  Allowing that capability is dangerous for an author.

Please note, since this will be my material, garnered from many long  hours of research, and then the effort put forth to write a book that resonates with truth, REAL help and guidance, it will be copyrighted as my material.  If I provide this book and someone wants to use pieces of it in their own work, they will need permission to use it and any portions of it that are used must be cited (as I am doing with all my research.)  I want to help others, and in doing so, I also want to help myself.  If there is enough interest in this as an e-book, when I am finished writing it, I will post it here as a downloadable book at a price of $9.95  for 30 days prior to allowing my publisher to release it (at a much higher price!)

Vote now!

Another From Search Terms: Does a Narcissist Know They Treat People Badly?

Yes and no.  How’s that for a contradiction?

A narcissist believes they are good.  They have conditioned themselves to believe that they are ALL good and have no character flaws.  They believe anyone who questions their “goodness” is bad.  They believe, from conditioning, that those who are “bad” must be punished.

So, do they know they treat people badly?  I’d say, that deep down, in that place where they have their emotionally arrested selves hidden, they know.  This will never come to light. Not an inkling of it will be allowed out of the locked drawer where the Narcissist keeps everything he sees as a poor reflection of himself.

If a Narcissist apologizes to you for treating you badly, you’d better read the fine print, which isn’t immediately visible because it is contained between the lines.  Mine did it thus:  (bold and italics are mine)

“I apologize if I hurt your feelings, but you know this is how I am and if you take it personally, that’s your fault.  If I do it again, tell me and I’ll apologize, but know that it’s just how I am and that I will do it again.”  

See what he’s done?  First he declines to admit that he actually DID hurt my feelings.  He states “if.”  This is typical of an NPD.  They’re not going to admit to hurting anyone’s feelings, so they use a qualifier that absolves them of blame and places all blame on you.  What this man said to me in that first sentence is this:  “I’m not apologizing for anything.  The entire issue is immaterial.”

Next, he absolves himself of accountability for his actions by stating “you know this is how I am.”  Because I “knew” this was how he was, I was then simply supposed to accept it, smile, and shrug it off by telling myself:  “oh, that’s just how he is. He didn’t mean anything by it.”  I’m not supposed to feel anything but loving acceptance of his little quirks and because (since he’s already told me this in his apology) he’s accepted “how” he is, then something’s wrong with me that I don’t accept it.  I’m supposed to actually support and encourage his unacceptable behavior, because after all, HE accepts it and encourages it within himself because he sees nothing wrong with it.

After that he tells me it’s MY FAULT my feelings got hurt and it’s my fault because I found “how he is” unacceptable.”  THIS little bit of information will be stored away for future use against me.  A Narcissist won’t tolerate anyone finding anything about them unacceptable.

Let me tell you, this piece of it came out about a month later in a long-winded nasty diatribe where he tells me how horrible I am, how undesirable I am as a partner, and that he doesn’t have “romantic feelings” toward me because I’ve “evinced dissatisfaction” with him.  Poor boy.  Oh dear.  See – this is classic NPD.

What I didn’t know at the time is this:

1.  He’s NPD

2.  NPDs don’t HAVE romantic feelings.

3.  I wasn’t in a relationship.

4.  All the stuff I saw in him that I thought was so wonderful was simply him reflecting MYSELF back to me.  He stole my compassion, empathy and any trait he thought was good and could be used to make himself look good and he reflected it back to me.

5.  At the point where his hyper-sensitive, as-seen-on-TV, get-it-now-for-the-low-low-price-of-$19.99-but-wait-if-you-order-in-the-next-10-minutes-you’ll-get a-second-one-free Little Orphan Annie Imaginary Criticism Decoder Ring  scrambled my communications he pulled out every bit of information his LOAICDR had given him, and using the companion LOAICDR Translation Tool for Narcissists, the free gift that came with the rings if you ordered within the next ten minutes he decoded a message that said “My feelings are hurt” to mean “You are a bad person, you’re stupid, worthless, and will never amount to anything.”  You see,  the LOAICDR is extremely sensitive and the companion Translation Tool for Narcissists has only one translation for anything that’s perceived as criticism. That translation is compatible with all the emotional abuse heaped on the Narcissist prior to age 6.

6.  The Translation Tool for Narcissists does provide instructions for keeping this from happening again, which is to immediately spin the situation, deny accountability and project blame for any and all hurt on the victim.  It then tells the Narcissist to react with vicious devaluation of the victim before the victim has time to sort through all the Narcissist-speak.  It instructs the Narcissist to stomp the victim into submission and do it HARD and if that doesn’t work, to simply throw the victim in the trash and go get a new one.   But I digress.  Let’s get back to the deconstruction of my N’s “apology.”

Then he says:  “If I do it again” meaning that there’s doubt he did it in the first place.  He says to tell him “if” he does it again and he’ll apologize, and then qualifies that with the justification (completely rational to him) that it’s just “how” he is, and then he goes on to tell me he WILL do it again.

It’s classic Narcissist gaslighting.  It’s classic Narcissist-speak for: “You’re crazy, I’m not.  You’re bad, I’m good.  You’re worthless, I’m omnipotent.”

Anyone besides me see an issue with this “apology?”   I hope so.

A Narcissist will defend his or her right to treat you badly, and they will do it using a rationale that is only logical to them.  When a non NPD hears the narcissist explaining WHY he or she did what they did, it will ALWAYS come out as an action they could not control because you MADE them do it.  You won’t have time to process it because it will be followed up with more vitriol.  Remember this:  Every horrible thing a Narcissist does or says to you is a projection of what he KNOWS to be true about himself.  It has nothing to do with you, it is not true about you, and the Narcissist has to convince you that it IS true about you, particularly if you are their only source of supply at the time.  They are desperate to stomp you into a submissive little mirror. 

A Narcissist does not own his or her actions.  If they did, there would be no narcissists.

If you are being treated badly by a Narcissist, the odds are very good that you’re to blame.  Didn’t you know that?  (read sarcasm, please).

If you are being treated badly by a Narcissist (not IF – WHEN) it is because you did not reflect appropriately to them.

When you are being devalued by a Narcissist it is NOT your fault.  It is simply because the Narcissist does not view you as anything other than an object with an expiration date.

If you stay with a Narcissist, beyond the point where you realize what’s going on, you will continue to be treated badly, and then it really WILL be your fault, because you made a choice to stay. 

If you stay with a Narcissist thinking you can fix them, you are DELUDED. Get help NOW.

If you stay with a Narcissist because after you had a deep, heart-felt conversation with them, and things got better, you’d better be prepared for an emotional nuclear warhead to plow through you.

Narcissists don’t HAVE “deep, heart-felt conversations.”  They let YOU talk, and they make assenting noises if they’re at the point where they realize they’re about to lose their current supply and they don’t have any other supply lined up.

So – clear as mud?  A Narcissist is a walking contradiction.

 

 

Narcissists Fold, Spindle and Mutilate: Where and how to get help

I just read a post entitled  No Longer Dead and I knew immediately what this woman was dealing with based on the first half of her post.  My assumption is that the second half is her, telling herself that she will not accept this individual any longer until or unless he acquiesces to her completely legitimate and emotionally healthy demands.

If this woman has been dealing with an NPD, she was dead to him from the beginning.  She never truly existed as a human being worthy of love, respect, dignity and empathy.  She was simply this person’s mirror.  It appears she spent years being devalued and discarded and then finally got sick of it, found her strength and decided to move on.

This is a good post to read.  Many times, when we are the focus of devaluation by a narcissist, we don’t know what the heck is going on.  All we know is that nothing we do seems to be good enough; everything is our fault; we are crazy.  Nothing is wrong with the narcissist and he or she makes it very clear to us that we are the problem.  Still, when we’re in the middle of it, it’s difficult to step outside the fishbowl and peer in.  Objectivity seems to be the lowest on our list of priorities, with survival of a relationship that never was being our top priority.

Even if you’ve been married to an individual for most of your adult life, if you are being treated the way the woman in No Longer Dead was being treated, you haven’t had a relationship.  A relationship takes two people.  A Narcissist absolves themselves from relationship responsibilities before they engage with another individual.  A narcissist doesn’t have relationships; he or she merely has mirrors.  Even if you’ve been married for 30 years to a narcissist, it sadly means that you’ve been a mirror (and nothing more) for 30 years.

Narcissists can’t love another human being.  They don’t love themselves, even though their surface would indicate that they do love themselves – too much.  Scratch that surface and you find nothing.  Narcissists are fragile shells and to keep their shells intact they abuse before they can be abused.  This is why they are hyper-vigilant for the slightest criticism.  They twist and spin words that they believe might be critical (even if they aren’t) and deliberately make them critical so they can set about stomping the purveyor of those words into submission.

Narcissists are emotional vampires and they have memories like elephants.  Those who share emotions, who show they have emotions, who are compassionate and empathetic, are considered weak to a narcissist, ergo; they are FOOD.  A narcissist will suck you dry, and when you finally realize what’s been going on and stand up to the narcissist in your life, they will pull out every emotion you ever shared with them, twist and spin it and fling it back at you with deadly accuracy.  When they see their mirror has gained strength, thus providing the mirror the means of seeing the narcissist for what it truly is, they will move in for the emotional kill.

There is a point at which you, as a mirror can avoid this emotional kill, if you truly see what’s going on.  It’s a nanosecond in the scope of a 30-year marriage, or a many-years-long “relationship” with a narcissist, but if you see it, and flee when you see it, you will have a slightly diminished time frame during which you have to heal and rebuild your emotional health and strength.  If you don’t see it (and many of us don’t, and no one but you can say when that point is) you will be so emotionally crushed that it may be years before you have the strength to bootstrap yourself out of your situation.

If you are experiencing any of the issues described in the first half of No Longer Dead you MUST take a step back, grab your journal if necessary, and start assessing things.  Just start writing, and don’t worry about how things come out.  This will allow you to re-read and identify what’s truly going on.  If you don’t write, see a counselor.  Talk to a trusted friend.  Get an objective view of your situation.  While you’re doing this ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT A NARCISSIST NEVER CHANGES.  THIS IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP; YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE YOURSELF, NOT A RELATIONSHIP THAT NEVER WAS. 

I don’t recommend seeing your family pastor or priest.  Why?  A pastor (and especially priests) are trained to keep the marital unit together regardless the circumstances.  If you see a priest you may be told it’s your responsibility (if you’re female) to act in submission with your husband’s will, regardless his will.  Depending upon your denomination, a pastor may tell you the same thing.  Fundamental Christian pastors may tell you (if you’re female) that you’re the one with issues since you’re not acting in accordance with “God’s” will or your husband’s will.  Trust me on this one, I’ve been there.

Most religions don’t recognize personality disorders as an acceptable reason for divorce.  My experience has taught me that when religion enters the picture, it is the woman who pays a huge price when her mate is a narcissist.  If there are children involved, you must get them away from the daily influence of the narcissist or you will have children who grow into damaged adults.

I believe that faith in a higher power is essential.  Many don’t believe that, and I respect their choice. For me, though, if I didn’t have faith in a higher power, I’d never have made it this far in life.   If you don’t have faith in a power greater than yourself, all that’s left to see you through your turmoil is whatever reserve of inner strength you may have.

My best advice for getting free of a narcissist (and you are with a narcissist if  all or most of the first half of No Longer Dead applies to you) is to seek secular help.  Prayer works, regardless your form of worship or faith.  Positive thinking works, but getting there is difficult.   Narcissists have many crossover traits to alcoholism, as well as to Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Even if the narcissist in your life doesn’t drink, that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have alcoholic traits.  It’s very easy for someone to believe they are not an alcoholic simply because they don’t drink.  Alcoholism is defined not only by the consumption and need for alcohol, but by a very clear set of behavior patterns and those behavior patterns align with the way I’ve seen narcissists act.

If you are with a narcissist who does not drink, the odds are good you have a dry drunk on your hands.  Al-Anon is a great place to get the help and support you need in dealing with a dry drunk and/or a narcissist.  Please open the link for dry drunk to read the characteristics.  You will see that they align clearly with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

If the narcissist in your life drinks, it’s very important to get help through Al-Anon.  There are meetings everywhere and while some view it as a betrayal to the person with whom they are involved, that is simply misplaced loyalty.  Most of us who wind up with a narcissist in our lives have had prior experience with some form of emotional dysfunction in our lives, probably during childhood, when we are most malleable and taught to accept behaviors that are truly self-damaging.  Regardless your faith, if you believe in a higher power you must ask yourself if your higher power would find your situation acceptable, and would that higher power believe it to be something that is good, healthy and uplifting for you?

Remember this:  Martyrdom is not the glorification of God or any other higher power.  It is the glorification of EGO.  Many times, we have our egos too invested in who we are; that which we allow to provide us our criteria for life is our ego, not our SELF, which involves listening to the still, small voice and acting from within a higher level of knowledge with regard to self.  If we act from within the self, and not the ego, martyrdom to the cause of a narcissist becomes anathema to us.  In martyring ourselves to another’s abuse of us, we deny that which has been universally given to us:  love, in all its forms. Martyrdom is not love.  It is the glorification of our own egos, and that is not a good thing.

If you are with a narcissist, and you have sublimated yourself to that individual’s monstrously sick manipulation, you are martyring yourself.  STOP NOW!  

If you don’t stop the madness now, you may find yourself dealing with a massive case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Trust me on that one, too.   PTSD can result from recurring, consistent emotional abuse.  Couple that with the physical abuse that some experience when with a narcissist and you’ll wind up with a full-blown case of PTSD.

Deconstruction of a Dating Profile

For those of you who are trying to find love online, here’s an example of a dating profile you should avoid.  I dated this person, and since his profile is public content, there is nothing illegal about re-posting it here.  I will not post his dating-site handle (but I wish I could so women in my area who read this can avoid him) or his name.  I will deconstruct his profile for you.  My commentary is in red.

Most tell me I am warm, giving, knowing, and patient. 

Most of what? Most of whom? If “most” apples in a barrel are good does that mean that ALL apples in a barrel are good? Do you not know whether you are those things? No, you don’t because your entire image of yourself is a construct built upon what others tell you.

Others tell me I have a good sense of humor and am fun to be around.

Here we go again with what YOU say OTHERS say.  You don’t want to actually say that you have these qualities because deep down, you know you don’t really have them, you only present them when you are in the presence of others from whom you can benefit. Presenting these qualities is not the same thing as actually having them.

Many things interest me and I am entertained easily. I love kayaking, skiing, hiking, skating and most of the usual sports but I tend to gravitate toward the arts.

Note that this person places the emphasis on the more “extreme” sports, the ones that require more skill for the average person to engage in them.  There is only a nod toward the “more usual sports” because this person feels the “more usual” is beneath them.

I am emotionally healthy as I am filled with positive feelings and energy most of the time.

Um, okay.  How does that define emotional health?  Notice this person doesn’t say “others” speak to the individual’s emotional health.  This is something this person is CERTAIN of, and even goes so far as to define it for us.

I enjoy talking and listening and sharing emotions.

Be very wary of this kind of phrase in an online profile.  It sounds innocent and it may well be innocent as well as truthful, but I happen to know this person.  I dated him. He does enjoy talking – about himself.  He listens for perceived criticisms and the emotions he shares are thinly disguised rage.  He feeds off YOUR emotions and stores them up to use as ammunition against you. 

I’ve been told I’m old fashioned and I’ve been told I’m eclectic, urban and modern. 

Again, he doesn’t know himself – he tells us what others have told him.  He has no clue what he truly is. 

I think I’m a bit of mix since I strive for balance in most areas.

He doesn’t know what he thinks, since he’s already stated that his opinion of himself is garnered from the opinions of others.  How many people strive for balance in just “most” areas?  This is an individual who doesn’t know anything about balance and probably added the word “most” as a subconscious qualifier.  I doubt he even realizes what he’s said about himself here.

I am honest and loyal and sometimes too trusting.

This is classic NPD in this case.  Again, he  shows us that he hasn’t got a clue.  How can he be honest when he’s already told us that he has no clue what emotional health is and that he only strives for balance in “most” areas?  The part about being loyal and too trusting is a classic set-up from NPD people.  

This is a huge red flag, and it’s already setting his potential victims up to BE victims. He’ll be “loyal” and “trusting” until you evince dissatisfaction with him.  At that point, his entire visage will change, his normal MO will cast off the cloak of charm, warmth and affection and you will be told exactly what a terrible person you are, and any emotions you may have “shared” with him will be brought out and used to decimate you.  You’ll know you are nothing more than a thing to him, that you are disposable and he will attempt to convince you that you have misinterpreted him in all ways.  Any hurt you sustain from your interaction with him is your fault.  To paraphrase another source:  “so sorry that you’re a casualty of my pathology.”

An Optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.

Note he doesn’t state “I am an optimist-idealist grounded in the practical.”  To state that would not allow him to say “I never said I was that way.”  While this may simply be poor grammar on his part, based on the preceding elements of the profile, one could reasonably ask:  “Why is this phrase here?”  

I’ve been known to act like a child and think like an old man, then think like a child and act like an old man.

He’s been “known” to do these things.  Known by whom?  Note that he doesn’t state that HE ACTUALLY DOES THESE THINGS.  He simply invokes the ubiquitous and invisible “others” by use of the word  ‘known’.  

You? You’re easy to talk to and like to talk and laugh. You’re generally happy with yourself In body and spirit. You enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the fruits of the country but also like urban activities and the suburban typical.

First, he’s telling you what you will be if you are going to interact with him.  He’s not stating qualities he appreciates in another, he’s stating WHAT YOU ARE and if you prove not to be these things, you’ll be sorry.  He’s also pompous as hell – “appreciate the fruits of the country?”  What the hell is THAT?  You like to go apple-picking?  His entire profile is written from the perspective of condescending pomposity. What does “generally happy with yourself in body and spirit” mean?  Does this mean he’ll be okay if you’re sometimes not happy that way?  No, in this profile it means you WILL be happy with these things because he has decreed it.

Your open-minded, funny, and can enjoy laughing at yourself. 

He says nothing about compassion, independence, warmth, empathy, loving, giving, etc.  You are to be open-minded, funny and you have to enjoy laughing at yourself.  That is ALL you will be. Note he doesn’t state that you can enjoy laughing at him!

You are understanding and respectful and appreciate those qualities in me.

This time he tells you what you are.  You are understanding and respectful – and you WILL appreciate those qualities in him.  What he left off here is this:  “…as I interpret those qualities.”

This is what he’s currently doing with his life:

Generally: Surfing the curl of the daily experience and picking the next big wave. (Ahh…Escapism through metaphor) Family and Friends are most important. Life is care and devotion to myself and those around me.

Okay, this statement is fraught with issues.  First, he displays how  “intelligent” he is by using metaphor.  He also uses metaphor to escape from having to state what it is he is usually doing, which is trolling dating sites for his next mirror.  That would be “the next big wave.”  

He uses grandiose surfing metaphor to describe what he’s doing with his life, which is precisely NOTHING.  He states that Family and Friends are most important.   I know for fact that he doesn’t get along with his siblings.  His sister moved to Guatemala not too long ago to continue her education through experience, and when I was told about this I got very excited.  I wanted to know how she was, what her experiences were, etc.  

His reply was:  “I don’t know.  She left three months ago.  I haven’t had time to email or call her to find out how she is and what she’s doing.”  

I was stunned.  Had that been MY sister, I’d be emailing her daily, I’d be checking her Facebook to see new photos, I’d send her snail mail so she’d have things from home, cards and little things made and sent with love.  I’d be in constant contact with her.  

He stated his other siblings are “slobs” and had nothing positive to say about them.  Yet Family is most important to him. 

He spoke of his mother in glowing terms.  His mother died in 2007, and she was an excellent surrealist.  When I look at her artwork, I see the emptiness in her.  There is one painting that is scarily desolate.  

It is a depiction of  four humans in the form of trees, and the center “tree” is  obviously an older female who is oblivious to the trees around her.  The other three trees (her children)  surround her and their branches reach toward her.  She stands alone, with clearly defined space around her, space through which her children will never be able to travel.  She is powerful, she has no need of these other trees and in the painting, she is the tree given the most detail.  This painting gave me serious insight to this man’s relationship with his mother.

This man has also told me that he only has one dream.  It’s a dream where he is around 6, standing in the living room, watching his father chop the decorated christmas tree down with an ax.  His father left the family unit when he was 7.  He states that from that point forward, he never had a relationship with his dad because of what his father “did” to his mother.  My guess is that the N’s mother made certain the children drank the kool-aid with regard to their father. 

Notice in his last sentence above that he states that life is care of himself BEFORE it is care for others.  In my experience, care for oneself comes naturally when one gives of oneself to others.  If I actively nurture my friends and family, as well as the family of mankind, I am, by definition, providing care for myself.  I’m not placing myself ahead of others, I am working in TANDEM with others. 

These are his favorite books, movies and shows:

Most of my reading is done on the web.

Yup, most of it IS done on the web.  On dating sites.  He is a remarkably uninformed individual but if you read his pretentious list below, you’ll likely wind up with the notion that he’s remarkably WELL informed and well-read. 

I used to enjoy really long hair stuff like Proust and really silly stuff like Kurt Vonnegut.

I’ve heard Kurt Vonnegut described as many things, but never as “silly.”  Vonnegut is known for populating his novels with characters who are searching for meaning and order in an inherently meaningless and disorderly universe.  He’s known for his irreverent humor, satire of contemporary society and his focus on the futility of warfare and the human capacity for both irrationality and evil.  And this person finds Kurt Vonnegut SILLY

Pedestrian stuff like Michener and scary stuff like King.

Michener is pedestrian?  No.  Danielle Steel is pedestrian.  John Grisham is pedestrian.  Michener?  He wrote from wartime experience; he wrote from his experience as a world-traveler who immersed himself in various cultures.  He wrote compelling epic portraits of those cultures.  Nothing he wrote is pedestrian, yet he is casually lumped in with Stephen King, who, while being a great teller of scary stories, is rather pedestrian. 

Poetry by Stephen Dunn and tanka (Japanese Poetry Method).

Ahh.  Now we are getting to the meat of it.  Stephen Dunn.  Read Poem for People That Are Understandably Too Busy To Read Poetry .  G’wan.  I dare ya.  It’ll open in a new tab, so you can come back here without having to click “back.”  Read this gem and you will know exactly what an N is.  Until today, I hadn’t investigated Stephen Dunn.  Wow.  If I had researched him before I dated this man, I might not have dated him – or, being into poetry myself, would have thought him quite deep for being able to understand Dunn.  Holy shit on a brick.  Read Biography In The First Person .  Wow.  

Next he states he likes Tanka.  He doesn’t state he likes Haiku, which is characterized by the 5-7-5 syllable rhythm.  Oh no.  He’s special, he prefers Tanka, which most people won’t know anything about, and is characterized by the 5-7-5-7-7 syllable rhythm.  Yet, when I replied to one of his initial emails to me in Tanka he didn’t recognize it.  When I pointed it out to him, he said it wasn’t recognizable to him as Tanka.  Excuse me?  Anyone familiar with Tanka would have recognized it immediately.  Devaluation from the very beginning.

I have a wide range in taste in Movies but would watch an Oliver Stone effort over Ron Howard, Cohen brothers over Cronenburg, Burton over Zemeckis…

How many people take the time to tell the world what movie directors they prefer?  This is simply an effort to prove to potential supply that he’s arts-literate.  It’s grandiose, pompous, condescending and indirectly states:  “If you don’t like Oliver Stone over Ron Howard…(ad nauseum) you need to get with the plan.”  And the funny part about this?  He doesn’t watch films like these with ANY regularity.  He’s got a teenage son who monopolizes the television and they watch teenage-appropriate films.  When I suggested seeing an art film at the local art theater, he turned it down without explanation.  He simply said “no.”  

Shows favorites go more abstract: Salome over Cameron, Carmina Burana over Coppelia, Aspects of Love over Gigi, Circ Du Soleil over Ringling Brothers…

I really wish I’d read his profile more carefully.  He’s confusing opera with cult films, male choral performances with ballet, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least that he prefers Aspects of Love over Gigi.  In Aspects of Love, as Alex, the male lead, traipses through life nonchalantly breaking female hearts and at the end, leaves not one, but two women, in favor of a third, who wonders aloud what the future will bring, to which Alex replies “love changes everything.”  It’s not Alex’s love that changes everything.  Alex has no love.  In Gigi, Gaston marries her, because he understands what Gigi has been saying all along – that the world will perceive her as his mistress and Gaston has a conscience.  He doesn’t want to harm Gigi.  It would not surprise me in the least to find this list is merely a regurgitated reflection from comments he’s heard others make.

Music is a bit too large of a topic in my life for this textbox so I will leave it at, there is no genre that I don’t enjoy some part of. Food? Don’t like Brussels Sprouts unless they don’t taste like Brussels Sprouts. Other than that I go from the usual to the exotic in cuisine.

Wait.  He dumped all kinds of pretentious and pompous crap in about other things, but music is “a bit too large of a topic in his life for this textbox?”  If he loved all types of music, why not just state that?  Why not just state that music holds a huge fascination for him and he gravitates toward many types?  Oh no.  He has to mysteriously let us know that it’s “too large of a topic in his life.”   It’s SO large that it won’t fit in a text box that allows unlimited characters.  It’s infinite.  It’s much larger than YOU or I could EVER understand so he’s going to do us the favor of not expounding on it, because: 

At this point his sick of writing a profile that has to impress potential supply well enough to reel them in, and he believes he’s already done that, so he leaves us with a lame comment about not liking brussels sprouts and the generalization that he goes from the usual to the exotic in “cuisine.”  Not “food.”  “cuisine.”

While this is the deconstruction of my N’s online dating profile, perhaps there are elements of it that will help you deconstruct profiles you encounter that just don’t read “right” to you.  If your intuition is telling you that the person who has contacted you isn’t going to be a good thing for you, heed that intuition.  I did not heed it.  I allowed him to charm away my fears.  I allowed him to talk me into dating him.  Most men, when in receipt of an email that says “thank you, but I’m not interested in dating right now” will simply move on.  Not an N.  That presents a challenge for him and his perceived image of himself dictates that he MUST “conquer” this refusal NOW.  So that’s what my N set about doing, in a sympathetic and charming manner – so much so that I capitulated.  

Never again.  Matter of fact, I learned so well from this that just prior to removing all my dating profiles, I received an email from a guy whose approach was similar to the N’s.  I was on instant alert.  I refused him.  He persisted.  I refused.  He persisted.  I refused.  He sent his phone number, telling me he can’t wait until we talk.  I tell him we aren’t going to talk.  He replies that he’s made reservations for us at a fancy restaurant.  I blocked his ass and took down my last dating profile.  

 

 

 

What Self Esteem Is and Is Not

I could paraphrase and plagiarize the article I just read, but it doesn’t bear re-writing.  It is perfect as it is and I think it’s an extremely important article.  Dr. Nathaniel Branden has given us the real definition of self esteem right here:

What Self Esteem Is and Is Not

Dr. Branden clearly states what I’ve been ranting about for years, that the “self-esteem movement” is not about self-esteem.  It’s about self indulgence, and entitlement.  It’s about teaching our children to be self-indulgent and feel entitled.  It’s bloody dangerous and we have at least two generations who have been exposed to the pop-psychology “self-help” tripe of the self-esteem movement.

I encourage you to read the article.  It may be tough going for some, but it’s well worth the read.  It’s a little dry, but it’s quite clear and to the point.

 

 

 

Trolling Redux

I lifted the text below from planetjan’s  blog.  It is part of her post entitled Narcissistic Game Playing.  It has eerie significance for me because the last sentence echoes something my N said to me.  Read the lifted text and you’ll see some bolded text at the bottom.  I’ll clue you in below that text.

When it comes to relationships, narcissists have two birds to kill. First, because they think very highly of themselves, they use relationships to self enhance not caring whether this involves exploiting others. Think of it as feeding the beast. Although the narcissist desires perfection in a partner, in reality their partners (mere humans) are doomed to come up short. This game is not a cooperative game, but one in which the winner takes all.

But here’s the rub. Relationships are good in that they can provide positive attention and sex, BUT they are bad in that they demand emotional intimacy and prevent the narcissist from receiving attention and sex from other partners. If only they could have it both ways… (The feelings of the other person do not factor into the N’s thinking.)

So the narcissist turns on the charm, using all the extraversion and confidence he can muster to reel in a new partner. But “they would be careful to keep this relationship from becoming too intimate or emotionally close lest they lose control. Finally, narcissists would covertly seek out other potential romantic partners.” So it should come as surprise that the narcissist lacks a sense of real commitment to a relationship and is always on the lookout for an alternative, frequently flirting with others.

In this way, the narcissist maintains power in the relationship and a certain amount of freedom. If things go sour in the relationship, he’s already got his eye on his next target.

“Narcissists’ self-regulatory blueprint involves bringing people in and extracting esteem from them. If that entails being, in turn, charming, exciting, deceptive, controlling, or nasty, so be it.”

When I was in the devaluation phase with my N, he sent me the email I’ve pasted below.  First, understand that I’d already broken it off with him.  In a prior email he’d told me if I had something “important” to discuss, to call him, and not tell him in email.  So I called him and left a message letting him know I had something important to talk about.  He didn’t return the call.  So I sent him an email breaking things off with him.  The next day he sends me an email about a photo of me telling me how much he likes it.  I replied with:  “did you get my phone message?”

Below is his reply.  He completely ignores that I sent him an email two days prior telling him that I no longer wanted to be involved with him.   Obviously, nothing regarding me is important enough for a phone call, because he justifies sending what should be an “important” email by stating it’s going to hurt regardless what way he does it.  Devaluation.  I’m not worth a phone call.  At this point, it didn’t matter, except to confirm my growing knowledge that he’s a selfish, manipulative bastard who is incapable of sustaining any sort of intimate relationship.

I tell him I’m breaking it off and that translates to:  “you seem to want more than I can give right now.”

Then he gives me the slam-dunk.  He tells me he may be fooling himself into thinking he can maintain frequent contact with me right now, and in the same set of keystrokes tells me he’s trolling and has intention of spending that time he doesn’t have looking for other women.  The eerie similarity in the bolded text from PlanetJan’s blog text and what is in red and bolded below makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: ops
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:46:11 +0000
From: The N <the N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

I think I’m going to hurt you be it in person or not so this has just got to happen now.

I like talking to you.

I like spending time with you.

But:

From my perspective you seem to want more than I can give right now.

I may be fooling myself into thinking I have enough time to maintain frequent contact with you and I certainly don’t want to give you any illusions.

 I am trying to bring a number of people into my life right now and it has been/will be taking a lot of time.

________________________________

I thought I’d got to the laughing point about this man, but this bit of serendipity made me want to go shower.  It made me shiver in horror at the thought of the monster I’d believed was a wonderful man.  It also confirmed, without any doubt whatsoever, that the man with whom I thought I was involved is a hardcore Narcissist.  There is so much going on in this email that I would emotionally exhaust myself attempting to deconstruct it any more than I have.  It would also cause me to become depressed again, and I’m not going there again.  I’m worth so much more than to allow myself to cycle down into depression again because the man of my nightmares is actually a living, breathing entity who lives 4.5 miles from me.

NPD – Fun With Archaic and Obscure Words: A through I

I was given a clever little gift by someone a couple of years ago.  It’s called:  Reading the OED:  One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages.

The book is by Ammon Shea, who actually sat down and READ the entire Oxford English Dictionary and wrote his own book about the more interesting archaic and obscure words he encountered.  The book is fun, entertaining and, actually, educational.

An N would love this book, since it would provide him/her some truly “empowering” vocabulary.  By “empowering” I mean that it would provide yet another fun way for the N to obfuscate (great word, huh?) and confuse his or her victim.

So I’m going to have fun pulling words from it that actually describe an NPD.  Notice I don’t say someone who has NPD.  An N is their disorder, hence, “an NPD.”

This post contains the letters A through I.  I will continue at a later date with J.

Enjoy!  Have fun!  Add these words to your vocabulary.  Odds are good your N hasn’t heard of them.

A

Abluvion:  Substance or things that are washed away.  Gosh, this could be synonymous with discarding.  Imagine that.

Addubitation:  A suggestion of doubt.  Oh my.  Does anyone know an N who engages in addubitation?  I do!

Aerumnous:  Full of trouble.  Need I explain?

Assy:  Asinine.  Um – yeah, I think it fits.

Astorgy:  A lack of natural affection.  GASP!  Really???  My N is full of astorgy.  How about yours?

B

Backfriend:  A fake friend; a secret enemy.  Well, Ns are always fake and never friends, but they’re only secret enemies until we figure them out.  bwahahahahaha!

Bayard:  A person armed with the self-confidence of ignorance.  Well golly gosh gee whiz!  Slap your N’s face and call him a Bayard!

Beadledom:  The sense of self-importance and officiousness.  How absolutely delicious!

Bed-swerver:  An unfaithful spouse or lover.  Gosh, imagine an N being unfaithful!

Benignant:  Showing warm feelings toward one’s inferiors.   Be prepared for benignance.  Ns believe themselves superior to everyone!

Bowelless:  Having no bowels; lacking in mercy or compassion.  Gee, I don’t know any Ns who qualify.  (snort!)

Bully-scribbler:  A bullying writer.   Gee.  Anyone received any bullying emails from their N lately?

C

Cacozealous:  Ill-affected, or badly imitating.  Oh me.  Oh my.  What do we know about Ns and their “emotions?”

Charientism:  A rhetorical term to describe saying a disagreeable thing in an agreeable way.  Ns practice charientism all the time.

Conspue:  To spit on someone or something with contempt.  This can be used figuratively, you know.  Ns do this all the time.

D

Dapocaginous:  Having a narrow heart.  This is not a medical term.  I bet you can figure it out.

Desiderium:  A yearning, specifically for a thing one once had but has no more.  “My N has a persistent desiderium for a clean mirror.”

Dyspathy:  The antithesis of sympathy.  Does your N display dyspathy?  Mine did.

E

Elozable:  Readily influenced by flattery.  Oh yes, indeed!  Ns are always elozable!

Expalpate:  To get something through flattery.  My goodness!  Did your N engage in sincere-sounding expalpation?

F

Fedity:  Vile or repuslive practices.  What a handy word to describe an Ns behavior!

Frauendienst:  An exaggerated sense of chivalry toward women.  Most male Ns will exhibit frauendienst when they first meet a woman they think can be a good mirror.

G

Hmm. I didn’t find any under G.

H

Hansardize:  To show that a person has previously expressed opinions differing from the ones he or she now holds.   My N attempted to hansardize me all the time.  He wasn’t successful, which is why I’m such a broken little mirror.  Snort.

Heterodogmatize:  To have an opinion different from the one generally held.  My N was so full of heterodogmatization that his eyes were brown (and he had blue eyes!)  In general, it means one is WRONG.

I

Idiorepulsive:  Self-repelling.  Well, if we think about what an N truly is, and what we know about how an N truly feels about him or herself, I think this is apt.

Immutual:  Not mutual.  Any interaction you have with an N will be immutual with regard to equality.

Infelicitate:  to cause to be unhappy.  The irony of this word is that it makes me very happy.  I love it.  My N, however, engaged in this practice daily.

Inspirado:  a person who thinks himself inspired.  Note from the author:  “If someone is describing you with a noun that ends in -o, chances are, they are not paying you a compliment.”  My N is an inspirado.

 

 

 

 

 

Trolling

I have a theory about dating sites and it includes a huge generalization.  You can bash me for generalizing, but I’m going to do it anyway. I think dating sites are, by and large, a clearinghouse for nutcases.  I say this, and I’m a veteran of dating sites.  I’ve also been told by the men I’ve met who have stayed in touch with me as friends, that I’m an anomaly in that I’m sane.  I’m not sure I can agree with that, since I once dated a guy who called me “bat-shit” crazy, but he’s a friend of mine, and he says that while it’s true, it’s in a good way.

I think there are several reasons people use dating sites.  Speaking from the female experience, I can say that there truly was a point when I wasn’t sane.  This was around 5 months after my husband and I separated.  I did what many people do when they’re in relationship pain – I hopped on a dating site in the erroneous belief that getting a new man interested in me would help ease the pain caused by the split with my husband.

I wonder if everyone is as naive as I was when I joined my first dating site.  I actually believed that if a man evinced enough interest in me to see me for more than a month, and see me two or three times a week that he wasn’t seeing anyone else.  I was a serial dater, and I simply assumed everyone else was one, too.

My first experience with a troll came as quite a shock to me.  Here I’d been dating this man for three months, very regularly.  We’d become physically involved and by the end of the third month, he was at my home almost every day.  One day I woke up and realized I hadn’t taken my dating profile down, and since I assumed (silly me) that I was in an exclusive relationship with this man, the right thing to do was to make myself unavailable online.  So I headed out to the dating site…to find my boyfriend’s face staring at me with “online now!” glowing brightly beneath his chin.

His IM was open, so I IMd him asking why he was “online now!”  His reply made me want to shower, immediately.  He said:  “Because I’m looking for dates.”  It was  nonchalant, in my face, and I felt used, dirty, angry, hurt, and above all – STUPID.

I sat there, stunned for a bit, and then replied back:  “How long have you been doing this?”  He replied: “what do you mean?  I’ve had this account for almost a year.”  Well, that told me what I needed to know.  I broke it off with him in IM.  I simply said: “Oh.  So the entire time you’ve been practically living at my house, eating my food, taking me out and about and sleeping in my bed, you’ve been seeing other women?  He replied: “yup.”  Clearly no remorse there.  He even had a key to my house.  I replied:  “Okay.  You can have the other women, I don’t want sloppy seconds.  Bye.  Locks are changed today.”

Three years later, I get an email from the same man, on a different site,  introducing himself to me.  I obviously made a huge impression on him.  Sure, my photos weren’t the same as they’d been three years earlier, but it was still me and I hadn’t changed the way I looked.  He didn’t remember me – AT ALL.  That was established  when he replied my email that said  “what, you don’t remember me?”  with: “No, should I?”

It’s so nice to know I’m not the least bit unique.  (snort!) I replied:  “Ahh.  It’s nice to know I’m not the only stupid woman out there.  Obviously there are plenty who will allow a dumbfuck shit like you to practically live with them for three months.”  He didn’t even have the good sense not to reply.  Instead he whines:  “I don’t see why you have to call me names.”  Yeah, whatever.

I took my profile off all sites and gave myself a break from online dating for a year.  During that year I got leered at by toothless 80-year-old men and groped at a gas station by a 20-something.  I was asked out by a gorgeous podiatrist who was a regular at the coffeeshop where I was a regular.  He gave great foot massages – until I found out he was married.  My next date was a guy I met at the local fine arts museum.  He SAID he was single.  He APPEARED to be single.  He very obviously didn’t share his apartment with anyone else.  Turns out “single” to him meant having an 11 year affair with a married woman who, when she found out about me, started stalking me.

So I gave up.  I spent another year just being by myself.  I still went to museums and lectures but I turned down all dates.  I couldn’t trust men at that point.  I couldn’t trust myself to be able to tell if a man was a GOOD man.  Then I re-upped on the dating site.  The emails came pouring in.  I had more date offers than I could accept.  This time, I watched each man I dated.  Each one of them evinced “serious” interest in me, lavished me with attention, and every night, I’d hop online, hide my profile in a flash, and go looking.  There they were – all of them – each man who was “serious” about me – trolling.

I recently asked a male friend why men continue trolling even after they’ve become involved with a woman to the point where they’re having sex and are spending most of their time with her.  He said it’s because dating sites create the illusion that there’s always something “better” around the corner.  He also said that his circle of single male friends, all of whom were on dating sites, were there simply because the pickings were so easy.  They could have sex with a different woman every night of the week if they wanted to.  Some were in “committed” relationships with two or three women and their rationale for this behavior was that they were entitled to do that, because what if they dumped the others in favor of just one and that one turned out to be “crazy?”

Dating sites perpetuate the myth that the grass is always greener elsewhere.  My N is still out there trolling.  I keep an eye on him because when he stops trolling I know he’s fallen into self-pity mode and will soon be contacting me.  I like to be prepared and since his profiles are all public, I don’t have to belong to any site to see them.  My N, by the way, has been trolling dating sites for just over seven years now, and he trolled his way through a six year “relationship” with the victim prior to me.  I’m really glad I never became physically involved with him – God knows what STDs he has.

It’s the trolls and my experience with my N that sent me running screaming from online dating for good.  Why should I invest any time in a man who is obviously only seeing me until he finds something “better?”

See, that’s the problem with online dating.  People seem to think that if they don’t continue trolling they might be “settling” in some way. Pop-psychology, and all sorts of relationship self-help books would have us believe that we are entitled to have everything we want and that there is ONE person out there who will magically have every quality we’ve ever idealized about, and that ONE person is just around the dating site corner.

I’m now convinced that online dating is just a relationship disaster waiting to happen.

I’m also convinced that if you’re on a dating site, and you’re fit for human consumption, you will figure out, sooner rather than later, that dating sites are Darwin’s waiting room.  Those who are fit leave and survive by getting REAL lives.  Those who remain (the ones whose profiles show them as being members for more than 6 months, and always show as having been online within 24 hours) are doomed to the emotional stasis found in chasing shiny objects across the universe.

If you find your date “online now!” directly after a date with you, dump that idiot and move on, otherwise YOU are the idiot.  If you date someone who has been a member of a dating site for more than 6 months and you’ve seen that person is online daily, YOU are the idiot. That’s my opinion.  Feel free to disagree, but don’t come posting here when the door to Darwin’s waiting room opens and your name is called.  That’s not mean, it’s common sense.

Of course, if all you’re looking for is a one-night stand or a quick heart-break,  have at it.  There are trolls a’plenty hidin’ under them there dating site bridges!