Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Evil People Don't See Themselves as Evil

Probably one of the more shocking revelations I was confronted with when I started to see my mother with new eyes was how she is, in spirit, an anarchist. I didn't yet know about NPD, but I started to be able to discern the spirit of the anarchist as I began to look at her more objectively. The reason I could see her more objectively was because I was observing her words vs. actions as she dealt with my cousin and her sons.

I have come to see this spirit of anarchy is true of NPD in general as well as with sociopathy and psychopathy. More on that in a moment. The reason this revelation shocked me was that I had been raised from my earliest moments to see my mother as the embodiment of law and order. Nothing like a controlling bitch of a narcissist mother to have a long list of iron-fisted laws for you to conform to. She was an absolute authoritarian so it isn't surprising it took me decades to see the little anarchist hiding underneath her policing uniform.

According to experts like Hare and Samenow it is quite the norm that the character disordered are all for law and order. With a twist. They want law and order to keep you, me and the other guy in line. But when the character disordered want something there is no law that applies to them. They will defy, undermine and shirk the law that applies to whatever thing they want for themselves. They will even encourage others around them to disdain the offending law so they can gain support for their anarchy just so they can have their way.

This was my mother's tack with my cousin's sons. She was holding a hard, unbending line on her own list of absolute laws, but simultaneously, she was teaching them to disregard and even hate the laws of our country and even some of God's laws in order to shape their minds to justify her behaviors...those behaviors which ran counter to law and morality. None of this was done overtly. It was subtle and sneaky. She is good. She is very good. As good as the snake in the Garden of Eden.

Whether or not you've come to see it yet it is certain that the narcissist you deal with has the spirit of the anarchist. This is closely akin to the spirit of tyranny. Do not let the anarchist and tyrant define morality for you. Question everything. Re examine everything you've been taught to think by the narcissist. It is dangerous, and nonsensical, to allow a person who defies law to be the one to create and enforce any law upon your own life. Narcissists are always telling us how our behaviors are wrong, our morals misinformed, whenever those things run counter to the narcissist's agenda. In the context of dealing with a narcissist...always question authority. Theirs. Recognize that they defy law and morality when it suits them and will demand the same of you in order to force you to let them have their way. Do not let any narcissist define for you what right and wrong is. To allow someone without conscience to shape your conscience is beyond absurd.

What follows below is a blog post first printed 6.10.07. This was just before I started getting much more traffic on this site so it is likely many of you haven't read it. It goes along with my thoughts above about the spirit of anarchy that animates evil people.

If you've done much reading here you've noticed that I often label the behavior of narcissists with the word evil. I've attempted to buttress my justification for using that label in various posts by explaining what evil is. I've talked about how the name "malignant narcissist" is describing someone who acts from malignant, i.e. evil, motives.

But do evil people see themselves as evil? Do they set out to do evil? The short answer is no and no.

It is important to realize that evil people do not wake up wondering what evil deed they're going to perpetrate that day. The reality is that a malignant narcissist has a moral compass turned completely inside out. Let me show you an example by quoting a murdering dictator. I'll reveal his identity later in this post:
"I do not agree with the view that to be moral, the motive of one's actions has to be benefiting others. Morality does not have to be defined in relation to others. … People like me want to … satisfy our hearts to the full, and in doing so we automatically have the most valuable moral codes. Of course there are people and objects in the world, but they are all there only for me. … People like me only have a duty to ourselves; we have no duty to other people."
Notice how by pronouncement this malignant narcissist manages to completely turn upside down the real definition of morality which relies on an objective standard. The new definition, his definition, completely exonerates him from any objective moral standard. His new and subjective "moral" code stipulates 1) morality is doing what satisfies yourself. 2) all people and objects only exist to be exploited by yourself. 3) the highest moral calling is fulfilling your own desires. From this list it isn't hard to see how the malignant narcissist is an anarchist at heart. They recognize no law but that of their own making. No outside authority exists. Their highest calling is the whim and desire of their base natures. Which is one reason why a malignant narcissist in power is always a deadly force where the rule of law is the whim of the dictator. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, etc.

The "moral" code quoted above is the moral code of every malignant narcissist. This moral code completely justifies any action or motive of the narcissist. They are completely justified, righteous, in their own eyes. I think it is important to realize this fact. When you are dealing with evil you have to understand that the evil one is righteous in their own estimation. Which, of course, translates that you are the one who is evil if you oppose their will.

This upside-down reckoning of moral equations can be disorienting when you are up against it. The upside-down "moralist" is a projection machine. The ugliest aspects of his character will be painted onto you. This is designed to shut you up and force you to conform to his will. He uses it because it works. It works by cleansing him psychologically, and it works by getting you off your moral pins and more apt to concede to his insane world view. If he succeeds in making you feel dirty, you lose the ability to fight him from a moral high ground. For example: if he is a thief and a liar and you are scrupulously honest and fair, first he wipes the dirt of his character onto you by accusing you of being the thief and liar. If he builds enough of a case against you through slander and accusation, you can feel disarmed and may admit defeat. The only way to get along with a malignant narcissist is to always agree with them and always do what they demand. High price for peace.

Just because an evil person lays claim to the moral high ground doesn't make it so. You need to know he feels completely, totally and absolutely justified in whatever he does. What we call evil, he calls righteous and good. I hope by knowing this going in, you will be able to keep from being confused by his gigantic sense of moral certitude. The narcissist doesn't ever question himself. He only questions you and your motives. His actions and motives are pure as the wind-driven snow and beyond questioning. You, on the other hand, are prone to question yourself first. This means you do half the work for the narcissist by putting your own moral understanding in question before you question his. He sees the chink in your moral certitude and drives in the wedge with the deftness borne of much practice.

Always remember: the narcissist is righteous and holy in his own estimation. No, he didn't decide to be evil today. He decided to live by Mao Tse-Tung's moral code. In his world, if you oppose him or fail to show your worshipful regard, YOU are evil.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Not All Enemies are Created Equal

This post is in response to Jordie's comment on the last post. As a preamble to this post I'd like to ask for the indulgence of my non-Christian readers. As difficult as you know it to be to extricate from a narcissist, especially a family narcissist, Christians are rendered much more susceptible to narcissist control because of the powerful clubs that misinformed Christianity hands over to malignant narcissists. So, hopefully, you'll be patient when my posts focus on problems for Christians, especially Bible-verse-twisting antics of the narcissists and ill-informed Christians who often unwittingly support the narcissists.


"I have heard every argument under the sun by ex-cult members not to turn away from this evil, and to in fact continue to try and reach them since God himself doesn't reject them (they believe). They use Jesus' words in Matthew 5:44, to pray for, love and do good to your enemy, and sometimes I myself wonder how to reconcile this verse and the Timothy verses in this situation.

Surely the malignant narcissist is our enemy, yet Paul tells us to turn away from them. Of Whom then was Jesus talking about in Matthew?"

Paul, in the Timothy letter (2 Tim. 3:1-5), carefully exposes the behaviors of wicked persons as important context before the instruction is given to walk away from them. Yes, the wicked man is an enemy. On the other hand, not all enemies are wicked men! Christ and Paul were not talking about the same people or persons. Let me elaborate.

There is a certain level of chutzpah required to make the assumption that "all people who oppose me are my enemy and are therefore evil". This is the baseline assumption of the narcissists. Disagree with them and you are targeted for destruction. You are their enemy and you are evil.

Early in Christ's "Sermon on the Mount", which begins in Matt. 5, He set the theme for the instruction to follow:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." Emphasis mine. Matt. 5:17-20

The rest of the chapter Christ repeats the theme, "You have heard that it was said..." followed by His teaching. From whom did people hear the "it was said" that Christ was countering or expanding on? The religious leaders. Those Pharisees and teachers of the law whose level of righteousness was exposed by Christ as being inadequate for entering the "kingdom of heaven".

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' " Matt. 5:43 That was the "sage" teaching of the Pharisees and lawyers. Christ sets that teaching on its head. This teaching was based on Levitical law but had been perverted by the religious leaders' interpretations. It was the perversion Christ was setting about to correct.

Let's consider who Christ was talking about when He refers to "your enemy". He was talking about those whom the religious leaders commonly categorized as such. During all of Christ's earthly ministry He worked to overcome the extreme national pride and the religious bigotry of a people who felt assured of their superiority in God's eyes. They were a people who considered others to be enemies simply because they were in a different class of society or of a different nationality. The Jews, most especially the religious leaders, were very resistant to the Roman rule they were under in Christ's (and Paul's) day. Israel was one of the most difficult nations for the Romans to manage. It was not uncommon for a Roman soldier to commandeer a passerby to carry something for them for a distance down the road (it was Roman law that they could do this). The Jews would often resist the order of the Roman soldier. The Jews chafed under this type of thing because it was a reminder that they were a conquered people. This was a reality they liked to deny to themselves as evidenced by the Pharisees preposterous response to Christ when they stated that they had never been slaves to any man. (John 8:33) So, Christ, in teaching the people how to behave like God's children instructed them to cheerfully walk that mile with the Roman and volunteer to walk another with them. The Roman was most definitely an enemy to the Jewish mind, but was he evil? No. There would be no evidence of that in a short encounter, so the assumption must be that he isn't. The kind of wickedness defined by Paul is not going to be perceived by a short encounter. The exposure of truly evil people can only occur over time and with multiple encounters under varied circumstances.

Christ defined how we should think and behave toward those who may oppose us; those whom we may be inclined to think of as our enemy, but who are just average people. They may have prejudice against us for whatever their reasons. If we are consistently kind and helpful it is likely they will dump their prejudices at some point. We, as Christians, should not do anything to further provoke someone who may dislike us. Our attitude is to be benevolent and will be demonstrated by our doing our best to seek their good.

Christ consistently worked to expand the minds of the people to look past class and nationality--to look at someone in need as their neighbor. The story of the good Samaritan was to illustrate "who is my neighbor?" To the Jews a neighbor was of their same level in society in addition to being a fellow Jew. A "neighbor" was their peer. Period. The Samaritan's definition was the godly one; the person you are in a position to both see their need and to help is your neighbor. The fellow Jews who walked by the beaten Jew on the road were able to justify leaving him bleeding and barely conscious because he was not one of them by their very narrow partisan definitions.

Obviously, just because someone doesn't like us we are not free, as Christians, to reciprocate with hate and bad behaviors. The religious leaders of Christ's day did believe they were free to hate their perceived enemies, and to treat those perceived enemies badly or with indifference. Christ was countering this kind of thinking in Matt. 5:44. Someone may consider us their enemy, but that doesn't mean we are free to treat them like they are our enemy. On the other hand, when someone is clearly dedicated to being evil, insofar as we are able...we should walk away from them. There are plenty of other Biblical instructions to not associate with those who are evil. Christ was not negating the Scriptures. He was dealing with a different kind of enemy. Not all our enemies are fact, few are.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes a person isn't able to walk away. In those instances, the Christian is instructed to submit without rancor or retaliation. When you have the power to choose to leave an abusive situation and or the presence of a wicked person, then there is NO Biblical basis for staying in the abuse. If a person was a slave in Christ's day there was no option to the slave to walk away, hence Paul's instruction to be obedient to their masters as if they were serving Christ Himself (Eph. 6:5-8). The Jews were a slave nation to Rome. Therefore, Christ's instruction to them was to not resist Roman rule, but to comply cheerfully as long as they were not having to violate one of God's laws. "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Matt. 22:21 (The gigantic law structure of the religious leaders were often out of sync with God's laws. Christ was stripping away the man-made structures that had obscured the real requirements of God's laws (Mark 7:7). This is why He was accused as being "against the law" by the religious was Paul. Both were against man's law usurping God's law. Example: "Corban" was a man-made law that could be used to override the 5th commandment of honoring one's parents. See Mark 7.) Prisoners are another example of a situation where a person is not able to walk away from evil doers. Paul was often a prisoner...his example is one of submission and Christ-like behavior toward his captors. The context of a certain Biblical instruction has to be considered when applying its teaching to the life. Is it addressing someone who can't walk away? If yes, then the instruction is quite different than for someone who is able to choose their own course. For example, Matt. 10:14.

Even when we have proof that someone is clearly dedicated to being evil and have walked away from them doesn't mean we are now free to treat them badly. We can still follow the spirit of Christ's instruction in Matt. 5:44. You can still pray for and have genuine concern for (love) someone you've had to walk away from. That being said, going no contact from wicked people is not counter to Christ's spirit. So many people think that "no contact" is a retaliatory measure. They pretend it is an "attack". This is ridiculous on its face. Going "no contact" is a benevolent act. It is an acceptance of someone else's decision and acceptance of reality. It is a refusal to use force or manipulation to try to get someone to change. It is a recognition that evil is spiritually contagious and to remain in contact with someone who embraces evil greatly increases the likelihood that you will "learn his ways" (Prov. 22:25). You are making a choice based entirely on the evil person's choice to remain what they are. It is the only moral choice left when one is up against recalcitrant evil.

Your ex-cult members who believe they are morally obligated to remain in contact with exposed and unrepentant evil are spiritually naive. They wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction. (2Pet2:16) If they must judge you as being bitter in order to justify their view, then so be it. You know your heart much better than they. There are too many other Scriptures which command us in no uncertain terms to cut off from unrepentant evil to allow one verse to negate the force of their instruction. One verse can never be rightly used to negate other verses which seem to say something different. The responsible Bible student looks for the harmony. Christ's stated in Matt. 5:17-18 that He taught nothing in opposition to the Scriptures. Paul, who wrote under the inspiration of Christ's Spirit, would not give instruction that contradicted Christ's teaching during His earthly ministry. Is. 28:10 gives the principle of comparing Scripture with Scripture to learn truth.

I hope I have adequately illustrated the harmony between Christ's instruction and Paul's. Their teachings are not in opposition; they are talking about different people. Prejudice, bad will, misunderstandings can all create a perceived enemy, but these kinds of enemies are not likely to be evil people. People who are not dedicated to a wicked course can potentially be won to Christ...but not if we treat them like they are our enemy just because they've declared us to be theirs. The gentle spirit of Christ is to be the mark of His followers. Sometimes that gentle spirit is required to give strong rebuke to evil doers and/or walk away. When Christ cleared the temple twice of the con men otherwise known as the "money changers", He was a terror to evil doers...but the average person was attracted to Him because of His scary rebuke of the con men. They recognized that Christ was being merciful and kind to them because it was the average person who was being used by the con men. After both incidences, the people gathered in great numbers around Christ in the temple to hear Him teach. There was no fear for them. They recognized Him to be a Deliverer. Sometimes we have to take a stand. Yes, that will make us a terror to evil doers, but the victims of the evil doers will recognize us to be standing with them. Taking a stand against evil doesn't make us "bitter". It means we are principled. We recognize there is no harmony between the philosophy of evil and the principles of God's kingdom. You can't stand on both sides when right and wrong are the issue. You can't harmonize evil with good.

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:8

Friday, February 22, 2008

"From Such Turn Away"

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" 2 Tim. 3:1-5 NKJV

This is a familiar passage to Christians. I know I've read it unnumbered times. It was the last sentence that jumped out at me this last time. More on that in a moment.

This counsel of Paul to the young pastor Timothy, whom Paul thinks of affectionately as a son, is specifically referring to our day..."in the last days perilous times will come..." Paul makes a rather long list of quite reprehensible behaviors that will be seen, not just at large, but in professed Christians--"having a form of godliness but denying its power."

Re-read Paul's list above. Take note of his first descriptor, "men will be lovers of themselves." Other versions say "people" instead of "men". (Men is often a global term for humanity in the Bible). The defining characteristic of malignant narcissists is their all-consuming self-love. Don't fall for the psycho-babble clap-trap that tells us they really hate themselves and that's why they're such wretched people. Their self-interest is total. Whether or not they have feelings of love for themselves is not the issue. Their behaviors are of absolute self-interest. That is the biblical view of self-love. Doing everything with an eye to "what's in it for me". Putting yourself first every single time. Ignoring the needs of others, ignoring morality, ignoring the law (God's and man's), "what I want is what I will get". That is the level of selfishness the malignant narcissist displays every day of their sordid lives. Paul is describing a person who is completely given over to gratifying their every whim, desire, lust, urge in this term "lovers of themselves".

Just like the "wicked man" passage in Proverbs six, this list of behaviors in Timothy is not a list of discrete individuals. In other words, it isn't necessarily describing one separate behavior per separate person i.e. this person is a "lover of themselves", that person is without self-control, that other person is a slanderer, etc. Someone who is given over to evil doesn't have just one objectionable characteristic. Bad characteristics breed; they run in packs. One thing leads to another. It is likely Paul is describing the global characteristics of evil individuals. The reason I think that is because when I look at the list above I can see all of these characteristics displayed in each of the narcissists I know. I think you can too. Look at those characteristics and ask yourself how different your malignant narcissist is from the description of all those behaviors. I daresay there is no difference at all. If you asked for a list of the more grotesque behaviors of a malignant narcissist this passage would work very well.

When we read the list of sinful behaviors in this passage the temptation is to think that this person or persons would be overtly evil in their presentation and easily recognizable to the average observer. This is not the case. First of all, these people must be able to disguise themselves well enough that Paul is compelled to warn Timothy of them. Timothy is well-versed in the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:14-15) and wise beyond his years, yet Paul doesn't dismiss the possibility that one of these people could slip past Timothy's radar. These reprobates have a veneer of religiosity, an appearance of being godly or moral. So we have to conclude that there are people in the church who are practicing malignant narcissists in their daily lives yet are able to look like a good church person to the undiscerning observer. Some of us know these people personally. Some of our parents are these people. Some of us know that the most vile of persons can often pass for being godly. Paul knew these people too.

By the way, this doesn't condemn religion. Evil must disguise itself in order to stalk it's prey...religion shouldn't be faulted for being used by those seeking cover for their nefarious deeds. If you will fault religion then, to be consistent, you must fault many other worthy institutions of service and human welfare. The helping professions (teachers, doctors, social workers, etc.) are all ready disguises for the evil person who wants to present himself as harmless and trustworthy. The simple reality is that a person will cloak themselves with their opposite. If they are a pedophile, they may become a Scout leader, a teacher or a priest. Or a clown for kids' parties. It gives them close access to their preferred prey and the advantage of the trust and authority these positions offer. A woman who gets her kicks controlling and abusing children may become a foster care parent. Examples are legion. Because most religious people are decent, religion is another place evil can hide itself. So don't think that all religion is bad because some wolves use it to hide in and then savage the sheep. That would be simplistic and irrational thinking.

One reason I believe that Paul is essentially describing what we would call a malignant narcissist is due to his instruction on dealing with them. You and I know that malignant narcissists are unreformed and unreformable. They crossed a line someone in their dark past beyond which there is likely never a chance they will go back. Malignant narcissists fully justify and excuse all of their evil behaviors. They have turned their unrighteousness into righteousness in their own eyes. They call evil good and good evil. This is a sin there is little chance of coming back from. The reason is obvious when you think it through. The Bible makes it clear that people are convicted of sin because of the work of God's Spirit, John 16:7-8 for instance. If you come to the point where you start calling good evil then what are you going to do when the Spirit tries to convict you of sin? You will call His work "evil". When you discern the working of God's Spirit as being the whispering of will reject any chance you had that the Spirit can turn you from your ways. Constantly and persistently rejecting the moving of the Spirit on your heart will convince the Spirit to leave you alone. He is left with no way to reach you. That equates to being unredeemable. It is the unpardonable sin. When you have twisted your sensibilities to the point where you call light darkness then you will discern the light of God shining on your heart as an evil impulse. You leave even God with no way to reach you at that point. The only sin that can't be forgiven is the one you won't confess to.

Back to Paul's instruction concerning the churchified narcissist:

"...from such people turn away!"

Obviously, Paul doesn't want us to hold out that we can convince such people to turn away from their wickedness. It isn't our job to reform them. It isn't our job to hang around while holding out hope for their reform. It isn't our job to stay in close proximity to them as if our love can somehow separate them from their wicked ways. Paul is unequivocal and crystalline clear. "From such turn away!" (KJV ) Some reasons for this instruction can be found here, and here.

The Biblical model of church structure is based on the model of the family. Instruction to the church as to discipline, instruction, etc., can rightly be applied to the family. If the family narcissist pastes the "Christian" label to themselves it doesn't mean you have to pretend along with them that they are one when their behaviors consistently conflict with their profession. The narcissist "Christian" loves to pretend they are immune to accountability because they are a Christian. Passages like 1 Cor. 5:12-13 prove they are more accountable to us because they have assumed the name of Christian, not less. If the Christian is a family member, they are doubly accountable for their bad behavior. Not twice as unaccountable--as they would have you believe.

1 Tim. 3:1-5 is solid Biblical counsel to go "no contact" with those who persist in being evil. Ignore Christians who ignore this counsel. They haven't "known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation..." (2 Tim. 3:15)

Paul instructs Christians that the peril of end times will largely be because of evil persons disguising themselves as being godly. The course of action in such peril is to walk away. The concern shouldn't be for the salvation of such individuals; the issue becomes your salvation both temporal and eternal. Save yourself, your family, your church by turning away from those dedicated to their evil agendas.

Don't condone evil by standing by it, by supporting it. When you tolerate evil persons you telegraph to others that you approve of them. Don't lend your good reputation to such a base character. Don't let the reprobate hide himself by virtue of your lending your Christian name and support to him. You will join in his blasphemousness if you do so. What is blasphemy? Taking the Lord's name in vain. The true spirit and weight of the third commandment to not take the Lord's name in vain has more to do with besmirching God's name ("name" is synonymous with "character" in the Bible) than it does with swear words. To make this commandment about swear words is to trivialize something very much more serious. To take on the Lord's name (i.e. call yourself a Christian) in vanity means you take His name but not His character, therefore, you misrepresent His character to others. One of the characteristics Paul mentioned in the list above is blasphemy. Claiming to be God, or claiming His divine attributes, or claiming His name but living in contradiction of His character are all under the purview of blasphemy. Letting some malignant narcissist borrow your good Christian name (in addition to their taking on God's name) in support of their own reputation is dangerous business for a sincere Christian. The evil doer hiding under the name of Christ is guilty of blasphemy. Don't get caught in it along with him. From such turn away...or you end up participating in his evil.

And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” Numbers 16:26 NKJV

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Devalued and Thrown on the Junk Heap

Many of you have been baffled by the sudden devaluation you've experienced in your relationship with a narcissist. You had reason to believe you were important to them as they have been to you. You've been supportive, loving, taken the heat, hung in there--only to find yourself one day treated with inexplicable coldness, cruel disdain. What the hell happened?

It will be helpful to ask a narcissist what the deal is. Sam Vaknin can describe in almost clinical terms how this all works.

"The narcissist mistakenly interprets his narcissistic needs as emotions."

The absolute driving need for the narcissist is seeking sources of attention, i.e. narcissistic supply. What he said in the above sentence is important to remember because we all make the mistake of thinking the narcissist is motivated by what motivates us. For example, we pursue a relationship with a person of the opposite sex for many reasons. We're looking for shared dreams, companionship, love and passion, family, etc. While the narcissist appears to be pursuing these objectives, hopes and dreams along with us, they are actually motivated by something quite different. They are simply looking for a teat. A place to suckle on the milk of human kindness. You have been assessed to be a source of supply. That is your purpose and function. Period. They mistake their narcissistic drives to be emotions. And so do you. They dance the relationship dance with you which has all the appearance of being motivated with the same motives you have. They mouth words of love and fidelity which confirm to you that you both are on the same page. Meanwhile, they feel complete aversion to real intimacy. They are not truly connecting with you on an emotional level. You are not aware of this distance. Not yet. No, they are after something very different than what you're after.

They have this addictive need for supply, for a certain quality of attention that you've been determined by them to be a rich source of. They groom and pet you so you will continue to release the sweet nectar of life for them. Once you are hooked, then it is your job to groom and pet them. You are there for them to fall back on when the more important and impersonal sources of outside supply are in scant availability. You regurgitate all the past remembrances you have of their moments of glory. This will keep them going in those times of famine when the most delicious sources of supply are not forthcoming.

I find it interesting that Vaknin calls the grand outside sources of impersonal moments of glory as being Primary sources of supply, while the poor schlub back at home who kisses their ass and picks up after them is designated a Secondary source. Isn't that just like a narcissist? In Vaknin's classification of the quality of supply sources he puts us beneath the less available and less predictable sources of supply and gives us the role of second fiddle. The truth is, without these so-called secondary sources the narcissist would be in a fair fix most of the time. That observation aside, we'll operate from his paradigm for the length of this post so we can see how the narcissist views us rather than how it really is. Because in this context how the narcissist views us is really the point. When you are in a relationship with a narcissist you have entered the narcissist's "Pathological Space" and therefore his/her rules apply. In their space they are the ones defining reality for you.

"But then, often abruptly and inexplicably, it is all over. The narcissist is cold, uninterested and remote."

Vaknin then describes some of the reasons for the sudden devaluation of you. First of all, the qualities that made you attractive as a source of supply are also reasons for the narcissist to look down on you and see you as inferior. He lists some of the qualities the narcissist finds attractive in a supply source:

"...sufficiently intelligent, sufficiently gullible, submissive, reasonably (but not overly) inferior to the narcissist, in possession of a good memory (with which to regulate the flow of Narcissistic Supply), available but not imposing, not explicitly or overtly manipulative, undemanding, attractive (if the narcissist is somatic)."

Ahhh, but the cruel catch is that these qualities insure that the narcissist can perceive you as inferior to them; at some point, they will hate you for your inferiority.

This is also experienced by children of narcissists. The child will conform and strive to be as the parent demands. This requires submissiveness and fear. There will be times when the child is despised for the very fear and submissiveness that was demanded of them. Why? Oh, who the hell knows. From what I've seen it is because there are times when the fear and submission is inconvenient to the narcissist. Or they simply need an outlet for hate and they suddenly choose to see the child as a coward instead of a well-trained slave. The child is confused and despairing because the more they try to be what they thought was expected of them, the more they are devalued and despised. It is a horrifying experience for a child and probably has caused more than one suicide. You as an adult have been nearly shattered by your sudden devaluation; multiply your reaction ten fold to get a sense of the child's pain and confusion.

Vaknin gives a few more reasons for the sudden devaluation.

"...the narcissist resents his dependency. He realizes that he is hopelessly and helplessly addicted to Narcissistic Supply and is in hock to its sources."

"...the narcissist perceives intimacy and sex as a threat to his uniqueness. Everyone needs sex and intimacy - it is the great equaliser. The narcissist resents this commonness."

Last, and certainly not least:

"...narcissists simply get tired of their sources. They get bored. There is no mathematical formula which governs this. It depends on numerous variables. Usually, the relationship lasts until the narcissist "gets used" to the source and its stimulating effects wear off or until a better Source of Supply presents itself."

There ya have it. It hurts like hell to suddenly find yourself reduced to being shit on the bottom of some narcissist's shoe, but, if you can wrap your head around this, it's not personal.

Yeah, it was never, ever about you. It was always about them. All about their relentless and all-consuming pursuit of the nectar of supply. You simply made yourself available for feeding upon. You were an means to an end. Nothing more. Yeah, that smarts. Hopefully, though, you can force yourself to realize they didn't set out to hurt you. They don't see you. It's not about you. It will never be about you. You didn't exist for them as a fully feeling and sentient human being. They can not properly assess your value as a person. You are only as good as the nectar of attention you can give them. No matter how great the quality, at some point they get bored. All you'll get for thanks is a door in your face and a big kiss off. They are nothing more than big children who play with their toy for days, weeks, months. Then one day they lose all interest in the toy and kick it aside for another. Like the toys in Andy's room that sit in the toy box ignored and devalued by the newest've been drastically and catastrophically demoted. All in a moment, a twinkling of the narcissist's eye.

They've moved on to another source and leave you to the licking of your wounds. Lick your wounds, but don't work on that too long. You have reason to be thankful. You are no longer being used. You are no longer someone's sycophant, slave or fall-back supply source. Been dumped by a narcissist? Thank the God in Heaven for your new lease on life and resolve to not again be taken in by a parasitic narcissist. They are not worth the tears you're shedding for them. You are weeping over the relationship you thought you had, but never did.

Life is too short.

Quotes from Vaknin taken from here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Testing for Repentance

I was re-reading the account of Joseph's life in Genesis several nights ago. I saw something there I had never taken note of before. I'll try, as best I can, to distill it down to the part you might find helpful.

The story of Joseph is a long one. It starts in Gen. 37. It jumps over chapter 38 and continues on from chapter 39 through 49. I'll do a quick review of the first part of his life and then concentrate on what happened in chapters 42-45.

As far as I'm aware, there are only two men (other than Christ, of course) in the Bible that do not have sins recorded against them in the record. Joseph and Daniel. The Scriptures don't call these men sinless, but no specific mention of a personal sin is recorded against them. The greatest patriarchs for Jews and Christians, Abraham and Moses, both had some significant personal failings. The Scriptures never shy away from presenting even the most noble of its characters as they were...real men with real sins. David, "a man after God's own heart", was guilty of adultery and murder. It wasn't those sins which made David God's man; it was his consistent faith and his ability to fully repent when he sinned. David never blame-shifted. He took his lumps without complaint and trusted in the mercy of God.

I set up this observation about Joseph not having any sins of his recorded against him because of what he did when he found his brothers in front of him after having been sold into slavery by them many years before. What he did in testing the depth of their repentance was no sin.

Some of his brothers had wanted to kill Joseph, but cooler heads prevailed that fateful day. They sold Joseph into slavery to be rid of him. Joseph was likely around 17 years of age when this happened. A mere youth. Then the brothers faked Joseph's death to their father. They killed a goat and smeared its blood onto Joseph's coat and presented it along with the sad tale of Joseph being torn limb from limb by a wild animal. It nearly crushed the life out of Jacob, their father. What precipitated this horrid event was the envy and hatred Joseph's brothers had nurtured against him for being the favored son of Jacob. A son born of Jacob's favored wife, Rachel. A wife who died in giving birth to her second son, Benjamin.

I recommend you read the events that followed Joseph being sold to slavery. His hardships. His unswerving integrity. His faithfulness to God and man. His optimistic and uncomplaining attitude despite the serial injustices foisted upon him by unscrupulous people. His brothers first, then Potiphar's wife. After many years and a long and undeserved imprisonment, everything turned around and Joseph found himself suddenly elevated to second in command in Egypt. Second only to the Pharaoh himself and entrusted with saving Egypt from the coming famine. A famine that God warned was coming in a dream to Pharaoh. This dream caused the series of events which brought Joseph and his God to Pharaoh's attention. The famine was promised to last for seven years after seven years of plenty. Joseph came up with the plan to save a portion of the increased abundance for the years of famine ahead. Pharaoh couldn't think of a better man to implement this plan than Joseph himself, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?" Gen. 41:38. The famine was not confined to Egypt. All the surrounding nations were affected including Joseph's family in Canaan. Peoples from the surrounding areas streamed into Egypt for relief of their want.

Which brings us to the day that Joseph suddenly finds his brothers bowing in front of him and asking to buy wheat. "Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him." Gen. 42:8. Joseph didn't reveal himself to them either. It would be months later and after some very close testing of their characters that Joseph finally showed himself to them.

What interested me in this part of the story was how seriously and almost brutally Joseph tested his brothers to see if they had changed. He was in a particularly unique position to test their characters without their knowledge...and test he did. Each test went deeper and more painfully into truth of who those men now were. Joseph had a younger brother from the same mother, Benjamin. Benjamin was not among the other brothers as they importuned the governor of Egypt to sell them food. Benjamin was Jacob's favorite after the "death" of Joseph. How would Joseph's brothers behave toward the favored youngest son of Jacob? Were they just as jealous and cruel to Benjamin as they had been to Joseph? That question had to be settled to Joseph's mind before he decided whether or not to reveal himself to them.

The first trial Joseph presented them was his insistence that they were spies. They had already revealed that there was another brother who didn't come with them. Joseph knew it was Benjamin. He then demanded that they clear his accusation against them (of being spies) by leaving one of their number behind in his prison and bring back to him the other brother they spoke of. No compliance, no more wheat, and their lives were forfeit. Joseph selected Simeon to stay in prison. Simeon was the instigator of the crimes against Joseph those many years earlier. The test of character begins.

The brothers are thrown into instant distress. They speak among themselves unaware that this "Egyptian" could understand them since he had only spoken to them through an interpreter. Their consciences were smiting them and they immediately tell each other that their present distress was the result of their sin against Joseph. "Then they said to one another, 'We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us'." Gen. 42:21.

Joseph was moved by their words. He removed himself from the room and wept. He didn't swerve from the necessity to test the depth of their repentance despite how he was moved by their words. These words revealed their awareness of their guilt and how they were blaming their present dire straights on their sin against Joseph. It was indicative of possible repentance, but Joseph needed much more proof. When he had pulled himself together, he took Simeon and put him in prison.

What follows is a series of more tests of their characters which cut closer and deeper each time. Joseph takes them back over the very same ground of years earlier to see what was in their hearts. I will not go into it here because the story is long and detailed. Read it for yourself today.

What I want to draw your attention to is how Joseph's close and almost (seemingly) cruel testing of his brother's level of repentance for their vile acts against him is a righteous act on Joseph's part. There is no Biblical condemnation of his need to see whether or not these people were safe for him to be around and safe for him to grant favors to. No superficial glossing over of the past was done. No demand for a few words of apology as if that would prove anything at all about their characters. It was in Joseph's heart to protect and nurture his family as was proven by the grand favors given after he eventually revealed himself to his brethren. But he was not going to grant these favors on evil and unrepentant men. He must first prove them. Are they worthy of mercy because their repentance runs deep and true? Or must he remain anonymous to them and resist his desire to preserve them and hold them close? His brothers' reactions to the tests would give Joseph the information he needed in order to proceed. Notice that the tests did not depend on Joseph's brothers' words. They were judged on their actions. Repentance can never be determined on the weight of naked words alone.

Here is a greatly detailed Biblical account of someone going to some significant lengths to prove whether or not their abusive family members were truly repentant and safe to be around. If it was a sin for Joseph to do this the Scriptures wouldn't have failed to say so. But that isn't the record. The record reveals Joseph to be a righteous and honorable man as well as having great wisdom. What did wisdom and integrity and righteousness demand? A full revelation of the motivations of the hearts of his formerly hateful and vengeful brothers. There is no doubt at all that Joseph wanted them to pass his tests. He greatly missed his family and wanted nothing more than to embrace them. But he over-rode these desires with the absolute need to determine first if those he wanted to embrace were safe to embrace. Joseph was not testing from a sense of vengeance in his own heart. This is made clear. His motive was simple and straightforward. Have my brothers changed and are they safe to reveal myself to?

The first person to tell us we are wrong, bad, and cruel when we demand a clear demonstration of repentance is the malignant narcissist. The next person to tell you it is wrong to expect this clear demonstration are the Christian do-gooders who have bought into a mindset that expecting unequivocal signs of repentance is itself somehow sinful. Their ill-conceived advice and admonishment are not in accord with the Bible record. The story of Joseph tells us it is not wrong to test for repentance. It is the course of wisdom and integrity. To state it in the positive, it is right and good and wise to test for repentance. Not to be cruel to our former abusers, but to ascertain whether or not someone is sufficiently changed so that contact with them no longer presents a danger to life or liberty. If someone is unwilling to bear the test they leave you with no way to assume they are repentant.

The story doesn't tell us outright that Joseph would not have revealed himself to his brothers if they failed his testing. Logic tells us this. Joseph's first instinct was to conceal himself from them. If they failed his tests, he would likely have never shown himself to them. He may have granted them a few anonymous favors to keep his father and Benjamin alive, but any relationship would have very likely been "at arm's length". I realize that I now have entered into a bit of speculation, but it doesn't seem to be wild speculation. It is based on Joseph's behavior and his immediate instinct to not say, "Hey, guys! Hey, it's me!!". He proceeded so cautiously as to readily support the supposition that not ever revealing himself to them was an option he was keeping open.

It is also not insignificant that Joseph never sought out his family even after he was free to do so. He apparently was content to live on the assumption that it would not be wise to seek them out since the majority of the family (his ten brothers) had thrust him so cruelly from themselves. The only reason he found himself testing his brothers was because, through no choice of Joseph's, they suddenly ended up in front of him. Joseph had been content to let God guide his life through circumstance. He didn't force any outcome by pining or lusting for what he didn't have. In this particular case, he had no family. Yet, he takes life's lemons and trusts God to help him make lemonade with it. We see this attitude demonstrated all through his life. When circumstance thrusts his brothers in front of his face, he then dealt with what was before him as wisdom would demand he should proceed from there. I find it quite interesting that such a good and righteous man didn't feel obligated to seek out his family. The estrangement was forced upon him, but he didn't sin by maintaining the estrangement. I think this may apply to many of us as well.

I think the record is also clear that Joseph had long ago forgiven his brothers because his heart was very soft toward them though he hid that fact from them for some time. Notice, though, that his generally forgiving attitude toward them didn't mean he trusted them without solid proof of repentance on their part. He felt under no obligation to reveal himself to them without this proof. He was not willy-nilly handing out forgiveness to his abusers. His forgiveness wasn't cheap grace. What you do in the privacy of your own heart should not cause you to skip the necessary step of proving the depth of the abuser's repentance before openly showing them your forgiving spirit and trusting them enough to stay in their company. Telling an unrepentant narcissist you forgive them is a travesty and violation of true forgiveness. They will take your cheap grace and throw it in your face along with greater abuses.

Please also take note that Joseph's tests of this brothers were not done in a day. He gave them multiple tests, each time circling in closer to bring out envy and anger if it was in there. The testing period was not short. It likely lasted for many months as it involved multiple trips from Canaan to Egypt and back again. Each time they waited until they ran out of food to go back to face the scary governor of Egypt. One doesn't test the depth of someone's repentance in a single encounter or a single day. Time is necessary in this process. The narcissist is angry if you show any expectation that they prove their repentance over time. This alone should prove to you that their hearts are unchanged and they are unsafe to your life and liberty.

I know I was grateful to discover this detailed record of a righteous man doing some very close testing of the characters of his former abusers. I hope that you find comfort and affirmation from this as well.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Forgiveness, or the Lack Thereof

"Krl" kindly directed my attention to an article that came out of Psychology Today on whether we must forgive in order to be healthy and happy emotionally. I read the article in stunned amazement...happy amazement.

From Must You Forgive?
Adapted from "Forgiving & Not Forgiving: A New Approach to Resolving Intimate Betrayal" (Avon Books, August 1999) by Jeane Safer, Ph.D.

From the political to the personal, Americans are caught in an orgy of forgiveness. Failure to pardon, we're constantly admonished, will blight our lives. Now a psychotherapist counters that popular claim. You can refuse to absolve your lover, spouse, parent, sibling or friend, she declares, and still be emotionally healthy.

I am glad to report that this article resonates and, in some important respects, reiterates what I've written on the topic of forgiveness. I find relief in seeing some clear-eyed analysis of this subject coming from the psych community. Telling people who have been and continue to be abused in close relationships that they must forgive "or else" is very often counter-productive to gaining true peace and a healthy approach to life.

I hope the link to this article doesn't fizzle away any time soon as I would like future readers of this blog to have access to it.

Thanks for the "heads up" on the article krl!

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Must-Read Article

From Kathy Krajco's blog:

Perhaps the strangest thing about narcissistic abuse is the almost universal decision of the victim to put up with it. This is something other people cannot get their minds around. And it is one reason why they withhold sympathy from the victim, blowing off severe psychological abuse and mental cruelty as mere annoyance.

But there are many understandable reasons why the victim puts up with it. All people need do is think a little to understand.

I know that many of you who read here also read at Kathy's most excellent blog, but just in case you missed this one I am pointing you in the direction of this post. She captures the fundamental reasons why children of narcissists are especially vulnerable to putting up with the crap that narcissists dish up. She does this without pathologizing the victim. God bless ya, Kathy.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

It is Easy to Be a Narcissist

Because I have long been a student of human nature I have recognized the reality that we are all born very bent toward selfishness. My Christian belief system also informs this view. The Bible is clear that we are all born bent inward, toward self. Understanding that we are all born selfish has motivated me to study how to not be like the malignant narcissists.

Why have I studied how not to be narcissistic? Because we all come standard equipped to be narcissistic, therefore, it is easy to be a narcissist. The basic equipment we are born with is bent toward narcissism, not toward sainthood. The path to being good is rocky, uphill, hard, and often lonely. Why do people admire saints? Because it was easy? Quite the opposite, we know it was hard.

Maybe you haven't come to my conclusions about the nature of human kind, so let's look at it from another angle.

Think about how people in general talk about good behaviors vs. vices. We don't talk about how we are "tempted" to do good. No, we talk about temptations to do vice, to do wrong. If our nature was naturally bent toward being good then we would be enticed and attracted and, dare I say, tempted to deeds of goodness and virtue. When virtue and vice are standing before us we would find ourselves drawn out after virtue if we were naturally bent toward being good. But, no, our language never goes in that direction. We talk about the pull, the attraction, the desire for vice. We talk about doing good as being "character building", which we all know immediately means it is at least a little painful to our natures to be consistently good.

Then there is the reality of young children. Anyone who is honest with what they see in their young ones is acutely aware that children are born barbarians. We have to teach them to be civilized. For example: we know that we don't have to teach little, bitty kids how to lie; we have to teach them not to lie. The ability and desire to lie comes standard equipment on all kids. I love the Mark Twain quote about the second lie he ever told:
I do not remember my first lie, it is too far back; but I remember my second one very well. I was nine days old at the time, and had noticed that if a pin was sticking in me and I advertised it in the usual fashion, I was lovingly petted and coddled and pitied in a most agreeable way and got a ration between meals besides. It was human nature to want to get these riches, and I fell. I lied about the pin–advertising one when there wasn’t any. You would have done it; George Washington did it, anybody would have done it. During the first half of my life I never knew a child that was able to rise above that temptation and keep from telling that lie.
In other words, Twain recognized a simple and easily observable truth. We are born liars. He also recognized another truth: We come out of the womb wanting what we want when we want it. Self control, self denial, truth-telling even when scared or caught, delay of self gratification, all are qualities that have to be instilled; they do not come standard equipment for the human race. The thread of civilization is as thin as the current generation's parenting ability. If today's parents are not doing the hard work of civilizing their little barbarians, the break down of civilization follows hard on the heels of this failure. We are not born naturally good. So the struggle and the achievement we have to work toward, to strive after, is that of not following the clamors of our baser selves and making the serious effort it takes to be consistently good. This higher calling is the calling the malignant narcissist rejects at a very early age. If we would be different than they, we have to do the hard work. One of the consistent hallmarks of narcissists is that they lie. They lie often and well. They are also energetic at getting their own way all the time and in their own time. How is this not like the uncivilized baby? Arrested development is the most apt descriptor of the narcissist. What is easier? Remaining a baby, or growing up? The answer is obvious.

I have made the observation on my blog that the evil course is the easy course. It is the path of least resistance to study the easiest course and to only do what comes easy. I have tried to make the point that what comes easy for humanity is vice. The reality is that most of the time the easy path is the path to evil outcomes. Regardless of our motivation when we set out...if we only study our own comfort we will likely end up hurting others and destroying our own happiness if not our own souls.

My corollary to the path to evil is found by taking the easy course is:

Becoming and being a narcissist is a slide on ice.

It is a cinch. It is the most gutless choice you can make. It is the easy, downhill course. It is simply doing what comes naturally. If our human nature is naturally ungood, then following our natural inclinations is going to end up on the road to hell. It requires no courage, no guts, to become a narcissist.

Therefore, I hold out no respect and very little compassion for those dedicated to getting their own way all the time, i.e. narcissists. They expend all their compassion on themselves, and themselves only, therefore I feel no need to waste mine on them. I will save compassion for those who are resisting evil, not caving into it. Respect? I have none for the narcissist. What have they accomplished? Why should we admire (the basis of respect) someone who consistently picks out the easiest course? Do we admire heroes because they did something easy? Hardly. We all instinctively know that the heroic requires rising above self-interest and making a monumental effort on someone else's behalf. There is nothing easy about being a hero because it goes against self-interest. We all know in our hearts that going against our own self-interests is what is hard. When does the narcissist go against their self-interests? We can safely assert the answer is never. They are the living anti-thesis of heroism.

Too often, people to look for complicated reasons for why the malignant narcissist has turned predatory and heartless. They seem to do this exercise out of some need to feel compassion for the narcissist's excuse less behaviors. For some reason we seem willing to take on, as a society, the blame for those who have done nothing more than refuse to buck their bent nature. For the most part, it is the pointy-headed "intellectuals" who have come up with this self-flagellating reasoning in order to avoid recognizing that some among us actually choose to become evil. Why is it so repugnant to the modern mind that some people are evil...and they choose to be that way? I think it is because to admit to human evil is to land us right back into the bailiwick of religion. Discussions on the nature of man and the remedies for maladies of the soul are the areas that religion is meant to deal with. Science is ill equipped for dealing with dis-eases of the souls of humanity. A hundred years of psychotherapy have not alleviated the mental and emotional ills of the masses. If anything, the argument can be made that mankind is worse, not better, for the intervention of the priests of psychology.

Hardships do not a narcissist make. Hardships that are overcome and endured make us into better people if we consistently make choices against our naturally selfish inclinations. Nothing like hardship to test our resolve to do good when shit is going down all around us. Too often we assume that the hardship of a bad early childhood explains the creation of the narcissist. This is not true. Far too many people have come out of very difficult childhoods to become decent, loving and largely other-centered rather than self-centered for these circumstances to excuse or explain the narcissist. Hardships test us. They bring out the truth of who we really are. It is not days of ease and prosperity which prove our mettle. How you act and react under pressure is the true measure of your character. Any hardships the narcissist has experienced have revealed their character, not determined it.

Let us be honest with reality. The reality is that the narcissist has consistently and persistently chosen the easiest route. The route that did not go against their nature. They simply followed the stream of human selfishness. If we want to insure that we are different than the narcissist, we must choose to swim upstream against our naturally selfish inclinations. It is never easy to swim against the tide especially if there are rip tides and undercurrents (genetics, for example). But this is why we admire truly good people; we recognize that it is not by accident or ease that a good person became good.

Narcissism -- the course of the coward, the gutless, the morally lazy, the supremely selfish.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Narcissist Suck Comment Policy [UPDATED]

I want to thank you all for your great comments. As each of you tell a piece of your history and experience it expands the knowledge base of this blog. I don't respond to very many comments because time limits me, but I always wish I could. Sometimes I just want to say, "Wow, amazing". When some of you thank me for what I've written it confirms that the effort has been very worthwhile. I appreciate all your words of appreciation. I also am very aware that I deserve very little credit. You all are doing the hard work in your own lives. Each of you are searching for answers (which leads you to places like my blog), each of you are having to do the effort to make huge changes in your lives. My admiration goes outward to each of you for the changes you are making. I have made similar changes...believe me, I know how difficult and heart-wrenching those changes can be as you are going through them. Facing reality hurts, but in the long run it heals. I feel a kinship with each of you.

I have made a firm decision as it relates to comments on my blog. I have decided that I do not need to be a host to drive-by snipers on my character. If a commenter has a substantive disagreement with an idea of mine I will very likely post it...if I feel I haven't already made my position on it very clear. I am never, ever offended by someone disagreeing with my positions as long as they've given me a fair hearing and are not ignoring what I've said or twisting my words. These types of substantive comments are entirely different than someone who chooses to make me, personally, into the problem. If someone disagrees with my ideas and my usually well-stated and logical positions then take issue with the position itself. Don't make it about me and my person. When someone attacks personality rather than the substance of the idea is proof positive they have no truth to bring to the table. Therefore, I am under no obligation to host their bile on my own blog.

So, for anyone who hates me personally...I am fine with that. Hate me all you want to. But from now on you'll have to host your comments on your forum or blog. I may or may not see it. If I see it, I may or may not choose to address it. My call. No more comments will be approved by me which are not on topic to the focus of this blog. Nasty, drive-by snipes upon me personally do not add substantively to the subject matter. You snipers can tell yourselves all you want that my not approving your comments is some kind of bad reflection on me. Suit yourselves. Reasonable people can understand my logical stance on this and would not think less of me for not allowing trolling, anonymous, drive-by snipers take pot shots at me.

There ya have it. This is Narcissists Suck comment policy. Like it or lump it.

UPDATE (June 24, 2008): Recent trends in the comments reveals the need for me to further define the rules.

This is a blog. This is not a forum. The purpose of the comments section on a blog post is to comment on the content of the post not on any old thing that comes into your head as you type. My comments section is not a place to grandstand or get on your own hobby horse. If you have no comment on the issues brought up in the post then you need to sit on your fingers.

This blog is my personal property. You do not have an unrestricted right to say anything you wish to here. The comment section is a privilege not a right.

1)If you disagree with someone and can't find a way to do so graciously...then be assured your comment will not see the light of day.

2) If I don't like a comment for any other reason it will also be moderated out. The archives of this blog will bear out that I am generous in my comment policy. I will still be generous, but I will also stop ignoring the niggling concerns I have about certain comments because my gut is usually right on target. I have consistently regretted it when I have dismissed my concerns.

So...if you find your comments moderated out, sorry. Decisions are final. I have labored for untold hours on this blog. There are now hundreds of posts. Those posts represent uncountable hours of labor on my part. I have made every effort to make this blog a quality web site. It will not get dragged down in the comments. The comments, if they do not add to the quality of this blog, are outta there. The quality of my blog attests to the fact that I have some idea of what quality is. If your comment doesn't measure up to my standard, that is the way the cookie crumbles. I expect people to act like grown-ups about it.

Again, this is not a forum. This is a blog. The blog posts have a comment section. Comments are designed to be comments on the blog post content not a jumping off point to talk about whatever pops into your head. Occasionally comments can veer slightly off the topic at hand as natural segues and I have been lenient on that. I will still choose to occasionally be lenient on that. My call, not yours.

Once you hit "publish" your comment becomes the property of this blog. I may post it or not, but since you never know for sure then assume it will get posted. If you want assured privacy then send an email.

I appreciate that most people behave quite properly in the comments. This update is for the few who can't figure out the obvious.

[icon by mysticxf]

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Now, For Something COMPLETELY Different...

"Don't drive angry. Do not drive angry."

Good advice from Phil to Phil in one of our family's favorite-ist movies, "Ground Hog Day". Classic. This is the film's 15th anniversary. Wooohooo.

Phil: "This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather." *heavy sarcasm*

Happy Groundhog Day ya'll. Six more weeks of winter according to the fat rat. Guess what we'll be watching tonight? Yeah, you're smart like that. Good guess. Meanwhile, we've got up to four inches of snow predicted for tonight. I love winter.

Friday, February 01, 2008

"It's Good to Be Judgmental"


I am linking to the guest article on Violent Acres because I resonate completely with this young woman's argument for being judgmental. I, too, am a judgmental bitch. Which is why I have been able to extricate myself from the pestilential and tyrannical narcissists in my life. I highly recommend being judgmental. In fact, I insist on you using good judgment all the time on my blog. Engaging your brain in order to assert some order and control over your life is called using judgment.

I dedicate this article to the last commenter on the post "But Wait, There's More!" who went way out of their way to excuse Shrek in order to make me into the bad guy. There is no time when it more obviously paramount to use judgment than when dating. For pete's sake, the whole reason for dating is to determine (i.e. JUDGE) if someone is a good match for you. You can't determine that fact without using judgment. I am so sick and tired of people thinking judgment is a bad word I could SCREAM. Instead, I am calmly pointing you to the eloquent rant of the above blogger. My sentiments exactly, sista.

"Anonymous", I have good judgment. I can't account for your bad judgment. You apparently have an ax to grind with me; someone you've never met and who is minding my own business here on my blog. Your comment says a hell of a lot more about you than it does me.

Seems to me that "Anonymous" gets pretty high on her/his judgmental horse while deciding that I've been too judgmental. Come on. Where is the logical consistency?! Anonymous gets a pass on their inconsistency and judgmentalism by the idiocy of mainstream non-logic. It is okay, nay, good and righteous, to judge those who are judgmental. Kind of like it is permissible to be racist as long as it is whites that you hate. Bahhh. Mental and moral midgets all. Yeah, that's a judgment.