Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Best Of" Posts on Narcissists Suck

As mentioned in the last post I'm taking a summer hiatus from blogging. For the benefit of those who are finding my blog in my absence I encourage you to read the posts in the archives. You can either read by month in the order I posted them, or check out the labels in column on the left of the front page for some idea of the various topics covered by posts.

I have assembled here a short list of some of the popular pages of Narcissists Suck based on page hits. I will throw in a few of my choices as well.

Your Narcissistic Mother

Angry with a Narcissist?

It Ain't Personal

The High Price of Peace at Any Cost

Narcissists Can't Be Rehabilitated

Your Most Fundamental Right

Two Models of Family (Part one of two) Decision Time (Part two)

The Family Tyrant

A Force of Nature

An Accurate Measure of Mental Health ISN'T Lack of Anger

The Last Straw

Savior Complex and Refresher on the Savior Complex

Disproportional Responses...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Taking a Summer Vacation/Hiatus

It has been settled here at home. It is past time for me to take a vacation. I have been blogging for just under two years now and written the equivalent of a large book. I'm tired and need a break. It has not been easy applying my noggin to the subject of human evil this steadily and intensively and this long.

Summer has started, there is lots to do, life is short and I'm grabbing it by the ... uh, horns. I'm planning to take the whole summer off. My email is still available to courteous, intelligent inquiries. I will respond as I'm able. If you are signed up with Feedburner then you'll always know when the next post comes along without having the hit the front page.

I plan to post a list of the most popular pages of Narcissists Suck in the next few days for the benefit of new peeps who may coast in from their Google searches. If you haven't already, I hope you'll take advantage of the wealth of information in the archives. There is no time stamp or expiration on the value of the information in the archives.

I hope the rest of you are planning to enjoy your summer with family, friends, good books, good thoughts. Life is a gift. In a very real way, the quality of that gift is something you create yourself. We each have the power to make a good life with whatever circumstances we find ourselves in if we are determined to do so. I hope each of you are determined to squeeze every drop out of joy out of the life you've been given and not surrender another second to the narcissists. It is to that end that I have labored. Make me proud.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Denied a Defense -- Part Two

Part one is here. I'm going to apologize at the outset of this post for its length. It seems there is nothing I can do about that. *sigh* I hope the story is told well enough that you're willing to wade to the finish.

It feels like part two is the hardest part for me to tell. I'll see how it goes. Part of the difficulty is that I've lost some details. But the main point and general effects are clear to me so I proceed. The other part is that it isn't a memory I enjoy delving into. Narcissists suck...and so do the moonbats who won't oppose them.

I will start by reiterating the point that I'm illustrating with this story. This two part story as well as the story about my sister's last successful hit at my heart are being told to help illustrate some of the principles Kathy Krajco laid out in her post "Self-Preservation Under Narcissistic Abuse". The two incidents that I have and am outlining for you are to show some of the devastation that occurs when someone is told by others they do not have the right to defend themselves or fight back against abuse:

So, for the sake of the victim's mental health, you must NEVER deny him or her the right to put up a fight...It violates the laws of nature and the innate instinct for self-preservation. If the victim knuckles under to psuedo-moralistic pressure to not lift hand or voice in self defense, he or she will hate themselves and become a suicide risk. That is forcing people to commit the worst breech of faith there is - with one's very self...Never, never, never preach prime-time morality at the victim making it a sin for him or her to yell right back at the abuser. Though yelling back may not be wise in all cases, it IS the victim's right. It at least lets him or her preserve self-respect through showing a backbone.

Although I was overwhelmed in the midst of the unfair attack against my honor, integrity and good deeds I did show an unbending resistance to the attacker. Even though V had reduced me to tears, even though I begged her to show me a shred of mercy during her attack of words and cruel indifference, I would not capitulate to her twisted reality. I clung with fierceness to what I knew to be true about the events and about myself.

There was something of a victory in that for me. I had been raised by an evil narcissist mother to always question myself and my perceptions when I was confronted by her self-righteous and unfair accusations. She could often persuade me to see myself as being fully in the wrong when I wasn't wrong at all or when I was only somewhat wrong. I did not hand over this kind of victory to V. I did not break faith with myself. This was not a small victory considering I knew nothing about narcissism; by that I mean, I didn't have a name for what was happening. But I knew I'd met this kind of evil before and the biggest part of myself rose up in resistance to it. I did not capitulate.

I was already well on my way to being the terror against evil doers that I am today. *big grin*

Nevertheless, the bystanders made a difficult situation much more difficult for me. The "prime-time moralizers" were at the ready to assume that there must have been something I did to provoke V's attack. The basic assumption most people have, that it "takes two to tango", is often used to whack a victim on the head after they've already been unfairly abused by the narcissist. Most people are utterly and blissfully unaware that there are predators in the pack. The predators lay in wait while they look for the person who has the virtues they don't have...and then pick their moment to smear that person's reputation with the very opposite of what they are. They always attack when there are no witnesses. They rely on the dip shits who believe it always "takes two to tango" to ensure that their victim gets to carry most, if not all, the blame.

This blame rests easily upon the victim because the victim is OUTRAGED at the injustice. They may be very emotional, angry, and demanding for justice. This only tends to convince the coconuts who believe in "prime-time morality" that the victim is the problem. By now the predator is sitting back looking innocent and calm. Their calmness, contrasted with the open distress and accusations of the victim, are all it takes to convince most people that the trouble-maker is the victim.

V was quick to contact the pastor. I think she was concerned that she might have exposed herself by her attack on me. I was obviously not going to go down quietly or easily. I had immediately tried to confront her in front of my friend, Mrs. Bishop. V rightly assumed that Mrs. Bishop was going to believe my side of the story. The Bishops were highly respected not just in our church but all the area churches. So knowing that this respected family would not be supporting her claims against me, I'm sure that V wanted to get the first "crack" at the pastor to try to convince the primary authority figure that she had been victimized.

The next thing I remember is getting a visit from the pastor. He had made himself the go-between for me and V. He had already heard V's version and had come to me with that. Of course, I refuted it adamantly. He left my house to go to V equipped with my report of what had happened. He was trying to get a reconciliation in place because of the possible consequences to our little church if one was not reached.

A little more background on our church. About six months earlier my husband had been laid off of his contract job. When news of this got to our church, people started to quietly plot their desertion of the church. Why? Because at this point my husband was the primary leader of our church. The pastor we had was in charge of three churches and so, most of the time, it was up to us to make sure that services had a speaker and classes were being taught. My husband was doing most of that kind of leadership. It wasn't because he wanted to. It was because it defaulted to him. Most of the people who had joined our little church thought they were doing enough just by showing up. In a church as small as this one warming a pew was really not a luxury so many should have afforded themselves. So my husband and myself ended up with most of the responsibilities. We were reluctant leaders, but being responsible people we took up our tasks without complaint. After my husband was laid off of work it became absolutely clear that people were not thinking about filling in for us. We were assuming at the time that we would have to move away for my husband to regain employment, therefore it was generally assumed by all that we were not going to be around long. Some of the members were already attending other area churches most of the time starting shortly after my husband announced his unemployment.

After our friends' home burned down the church people seemed even more anxious to leave our little church. We were a small church family, and most people didn't want the responsibility of having to help the Bishops as much as they saw the Bishops would need help in the months to come. A small church doesn't allow for much of the luxury of assuming that someone else will pick up the slack. The fire was an added incentive for some of our members to disappear. V was the first to make herself scarce.

The member who assumed no responsibilities and whose attendance was the least dependable was, you guessed it, V. I think part of V's attack on me was an attempt to make it someone else's fault that they no longer were attending our church. They couldn't just leave. No, they had to make it someone's fault for their leaving. I am convinced this was a factor. V never stepped foot in our church again after she attacked me. Her husband only appeared once during the week for the final board meeting. One reason they needed to make it someone else's fault they were leaving was because L was the treasurer of the church. That was an important responsibility, and it was one he knew no one else in our church was going to take from him. So if they resigned in a huff because of purported injustices he could absolve his own conscience for ditching his responsibility. No such silly tactics were needed. As it was, the conference took our financial books and assumed that responsibility after L's defection.

The pastor was probably seeing the likelihood that our church was on its last legs. I think his efforts to smooth the waters between me and V were motivated by his desire to keep this church functional. What he hadn't accepted...and what I and my husband could clearly see by now...was that this church was kaput. All that remained was for someone to be willing to pronounce it dead. By now, nobody other than my husband, myself and my daughter were willing to do the heavy lifting. Well, the Bishops were willing but were completely unable to do anything. They had been rendered unable to really support the church except with their attendance once they'd adopted the four new kids. That had been the first big blow months earlier to the church's chances at getting off the ground. Now with their personal disaster they were actually in need of church energy...an very finite amount of which existed.

The pastor was a man in his 50s. He was a very kind man with a fair amount of wisdom. I had come to respect him a considerable amount. I thought that in the year we'd known each other that my character had been amply demonstrated. So when he sat there in my living room and told me V's version of events and heard my refutations I was distressed to find out he thought I bore at least some responsibility for the "hard feelings" that now existed between myself and V. He never blamed me directly for being unfairly accused by V in the kitchen, though he did try to gently assert that my emotional reaction to what V did was my contribution to "wrongdoing". Yes, my tears in that kitchen, the fact that I tried to defend myself with reason against V's unfair accusations, my continued unbending attitude that V was completely in the wrong were signs to the pastor that I needed to admit to my own faults of character.

I was shocked and horrified to find out that V had accused me of threatening violence toward her. She claimed to the pastor to have been scared of me in that kitchen because she thought her physical person was in danger! That accusation did nothing to mollify me as the pastor tried to get me to soften my position. I showed complete mystification at how she could possibly accuse me of such a thing. As I thought about what happened I remembered my one large arm gesture that I described in my last post. I remembered abruptly throwing my hands up into the air to form the shape of a big sign. I remembered her taking half a step back even though my arms went nowhere near her. I remembered that "gotcha" look. That was the only action I did which could have possibly been construed as incipient violence.

When I found out about this blatant lie and twisting of the facts I was even more unbending in my refusal to "make nice". I could now see that V would stoop to any lie whatsoever to get her ass out of the sling. There was no room for reconciliation in my mind. She was upping the ante! She was sorry for nothing. She never even pretended to be sorry.

Meanwhile I was having to deal with the disapproval of a man whom I respected and whose good opinion I valued. He told me that Christians who are close with the Lord cannot find themselves upset even when unfairly attacked. My emotional reaction was a sign that I needed to submit more to Christ. V could not have hurt my feelings if I was "dead in Christ". This hurt the most. Of all that happened, this hurt the most. This meant that I would forever live under the cloud of his disapproval because I had not reacted in a "Christlike" manner. There was no redemption from that unless I would admit such was the case and ask V to forgive my unChristlike response.

That wasn't going to happen. I hadn't done or said anything to V that could be construed as being immoral, wrong or even unkind. Even though I knew I would be going forward under the cloud of being a "less-than" Christian I was still not willing to bend over for what happened to me. Not even this respected pastor could force me to do it. Thank God. Obviously, after this event my trust in the pastor suffered considerably.

How was my demeanor during my conversations with the pastor? I was not raging. I didn't hurl invectives or expletives. I was rational and probably somewhat heroically calm considering the circumstances. Yes, I am sure I showed my strong emotions against what had happened, but certainly not in any way that could be rightly described as being unreasonable or indecorous.

It was doubly distressing to me that this pastor was giving any credence whatsoever to V's version of events. That was hard to take. I had done nothing wrong. It was an unprovoked attack, yet the pastor was obviously assuming that no one would attack completely unprovoked. I got the clear impression he believed there was something I wasn't admitting to. I had to live with the fact that V had successfully smeared some of herself off onto me. I was dirty. I couldn't wipe the smear completely off myself because the pastor wouldn't allow it. He made it clear that, if nothing else, my reaction was wrong. In that way I had contributed to the problem, in his mind.

The happy part of this story, and likely the source for my strength of will against the double assault, was that I had a husband and daughter who believed me utterly. They, too, were outraged. It was enough for me. They were not willing to throw out everything they knew about me in order to believe some twisted bitch's version of me! They LIVE with me. They know me better than anybody else. Knowing me, they knew I was telling the complete truth. I also felt that the Bishops believed me. Mr. Bishop actually demonstrated some outrage. Mrs. Bishop believed me but she is not constituted to show outrage in any circumstance. Even against gross injustice to herself, so I don't remember receiving the moral support of her outrage. It would have been nice, but I knew she was giving me what she could. A sympathetic ear and a belief that I did no wrong even in my responses to the injustices. It helped. The two people whose opinions I valued most in our church (other than my own family, obviously) were the Bishops. They, too, were not willing to throw out everything they knew about me from their own experiences in order to believe a demonstrably selfish woman's version of me.

To imagine someone being as unfairly attacked as I was by V and not having the support of family and a couple of church members is an imagination of a nightmare. Even with the support I had it was a very emotionally difficult pass for me. If any of you have endured this type of thing in your church you have my deepest sympathies. If you have had to endure it with no earthly support...my heart breaks for you. It would require a superhuman strength to get through something like this with only yourself believing your story. That superhuman strength would have to come from God Himself.

I used the plural in describing the "moralizers". That is somewhat of an exaggeration that I'll correct now. It was only the pastor who said anything to me directly. Other members of our church just gave me a wide berth. They seemed uncomfortable around me. It was like they were desperate to not have to take sides. I didn't force that on them. I didn't rail to anyone about what happened. I decided people were going to believe whatever they wanted to. I was not going to try to gain support that wasn't going to come to me unsolicited. I'm sure part of their discomfort was their desertion of our little church endeavor which means it wasn't really about me or what happened with V. Whatever. It felt like disapproval at the time given the circumstances.

By the way, neither V or her husband started attending any of the other area churches. They disappeared into the ether. Another bit of info on these two. We (i.e. our church) found out at some point that V & L started attending church after a many decades long absence a few months after L had found out he had cancer of the colon. They both started a very strict diet regime that they were assured was "God's diet". (Hence, V's focus on her cookie temptations I mentioned last post. She made it clear many times that she looked down on the rest of us who weren't following "God's diet". We were less progressed Christians. She said as much.) They were both sure L would be cured because they were following all the rules.

I believe now that their church attendance was part of their plan to obligate God to cure L. "See God? We're doing everything right!" A month or so before V's attack on me her husband had been checked to see if the cancer was gone. It wasn't. The shift in V and L's attitude was immediate and apparent to all. They were very obviously angry. Angry and bitter at God. He wasn't doing His side of the arrangement!! Rather than focusing on the good news which was that the cancer was still small (a real blessing considering L had foregone medical treatment for a whole year), they were angry that L was going to have to have surgery after all.

I am convinced this was at the root of what started their disaffection with going to church and why they were looking for a way out. Fair weather Christians. They actually believed they could obligate God to heal L because he was strictly following the "Eden diet". Well, guess what. God can't be bribed. Or fooled. You can't obligate God to do things your way just because you think you've figured out all the rules. Our following God's commands does not put us in a position to start boxing God into a corner so He HAS to give us our way. Such hubris and selfish motivations God doesn't reward.

Two months after V's attack on me six people assembled in a small room of our church: my husband and me, both Bishops, L, and the pastor. It was a final board meeting. We voted to officially shut the doors of this church forever. The conference would be putting the property up for sale. The last services were held on the last weekend of October 2002. We were now no longer members of a local church. Our memberships were now being held by the conference. They sit there to this day.

We lived for a year on our savings after my husband had lost his contract job. Much to everyone's surprise my husband landed another well-paying non-contract job with the same company. They allowed him to telecommute. This meant we were not forced to move away from the area. All those who had feared we would be leaving them holding the bag of responsibility for church duties had feared for naught. We lived for another year in the area after my husband started his new job.

The church that was nearest us after the closure of our church was the main congregation of the area. It is where the pastor was most of the time. We attended there a few times in the ensuing year, but our attendance was spotty in the beginning and non-existent after that. We weren't held to account for our non-attendance by the pastor because he took a church in another state and moved away.

We were exhausted. I was now dealing with the fall-out from my mother's behavior in my home on Thanksgiving 2002 that occurred only about three weeks after the closure of our church. With all the drama in my own family I stayed away from church. I didn't have the emotional energy for dealing with all that was going on in my personal life and the potential problems that going to church always invites. We are only now, six years later, getting back into church attendance.

In January following the above events, Mrs. Bishop found out she had stage four breast cancer. Another crisis. I helped in every way I could until we moved away. She is still alive today, though it looks like the cancer is back.

The extreme emotional pain I had to endure because I was denied the right to defend myself cannot be overstated. First, I was denied the right to self-defense by V as she rejected my every attempt to explain the truth of the matter. It was excruciating. Then, when the pastor downgraded my Christian experience simply because I was hurt by the injustice of Vs attack and tried to stand up for myself -- that was the most painful aspect of the whole experience.

I did not lash out in kind to V. I kept myself to the truth. I didn't use her abuse of me to justify me abusing her. I simply clung to the truth about myself and the circumstances and would not be swerved. There is no way to make my reaction into a sin without being utterly perverse. Like Kathy has said so very well, when someone has been abused by a narcissist do not tell the victim they are wrong for resisting. Ever. If you are the one thus abused, do not allow someone to tell you you're wrong for simply defending yourself. Even if that someone is a person you had thought well of before. Giving your approval to others to abuse you is an act that will cause you to loathe yourself utterly. Nobody's "esteem" of you is worth that very high price.


The question was raised in the comments on the last post...what would I do differently today?

First of all, I really, really doubt someone could knock me completely off my emotional pins by a similar unfair and unprovoked attack. I would instantly see through what was happening. I would immediately know this person was not interested in reality, only in their agenda. I would have no problem recognizing the predator in front of me.

If the exact same scenario happened to me today here is what I picture happening. I would still assent to hearing V state her complaint against me since there would be the possibility that I could be at fault even if I didn't know what I'd done. I would want to apologize if it could be shown to me that I'd done something wrong against her, or anyone. So, yes, I would listen to V lay out her case against me. The moment where my compliance would stop would be at the juncture of explaining what really happened in opposition to the fiction she was believing about me and my actions and her obvious unwillingness to believe anything good about my behavior and motivations.

When I explained to V that she was misunderstanding what was going on and she utterly rejected my explanation and essentially called me a liar, that would be the end of it now. I would at that point hold up my hand and say, "I see you are not willing to be reasonable. Take your complaint up the chain of command." I would walk away. Even if her lips were still moving she would be talking to my butt.

She would not have gotten the satisfaction of my tears. She would not have gotten to feel powerful at my expense. Now she would be forced to try to explain to someone in authority her naked claims against me. There is likely no way her claims could have found support. As it was, she only gained some support for her claims because she was able to get a negative reaction from me. Sans that, she would have been hard pressed to get someone to agree I was in the wrong.

Let's say she succeeded in getting the pastor to believe she had been "sinned against" by me even if I acted as just described. What would I do then? Again, the moment I saw that the authority figure was not willing to believe me he'd be talking to my backside. I would not sit still for it. I would walk away. Like I have said to both my father and my sister: they can all be right...I'll just be gone.

That is my attitude toward those who want to pin unmerited blame on me. I'm just gone. I don't give a flying frak what these kind of people think of me. I do not desire the esteem of evil people or their accomplices. If they want to believe I'm evil when I'm demonstrably not evil then they are impervious to reason and truth. There is no point in dealing with people like that. I cannot be guilted into compliance when that compliance would come at the expense of my self-respect and truth. I am a decent person. When I do something wrong I will apologize thoroughly, without sparing myself. I will not blame shift. I will do all in my power to make it right. But I'll be damned if I'll apologize for something I didn't do. I'm not going to offer myself up for the satisfaction of those who want me to willingly sacrifice myself to a lie about me. If I am physically able to walk away, I will walk away. Pastor or not, I do not have to consent to lies about me to "keep the peace". Peace at any cost always costs way too much in the end. And in the end there is no peace.

Once you know you're dealing with reality revisionists don't grant them further audience. The longer you stand there, the more they will be able to pretend you did something you didn't do. Oh, and leave the willing idiots with the predators. They deserve each other. With any luck, at some point, the predator will make dinner out of one of their willing village idiots.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Something Uplifting

I bought a few new CDs this week. Two of them are of Libera, a boy's choir from London. "Angel Voices" and "Free". I listened to "Angel Voices" on Thursday and was completely uplifted and moved. I'm spreading the wealth, so to speak.

Here is a link to YouTube of Libera performing "Sanctus". It is based on Pachelbel's Canon in D. The words of the song are in Latin. These CDs are my current favorites! Believe me, if you haven't heard Libera you haven't heard all that a boy's choir can do. The embedding code is disabled so I can't post the video here on my blog. Just follow this link.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Denied a Defense -- Part One

This story is the second one I want to tell in the context of "Self-preservation Under Narcissistic Abuse". I have contemplated telling this story before as an illustration of spiritual abuse, but have steered away from it because it is a decidedly unpleasant memory for me. Maybe it is more unpleasant for me than remembering events involving my family because this story ended badly. I never got justice. I always felt that my reputation was forever marred by it. "Where do I go to get my reputation back?" Well, nowhere. I was glad when we were finally able to move away from the area in 2004.

This event occurred around September of 2002, which if you're following the time line, was only two months before things started going to crap between me and my parents.

We had moved to a rural farming area in the Northwest. We quickly became friends with another family from the church we started attending shortly after moving there. They are lovely people who we are still friends with even though we moved from the area four years ago. These friends, who I'll call by the fake surname Bishop, had hearts several sizes larger than their good sense. They had two children when we met them who had been adopted at birth and were around six and nine in ages.

In 2001 the Bishops met an older couple who had been taking care of four of their grandchildren. Three of kids had the same father (the son of the grandparents) and all four had the same mother. The parents were drug and alcohol users. The kids had been taken away from the biological parents by the state.

Long story. I'll sum up. The Bishops decided to adopt these four children. It was a decision they rushed into and was really ill-advised. That was my opinion then; it is still my opinion now. My opinion wasn't asked for, therefore I withheld it. Time has only proven (to me) how ill-advised it really was. It took quite a few years to find out, but all these kids have FAS to one degree of another. They were tested by several professionals last year and found to have FAS and varying other learning disabilities. To say that the Bishops lives got complicated after the adoptions is to vastly understate the matter. The eldest of the four was a girl. Annie. She was only a few months younger than the youngest of the two (also a girl) who had been adopted from birth. Annie was a child from hell.

About nine months after the adoption, the Bishops home went up in smoke. Quite literally. Suddenly, a family with six kids and two adults was homeless. To complicate this tragedy, the fire had been set by one of the children. Annie was prime suspect.

At this time I and my family were attending the same church as the Bishops in a small rural town about fifteen miles down a state highway from where we lived. The church had been almost shut down by the regional church conference because there were only three members and no services had been held there in a long time. The Bishops had convinced us to start attending there with them to see if the church could be revived. Their interest in the church was augmented by the fact that their private business was operating in the same town as the dying church. Within a month or so twelve adults were members of this church. They lived in various small communities around this little church. My husband, myself and my daughter soon found ourselves wearing many hats in the effort to make the church run. I am resolved to this day to never join a small church again. The reasons are legion, not just because you end up working yourself to a frazzle. As if that isn't reason enough.

When a family with six kids is suddenly bereft of home and all possessions the church feels responsible to help. Churches of our denomination in surrounding towns started to rally to help in the first few weeks post-fire. The task list was huge. The first thing that was needed was to get this family out of their motel room and into a real house. A ramshackle old farmhouse about a half mile down the road from the burnt house was found available for rent, but it was in desperate need of some renovation. People came to paint, install cabinets in the kitchen, clean, etc. Clothes and bedding were needed. The community provided those things in short order. Seems that the thing most people think to give after someone's house burns down are blankets. The Bishops ended up with many more blankets and sheets than even a family of eight needs. Folks, after a week post-fire, the victims probably don't need more blankets. There are other ways to be more helpful. Use your imagination, or ask. Child care. Meal preparation. School supplies. Gift cards for Walmart so they can buy needed essentials. Just some ideas.

The fact that I was a close friend of Mrs. Bishop made me very aware of some of the more immediate needs of the family. Naturally, I jumped right in. I was cooking meals for them and bringing the food to the burnt out house while they worked to inventory their burnt belongings for the insurance company. Laundry was a major and immediate need. I undertook that pronto. Most of them, at this point, only had a few articles of clothing each and needed them washed overnight. Working in all the soot and ash means clothes get real dirty real fast. I would deliver the clean clothes first thing in the morning so they could leave the motel room with clothes on.

I am no saint and am not trying to present myself as one. There were plenty of jobs I wasn't willing to sign up for. The last thing I wanted to do was hang out for hours in the blackened basement breathing in toxic soot to inventory pencils and books. Given that Mrs. Bishop was homeschooling all six kids there were vast numbers of both. I would much rather cook a meal for eight, do laundry, provide moral support, drive miles to cart stuff around, and take the suspected fire-starter into my home than some of the other jobs that needed doing. And since I'm finite, I did what I was willing to do and had time for and left it for others to fill in the gaps. I didn't try to do it all because I knew that one person does not have the power to support a family of eight in dire need! But I attacked what I knew I could and was willing to do with energy and cheerfulness. Mrs. Bishop was relying heavily on me for moral support and help in trying to figure out what to do about Annie. Emotionally, that was an even bigger problem than even the fire itself.

This, I think, is the minimum background to describe the event that shook me up pretty badly.

For the third week in a row the scent of cooking food was wafting over the small congregation near the end of services. My house was not big enough to seat the Bishop's family and my own for an afternoon meal. During the week everyone ate outside at a fold-out table set up in the front yard. Anyway, it seemed logical to use the church's kitchen to warm up the food and then be able to set up large tables in the adjoining multi-purpose room so we could all sit to eat after church indoors without the bugs and dirt. A once a week treat for the Bishops.

Little did I know that someone was choosing to be offended over this arrangement.

An older couple had started attending our little church at some point. They were in their 60s, retired and very wealthy. I'll refer to them by their first initials. The woman was V, the husband, L. I only mention the wealthy part because this woman was obviously a very spoiled individual. I mostly just smiled vaguely and nodded when she would jabber on about some little trial she was going through, like being tempted to eat too many cookies. I kid you not. She would bring this up often. It was like, "I'm so progressed in my Christian walk that God is now left to deal with this tiny little sin of mine." She came across as shallow and silly and rather self-centered. Not nasty.

Well, her hubby had been to church without his wife for the first two weeks I had been using the church kitchen to accommodate the Bishops. He had smelled the food and then reported to his wife that the church was having potlucks and wasn't inviting them. This misapprehension was supported by the fact that he saw another woman of our congregation bringing a dish into the kitchen on these weeks. Several people from a nearby town's church had brought a casserole or two as well. But rather than ask anyone why he and his wife weren't being invited to a church potluck they simply condemned me as being evil and shutting them out since I seemed to be the one on charge of whatever was happening in that kitchen.

Both V and L showed up at church the third weekend after the fire. They were cool and aloof. I took little notice of that fact since I had a lot else on my mind and taking my time and energy. I had no reason to think that little ole' me was the cause of their attitude.

I had slipped out of the pew shortly before the end of services to check on the food in the oven. Only a few moments later I turned around to find myself face to face with V. She immediately launched into her condemnations of me. She prefaced her remarks by saying she was following Matt. 18's instruction to come to someone who has offended her. Naturally, I was completely befuddled as to what I had done to offend since my interaction with her had been nil for weeks. So I quietly indicated I was listening. She told me I was being cruel and had sinned against her because I was hosting church potlucks without bothering to invite her and her husband.

When I heard this I was actually relieved. A simple misunderstanding that could be cleared up in a moment.

No such luck.

I interrupted her with, "Oh, my V! That isn't what is happening! This isn't a potluck." I tried to explain how on church day I had no where else to accommodate the Bishops for a large meal so I was using church facilities to handle the situation. (I'll point out here this woman lived in a vast mansion of a house. I notice she wasn't offering to help with providing a house for a meal! She was too worried about her hardwood floors being ruined by little kids.) I told her that the logistics of gathering up the donated food as well as the food I'd prepared, then heating it up and serving it were most efficiently solved by doing it there at the church. I told her she could ask other church members and would quickly find out they were not invited to a church potluck either.

Her face remained cold and hard. She basically called me a liar by insisting it was a potluck. The conversation began to spiral because I then tried to appeal to her heart. I told her that I was exhausted (very true) and was just doing my best to help the Bishops. I'm sorry if she felt she had been overlooked but that wasn't the case. I was only minding my own business and trying to do what I could to help another family in a crisis.

At this time I knew absolutely nothing about malignant narcissism. If I had known anything I would have immediately spotted a giant red flag at this juncture. The more I tried to gain a bit of mercy and understanding the more of the opposite I was treated to. Her accusations escalated. The refrigeration unit was going full blast. She was one haughty, cold bitch.

Apparently she felt like my good deeds were showing her up, so she took it upon herself to show me how it was my fault she was looking bad for not helping. So far what I had said pointed out that other people were helping with the food. She immediately assumed this was because I had asked for them to bring food. I hadn't. A few other women figured that food was needed for church day and simply provided it without asking. V then told me she had asked me right after the fire to tell her if there was anything she could do to help. Why hadn't I called her and asked her to bring food? I told her I hadn't asked anyone to bring food. People saw a need and filled it. There was plenty of food therefore I didn't need to call anyone.

I vaguely remembered V saying to me within a day of the fire to call her if help was needed, but had not put any thought into it. It wasn't my job to tell other people what to do. Everyone else seemed able to figure out what to do without being told. I had not appointed myself master and commander of an organized help effort. It wasn't needed. Stuff was getting done!

At this point I was in tears. Part of that was the exhaustion, the other part was the supreme injustice I was being subjected to along with her cold and merciless attitude. At this point I reached exasperation. I threw my arms up in a gesture to demonstrate what I was saying, "V, what do you need!? A big flashing sign to tell you what to do? Other people have been able to help without me telling them what to do!!" I saw a look pass across her face when I had thrown up my arms and hands to look like it was a big sign. She stepped back half a step and raised her eyebrow along with this, "I have you now" look. I found out later what that look meant.

She continued with her accusations and cold, accusatory anger. I was beside myself. Dissolved. Desperate against the unfairness of it. Feeling like I was being kicked for only doing my very best. I was literally having a hard time breathing. It was just like getting a boot right in the mid-section. It was a feeling that resonated with a desperation I had felt in my youth with the same dynamic. Doing my best, getting back crap for it. My best efforts only perversely proving what a horrible person I was. Every effort to defend myself was rejected and used as proof that I was lying.

She shifted somewhat from the accusation I was throwing church potlucks because I kept slapping that one down and so she moved to a new accusation. She then told me I had no business using church property for a private exercise like feeding the Bishops. (How is that for compassion for the dispossessed Bishops?) V had married a man whose parents had help start up this particular church back in the 1940s. Although her husband had left the church entirely for all his adult life and had only started up attendance again in the last nine months they had this propriety sense toward the church. Like their last name alone gave them some kind of authority. So, she'd pulled out this new piece of crap from her back end to find another fault with me. In addition to everything else, I was misusing church property without asking for the express permission from the church board. A board that both my husband and I served on, and she and her husband did not! No one else had expressed concern about my "misuse" of church property. And never did. Reasonable people would never think to construe my use of the church kitchen as "misuse" of church property.

At some point this vicious bitch walked away from me while I was standing there, my face completely soaked in my tears. I was shaking in anger and grief. This whole scene went down unwitnessed by anyone but me. She had attacked me when I was alone and where no one could over hear. So, from beginning to end it was her word against mine.

She sidled right up to my friend, Mrs. Bishop. When I looked down the hallway I could see V talking with Mrs. Bishop and putting on a look of sympathy on her face toward Mrs. Bishop's plight. I couldn't stand it. I walked straight up to the two of them, rudely interrupted and said, "V, why don't you tell Mrs. Bishop what you just said to me back there in the kitchen." She was mum. There I stood, shaking and tearful; trying to get a witness, I suppose. "Tell her, V, how you are accusing me of something I didn't do. Tell her what a horrible person you think I am for simply trying to help Mrs. Bishop and her family! TELL HER!"

V needed to go somewhere right that very moment. She deflected my insistence she re-state her complaints to someone else by acting like I was a crazy woman and she didn't know what I was talking about. She turned on her heel and left the church.

This was the beginning of sorrows.

This post is long enough. I'll continue the story in the next post. For now, I need a break. I'm heading off for a nice, long walk in the sunshine. Next post I'll try to describe the fall-out from this event. It was the aftermath that made this whole episode much more painful. Disarmed by good Christians, I was denied the right to defend myself against the original accusations as well as the false ones which followed. My desire to defend myself was actually used by the pastor to assert that I was a weak Christian because I reacted emotionally. This was a man I had held great respect for. Ouch.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another Sister Story Otherwise Known As 'The Last Jab'

It was September 2005. It was the last time my sister had enough access to my heart that she could make me cry. It had been many, many years since she had made me cry because it had been many years since I'd allowed myself to trust her at all. As I've mentioned in other posts, since late 2002 my sister and I had rekindled a relationship based on our discussions about our mother. This began because of my mother's bad behavior in my home on Thanksgiving 2002 which is what eventually precipitated my cutting off my mother. Sister and I were conversing more often on a subject we could both agree on. Mom.

In September of 2005 I hadn't fully realized that I had let myself think I had an ally in my sister. I didn't realize to what extent I had let myself trust her enough that she could hurt me. This was yet another time when she took my trust and gleefully stomped on it all the while acting like she was doing no such thing.

Here's how it went down.

I had written to my mother in May 2005 to tell her I was going forever no contact. This prompted an angry letter from my father on June 3, 2005. He was a knight-in-shining-armor intent on slashing up the enemy to save his distressed damsel. I, of course, was now the enemy.

I read his letter to my sister and told her I would be replying to it. She decided she was going to write a letter too. In it, she would explain her experiences with our mother knowing it would buttress whatever I would be saying because we had the same mother. She encouraged our cousin "Lee" to write a letter telling her story of our mom's dealing with her and my daughter to tell hers. This meant my father received four letters over the course of that summer from four females in his family telling their own personal stories of life with my mother. Without collusion these letters were all describing the same monster over the span of four decades. This, according to my sister, was ostensibly to help prove to him that I was not being unreasonable in my stance against my mother which was the accusation being leveled at me by my father.

She was presenting herself to me as a solid ally in my case against our parents.

My sister was on speaking terms with our father at this time. I was not. He was conciliatory toward my sister. Not me. The difference? I was the one insisting on holding my mother to account and I had cut off contact. These were the giant sins in my father's eyes, especially the latter. My sister had said some similar things to our mother as I had said in my letters over the last 2 1/2 years, only my sister was much less tactful (something she freely admitted), yet I'm the one who was evil. Two reasons: My parents were used to my sister getting in our mother's face; it was a whole new thing for me to confront my mother. Secondly, my sister may rage and complain at our mother but she never threatened to cut off contact let alone actually go through with it as I had. My sister had a long history of very disrespectfully dealing with our mother. I, on the other hand, had been respectful while being directly truthful. Yet I was being portrayed as being a bad daughter. I was being cruel. It was a curious double-standard that suddenly cropped up when I had finally, for the first time in my life, stood up to my mother. I guess my parents don't so much mind my sister's angry and disrespectful dealings with mommy dearest. Probably because she never effectively hit on the truth of our mother. I was hitting the nail on the head...consequently, they were mightily unhappy with me.

I was also demanding something no one ever expected from my mother...a real, unvarnished apology and reparations in the form of taking back the character assassination campaign she'd embarked on since she returned home after that fateful Thanksgiving 2002 visit. She had come to me with her non-apology apology. But the one thing that would prove the sincerity of that apology she refused to do. She refused to go back to the people she had slandered me and my family to and tell them she was wrong and sorry as she was privately telling me in the safety of a letter.

Because my letters to my mother were deemed "cruel" and "disrespectful" my father was determined to take a hard line against me until I decided to behave "better". So even though he had received a letter from my sister at the same time he'd gotten mine, a letter in which she did not spare our mother, he was still conciliatory toward my sister.

"I got a rock", to quote Charlie Brown.

My first letter to my father, which I sent on June 17, 2005, was me pouring out my heart. I made a full-out effort to appeal to any shred of compassion he may possibly harbor toward me. It was an attempt to reach him with both logic and emotion. This letter was an attempt to have a conversation with my father that we'd never had. He was judging me by what Worm Tongue was whispering in his ear about me. He'd never bothered to ask me personally what I was thinking. He was judging and condemning my motives by what my mother was saying my motives were.

I waited three months for a response. It was not worth the wait. In the course of a few paragraphs he met my appeal for his compassion with a brick wall of deliberate missing-the-point, history revision, choosing to twist one sentence in my lengthy letter to pretend I had hurt his feelings, focusing in on one word in my letter to pretend I was cutting him off along with my mother when I had made it clear I still wanted him in my life. He insisted I was being cruel to my mother with the things I had said to her in my letters. And a load of other crap too deep to sum up here.

I remember reading his letter through the first time and then throwing the damnable thing on the floor and stomping on it. He was being a bully. He was insisting I must disregard all the abuses of the past, of both myself and many other family members, and pretend my mother was really, really sorry as he was insisting she was. Yeah, I was supposed to take his word for how sorry my mom was.

My next letter was not conciliatory. I decided to take him to the mat. Here is a sample paragraph of that letter:
Your response of Sept. 10th makes it clear that, in spite of having more information, you still condemn my letters, you still condemn my need for distance from Mom. I had the illusion that if you only, for once, heard the other side of the story that your unconditional support of Mom could be mitigated enough so you could allow others to make their decisions about her without having to contend with your condemnation. I see the truth of it now. No amount of information, at this point in time, will change your need to condemn me (to whatever extent) in order to lessen Mom's culpability. I wasn't asking you to climb into the judgment seat and decide how to divi up blame between my mother and me. Labeling me as being "part of the problem" is an example of your condemnatory judgment of me in order to make Mom less culpable. It is blame shifting. Neither she nor you have yet to let the full blame and consequences for her actions rest on her guilty shoulders without any caveats or blame-shifting. Part of the consequences of a life time of abusive behavior is that she no longer gets access to me and my family. Your refusal to graciously grant me this basic human right to protect me and mine illustrates why I can't trust that anything is changed. You would still offer no protection to your family from the machinations of your wife.
The words in bold directly above show that I had grasped the concept that self-defense is a right. It was a right I was holding to with all my might. I had been doing so since late 2002 as I dealt with my mother, and I continued to as I tried to reach a middle ground with my father.

Enter: sister. I read my second letter to my sister before I sent it to my father. She listened very quietly as I read it which was the first sign of her disapproval.

I finished reading my letter. She was still quiet. "Well?" I asked. "What do you think?" She assumed a school teacher tone with me like she had indulged the student by hearing them out and was now going to set the student straight.

Sister explained how my letter was very logical (a count against it in her mind), but it also seemed judgmental. She told me I was not going to win our father's heart by this rational approach (I was no longer trying to win his heart!). Also, I needed to leave him room to "save face". I had hemmed him in with my logic without any way for him to escape with his pride intact without acceding to my points. (!!??) Then she said my letter "sounded angry". She insisted I needed to examine my own motivations for saying what I was saying to see if any impure motives were inspiring my words. "Your letter comes across like you are trying to win" she stated without irony. Of course I was trying to win! I had the facts and truth on my side. Why wouldn't I try to win out against a bully?

I countered her every assertion. I did so fairly calmly and quite rationally. She maintained her position of moral superiority as the conversation continued. I was feeling a lot of things all at once. None of them pleasant. Eventually I began to cry. Frustration and overwhelm forced the tears from me. As I was crying I told her that our father was a bully and the only way for a bully to be forced to back down was to get in their face. I reminded her of multiple examples of his bullying behavior. I told her I didn't appreciate her telling me I didn't have the right to defend myself against the family bully! She started to waver.

Kathy's words below apply directly to what was going on in that conversation:

The victim NEEDS to know that he or she did what they could to resist their abuser! Don't EVER try to stop the victim from doing that!

Never, never, never preach prime-time morality at the victim making it a sin for him or her to yell right back at the abuser. Though yelling back may not be wise in all cases, it IS the victim's right. It at least lets him or her preserve self-respect through showing a backbone.
Sister was violating every "don't" in the words above.

I then went on to explain to my sister that over the course of the two weeks it had taken for me to write this letter I had, of course, taken the time to carefully examine my own heart. I didn't appreciate her deciding for me that my motives were not right. I know my own heart. She backed down, but without apology. She still maintained her calm, school-teacher tone and said, "Oh, well, very good. That was all I was asking you to do. To examine your own heart so you were not speaking out of anger." I did not miss the moral superiority showing through that comment.

As I've mentioned in other posts about my sister, she pretends that anger is always a morally wrong emotion to have. If a person shows anger they are automatically in the wrong regardless of the rightness of their position. I knew this was how she thought even at this time. Therefore, I didn't confess to her that, yes, I felt anger toward my father. I knew I was justified in my anger and I knew I hadn't "sinned" against him in my anger. There was nothing wrong with my letter to him. It was a demand for justice. Yes, I was judging him. He was demonstrably wrong! My sister had fully admitted to the rightness of my positions, but I just hadn't said it in such a way that would allow my dad to get away with being wrong and not feeling like he was in the wrong. What a bunch of ... malarky.

I was rather confused by my very visceral reaction to my sister's words. It felt like I had been clobbered by her. I got off the phone with her and resumed crying. I had a hard time sleeping that night. I woke up looking like crap with puffy eyes and face, a headache, and feeling depressed. I wrestled with perplexity at why I felt like I had been hit by a train.

She had tried to take away my right to defend myself. If I insisted on needing to resist the family bully, my father, it needed to not look like resistance, according to her. This was a double whammy. It was not only taking away my right to self-defense, it was a betrayal. She tipped her hand. She was not a friend. She was another enabler of the family evil. I understood all these things intellectually at the time. Yet I was still wondering why it affected me so deeply on an emotional level. Now I realize it is because:

When you cannot resist, you at least have the comfort of knowing that there was nothing you could do. But when you have the power to put up some resistance and don't - when you in effect say, "Here, take me and do what you will with me" - you feel like an abject worm.

The SHAME is unbearable. No exaggeration: it drives people to suicide.

For, what does it mean when a person accepts pain for another's pleasure? That goes against the instinct for self-preservation. So what happens to the victim's self? The victim no longer belongs to him- or her-self. The victim is possessed by the abuser. Like an arm or leg of his for him to use or abuse as he pleases.

It is the ultimate degradation...
Kathy is describing some very powerfully negative emotions which come about from being denied the right to self-defense either by others or by ones own self. "Unbearable shame" (for being forced to bend over for abuse when you have the power to resist), "ultimate degradation". Those are descriptions of tsunami-sized emotions which can be provoked in the victim by the abusers and the Holy Joes who insist the victim continue to offer themselves up for the pleasure of the abuser.

I contend that the damage the Holy Joes inflict is as bad, if not worse, than what the abuser dishes out. It would appear that is what Kathy herself believed by her descriptions above.

My father's letters had caused me to feel some anger and much determination. I was not overwhelmed by what he was attempting to force me to do because I knew I could and would resist. His letters could not provoke me to cry. I was not turned into an emotional wreck by his lies and assertions and history revision. I knew what side he was on. But a pretended ally, a supposed friend had the power to take my heart and wring it out. Because I had let myself trust my sister, she was able to mightily test my belief that I had the right to stand up to my father. My father who is an abuser. If for no other reason, he proves he is an abuser by insisting I open myself up to my mother's abuse yet again. All his compassion was for his monstrous wife. None for me. He proved to me that he approves of tyranny. I was being told I mustn't stand up to tyranny when I obviously had the power to do so.

Obviously, my sister had just as little compassion for me as my abusive parents had. I suddenly found myself having to hold onto my right to self-defense in the face of my sister's disapproval and moral condemnation. She, who held herself out to be a serious Christian, was trying to disarm me in the name of Christianity. That is a powerful club. To feel that one must risk God's condemnation as well as the condemnation of His supposed followers is a mighty tide to work against. It damn near overwhelmed me.

Once my sister had reduced me to tears, she seemed smugly satisfied. She made no apology for forcing me to plead my case with tears. She was righteously self-assured and pronounced me "clean" after she had successfully tested my soul. I was stunned by all of this. Who the hell was she? Why did she get to sit in the judgment seat to test my heart and then get to decide if my motives were right? Only after she felt assured of the purity of my motives was my letter now fit to send. You see, after this tussle, she said, "I think you should definitely send your letter." WTF? NOW, it is okay to send it? Obviously, this proved she could truly see nothing wrong with my letter. She could only condemn the content if I had written said content with some impure motivation. What a vile, egregious, and gratuitous grab for power over me she went for! This was a big red flag...and I took it as such.

From this moment I knew I would never trust her again. Ever. I quietly resolved to keep this viper well-distanced from me. It was six months later that she pulled her last stunt and found herself on the outside of my life. You know the rest of the story.

This post is yet another glimpse into the "sister" story in addition to an example of how degraded and desperate a person feels when some bystander takes it upon themselves to tell a person they must willingly submit to their abuser(s). The feelings in the victim are nothing short of cataclysmic because it is demanding the victim willingly submit to their own degradation. Your right to self-defense is your right. Not a right someone else gives you out of the largess of their heart and their whim. It is a God-given right.

What God gives is not man's right to take away.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

On Psychopathy and Lying

After reading this post from LoveFraud.com I'm anxious to read the recommended book, Criminal Interrogation: A Modern Format for Interrogating Criminal Suspects Based on the Intellectual Approach, by Warren D. Holmes.

From LoveFraud.com:

Many Lovefraud readers have expressed the desire to know how to “out” a psychopath/sociopath. In this book Mr. Holmes gives his ideas about this subject. In his Chapter “How People Lie” he discusses the neurotic liar and compares lies told by these people to psychopathic liars. He has also listed and categorized what he calls “liar statements.” These are statements that signal someone is lying. In reading his list, I found that psychopaths/sociopaths use many of these.

Here are his categories of liar statements:

To read the list and the rest of the article go here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Kathy Krajco: "Self-Preservation Under Narcissistic Abuse"

I'm putting this blog post of Kathy's up with the intention of following up in the days ahead with two experiences I had when being told I was wrong to defend myself. I had very visceral reactions to the 'moralizers' which I didn't clearly understand at the time.


Self-Preservation Under Narcissistic Abuse

I don't see how it can be so difficult for many people to see what is so wrong about denying a person (or any sentient creature) the right to use any means necessary to protect and defend themselves from abuse. All it takes is a little thought. And empathy. Just put yourself in the victim's place and then ask yourself how it would feel to have to bend over for it. More important, ask yourself what that would MEAN.

It's the MEANING in things that many people prefer to unsee.

There are many issues over which reasonable people may disagree, but this is not one of them. There is a right and wrong answer here. Those who prefer the wrong one just disregard all reasoning to the contrary with the old "Yes but...." That is invalid. Those people lose the argument hands down, because they don't have valid answers for their opponents' points.

I don't throw my pearls before swine, but here is an effort to explain for those who honestly haven't seen enough of life yet to understand but are willing to understand.

I warn you that this is an unpleasant subject.

Examples speak louder than words.

Why do you suppose that, until not so long ago, a convicted criminal in Europe had to approach his executioner, fall upon his knees before his executioner, and pay the executioner to torture him to death?

What sick mind dreamed up that idea?

If you research the topic, you will find a hundred details of execution rituals that drum on the same theme: in all, the victim (as he was called) was constrained by every means possible to OFFER HIMSELF UP (or to seem to be offering himself) to abuse. Why? Why did one have to kneel down before the executioner and lay his head on the chopping block in even the least cruel form of execution?

In Europe you didn't have the inalienable human right to pursue happiness. It could be taken away from you by the Church or State so you would have to pursue pain instead. That is why you had to give evidence against yourself. That is why you had to offer yourself to torture and execution. Refusal to would be a sin and a crime.

How's that for perverted?

You were declared "out law" (i.e., outside the protection of the law) and condemned to penal servitude. That is a fancy name for enslavement to serve as an object for someone else to punish with abuse. You had to surrender yourself to abuse for that other's "pleasure."

Think what that means. It means that you no longer belong to yourself. Think how it violates the instinct for self-preservation. It's an enforced self-masochism.

This is what our forefathers outlawed with the outlawing of "cruel and unusual punishment." France soon followed suit with the guillotine as a humane form of execution in which the the condemned did not have to offer himself to harm.

This is what rape is all about. It's not about sex: it's about power. Absolute power over another. The rapist demonstrates how powerful he is being on another by forcing the victim to offer herself to abuse. Well, he is deluding himself of course, because these are only copulatory reflexes and not the act of the victim's will. But this is why the victims of rape find it so degrading. It is the ultimate degradation.

Like medieval torturers, serial killers must lay awake nights dreaming up new ways to accomplish the same thing. Always the bottom line is the same though: demonstrate absolute power on the victim by somehow making the victim give themselves up to the abuse. It's the ultimate narcissistic high.

The black art of torture is all about this skill in making the victim offer himself (or seem to offer himself) to the instruments of torture. This is the aspect of torture that torments the victim so for the rest of his or her life.

When you cannot resist, you at least have the comfort of knowing that there was nothing you could do. But when you have the power to put up some resistance and don't - when you in effect say, "Here, take me and do what you will with me" - you feel like an abject worm.

The SHAME is unbearable. No exaggeration: it drives people to suicide.

For, what does it mean when a person accepts pain for another's pleasure? That goes against the instinct for self-preservation. So what happens to the victim's self? The victim no longer belongs to him- or her-self. The victim is possessed by the abuser. Like an arm or leg of his for him to use or abuse as he pleases.

It is the ultimate degradation. The victim ceases to exist as a person. No human being with the ability to resist and a spine will submit to it. You have to (morally) break a person's back to make them docilely submit to abuse.

So, for the sake of the victim's mental health, you must NEVER deny him or her the right to put up a fight.

Denying a person under any kind of assault this right is what theologians call the sin of "extreme perversity," otherwise known as the Sin of Sodom, which a certain kind of rape - RAPE, not sex - is symbolic.

It violates the laws of nature and the innate instinct for self-preservation. If the victim knuckles under to psuedo-moralistic pressure to not lift hand or voice in self defense, he or she will hate themselves and become a suicide risk. That is forcing people to commit the worst breech of faith there is - with one's very self. It's self-betrayal, what Joan of Arc called the "most wretched treason."

The victim NEEDS to know that he or she did what they could to resist their abuser! Don't EVER try to stop the victim from doing that!

Never, never, never preach prime-time morality at the victim making it a sin for him or her to yell right back at the abuser. Though yelling back may not be wise in all cases, it IS the victim's right. It at least lets him or her preserve self-respect through showing a backbone.

The same with any use of force. It is not a sin. It may not be wise in some cases, but it IS the victim's right. Only very recently has the word violence been used to describe the use of force in self defense. It isn't rightly (or legally) "violence" because it doesn't violate anything.

The same with resistance through divorcing the poor, little, sad and lonely narcissist, through abandoning the abuser, or through running away from home or skipping school. The victim has the right to self-preservation and the pursuit of happiness. Always.

If you really want to help, suggest better, more effective ways to resist. But don't ever just sit there and say, "Don't do this" and "Don't do that". Buzz off if that's all you have to say.

In fact, by making it evil for the victim to fight back or escape in any conceivable way, the holier-than-thous clamp the valves shut on a pressure cooker. Sooner or later something's gotta give. The victim WILL eventually snap. Then you have a suicide or homicide as a result. And the holier-than-thou bystanders who had persecuted the victim into docile submission with their immoral moralizing share a large part of the blame.

You can tell that the holier-than-thous are insincere. Pay attention to how much wind they spend on criticizing the abuser compared to how much wind they spend on criticizing the victim. You'll find the ratio is about 99:1.

They preface their remarks with something like, "Well there's is no excuse for what he did but..." and off they go on a faultfinding expedition.

When they're done, add up all the fault found. Who was found in? All fault found in the victim for fighting back. Not one word about what the abuser did.

They should be examining their own consciences, not the victim's, because what they are doing is very wrong and very, very damaging to an already abused victim. And they are serving the abuser, helping him to abuse and get away with it.

By Kathy Krajco, "What Makes Narcissists Tick" blog.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Refresher on the Savior Complex

I stumbled across a draft for a blog post that I started almost a year ago and never finished. I'll post it now cuz, hey, it still applies. It was only two paragraphs long when I last saved it, but there is something to be said for brevity. Especially around here where I mostly go on at great length. Hang on, I can probably manage to make this another long post. *grin*

I rankle at the unconsciously grandiose thinking of many Christians that they must save the narcissist. Like their very presence is necessary in order for God to work some miracle in the narcissist. It is this kind of thinking that keeps narcissists fed and good people dancing with evil. Even though there is no biblical foundation for the belief that we must stay in relationships with evil people, Christians go on blithely with their savior complexes never conceptualizing that their savior complex is naive at best, enabling of evil at worst. It is like all the Scriptures which categorically command us to distance ourselves from evil don't apply if we are married to it or related to it. Which flies in the face of Christ's own words. See Matt. 10:37.

Let me say this about a 'savior complex'.

Point one: a savior complex is actually a denial of the power of God to save.

Point two: Therefore, it shows your unbelief, not your great faith, in God's power.

Point three: it is indicative of a need you have to control. You think that by staying in a close relationship with a narcissist that you can somehow be there for that moment where the narcissist is suddenly open to 'salvation'. Only you have the ability to see that crystalline moment of recognition and exploit it to the salvation of the narcissist. A savior complex reveals you think too highly of yourself.

Can you see that thinking you must be there for the narcissist to be saved is not a proof or proclamation of your great faith in God? It is the very opposite! It is proof of how much confidence you have in yourself, not the confidence you have in your God.

A savior complex is a denial of the power of God's own Spirit to work out the mysterious power of salvation in a life without your power accompanying it.

God knows we have no power to save another human being. He doesn't ask us to save. He asks us to present truth. He then tells us that if that truth is rejected we are to move on. "Do not cast your pearls before swine" was Christ's instruction. He told the disciples to carry the truth to the various towns. If the truth was rejected they were to stamp the very dust of that town off of their shoes and leave. Endless importunities were not prescribed. The stamping of the dust off the shoes was a symbol. A symbol of the discharge of their responsibility toward those people. They had presented the truth. The truth was rejected. Therefore, the responsibility toward that truth was now resting on the people, not the bearer of truth. The disciples would be wasting their energy and efforts by staying and pleading with those who rejected truth. Christ would have them move on to more promising fields of labor and not waste their limited time, energy or resources on an endless quest to convince the un-convinceable. Learn from the Word of God that a belief in your powerful presence as an agent of change for the narcissist is not a virtue and is working in opposition to how God actually works.

Side note: Christ didn't declare those towns which rejected the Gospel as damned. He simply told the disciples to move on knowing they were relieved before God of their responsibility. It doesn't mean God was done working with those people. It meant that He would bring in different agencies and circumstances to hopefully open up closed hearts to His truth. Just because you've discharged your duty doesn't mean there is no hope left. It only means you are not going to be the direct instrument of God's hand. Perhaps an indirect one. Maybe God knows you would take the glory if you were there for the moment of someone's conversion. So, He has you plant the seed and move on in order to preserve the integrity of your soul. Think about that.

Now, to the aborted post of last summer.


Christians...listen up. All the platitudes and bromides you've been weaned on do not apply to narcissists. Quit coddling, excusing, justifying and enabling evil to thrive. Your well-intentioned desire to "save" the narcissist is back-firing. You are supporting evil when you don't hold evil people accountable for their behavior.

Christians, of all people, should be the last ones who excuse or support evil people, yet, somehow, they do it everyday thinking themselves to be good Christians by giving a pass to out right evil behaviors just so they look like "nice" people. Turn on your brains and think. Stop acting how you think you should act in order to impress all your friends with your great Christian heart. Sometimes the right thing to do isn't necessarily the "nice" thing. The Gospel of Nice is not the Gospel of Christ. You are morally weak if you are giving a pass to evil narcissists. Period. Yes, even if that narcissist is your parent.

As I've stated in recent posts, when you decide to stop feeding the narcissist, when you quit playing by their rules, you have declared war. The narcissist is in this war to maintain what they value most...power over you. You are in the war to eradicate evil from your sphere of influence.

This is serious business. No one enters war lightly. Count the costs before you engage; once engaged, do not settle for less than victory.


I wrote this abortive post last August. A few days later I wrote, "When Good is Bad". The closing paragraphs from this post go into greater detail on what you've just read above:

It is no small thing to let your goodness be exploited, used, and manipulated by predatory narcissists. Your good qualities are only good if they support good. All too often people fall for the notion that their eternal patience and determined belief in the good of all people will cause others to rise to the occasion. The narcissist will never rise to this occasion in the way you hope. They will only see opportunity for protective coloration by standing very close to you and letting your goodness hide their badness.

It is imperative for you, your family, and your social circle that you engage your rational powers and start discerning between good and evil. Discernment = judgment. Not a bad word. I have said before that "nice people suck". In this context, of how "nice" people often let themselves be used by evil people, I am speaking. There is a time for everything. Always being "nice" is a sign that you do not understand there is a time to not be "nice". There is a time to judge. A time to take an unpopular stand. A time to hold evil-doers to account no matter the cost to you. A time to protect the innocent and abused from those who have very successfully hidden their malignancy heretofore. A time for war.
The only time we should engage with evil is to defeat it. Quit trying to reason with evil. Evil is, by its very nature, unreasonable. Quit trying to save the evil. Evil recognizes no need for salvation.

Show how great your faith in God is by leaving the saving to Him.