Monday, September 03, 2007

Your Most Fundamental Right

Your most fundamental right, the right given to all living creatures be they man or beast, is the right to self-defense. A fundamental right is defined as any right that can be simultaneously claimed by all without infringing on another person's rights. Self-defense falls into this definition. Your right to protect yourself, your property, and your family can be exercised without infringing on another person's right to the same. The fundamental right to LIVE is the basis of the fundamental right of self-defense.

I contend that only a tyrant-at-heart will try to make a case that you do not have the right to self-defense. Narcissists are always tyrannical which is why they will teach their children at the youngest age that the child has no right to self-defense. This is taught to the child through brain-washing techniques which is why the child grows into an adult and still won't exercise their most basic human right. One of the hallmarks of self-defense is that you will use the minimum force necessary to eliminate the imminent threat. For example, if you stab someone 45 times the police will not likely believe you were acting in self-defense. That kind of over kill is the hallmark of rage and hatred, not self-defense.

We need to address the woefully rigid thinking of many Christians on this subject. They will cluck their tongues and mutter on about the need to "turn the other cheek" if they are forced to witness an abused individual try to assert their right to self-defense even if that self-defense is merely in the form of walking away. Near as I can tell, when Christ issued instructions to "walk an extra mile" and "turn the other cheek" the primary context is when an individual is under the power of a civil authority. The immediate context of His instructions were to not engage in retribution (i.e "eye for an eye"). Retribution is quite different than self-defense. There is plenty of Biblical instruction to defend the self and those in your care from evil by withdrawing from it. That is self-defense. There are numerous Biblical examples of God's people going to war in order to defend life and country. Withdrawing from an evil person or situation is the use of the right to self-protection. Withdrawing, i.e. going no contact, is exercising the minimum "force" necessary to provide for one's self defense. It isn't even "force" at all. The only force applied in going No Contact is forcing that person to stop hurting you. Expect the narcissist to howl that you are doing something immoral by refusing all contact. Again, that is the roar of the frustrated tyrant.

I can hear Christians still arguing against the I'll go a step further. Look at nature. If you truly believe that God created everything then look at how He created all creatures with some ability to defend themselves. Some of the most apparently helpless creatures have advantages of stealth and camouflage at their disposal. What is camouflage but using pattern and color to deceive the predator's eye? Yes, even the God of Heaven justifies the use of deception in order to protect the helpless from predation. Some creatures' self-defense come in the form of building holes, forts and dens. Hiding is usually a very effective form of self-defense and is seen all throughout nature. Look at the ways that certain animal mothers will protect their young. The use of teeth, claws, strength and fierce mien is unhesitatingly used to protect herself and her young. When a fierce mother bear feels her young are threatened she will apply force unapologetically...and will stop applying force the moment she feels the threat is over. Yes, she may go over-board in our estimation...but she is an animal. We are moral beings in addition to being sentient. We can better gauge the level of force necessary to self-protect which will rarely require bloodshed. Thankfully. Camouflage (hiding in plain sight), hiding in protective covering, or brute force. All these principles of self-defense are seen in every aspect of God's creation. The predators may also use these methods, nevertheless, no creature is found without some built-in knowledge or ability to self-defense. That includes YOU.

When you hear anyone arguing against the right for others to defend themselves from a threat to their person or property you are witnessing the spirit of the tyrant. Resist tyranny. Never attempt to deprive yourself or others of the right to self-defense otherwise you will be playing into the hands of the despot and risk imbibing of the spirit of the despot yourself if you insist on others not exercising their right to self-defense.

If you have scruples against defending yourself, do not feel free to foist your scruples onto someone else. Have your scruples, but leave others alone to theirs. You can decide to be lunch for a predator, but your rights stop there. You have no right to demand others to willingly surrender themselves to be a predator's meal.

Recognize the reality that the narcissist will never give you "permission" to defend yourself against them. Quit being confused as to your rights to self-defense when confronted by the threatenings and breathings against you by the narcissist for doing so. Is it reasonable to expect the despotic ruler to grant you the right to mount a defense against his capricious demands? Hardly. It is time to recognize your fundamental right to live which is connected to your fundamental right to defend your life against threats. This is as true in the emotional, mental and spiritual realm as in the physical.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely RIGHT ON!

Anonymous said...


Tried sending you an email but it came back undeliverable.

Just wanted to know if you could talk about grandchildren of narcissists. Cutting them off is one thing, explaining it to your kids is almost impossible.

Any suggestions?


Anna Valerious said...

Thanks, Jordie, for bringing the email problem to my attention. It was a typo in the email field. Duh, me.

I have thought about this subject recently and wondered if I should attempt to address it. I will see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

Jordie, we are in the middle of this same issue. The Ns are the grandparents (DH's parents).

We have tried to stick with a basic: "They have been very unkind and it's not a good idea/safe to be in contact with them right now. Let's pray for them right now . . ." (We are Christians, so we prefer that the children think of their grandparents in the context of prayer rather than in other contexts.) As the NC goes on and on, this will be difficult to maintain. We've gotten away with it for almost a year so far, and it helps that the time of NC coincided with a move 3000 miles away.

Anna, we would really like to hear your thoughts on this as well. We're pretty much flying blind!


Regular Reader

Anonymous said...

I tell my children "your grandmother is not a very nice person and I don't want you exposed to not-nice people."

End of conversation. If they ask more I will explain what is appropriate.

Anna Valerious said...

Excellent way to deal with it, Barbara. Short, sweet, truthful, to-the-point. Let me guess...this worked well?

Anonymous said...

Referring to your first two paragraphs, I would like to offer a clarifying concept that is being developed in my political/philosophical discussions. It is the idea of positive and negative rights.

A negative right is the right to be left alone, not to be aggressed against. As such, there is no claim or obligation against any other person. The right to one's life and property does not need anything from someone else to be in effect.

A positive right does make a claim against someone, for example someone claiming the right to be supported by another is making a claim against that other person. As such, there are very few instances where this is justified, an example being the positive right of children to be cared for.

Narcissists are always demanding positive rights while blatantly disregarding others' negative rights.

Thank you for your blog,
Cassandra :-)

Anonymous said...

Yep self defense is not a right. The moment you start defending yourself in yet another of those ridiculous arguments where you try to defend yourself and your mother interrupts you. She calls it sassing back. Anything she doesn't want to here is sassing. While you sit and listen wishing very dearly that she would just shut up.

Anonymous said...

Uh. Huh.
And when an N-'parent' removes your right to, your knowledge of, your strength for, the art of self-defense, they also leave you wide open to other predators, yes?

My family, it seems to me, has suffered an abnormally high level of sexual abuse, from brothers molested by a parish priest on 'camping trips', to the husband of cousin - who I had loved and trusted - trying to rape me in my bathroom at age 15 while his wife and my parents chatted upstairs, to local shopkeepers propositioning me when I was just 13. (Of course, none of us trusted our N-'mother' or weak father enough to go to them with these problems right away, and when the stories finally came out, there was as little support and as much Emotional Cannibalism of the matters by 'Mom' as you'd imagine).

I'm now 42, and well able to defend myself, but I find local people that I barely know touching me, on my arm or back, in an invasive and over-comfortable way, a way they'd dare not employ with a local (Thai) woman they didn't know.

I know about boundaries now, and how to set them. Yet still I feel vulnerable to these things. I know people who were raised with healthy boundaries, who are as warm and friendly as I can be, but whose warmth and friendliness is never misconstrued the way mine can be. I am convinced that being raised by a MN-'mother' has installed some kind of Vulnerability Beacon in me (and my siblings) that sends an alert to nearby predators. Am I off-base, d'you think? And, if not, could you write about this dynamic sometime, Anna? I'd love to know your thoughts.

Anna Valerious said...


I am vastly under-qualified to speak to this issue. I am an ACON, but I do not deal with this. People know to keep their hands off of me. I do believe there is likely some signal you project that invites too much familiarity. What that is would be impossible for me to know since I can't observe you. I suggest you find a good therapist. I really think this is something you could resolve rather readily with a little help from an objective observer. Probably a matter of changing the subtle cues you unknowingly transmit. How much of this is attributable to your Nmother I can't say. We learn ways of interacting socially at a barely cognizant age so it can be hard for us to see ourselves as others do. So, again, I think a good therapist could help you pinpoint your signals and help you install some new ones. You won't have to become unfriendly or prickly to accomplish this either. I can understand why you would be somewhat distressed at practical strangers not respecting your personal space. It is invasive. I hope you will share with others here if you do seek help and find resolution to this problem. I am sure you're not the only one who experiences this.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I just wanted to say that I love this post. You are so right. The thing that made my mum the angriest with me growing up was me defending myself. She literally stripped my self-defense mechanisms from me until I didn't have them anymore, which obviously made me vunerable to yet more abuse!
I also want to comment on something Ruby has said about people misconstruing our intent or responding inappropriately (touching etc). I've had this in the past too. I personally think this can be as a result of something non-verbal and subtle in the habitual way we move or hold ourselves as a survivor of N abuse. (People definitely pick up habitual body language/movements from their family backgrounds.) I think this because after doing a form of bodywork called Alexander technique (I went for back and sleeping problems), where they retrain the way you move, my body language has changed and I no longer get these types of approaches. It might be something for Ruby to also try? For something that is a physical process, Alexander technique has also helped me process my emotional/family garbage more efficiently and deal with stress better. I think it is very complementary to counselling etc.

Anonymous said...

*Thank you* for explaining that Christians have a right to self-defense! I escaped an N spouse who literally wanted to kill me; it helps to see this explanation of how it's okay and *good* to God when we defend the lives He gave us.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! This is so true. I am at what I thought was the end of dealing with my NMother only to find that I'm not. I, like you, moved in with my mother after I divorced just until I could get on my feet and find a place for my son and myself. She was aware of the fact that I wasn't going to stay but when I started to look for somewhere else her reaction went something like this:
1. (lots of tears) "What is wrong with living with me - I thought you wanted to get on your feet"
2. "Don't listen to me I am just the stupid fool who raised you (hahahaha my grandparent's did because she didn't give me the time of day)
3. "You'll see. If you move now you will come crawling back to me for help again and this house does not have a revolving door"
4. "You'll never be able to look after your son like I can."

That was when I defended myself. And that is when all hell broke loose. Her initial comments which I let go over my head to a degree then turned to:

"Get out, stay out and don't either of you EVER contact me again."

I thought that finally me defending myself worked. How wrong I was. After almost two years she is back causing trouble - with my brother in tow. It seems that after letting the dust settle they are now wanting to claim visitation to my child.

It is our right to defend ourselves and, with the N Mother we are the only ones that ever will because they have everyone else believing that they are the best people in the world. The moment we even attempt to say anything about how we are treated, what we have been through, etc their army of blind soldiers surround us and kick us down further.

Perseverence is the key. Two years is a long time of fun, love and laughter to give up because something ugly raised it's head again. You're right - we just have to remember self-defence.

Rhoadan said...

The comment about sassing got me thinking about the N that used to be in my life. Not a parent, thank FSM. Someone I'd known for years and then went into business with. I eventually learned to decode some of her key phrases. "Picking a fight" meant daring to disagree with her. "Yelling" at her meant that you tried to actually be emphatic/assertive with her. Great ways to disarm someone trying to defend themselves. Anyway, I am quite glad have her out of my life.

I have the sneaking suspicion that her husband still hasn't figured it out.

Unknown said...

Hello Anna,
Thank you for shining redemption into our lives as well as yours.
This is a kickin site for sure:)
My response to the fundamental right of self protectionis as follows;
As I read, it dawned on me that whenI began karate classes was when I began to start seeing my mother with a more objective , keen eye.
If you are interested, I'll bet I am not the only one.
May I suggest a blog on using physical self-defense courses as a way to lead into a stronger awakening of the possibility of the other self-defenses needed to break off from the soul-sucking narcisists in people's lives?
Pardon me if this has already been addressed.
I am new to your blog, and reading a bit at a time.
Kudos girl, and may God richly bless you "She who refreshes others will herself be refreshed"<3

Unknown said...

I so don't get this. Does anybody get this? My mother would often get into trouble with her big mouth. I remember a time a grown man was yelling at me over what my mother had said. Mother never said anything.

The only thing I can think of is that he was too afraid of her and went at me instead. I was 18 at the time, bruised and beaten down to my soul. A healthy 18 year old would have told that man who was responsible. But not me.

I don't get it. It will come to me if I don't try too hard. I'm just remembering this now.

Tundra Woman said...

The most fundamental task of any parent is protection of their off-spring. Since I live remotely I see this on a regular basis in the world of wildlife. I have never seen a paw, a beak, a hoof raised towards their young. I have seen them fight to the death to protect their little ones. Even in the world of animals this is a constant, recurrent behavior.

We didn't get that. Instead, the roles were reversed and we became their "protecters." We were pushed out in front as sacrificial offerings, as the Sherpas of all the problems and conflicts CAUSED as a result of the NP's behavior towards others-including ourselves. We blamed ourselves for all the problems in the relationship with the NPs, just as we were assiduously trained to do from our earliest memories and experiences: "I was 18 at the time, bruised and beaten down to my soul." Me too. How did this come about? By being ruthlessly terrorized and terrified into "compliance" with all their whims, wishes and demands. We were just kids trying to survive despite their relentless and successful efforts to deprive us of our right to self-preservation. Is it any surprise so many of us end up in disasters of relationships in our younger years? We were trained to be fodder for every Predator out there. It felt "normal" to live in fear and powerlessness.
We did not have "childhoods" or "growing up." Instead, we became mini-adults, way too old, way too young. We were burdened with their (often self-generated) adult "problems" and tasked with "solving" them. There was no boundary between the world of Adults and the world of Children. I have no idea what it means to experience a "care-free" process of maturation. It was being forced to jump back and forth between "Now be an adult" and "Now be my child" that was so difficult and left gaping holes in some knowledge areas and over-developed knowledge in other areas. ex: I lacked basic knowledge of concepts like Boundaries and had way too much information on my Dad's impotence-in the 1950's during middle childhood.
The memories are often locked away. IMO, we have to feel safe before they start to surface. Sometimes, they still bring me to my knees even now as an old widow, just little memories that pop up, like what happened my first day of First Grade. If we lived through the event, we'll live through the re-telling to ourselves. In my experience, it is through this re-telling our personal narrative starts to make sense. There *is* Accountability for all of us, including our NPs who failed at even their most primal role: Protection of their children. For that, they are entirely responsible.

Unknown said...

Thanks Tundra Woman, I really appreciate your help. Yes, I was in two disastrous marriages, a best friend for 20 years and these freaks were the most covert sadistic as can be.

When that man was yelling at me, I used to think 'oh mother was too scared to stop him'. But know I know better cause she was smirking, cause when I looked over at her I caught her doing that then, when she saw me looking, she shrugged her shoulders. This was a signal for me that she had no control. She was scared herself. She started the whole thing and now didn't know what to do. She shrugged her shoulders to make me think she felt bad. But that's the whole mind bending part. She was trying to push the blame off herself, and when I looked at her she looked sorry, so I felt sorry for her!

I have got to try to understand covert aggressiveness is just that. It has no place in the real world. I lived in an upside down world. I took punishment to protect her. Not only was I protecting her, I was feeling sorry for her!

How hard was it for her to say to the man "Look I did it". And how could he not have known it was her and not me? At 18 that was the first thing I was thinking. No that would have all been too normal. So instead of reality, I had to go back to the upside down world.

But when I saw her shrug her shoulders, I had to step up to the plate, I was the sacrifice. That was normal.

So I'm learning a lot, and I appreciate the help, Thanks again Tundra Woman.

reg said...

It is easy to feel dignified by proselytizing the victim to love her/his tormentor/killer. Just the killer also proselytize same. But who cares the poor victim, who is forced to accept terms of the killer.
It is easy to correct the victim, blame the victim. (S)he is terrified to understand the narc sympathizer.
It is easy to make the victim to swallow the corrections. But who correct the narc ? Who stops evil actions of the Narc? Who save the life and sanity of the victim? Who stop the victim from being the pawn of the Narc. Who would ease the pain of the victim.

Unknown said...

Hi there Anna, I am asking permission to use the last three comments for copy and paste for my blog "Afraid of My Shadow". So may I please?

It will add tremendous value to what I will be speaking about next, and hopefully be beneficial to the ACON community. Oh, and I'm not making money with it. I just want to tell my story.

I'm not sure where else to ask this, and if you don't respond I will be ok with that.

Thank you so much, Joan S

Anna Valerious said...

Thanks for asking. I only ask you give attribution with a link to the post.

Unknown said...

Thank you, and will definitely do that. Thanks again.

IanIan said...

Does this argument render pacifists as tyrants?

Anna Valerious said...

A pacifist is someone who doesn't believe in the use of violence or war. A person who is a pacifist is only able to have this conviction for themselves. This is because a pacifist isn't, by his own convictions, able to force other people to also be pacifists. So, no, a true pacifist is someone who won't engage in force to get their way and therefore wouldn't be able to be a tyrant.

Someone can fake pacifism long enough to disarm someone else and then hypocritically use force on the now disarmed. But I think we can agree that person was never really a pacifist ... just a tyrant hiding under a pacifist cloak.

A pacifist may choose to not defend himself against the predations of those who would like to enslave him or take his property. But a pacifist isn't in possession of a moral argument that entitles him to take away someone else's right to defend themselves.

IanIan said...

Yes I suppose there's no need for a pacifist to attempt to argue away someone else's rights. Although I think they'd be justified in arguing non-forcefully that other's might choose not to exercise them.