Category Archives: Bullying

Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog

“There is a story I love about a butterfly struggling to leave it’s cocoon, it is tempting for someone watching to want to try and help – because the whole process looks so painful and takes many hours. But if you step in and cut the cocoon off the butterfly it will never leave the ground and soon die – because forcing itself out of the cocoon is what pushes the newly hatched insects vital fluids into its wings.”

This link is from a couple in Australia who have a recovering narcissist/codependent marriage. They have powerful support and a great ministry around their own experience. I don’t know if Steve was a clinical NPD; he sounds more like a programmed one or the son of an NPD, but they have great articles and books, and do an excellent job of getting information and support and HOPE to those in these kinds of marriages.

via Don’t Try This With a Narcissist | Narcissistic Personality Disorder Blog.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Bullying, divorce, Help with Narcissism--, Love ed, Marriage, Mental Health, Respect and disrespect, Uncategorized

Don’t Pursue a Distancer

My husband has gotten into the ten-second rule, and I like it.

I read my blogs to him to see if he approves before I post them, and it’s very helpful because he’s a voracious reader. So for the past three days, whenever one of us gets negative or critical, he’s been saying, “Ok you’ve got three seconds,” or he starts counting seconds. When I realized what he was doing, I got into it, and it has been good–even fun. It’s a great boundary, and incorporates another relationship strategy of working on the same issue consciously at the same time. That is how you shorten the constant of distance between you.

That just means that everyone gets together at an emotional distance that is tolerable for them, and that becomes a constant in the relationship. If something causes one of you to distance, the other one will pursue to keep the constant distance, otherwise you both get uncomfortable. Status quo is powerful and causes you to do this back and forth distance-pursuer dance. But if one of you crashes and burns in an affair or addiction, the other needs to step back, even if it means leaving, until the burnt one recognizes the distance shift and cares enough to choose help. Then the partner can come back, otherwise they are enabling.

To change the constant distance, you both have to recognize that you want to, and you want to be closer. So you have to do the same thing at the same time (pursue) in order to lessen the distance. It’s a great thing to learn. The axiom goes, “Don’t ever pursue a Distancer. And don’t give a Pursuer an inch of slack.” Or in other words–if your partner distances, distance. If your partner pursues, pursue. Mirror them (unless they are crashing and burning.) That is the way to become closer.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Becoming real, Bullying, Living well, Love ed, Marriage, Mental Health, Respect and disrespect, sex addiction, suffering, Uncategorized

Boundaries

So ISIS beheaded another 21 people–Egyptians–this week. In the name of God? I think not. The one before that was an American woman. Before that burning the Jordanian pilot. They are going for reaction and intimidation. Notice how tall their black-clad executioners are compared to their victims. They are going for fear. It brings up some important questions:

How could they possibly think a God who died for freedom would approve? Or is that why they hate Christians–because we believe in a God who died to guarantee our freedom? Are these guys so demented that they actually think God rules with force? The word demented has ties with “demon” –have they been so pounded on by people who were controlled by demons that their boundaries cracked and they allowed evil to take over?

Were they so powerless, so mistreated as children and became so angry or were so hurt that they chose evil in the form of revenge? They have attracted many such “demented” people. Do they all really think God is like them? Or is this just an excuse to act out their rage?

What caused them to feed such rage? Helplessness? Powerlessness?

Have they thrown off their ties to their own religion in order to vent their fury? Or are they really deluded into thinking they are acting righteously?

I’ve read their holy book, and it says over and over–more than anything else–that Allah is most gracious and most merciful! Where is their disconnect?

I love it when the things I’m thinking and the things I read converge.

I’ve been working on God’s conversation with Cain in Genesis 4 for weeks, and was thinking the above this morning, when I went to God Calling for today. It said to be more afraid of disturbance between God and us than anything.

“When you feel the absolute calm has been broken–away alone with Me until your heart sings, and all is strong and calm. These (disturbances) are the only times when evil can find an entrance. The forces of evil surround the city of man-soul, and are keenly alert for one such unguarded spot, through which an arrow can pierce and do havoc.”

He had my attention; this is just what He had said to Cain! Then He said something shocking! “Remember all that you have to do is to keep calm and happy. God does the rest.”

What? No word about choice? It is only implied, but what a choice it is! And I know you experience it–when someone treats you meanly or rudely, or worse, scares you to death. And you choose not to let their arrows, poisoned by the dark side, go in.

Is that even possible?

It is! Listen to the rest: “No evil force can hinder My Power–only you yourself have power to do that.”

I think the next words are going to be about choosing because that’s what He’s talking about. But no–the last line is, “Think when all God’s mighty forces are arrayed to aid you–and your poor, puny self impedes their onward march.” He’s talking about how our emotions like fear and hurt get triggered. grabbed, and we run away with the wolves instead of sounding the battle cry, “Onward! Fight!”

There is a fight, a holy war, going on, but it isn’t about us killing each other, it’s about us choosing calm or trust and letting God fight for us. God’s boundary is our freedom, our boundary is not hooking in, not letting ourselves get carried away by fear, or hurt, or desire for revenge  but knowing our Helper and choosing to use His forces.

Right after that I read Psalm 4 and it’s all about the same thing! Wow! The last line is “Now I will lie down in peace, and sleep; for thou alone, O Lord, makes me live unafraid.”

Leave a comment

Filed under A God perspective, a perspective on evil, Bullying, Living well, Love ed, Loved, Mental Health, Parenting, suffering, What is God like?, When religion gets it wrong...

Cosby-Disappointment or Normal?

I raised my kids on Cosby. And since they’re in their 30s, there must be a lot of people who remember and love that show like we did. It and Seventh Heaven were the healthiest family modeling there was. We all wanted to be like them. And now both “dads” are accused of sex crimes. It’s heart-breaking.

In the beginning, I think we were all hoping it was just a personality-disordered gold-digger or two going after Cosby’s money. But now it appears that the icon we all love had a checkered past–was a very troubled man.

It’s so sad. We feel betrayed. This person we wanted our fathers and husbands to emulate turns out to have been a sex maniac.

I’ve been wondering, is he a sex addict? What he is accused of doesn’t sound sexual only; it sounds violent. Violent sex is about anger and hate, not really even sexual. Sex addiction is one step above that–the male brain so easily gets hooked on sex as a way to fix or escape whatever is wrong.

I’ve had a small therapy practice for 25 years, and I’ve always had someone dealing with sex addiction. It’s that common. I’ve had more than one client tell me how quickly it enslaved them–one “hit” of pornography was all it took. And now that it is so accessible, it’s really tough for men. But does that make it the norm?

NO! Maybe in numbers of guys struggling with it, but not in normal healthy behavior. Normal mostly isn’t healthy anyway.

What am I basing that on? The way a man’s brain is wired. Emotions are scary to men in this society. And since they can shut feelings down fairly easily, because of scarring to the corpus colosum in gestation, they tend to replace them with sex. I think men are emotionally starving here.

Indulgent mothers and absent or distant fathers, who have themselves forgotten what “manly” is, have made men uncomfortable in their own skin. There aren’t quests to prove manhood anymore. Fighting and sex is about as close as they get.

A man has fine, deep emotions, and his first sexual experience is powerfully bonding, especially if he’s “in love.” If the relationship doesn’t make it, and he doesn’t do some serious grieving, he’ll replace her, but never love or bond quite like that again.

He will want to grieve, but everyone, especially his buddies will tell him to go get laid and forget her–get involved with someone else. Of course, the exact wrong advice.

So his bonding ability is seared and feelings are buried. But buried feelings ferment and get nasty and come out other places–aberrant sexual behavior. And if its anger that’s being buried, look out! (African-American people, especially African-American men, have reason for anger.) Violence carries its own addiction. Sex and violence together are a bad combination.

Is there hope? There is always hope for every addiction, and the best of it comes from God the one who can redeem anything, and who made your feelings and your brain circuitry in the first-place. But you have to ask.

Therapy is a great help, but you’ll have to find a therapist who doesn’t think sex addiction is normal. Good luck!

And the love of a good, secure woman, if valued, is a great help also.

Leave a comment

Filed under a perspective on evil, Becoming real, Bullying, fathering, Grief, Living well, Love ed, Mental Health, sex addiction

Parenting today is Complicated

When you hear of a teen who committed suicide from cyber-bullying, what do you think? Typically we blame parents: Why didn’t they pay attention, do more, give more, listen more, set boundaries, get help?

Most parents today want to give, they don’t want to be cops, they want to be happy and they want their kids to be happy too. But I can tell you many kids today are not happy. They are stressed and pressured by peers. Cutting has become an epidemic way of handling pain temporarily.

“Mean girls” has become a label that everyone understands. I think many if not most of these girls (and it’s boys too) are personality disorders. They love to stir up trouble–love to create drama–sometimes super sweetly. Why?

It isn’t their fault. They didn’t create the trauma in their early years that causes the lack of safety that twists their perspective and shuts down trust, causing disordered personalities. But you need to let your children know to stay away from these types of peers. Bullies abound today.

The best way you can protect your child is to make them secure in your love and their value. Spend quality time with them and listen. Help them protect themselves. Change schools. Change technology.

But if your child is the bully, face the truth. If you pretend they aren’t, you can’t help them. It will ruin their lives and others’ lives.

If nothing is ever their fault, if they lie, cheat, steal, or talk trash about other kids, you likely have a bully. Teamed up with another bully they can be deadly, as we all witnessed on national news this past week.

You can’t force them to change, but learn about their disorder. Then explain to them that it came from trauma in their early years and it makes them feel unsafe, untrusting, unloved. Tell them it isn’t their fault, but it is their responsibility–they are the only ones who can choose to change. Tell them it will ruin their lives.

I find my clients who have personality disorders have a much better chance of changing if they have someone who is willing to tell them the hard truth kindly, with support.

And know that their parents weren’t trying to mess them up. They were trying to figure out their own lives. They didn’t know that their choices were going to ruin their kids lives. They were trying to deal with their misery or results of their own poor choices. They were just trying to be happy.

Pursuing happiness is a problem in this society–spotted by a visiting Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, in our Constitution one hundred years ago. He said it’s impossible.

Chasing happiness will take you to addiction, and NOT happiness. De Tocqueville was right. Happiness is a byproduct of doing the right thing. If happiness is your goal, you are ruining your life and your children’s. Face your own pain. It will help everyone around you.

What is important to you? What values are you teaching your children? Are you all about money, or looking good? How do you spend your time? Working? Shopping? Seeking your next feel-good?

The only personality disorders that recover are those strong enough, determined enough, to stop the drama and wreckage, get honest, and work. They stop lying to themselves and admit that they feel scared and unloved. (They are usually very bright and have worked up incredible systems of defense mechanisms.)

If you are the parent (and not disordered yourself) you have to kindly and firmly hold their feet to the fire–truth–until they can hear you.

More next time…

Leave a comment

Filed under Becoming real, Bullying, Cyber bullying, Help with Narcissism--, Mental Health, Parenting, Personality Disorders