Love Multiplied

I had an interesting conversation with my son recently. He always asks such profound questions and he really wants answers. He asked me if  I got jealous when our beautiful little chihuahua got more excited to see our family friend–Lisa in this case (but there are a whole host of family friends that he loves) than he did to see me when we recently returned from an outing? I responded by saying absolutely not. In fact,  I love watching him get excited by our company and watching him get loved on by our friends. It was an easy answer and we moved on.

But my mind kept returning to that conversation over and over again. It was a simple question–but profound and deep. The answer was easy and quick to come by. BUT still, it nagged at me to examine it further. Why did he ask me that question? What was his ‘take away’ from my answer? Did I even answer it thoroughly enough? Why do we, as imperfect people, sometimes get jealous of attention paid to others? This kind of thinking/behavior–being jealous– leads to desires to control, bully, and monopolize. It does harm not only to those who are being controlled but to the person who feels it necessary to control or dominate. It makes us unhappy on the inside and insecure. Those feelings, in turn, drive our behavior and ultimately our lives.

I think the answer is to know that love divided is really love multiplied (cliche I know!). How my dog feels about someone else shouldn’t have any impact on how he feels about me or how I feel about how he feels about me!!!  My joy is multiplied by watching him be joyful and get love from many sources. My love is deepened for him when I  see how he relates so beautifully to others. I love that he can receive love and attention from from many sources. And my love for my friends is deepened when they love what I love too. I didn’t just learn this from my dog of course– I also learned it from having children. When people do nice things for my children and my children respond–it fills me with such abundant joy. It is never something that takes away joy–but only adds to it. 

There is something so wonderful about watching people you love all share love with each other.  I believe it is the way things are suppose to be. BUT I know that there are many human factors that block this in many people. That is not the focus of this post though. The focus is just to get people thinking on a different plane. Focus on life from a different angle. Or to just accentuate something that you may already know and feel. 

We have a finite time to be here and figure all this out. It is easy to get distracted and pulled down alleys that lead to dead ends. We can and do become focused on the wrong things. Inside we may know something is missing. Some of us just feel the emptiness while others work in earnest to fill that void: They eat too much, drink to much, use drugs or have affairs. They watch too much t.v. or stay on line constantly. They don’t dare to venture out of their one relationship or they can’t seem to be committed to anyone. They may use ‘love’ as a means to control. Children see all of this and it can define their understanding of love. 

So why did my son ask me this? It is a sophisticated question–and very elemental at the same time.  I sit and think about this–my conversation with my son. I feel proud because  I can see the wheels turning inside of him.  I can see a desire to know. I can see a desire to understand. I can see that ‘the searching’ is there and I can see that even at this early age–he has a drive to transcend. He has questions and he is seeking answers. He is not oblivious to this undercurrent of life. That makes me smile.

My children help me to see things and look at things that I may not take the time to focus on or explore. They make me a better person than I can be alone.  When love is around you–you gain from it. It seeps in and fills the spaces in you that you don’t even know about. Love is strange in that giving it away doesn’t lessen how much we have left to give and in many ways when we give it away–we only add to our supply! And when those you love are loved by others too–it doesn’t change your gift of love to them. 

This question hits me as I realize that my little boy is now a young man. I did not have to share his attention when he was a baby and he didn’t have to share mine. A mother is the center of a babies world and the baby is the primary focus of the mom too. Then children develop friendships and get love and attention from other places. At the age my son is, he is on the cusp of moving forward and becoming even more independent. That means more people in his life. More love. More joy. Not a division of love–but a multiplication of love. 

Is he wondering about this? Is he cognizant of this experience? His world is growing and maybe he has questions–or fears. While I may not be perfect– I know he feels unconditional love from me. I hope he learns not only from my words but from my actions too.  And not just from me–but from everyone around him–good and bad. That time is coming for him to find his own way and–like getting love from multiple sources–getting knowledge from multiple sources can only make your world bigger too.

So we try to understand love and life. Is it easy? Not really. Do we get it wrong? Yes. Do we fail? Many times. We don’t have to be perfect because we are all just works in progress. Our mission is helping each other find the way and hopefully doing it with abundant love. How will it turn out for my son? I only have to observe him to find out. So far– I see it is turning out just fine!

Bullying

Bullying is happening all around us. It is happening right now. It is happening to some child who is struggling to function under all the weight of being bullied. A child who was previously happy is now being forced to put on a “thick skin” in order to survive. What effects does this have on children? How can they cope?

When a child is bullied, they are in pain. When they are physically bullied, the bullying can be seen and maybe stopped. But what of the emotional or verbal bully? What about bullying through exclusion? What about the child that battles with the pain and loneliness of these invisible methods of  bullying??

This kind of bullying really alters a child’s way of being in the world. It is significant. The child can become sad, depressed, angry, hurt and disillusioned. This disillusionment can have severe effects on the child and on that child’s future. When a child is hurt, they can generally heal. But what about chronic hurt? What about the child that is bullied by a personality disorder parent? Invisible! What about the child who is verbally and emotionally bullied every day at school? Invisible.

The anti-bully programs are a good start. But let’s be honest, they do NOT stop bullying. Many times, the bullying is just covered up better by the person who bullies. Children who suffer through this are affected in many ways. They harden their hearts in an effort to survive this. They isolate themselves. They become bullies themselves toward a weaker person. They turn to drugs and alcohol to deaden their pain. And sometimes, they kill themselves.

What happens inside of those children? They hurt. They cry. They want help but when bullying is invisible–such as verbal, emotional, or by exclusion, often times it goes unrecognized. Or it may be recognized and the victim may be told that it isn’t “that bad” or it is “no big deal” or even to “just ignore it”.  But the effects are not easy for the victim to ignore. When the bullying is ignored or minimized–the child loses hope and faith. They are victims who lose their sense of safety. Not only are they being assaulted—but it is being minimized to them. When parents and institutions minimize this–it sets the victim up for a cascade of problems. Not only dealing with the victimization–but carrying the heavy load alone.

“Meta-analyses1,2 have clearly demonstrated the negative relationship between peer victimization and mental health as well as physical health. Common elements in definitions of peer victimization include the repeated nature of harassment, an imbalance in power between bully and victim, and the intention to cause harm on the part of the perpetrator” according to the study done by Jama  Relationship Between Peer Victimization, Cyberbullying, and Suicide in Children and Adolescents . The outcome showed “Peer victimization is a risk factor for child and adolescent suicidal ideation and attempts. Schools should use evidence-based practices to reduce bullying.”

But what to do to help the victim in the mean time? First, LISTEN to your child. Do not minimize the threat or the emotions involved. Make sure they know that the bullying isn’t their fault but it is the person who is bullying who is at fault. Work with your child to find ways to stop the bullying by modeling responses; by contacting the school; and by strengthening their coping skills. Remember that children may have a difficult time talking about this so be sensitive to your child’s moods; ask questions; and listen to your child when they talk to you. They may be reaching out for help but not know how to do it. Being bullied carries a stigma that children instinctively know. Approach your child with love and acceptance.

Never underestimate the pain your child is in when they are bullied. Know that it is serious and can leads to serious problems for your child. Be smart. Be open. Be loving and supportive. And don’t hesitate to contact a professional for help. Your child’s life may depend on it. Get input from your child as to what they think might help stop the bullying. Then do what you can to make this happen for your child. Talk to the school and get a plan in place to stop the bullying. And finally, seek counseling support if necessary to give your child an outlet for his feelings in a safe and accepting environment.

(Be sure to first interview the therapist and be sure they are a good fit for your child and for your circumstances. Working with a therapist who specializes in working specifically with children is a good place to start)

Nature This!!!

This whole site is about wellness–mental, physical, and spiritual. We have a need to have balance in our lives and we naturally seek out that balance. One thing that I think is a base on which to build wellness is having a good, safe and healthy environment. That environment would encompass our family, our home, our neighborhood, and our community. I will write more extensively on all of these things in upcoming blog entries. For today–I have one specific topic in mind and it hits me hardest in the spring and in the fall.

So what is it, you might be wondering. It may seem petty to some while it may resonate with others. Right now–it is the fall leaves. What about them, you may be thinking. There are lots of things associated with the tree leaves in the fall. One is the beautiful colors; one is that winter is coming; one is that school is getting underway. Another thing is that they die–and fall on to the ground!!! Depending on where you live and what you believe–two things happen after the leaves fall. One I can relate to distantly and the other I embrace openheartedly! What I can relate to is the intense need some people have to get out there and remove every last leave from their property. While I never bought into that line of thinking–I did practice it on occasion.

When you live in a subdivision, there is immense pressure to make your home and yard look perfect. Every weed is removed. Every leaf is removed. Every inch of grass the same height. Every tree and flower is the same as your neighbors–the carbon copy of each other. And for some-



-that is what they need.

Then there are the people who live differently. The people who recognize that having leaves in the yard is normal and natural. It is how the earth works and the benefits of having leaves die on your grass, decompose over winter and get chopped up and distributed over the lawn on the first spring mowing is absolutely what nature intended. It feeds the lawn. BUT what we do now is remove the leaves and in the spring we pay some company to come and spray toxins onto our lawns to replace the nutrients that we raked up and threw out last fall. So our yards LOOK pretty. Then we spray more toxins on them to remove the weeds and this brings me to my second annoyance.

In the spring, we are greeted by a beautiful gift of nature–the dandelion. They are the first food for the bees and some of the first color of the season. They are bright and lovely and very useful for teas, medicines, and even wine. BUT we have been taught that they are ugly, useless, and must be destroyed with whatever toxin or poison you can find and it must be done so that not even ONE of them grace your lawn–NOT ONE!

If there is even one–you must be lazy, poor, uncaring, or not fit to live near anyone else in society. Surely I exaggerate–but just a bit. People have been somehow twisted against mother nature and against anything that is natural.

We can’t just grow a tree–it has to be cut into perfect symmetry. We can’t just grow a evergreen–it has to be twisted and turned and cut into spirals. Our bushes are trimmed into perfect box shapes or perfect spheres. I guess for some–that is what they need or like.

Me, I’m a different animal. I have always seen it a bit differently but recently have begun to feel an urgency to practice more of what I believe and live more simply and more holistically. What does that mean? Well, it means a lot and I will be elaborating on many of these areas  in different postings of this blog. But for the purpose of this story–it means that I do not spray anything on my lawn. I do not rake the leaves. I do not put any poisons on my lawn or in my garden. And I definitely do not remove the dandelions. In fact–I embrace the plants that grow naturally and even have become rather good at knowing the uses for them: some can be used for making tea, some can be used to cure illness, and some can be used as food.

I enjoy the weeping nature of bushes and never really appreciated the manicured look of the perfect bush or the perfect lawn. To me, it seems unnatural, unreal, and unappealing. We have been conditioned in this society to desire perfection and to be repulsed by the natural ebb and flow of our own nature. A yard full of leaves is repulsive to most people. I witnessed several large houses with a literal army of men blowing all the leaves from the one acre lots into piles and hauling them away in trucks.

I wonder if it is just me. Am I the only one who sees all of this as unnatural? Do others find yards completely devoid of any leaves beautiful–or odd? Do the yards filled with leaves make you feel edgy? Angry? Out of sorts? Or does it make you smile at the absolute beauty of how Mother Nature knows just what to do? Does it fill you with joy and wonder?

What we do makes no sense really. We remove the very thing we are seeking–connection with nature. We take away the natural cycle of birth, development, death and the break down of the dead into the building blocks of life. We remove the leaves which are natural food for our yards and we pour on poisons and toxins to feed the lawn with unnatural things in unnatural ways. We rip out every weed and douse our environment in toxic weed killers and toxic poisons. THIS is not producing the healthy environment for ourselves, our children, our pets or our community in which to thrive and grow. All those toxins leach into our water and we poison ourselves to produce some unnatural form of–nature. Think about that.

While my yard may look like a nature preserve, I am teaching my sons how to treat a mother–Mother Nature that is. Be kind. Be gentle. Be good. Our mission here in this life isn’t to subdue and destroy and control. At least not in my world. It is to co-exist and love and nurture. THAT is why we are really here. And you can live that starting in your own back yard.

Metamorphosis

img_3089Fall…it came before I had a chance to say good bye to summer
The pumpkins carved for Halloween have morphed into monsters–all black and compressed
The leaves and flowers that existed against the lovely summer backdrop have drooped as if they have been forced to tragically give up their majesty and beauty
No more warmth of the summer sun in which to bathe
They pitifully struggle against the encroaching crisp air
Clearly no hope for survival
 
They started as seeds set so lovingly in the soil.
At first, it seems as if they are being ruined
The seed broken
Then bursting forth and completely changing and transforming
Into something it never could have become without first the destruction of the self
 
First a tiny sign of life then a leaf or a stem
And in the splendor of the summer breeze, a flower
Bearing no resemblance to that seed first put into the ground
It’s very existence dependent upon something that is consumed in the process
The seed having given itself over completely to the plant which bears the amazing flower.
 
The undeniable transformation set against a crisp blue summer sky
Bears all the signs of never ending growth and development
The seed consumed to make the plant, the plant consumed to make the flower and the flower finally consumed to produce the seed again
Seasons change and the circle must start anew
The seed has brought forth a flower which in turn brings forth a seed
 
And so ends this part of the cycle
The seed must then go forth
In its own time…
And bloom

Cell Phones Not As Safe As We Think

I am writing this post to inform those individuals who need to know this–and that includes absolutely every living thing on the planet–that research is mounting telling us that we need to be cautious of our exposures to wireless radiation. We must not assume that we are safe because the product is available to us. Remember that cigarettes were available to us. Asbestos was put in schools. Doctors smoked in their offices and in hospital rooms too. Moms were prescribed Thalidomide. We are slowly realizing all the damage that has been done to us and continues to be done to us from “legal” and “safe” products. To hammer this home simply look at all the law suits against drugs that were once touted as perfectly safe Vioxx has reportedly killed over 60,000 people. It was “tested” and deemed safe). Now you vaccination is causing immune issues and your acid reflux medicine might be causing dementia.

Martin Cooper who was a scientists working for Motorola made the first successful cell phone call in 1973 using a portable handset. In 1979 trials of this product began and in 1987 an explosion had occurred. An explosion of usage that has not slowed since. The penetration of this product is like none other in the history of man. We have more subscriptions for wireless phones than we have people on the planet.

All this exposure is causing damage to life as we know it. The Department of Interior has written our own FCC to tell them they must reassess exposure levels as current levels are adversely affecting trees, plants, fish, frogs, birds, bees and any other living thing you can think of. If that is happening to our environment–what is happening to us?

Well, some would say nothing! Most of those reports come directly from the wireless industry OR the research THEY fund. There is a huge industry bias . About 75% of the research NOT funded by the industry finds serious affects from this kind of exposure. However, interestingly enough–the industry funded research finds about 75% that there is NO concern or worry. Reminds me of the tobacco industry, asbestos industry, lead, mercury…

In  2011 IARC classification of cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen was based on the limited evidence from human studies and limited evidence from animal studies. The WHO (World Health Organization) made exposures like that from smart phones and other wireless devices such as ipads, tablets, cordless phones, and wifi a class 2b possible carcinogen. BUT the group of scientists most known for working in the non ionizing area or research are asking that that classification be revised given the newest research being unveiled. These scientists are asking for this classification to be upgraded to ‘probable’ carcinogen or carcinogen

A quote from Microwave News  says that of the recent research studies causing most interest and concern is the  National Toxicology Program study that has been released. This study has such profound impact that they released this portion of the study early because of its significance and importance. The study shows that cell phone radiation exposure is associated with tumors of the brain and heart. The brain tumors are the most aggressive kind of cancer. The fact that even if a small percentage are affected–given the number of users–it will still be a significant amount. 

“Importantly, the exposed rats were found to have higher rates of two types of cancers: glioma, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and malignant schwannoma of the heart, a very rare tumor. None of the unexposed control rats developed either type of tumor.

A number of epidemiological studies have linked cell phones to both gliomas and to Schwann cell tumors. The Interphone study, for instance, found an association between the use of cell phones and gliomas.” Other studies have had similar findings  Epidemiological studies have found an increase in these same types of cancers. Coincidence? Not likely. So we have studies showing how cell phone radiation breaks the blood brain barrier, is neurotoxic and genotoxic. It actually damages DNA similarly to how X Rays damage it. It has been shown that it damages sperm, fertility, immune function, thinking and memory, alters protein production in the brain and a vast host of other problems.

Any doubts as to whether this is safe should be shelved at this time and the precautionary principle should be instituted. When dose response is established and numerous studies have been replicated, it’s time to take action.

Trying To Understand The Personality Disordered Individual–Narcissism, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy.

O.K. I have written several long posts about narcissistic people/relationships. This is a short one. I realize that since the narcissist, antisocial personality disordered person or the psychopath is multifaceted, one post will not give much insight into them. So…there will be multiple posts to educate and explain and expose!

One of the very frustrating things about these types of people is that they want so badly to project to the world everything they wish they were but know are not. However, they will not try to actually develop the qualities they covet–like loyalty, honesty, empathy, loving, caring–they would seemingly rather spend their time creating false situations where they display these qualities.

They seem to be trapped between admiring or coveting these qualities and hating and being repulsed by them. They would rather spend time and energy tricking people into believing they possess these qualities as opposed to actually working on developing these qualities. It seems like they enjoy the game of tricking people even while their own pathology tugs away at them inside to want to have, possess, or “own” these qualities.

They hate those possessing the qualities they covet but they are drawn to them nonetheless. For the individual with the coveted qualities–this is a death sentence. Once the personality disordered individual gets their hooks into you–they will make you pay for having the very qualities that attracted them to you in the first place. They will try to crush those qualities out of you while claiming them for themselves. It makes no sense and that is why most, if not all, victims of a personality disordered individual suffers from confusion, stress, and anxiety.

Our minds want to make sense of a senseless circumstance. We try to understand something that is pathological and not understandable but our minds keep trying and trying–often times this is an involuntary response. We begin to lose control of our thinking as our mind hunts and hunts for a reason,  an answer, or a cause.

Once you catch on to what is happening to you–you try to escape. That is a topic for another day. But when you try to escape or you do escape–you will find that the personality disordered individual has co-opted your personality. They have become you–or a very twisted and transparent version of you. Although this will feel like soul-rape, it is actually the closest thing you will get to a complement from the disordered person. They hate you, they are repulsed by you, they covet you, and they are jealous of you–all at once!

With pathology, there is no reason, answer, or cause that the victim can find to warrant such horrific treatment by someone who claimed that they loved you. The victims are left to ponder a whole new paradigm of thinking, living, and being. Once you have been touched by this particular evil–you are never the same again.

Enlightenment–What is it?

Wow, enlightenment is everything and nothing. It is what it means to us but is also universal. It is like a knowing that cannot be easily defined. How do we find it? Lots of ways and in no way. We can seek it but it comes when it is ready to come. It cannot be taught or, in my opinion, even really practiced. It is my contention that we are all born into a paradigm of thinking and we all ascribe to it. Maybe not exactly the same way. Maybe our differences with one another seem huge–but they are in the grand scheme of things–really very small. We don’t realize for the most part that we are born into a belief system that is all-encompassing. I don’t mean just a religion or a work ethic or a way of relating. It’s like the whole level of conscience places us in a box and we don’t know there is life outside this box because all we have ever known is this box. There is no view outside the box either because there is no way to view beyond the box. More importantly–there is no view that there even IS a box. Why? Because it is a given and it is all we know.

But what happens? What changes it? It seems just as much an enigma that it happens as how it happens and when it happens. I have always been a bit intrigued by this idea or state of enlightenment. It seems esoteric. It seems romantic. It seems elitist. It seems damn hard to get there and out of the grasp of most of us. But that too is a wrongheaded paradigm that we can‘t see until we see! It almost seems like we cannot see the bigger picture until we see the smaller picture and the smaller picture won‘t come into focus until we see the bigger picture. Well–that is an enigma I guess.

Wrap that up with the issue of timing. We can read about enlightenment, practice achieving it, and desire it BUT it comes when it comes. An event, an insight, or maybe it is a built-in moment into our DNA or our life‘s path. Somehow we hit a point or event in our lives and the fog clears. Not from any specific effort we make–but almost like it is revealed unto us. Not that we may not be struggling and suffering–but that alone will not yield enlightenment in my opinion and experience.

It comes. It comes slowly or it comes as a flash. We can’t stay the same after that. We are changed forever. We not only see the box and tear it down–but we don’t care about the box anymore and we don’t analyze that box. We simply see it for what it was and then there is no time to ruminate about the box because now things are limitless. You are what is, what was, and what will always be. Boundary less. Unencumbered by what this world holds because the box no longer detains your mind or your being.

For me, it came as an almost simultaneous knowing of my own little ecosystem and then the dynamics of the entire ‘everythingness’. I felt, in that moment, as if a camera had elucidated MY life circumstance but just as quickly as it was elucidated–it was as if the camera had been quickly panning out in an infinite zoom that characterized that ‘everythingness’. A connectedness without beginning or end. Seamless. ‘Compartmentalless’. No division but simply oneness.

That is both awesome and frightening at first. Because to some degree–that box provides us some extreme false sense of security and control. We see ourselves as master of our own domain and creator of our lives. We see the world the way we have been programmed since forever. What we should do, think, become. How we should act and what we should achieve and get and buy and do and own and use up. We possess, in our own minds, that we are somehow separate from it all.

But enlightenment changes all of that. It shifts us into THE paradigm or the lack of paradigm. Later, as we acclimate our beings to the facts that we are souls with bodies and not bodies with souls–we find comfort in what initially caused anxiety. We find security where we initially felt fear and vulnerability. We realize that this knowledge makes us invulnerable. We are connected. We are part of something so large and amazing that it is limitless and it is not able to be characterized. It isn’t necessarily fun because it is a shattering of all that was held to be true and to be real from our beginning. It is an understanding that what many think and hold to be true–is simply not true.

Once you find your enlightenment–the enlightenment–you can never be that person you once were. Everything has changed and nothing has changed because it was there all along. But now YOU know. You can’t look at your self, the world, your relationships, and your future the same way ever again. It is like the bell not being able to be “unrung”. You can’t put the genie back into the bottle. You can’t “unsee” something. So you transform into a new being and you grow to understand how that flash of knowing that you achieved will fit into your remaining physical life. You just know.

It is then that you realize that enlightenment isn’t making ourselves better or understanding some unknowable truth–it is about seeing THE truth. About the view of what just is. It makes life sort of interesting because–at least for me–those who are enlightened stand out now. They possess a different dimension to themselves. THEY don’t project it–it simply IS projected. Like you know they know and they know you know. Those whose journey hasn’t yet brought them there are oblivious and now it is as if you can see them–those unenlightened–as beings struggling just as you did. You don’t judge anymore. You just are and you let them just be.

You gravitate towards those who have passed that threshold. You know you are bonded to every single thing that exists. They know they are too–bonded to everything. There is comfort in that knowing. But in the whole picture, I am still getting use to my ‘knowing’. It still has the capacity to frighten me. It still has the capacity to make me feel as if I am in a free fall. It strips away any illusions and beliefs and lets you see the truth. While they say the truth sets you free–I think the truth has implications that we simply cannot fully grasp in this state of being. Our transformation from this existence into the next, I believe, will reveal what cannot be revealed fully here. And I am o.k. with that.

The Unbelievable Story (only the victims really know)–the story of the malignant narcissist

While many people believe divorcing a malignant narcissist is just a divorce, the truth is the victim is in a state of total trauma. The covert malignant narcissist will make sure the victim suffers more during and after the divorce than they did even during the marriage. The victim becomes a target of an abuse campaign that can span decades especially if there are children involved. The children often become targets as well. Sociopathy is a dangerous illness—not usually for the sociopath—but for every single person who is part of the sociopaths life.

Not one single person remains unscathed from the narcissists life. The more damaged the narcissist–the more damaged the victims. Many victims become suicidal and many succeed as the only means of escaping these monsters.

Please be aware of the danger of being with someone like this. The damage they inflict is NOT superficial–it destroys the victims life, family, joy, emotion and their soul. What more closely defines the contact with a malignant narcissist is they are ‘murders of the soul‘. Their ultimate goal is to push the victim to suicide thereby dominating completely and “proving” to the world just how unstable the victim was.

The insidious nature of these people cannot be overstated. They are often very stealth in their destruction of the victim. The victim knows that something is wrong. The victim feels uneasy, angry, hurt, hopeless, and hyper vigilant all the time but they cannot pinpoint what the cause is because the abuse is generally stealth. Many victims never identify what is happening to them and remain in marriages for 20 or 30 years unable to identify who or what is destroying them.

By far the worst type of sociopath is the covert malignant narcissist. The initial abuse is designed to establish power over the victim. There are often no bruises to the victim after the initial abuse. Generally, physical abuse is not perpetrated because of ’out of control anger’, it is perpetrated as a deliberate mechanism of domination and control. The victim learns how to behave to avoid this type of abuse and therefore they become controlled by very covert and imperceptible means. Various hard-luck excuses are used during this period so the abused actually feels sorry for the abuser and the abuser is able to establish that fear in the victim free of any consequences. Again, notice the stealth and insidious way control is established. The victim never even realizes it. They feel it–but can never identify the source of it. It is, in basic terms, a hidden type of bullying.

Next comes the verbal abuse to further establish continued control over the victim. Once the physical abuse has been stopped, verbal abuse continues the pattern. Initially the abused fights back–but the verbal abuse is so pronounced and lasts so long–that the victim quickly learns how to limit the abuse–and that is by not fighting back. This further establishes the domination of the abuser over the abused. At this point–both physical and verbal abuse are greatly diminished as dominance over the victim has been obtained.

The next phase is by far the most damaging because the defenses of the victim have been completely destroyed. The victim is in a place of hyper vigilance but they don’t necessarily know why. The abuse at this point is slow and literally undermines the victims ability to see the world clearly anymore. They are criticized, mocked, argued with, lied to constantly, and left unable to determine the truth or reality as the abuser begins the very strong campaign of gaslighting. This is the ‘managing down’ stage.

This stage of being married to a malignant narcissist may last years or decades. As both the victim and their social contact begins to notice a decline in the victim. They observe changes like loss of joy, anger, distance from victim and social support system, and a general crumbling of the foundation of that victim’s being. There is clearly a systematic change in the victim but nobody can identify it as the abuse continues covertly. The victim is powerless to stop it as all defenses have been shattered and the victim is totally exposed to the onslaught of the abuser. It is such a slow and linear decline that sometimes even those closest to the victim fail to see it.

At any point if the victim identifies the abuse or the abuser and moves to exit the relationship, the most dangerous part of the narcissistic/sociopathic encounter is unleashed. It will likely be much more severe than the marital abuse was because it isn’t designed to be covert to the victim anymore. HOWEVER it remains covert to all others in the situation. Therefore the victim is now doubly abused. They are abused with smear campaigns and character assassinations AND they are denied support and sympathy because those around are fooled into defending the narcissist. This may be the most damaging period to the victim.

The two things that are almost universal in the narcissists repertoire are to accuse the victim of being mentally unstable and using the children to further the emotional damage to the victim. This will likely have actually begun prior to the demise of the relationship as the narcopath anticipates your every move and plans and prepares in advance. So they have likely started smearing you long before you are ever aware of it. While they fancy themselves unique–the narcissist sociopaths generally follow the same pattern from beginning to end. It starts with ‘love bombing’ to gain the loyalty and love of the victim. This is accomplished by creating a false sense of camaraderie by mirroring the victims life back to them. They will create a lot of ‘past history’ that is designed to make you feel a bond with them but that history is completely manufactured and designed to pull you into a strong bond where you begin to identify completely with the narcissist.

Next they will idealize you and ‘love’ you and try to impress all those around you to build their level of esteem in your eyes. This is a very important step. To gain the admiration or trust of these around the victim. This creates an inability for the victim to reconcile the feelings of abuse when it begins to happen—and it always begins to happen!

The years of abuse fly by and the victim’s light dims. They are beginning to be broken and they don’t know why. THEY attend counseling and they become introspective. They ruminate about life events and try to pinpoint the issue. They have handed over their life to merely trying to survive and to figure out where the pain, confusion, sadness, and fear that now is a permanent resident in their lives is from . They no longer grow and thrive–they merely try to survive.

When the victim identifies vaguely the cause–that is when the narcissist sociopath becomes very dangerous. They can do three things generally to deal with the victim.
1) kill the victim in the most severe cases
2) walk away completely
3) engage in a destructive campaign designed to completely undermine the abused and to take on the ‘victim’ role

The third thing is like death–much like the marriage was–but it is accomplished rapidly. The victim doesn’t know what is happening. They are emerging from years of covert abuse and then are hit with the severest form of abuse that even they are unprepared for. The smear campaign, character assassination, and the battle over the children leave the true victim exposed even more and the damage is more severe.

The first step is to discredit the victim. This helps keep the abusers identity as an abuser secret–and this is the most important thing to the abuser. The narcissist and sociopath often love to have their image perfect and to keep it that way they must engage in an elaborate plot to do what I have termed “the magician” move. They create such a circus or distraction on one hand so the spot light is NEVER on their abuse or destruction of the victim. The spotlight is on the victim and remains there through an elaborate manipulation of the system.

They will manipulate the courts, judges, and any relevant and involved people of power. The narcopath can easily identify those who will have power over your situation and they dupe them into helping abuse the victim further. They use these people to further label the victim and to destroy the victim’s character. This is how they proceed through out the remainder of the abuse stages. They enlist the services of all involved to further traumatize the victim. Not only are they being victimized–but nobody around them will identify it as abuse. The victim is doubly victimized at this point.

Just as the victim spent years trying to figure out what was being done to them–they fall into the same trap in the divorce. They cannot fathom what has happened to them and they simply cannot process what is currently happening to them. All this is the design of the abuser. They are then free to ‘set up’ the victim and to portray themselves as the victim of a crazy person; a person who doesn’t respond to things quickly; a person who seems to be uncooperative by outside standards. They–the abusers–adore this stage. It really is the ultimate form of control over their victims. It is what they live for. It is the end game for having to put up with the victim during the relationship. The people they “love” are really hated immensely by the abusers but are necessary to make the abusers feel dominant and powerful. THAT is the reason that narcissist sociopaths engage in this elaborate dance: to feel powerful and in control; and to feed the very weak and fragile ego of the narcissist. This elaborate and complicated dance is designed to come to this very place. Complete domination over another person.

At this point–they quickly replace the victim with a new victim. This in no way slows the abuse of the original victim. In many ways, the abuser uses the victim to their advantage. They use them to gain sympathy from the new victim by portraying this awful person that damaged THEM!!! They will use the original victim many times in the life of the new victim. They will contend the old victim wants them back, is harassing them, has so severely damaged them. They rapidly turn the new victim against the old victim and ensure that the new victim NEVER interacts with the old victim. That is standard for the narcopath. They all do this in the context of transitioning from victim to victim. ( One very clear way to see the narcissist right from the start is their general admission that ALL their previous partners were crazy, violent, evil or cheaters. This is the mantra of nearly every narcopath).

While the old victim is slowly being destroyed by the divorce process, the abuser is happily transplanted into a new relationship and generally will start this relationship within days of the divorce starting. In fact, they may have several encounters with a ‘soul mate’ until they find a suitable victim. Someone vulnerable and just getting out of a bad relationship or who has been single and wants to get into a relationship. The ‘love’ will develop literally overnight. The love bombing previously mentioned–will begin immediately and the new victim lured in a matter of weeks.

The relationship will often lead to living together and marriage as the narcissist find it impossible to live with out an adoring person in their lives. Such is the paradox of the malignant narcissist. They crave adoration as a necessary thing to exist. They find victims who will adore them completely. The paradox is they then systematically destroy that very quality in the person. They do it in such a heinous way. The love turned to revulsion and to hatred. At no time is there any actual love being exchanged in this process from the narcissist. The victim is generally an empath and a very loving and giving individual

What is exchanged by the narcopath is actually mirroring and illusion. The abuser does not know how to love. They do not even possess that feeling–ever. The initial ‘love’ is actually the narcissist getting satisfaction from the victim in the form of adoration, love, and the joy the abuser gets from tricking yet another innocent victim. THAT is what fuels the initial delight in the abuser–not love. It isn’t how you feel at all–it is about how you make THEM feel. THAT is the hook that gets many a victim stuck. The victim believes the abuser really feels something. One piece of advice–if it seems ‘too’ good to be true–it is likely not true! If you feel like you have met the man of your dreams in a month or a few weeks–that man is like exactly like you– take a major step back and give this person a good examination. This is their forte–they are mirrors and they can read people.

They can read people like open books. Most people are trustworthy and they assume the next guy is too–and that is the fatal mistake many make. The narcissist will read your insecurities and your strengths and your needs like an open book and will use each and every bit of information to lure you and then later to destroy you.

The tragic end must come after a time of varied lengths where they systematically deconstruct you and all that makes you you! It all culminates in the acts of destruction during the divorce and only finishes when the children turn 18. The most tragic victims in this kind of abuse are the children. They are systematically used against the abused even to the point of destroying the children. The narcissist sociopath will always use the children against the victim.

The victims are all the same. They are chosen specifically for this purpose. They are kind, loving, gentle, trusting, dedicated and loyal souls. A mother’s heart is the easiest thing to break and using children the most evil thing that can be done. BUT even here the narcissist sociopath will excel. They will get the world to see you as a bad mother–regardless how amazing you are. You become violent, dangerous, mentally ill, and incompetent according to the abuser. Your demeanor after being abused for decades is now used against you by an opportunistic narcissist and a naive court system.

Very complex and dramatic stories are created around you and they go to elaborate extreme to co-opt people against you. Surely the unstable mom should not have the children –even if there is no evidence of anything against the mom or it is highly manufactured evidence. In family court–lies are commonly accepted as fact as judges do not care much to actually investigate and find the truth. The victim is beaten down and appears to be struggling. The courts NEVER ask why–they simply label and take the side of the ‘totally together’ and unemotional abuser–cool-headed because they lack total emotions so exhibit no fear or remorse or guilt. None of those annoying emotions to get in the way of the destruction of the victim.

In the end, the victim is stripped of all they have. They have lost their homes, money, reputation, dignity, support systems and privacy. They have been victimized for years–and are victimized by the family court process. The system is completely set up aid and abet these types of abusers. The court is either naïve or willfully ignorant. The result is the same–the victim is re-victimized.

The victim either totally self-destructs from the abuse or they find a new way to live. Forever traumatized by this event–they become different people. With good counseling , they can emerge stronger and more aware. They are NEVER the same person. They never can go back and reclaim who they were completely. They have been broken intrinsically. The encounter with a narcissist sociopath forever changes who you are.

The worst part remains the fight over the one last remnant they hold over you–and that is the children. This is their last chance to beat on you. The last chance to destroy you–and they will NEVER hesitate to use the children.

Children of narcissists also are victimized twice. First they are victimized in the divorce and then they are victimized throughout their lives until they can remove themselves from the narcissist. The narcissist will use the years the children are minors to instill into them horrible things about you and to try to gaslight them into submission. Some children cave for survival purposes and others rebel for that same reason. The narcissist will generally target the ones who rebel and will dominate and destroy them. Many children of malignant narcissists commit suicide as the only means of escape. The narcissist loves this act of self harm that they can orchestrate without ever actually touching the person during the death. They know they caused it but that also will always remain deeply buried in the situation. Most won’t ever be identified as the culprit. The narcissist themselves never take responsibility for anyone else’s hurt so this is no different. In some sick and twisted cases–the narcopath will use the suicide to gain even more sympathy. This is the height of dysfunction.

At a time when a narcissist can put their children first and protect them from the divorce–they choose to become the dad’s they never were–at least in theory. They demand equal parenting time and they foist the children on to others to care for. The narcopath’s family of origin become the newest victims of the narcissist as they convince them to take over care of the children–and to keep them away from the victimized parent as much as possible. The abuser themselves never have much time with the children but often use them in public to “show“ how wonderful they are as parents. Ask the children of any narcissist–and eventually they instinctively know the truth.

This is the time the narcissist cuts off their own nose to spite their face. They could be the weekend parent who gives their best to influence their children in a positive way. BUT NO. The malignant narcissist NEVER takes that option. That would create a win-win for all involved–something a narcissist NEVER wants to create. The children suffer from being removed from the parent who loved and nurtured them and is now placed with the narcissist who does not relish them and his new victim now become the unwitting slave to the narcissist as they become the caretaker of the narcissists children. Never in this equation do the courts or the narcissist ever-EVER–consider what is best for the children. They will devise plan after plan to torment the victim using the children and to torture the children as well.

Look at the wake of the narcissist. You will find repeated broken relationships and the narcopath will have no relationship with the past victims and will keep the new victim from all the past victims. The children will be raised in a chaotic state and will be pawns of the abuser all the way around. They will be used to further victimize the loving parent and they will be used a props in the abusers life. The children always suffer the most.

The abuser does not care about the children’s suffering. They want to dominate their offspring like they want to dominate everyone else. Just like spouses of abusers–the children of abusers bear the ultimate abuse. They are abused in plain sight and nobody comes to help them because the abuser is seen as a nice parent–or a fun parent…. The children are never listened to by counselors if they can get to a counselor. Their feelings are disregarded over the abusers feelings. The abuser will dominate this arena too leaving the children in a state of hopelessness and helplessness.

Children victims of a covert malignant narcissist struggle throughout their lives to understand what and why and how of the abuse occurred. They frequently sever all ties with the narcissist when they legally can do so. Their struggle never stops. It is a life long battle to overcome this parenting style and this extreme form of mental and emotional abuse. Kids will respond by becoming angry and detached or by breaking down and letting the abuser dominate them. Either way–those new victims have a long road ahead.

Throughout all of this chaos and abuse and pain and confusion and tragedy–the narcissist will simply assume a new life, new target, and move on unscathed. They will feign hurt and pain–but like all emotions that emanate from a narcissist–they are faked. Only hatred and anger and jealousy seem to be actual feelings a narcissist genuinely feels. Nobody emerges from an encounter with a narcopath unscathed except the narcopath. The victims are far and wide. The actual victim, the children, and anyone and everyone who loves the people who are victimized are themselves victimized by this tragic story.

There is no happy ending for the victims. If they are lucky, they survive and have good and loving people to help them in their brokenness. Re-emerging for the pit of hell takes a huge toll on everyone involved.

Always remember to reach out to the children victims of narcissistic abuse–because they are the most damaged and the most hurt of all. They are the ultimate victim because they cannot escape and are very often held captive by the narcissist. They are being parented by a malignant covert narcissist who will abuse them for any reason but who excels at keeping that abuse undercover. They are also being parented by the loving and devoted parent who is also being targeted and abused by the narcissist.

Those children harbor feelings that many who are not abused will never know. Small children being crushed by huge emotion. Small children being suffocated by huge pains. Small children who cannot not escape and will not be listened to by most. They are forced–as is the design of the narcissist–to stuff those emotion and to carry them around with them silently. This degrades the child and the child’s ability to feel, react, and respond. This is life long damage that is inflicted upon them. It literally destroys the child for the benefit of the narcissist.

If you know of a child or children who are victims of this type of abuse–reach out and show them some love and understanding. This is what they need most. They need acceptance and to be a part of something normal. They can have a point of reference then. They can see the distinction between their narcissistic interactions and normal interactions. The more contact they have with the normal–the better chance they stand of coping with their childhood and of becoming different from the narcissist. Mourn for and with these children because they lose a huge part of their childhood as they enter a life of uncertainty and upheaval. They will never have a sense of security –as they are introduced to betrayal and fear and uncertainty in a manner that children never should be.

They become the object of the narcissist now. They are dominated. They are controlled. They lose the right to feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that the abuser does not want to deal with. There are no feeling or thoughts or behaviors outside of what the abuser has and allows the abused to have. Children internalize this belief system to their detriment. The blog for the effects on the children will be forthcoming.

How Did I Get Here? Personality Disordered Partners–and “Lovebombing”

You think you have found the love of your life. Maybe you are just getting out of a difficult relationship or perhaps you have had some other life altering event happen to you. You are vulnerable and uncertain. That is when the “love bombing” starts. You are feeling like you are in a whirlwind. You think that your luck must have changed. Finally you have hit the jackpot.

Guess Again.

“Love bombing” is the name given for the time in a relationship when your partner-to-be initiates what will turn out to be the best part of your relationship/courtship. It is meant to overwhelm your senses . You are swept off your feet. Finally, you think, someone who really cares and who is really interested in me. You think you are buying into total and complete happiness and bliss for ever and ever. Nope. It isn’t like that at all–but it sure seems that way at first

What happens in a relationship with a cluster B personality* isn’t like anything you have experienced in your life. Somehow the connection with them happens quickly. If you haven’t fallen hard right away–they will gently nudge you and push you into the direction they want. A personality disordered person has a goal and they aim to achieve it. They have a much easier time than most doing this because they are not weighted down by those pesky things like a conscience or empathy or loyalty.

They begin by paying attention to you and only you. Generally it is to the point of being ‘too much’ at first. They whisper into the phone that they love you over and over and over. It feels strange that they do this especially since they have only known you a few weeks. But they seem so sure. They seem so involved. Now they are constantly texting and calling all day every day. They want to move in with you even though you just met or they are just getting out of a committed relationship.

While initially you may feel a bit squeamish, the need and desire to be connected wins out. Personality disordered individuals push for commitment right away. They push to move in together right away. They may want children right away or to buy a house together right away. This serves to hook you into the circumstance so you do not look for ways out. You are committed…..It seems a bit too much but you give in because they tell you that this is the only time they have ever felt this way. Oh, how many times they have whispered those words to others. Laughable if it didn’t hurt so much in the end.

All this ‘getting to know you’ is also necessary for the personality disordered individual to be able to create your soul mate for you. They have no souls of their own. They have no personality beyond being selfish and pretending. So what they do is to reflect back to you what they see in you. They become just like you. Again, WOW. How can it be that this partner loves to shop? How can it be that they love the same music? How can it be that they want to stay home or go to the bar or whatever it is YOU like. Well, it is because they are masters at creating a façade that you will fall in love with. Make no mistake–it is empty and hollow but you won’t know this for some time to come.

‘Love bombing’ is  is always the method they use to get you to believe that they are your SOUL MATE. You are the only one who understands them. The only one who “gets” their humor. The only one who sees life the way they do. YOU are so special they tell you. Like a flower that is blooming with many different petals. Or you are like the special picture that has been found painted under another picture–a treasure that has been hidden but is now being uncovered. You are the most amazing person they have ever known. You like that. You want to feel special. Believe me, they know that already.

Another telltale sign of a personality disordered person in a relationship is the amount of time they devote to listening to you talk about YOU. What you like, don’t like, your fears, disappointments, sensitive issues, childhood hurts, insecurities. WOW. You think this is great. They must care–and care alot. But in this type of relationship–this is not done out of loving and caring. It is done to size you up. This information is filed away to be used at will by the personality disordered person in the future. They now know what triggers you to feel happy, sad, embarrassed, ashamed….How convenient in the plan to manipulate you.

Another tactic that is almost universal is that they portray themselves as being victims of their previous relationships. They have been abused, taken advantage of, lied to, cheated on. They need you to be their advocate and take up their cause. If only for you to be angry and hate the previous partner with a passion. They will keep you from that partner with everything they have because they do not want you seeing the real partner–beaten down, abused, but good-hearted. If the new partner saw you–they would have to question what they were being told about you–so this works nicely for both the new partner and the personality disordered individual. Neither really want the truth known. This is a nice fit that keeps the previously victimized partner far from sight and allows the new victim to be oblivious to the truth.

You have been blown off your feet by this amazing person, listened to, spent time with and rushed into relationship bliss. It feels heady but a bit suffocating. You wonder if there is something wrong. You may see some of the above as a red flag–but it feels soooo good, right? It seems like you’ve waited you whole life for this one person.

You disregard the little “off” things like the fact that they have multiple marriages, kids that dislike them or want no contact with them. What about their complete lack of friends? No matter–they will insinuate their selves right into your life–because they have none of their own. You wonder a bit how they managed to find all the crazy partners before you. When they tell you all their other relationships ended badly because ALL the previous partners were crazy or wanted something else etc.–this is a clue. Often times personality disordered people will tell you things that should make you run BUT you will downplay it or disregard it because everything else is so good. Don’t ignore it.

If they tell you that everything was the crazy ex’s fault or if they have simply disregarded the ex, think about that. Who walks away from marriage after marriage? Who can throw away years of a devoted spouse without a second thought and rush head long into a new relationship with no time in between?  If they may say to you that they lie a lot and don’t want to do that anymore–listen to that admission. Often times they will tell you they never cheated before. You are the first. It happened only because the ex was horrible, crazy, mean, violent…..or they will tell you they only cheated because of how amazing YOU are.  Think really hard because if someone is willing to cheat on one spouse…or two spouses….what makes you believe they are not going to ultimately cheat on you. Facts are facts and those who cheat–especially serial cheaters–will ALWAYS cheat again.

They will also compartmentalize everything. They will seek to keep you away from all others from their past. The ex will be too crazy or dangerous to be around. You may wonder why the ex has so many friends and seems to be doing well. But you will listen to the lies of the personality disordered person because–well–it seems easier. You think how could this loving person be lying about the ex. Surely the ex was the bad one –even if it doesn’t quite seem to fit, we gloss over that in our minds.

BUT we believe that we are the exception to the rule. We are younger. Richer. Smarter. Funnier. It couldn’t happen to me, right? Well it could and it will. The personality disordered individual is what they are. They do not change much because it is a pervasive pattern of interaction. It IS how they see the world. It is how they ARE in the world. The don’t change. They are masters of deception. They are highly skilled at using and abusing. They are what they are and they give us clues. The problem is we refuse to see.

The personality disordered individual sees themselves as highly unique and special. However, the truth is they are fundamentally all the same and they do fundamentally the same things. They love bomb. They lie. They gaslight. They manipulate. They twist your words. They blame-shift. They project. They suck the life, love, and joy out of your life. They all use the same techniques but may apply them differently. They really are nothing special but they are very good at presenting that they are. IF you know the signs of a personality disordered individual–you can proactively protect your self and not fall prey to them.

They are hunters. They do seek out a particular kind of individual to control. They are insidious. They do their dirty deeds so slyly that you won’t know what is happening until it is far too late. Some personality disordered people can keep the mask on for literally years–but other let it slip right away. If you are not familiar with this façade–you will spend years trying to ‘get it right’. You will own the problems and troubles. YOU will think it is you.

But fear not. As we journey through this nightmare together–you will learn to identify the signs of a personality disordered person. You will learn what they do and how they do it. You will learn how we fall for this and why we fall for this. You will learn how to identify and protect your self from this kind of creature. If you discover that you have become a victim of this kind of person, there are special things that you can do to protect your self and get out as safely as possible.

They all do the same things at the beginning, middle and end of the relationship. It doesn’t matter who ends it–they do the same things. They exist in a predictable pattern of interaction with their environment. They seek to destroy your reputation, your credibility, and anything that you hold dear. They want to strip you of all that you have as punishment for the perceived danger that you are to them. You know what they really are behind the mask or façade so they must discredit you to protect themselves. They are dangerous and they seek to destroy you to avoid owning their abuses. Be prepared. And remember the beginning–the love bombing. Remember THAT is the best part of this nightmare. It only lasts for a short time and you will spend the remaining time in this nightmare trying to recapture those feelings, times, and behaviors.

Some stay for a few months and others stay for decades trying to figure out what the hell is happening. Once you see the signs (and they all follow this same pattern basically) you will be able to identify the pathology and make your move to safety.

We will be discussing in future blogs the love bombing in more detail. Also the tools they use to control and manipulate. How it affects you mentally and physically. There will be postings where victims/survivors tell their stories. There will be information on how they set you up long before the ending. What they do and how they do it. Stories that you think are too unbelievable are common place for those who have been victimized by the personality disordered individual.

They will forever get away with it if women don’t start talking to each other. If women are kept in the dark about the very obvious and telltale features of these devious people, they may fall prey to this pathological individual. Knowledge is the best tool that you can have. Just knowing this evil exists can help protect you from it.

This is becoming a very common phenomenon and yet how it actually unfolds is not really focused on much in school or in workshops. Most who know and understand it have been victimized by this type of personality disordered person. I have seen this take place personally and I have interacted with hundreds of people whose story is basically the same. Out of my own experience, I can teach and educate. Knowledge is your first step.

These posts will help you in identifying the patterns. Educating yourself to this process. Healing cannot begin until you see the true problem. This series of posts will help you see the problem and then help you to outline ways to fix it.

Remember–if someone seems too good to be true–they probably are! If you do not understand the process by which they seek to control and destroy–you will wake up one day and ask, “How did I get here“?

*(Cluster B’s include antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder). This article deals with those who suffer from antisocial and narcissistic issues.

“The process may seem strange and yet it is very true. I did not so much gain the knowledge of things by the words, as words by the experience I had of things.”
Plutarch