Human Issues, Reblog

Research Part III: How To Get A Narcissist To Reveal Themselves 

Image Credit: The Narcissistic Life

First off, let’s be clear. Gaslighting by some stranger or even someone you used to know and are still “friends” with on Facebook do not need to be “revealed.” If the person gaslighting you is not a part of your REAL life, don’t read what they write!

While this may not be the easiest thing to do, it will make your life so much better. People who say things on social media for no other reason than to stir other people up are attention seekers. Worse than people posting are the trolls who comment. By acknowledging or arguing with these people, you are giving them all the attention they desire. You can’t win. You can’t make them “woke.” They have zero interest in being educated or hearing your side or your evidence. But most importantly, if they don’t live in your house, work with you, or are somehow intimately involved in your daily life, what they say simply doesn’t matter.

If they are in your house, work with you, or a part of your daily life, by all means, do something about it. Unfortunately, in relationships, often the only thing you can do is leave. I’m sure some people can go through therapy and be reformed or cured from their narcissism, but that’s not the norm, and people I care deeply about have been destroyed in the process of trying to “fix” a narcissistic partner.

“The Narcissist has designed a perfect exterior to cover their deep-seated sense of inadequacy. As long as you appeal to their false self, they will value and even idealize you. But your worth is contingent on giving the narcissist the positive affirmation they crave; it has nothing to do with who you are.”

“Narcissists are experts at manipulating people by distorting reality in subtle ways: taking facts way out of context, appearing victimized when they’re actually the victimizers…”

One thing they can’t do, however, is control their rage. Triggered at the right time in the right place (for example, in front of a judge), the narcissistic rage may, for once, actually help the victim. “Being exposed, especially in front of people they want to impress, will trigger the narcissist’s rage. Family law professionals will witness a distinct personality change and have proof that the narcissist’s words don’t line up with their actions.”

Want to read more? Click on the image to read The Narcissistic Life blog or here to view: How To Get A Narcissist To Reveal Themselves – Latest Divorce Child Custody Family Law

Thank you for reading this series. My greatest wish is that someone who needs to see this does see it before it is too late.

Human Issues, Reblog

Research Part II: Gaslighting – How To Protect Yourself

Of this entire series, this is the article I wish most that I could send back in time. Gaslighting in and of itself is bad enough, but it can actually go far enough to cause someone to hurt themselves, self-medicate (i.e. drug abuse/alcoholism), or even commit suicide.

Image Credit: Lauren Wilson; adapted from Psychology Today

What if you could protect yourself, instead?

  1. State your position — but don’t argue.  A narcissist will gaslight you in order to get an emotional reaction out of you. As soon as you get emotional – as soon as you argue – the attention is diverted off from whatever the narcissist wants to deflect.
  2. Remain calm Again, the whole point is to get you agitated and emotional.
  3. Seek outside support. You may feel like this person has the whole world “snowed,” but chances are, they see it too. They may not know how bad it really is, though. It’s okay to do a sanity check. And yes, you should always own what’s yours – nobody is perfect. But no one should have to endure traumatic emotional abuse.
  4. Look for patterns, not isolated incidents.  “Why do I always forgive him/her?” If you have ever asked yourself this question, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself different questions: “Is he/she a narcissist?” “Is his/her behavior abusive?”
  5. The artful use of the word “nevertheless.” I loved this advice. Having a strong word to refocus a conversation can help keep you calm so you don’t go chasing rabbits down emotional holes.

In the next, and final post of this series, I’ll share how to defeat a narcissist.

Read the entire article referenced above at: Gaslighting: How To Protect Yourself – Latest Divorce Child Custody Family Law

Human Issues, Reblog

Research Part I: Gaslighting – How To Recognize Manipulative Behavior

Gaslighting Red Flags
Image Credit: Introvert Doodles

I’ve been researching a bit as I look for background information on my latest writing project and came across some good articles that I wish I could go back in time and give to someone close to me. A lot of pain might have been prevented. Maybe sharing them will prevent someone else from suffering.

Let’s start with some behavior that has gotten a lot of attention lately. Gaslighting. We see it on social media constantly. I won’t name names, but some politicians have really been able to stir things up on Twitter. Whether you agree with the tweets or are on the other side, the ensuing arguments are filled with emotional reactions and responses. 

But what if the gaslighting is more personal than the nonsense we read on social media?

What is “Gaslighting?”

“The term was taken from the 1944 thriller Gaslight, in which a husband convinces his wife she’s going insane to distract her from his criminal shenanigans.” Gaslighting and narcissism go hand-in-hand, whether the perpetrator is a covert narcissist or an overt narcissist. Or a little bit of both, as both “develop a false sense of superiority to mask their vulnerability and feelings of inadequacy.”

I found a series of articles I’d like to share over the course of a couple of posts. While they focus on marriage and divorce, any intimate relationship will suffer if one of the parties is a narcissist. Want to know more? Keep reading here: Gaslighting: How To Recognize Your Spouse’s Manipulative Behavior

Human Issues, Random Thoughts

Spammers, Stalkers, and Trolls – Part 2 (or possibly Part 947 :::rolls eyes::: )

Since getting called out in January for trying to comment on my blog, my stalker, Melissa David, has been so quiet we started hoping she had finally gotten help and moved on. She’s blocked from our Facebook accounts and we’ve stopped updating profile and cover pictures to try to make her lose interest. Our Instagram accounts are set to private, we stopped using Tumblr all together, and we don’t put family pictures anywhere she can get to them, since she really loves attacking our children and grandchildren.

sorryEven still, I can see when she lurks on my blog thanks to WordPress analytics, and my Pinterest analytics show a disproportionately high number of visits from the New York area. This inspires me to try not to post anything that might accidentally provoke her. Unfortunately, she’s perpetually convinced everything we do has something to do with her. I had to stop tweeting anything that would indicate where we are traveling at any moment, especially trips to New York, because those really set her off.

I do still haveimg_3454 her name on regular rotation for morning prayers. I can’t shake a lingering feeling she’s really needs all the prayers she can get. The IP address she used during the last comment spam harassment episode indicate she’s using Dunkin’ Donuts free wifi to appear she’s living in a respectable neighborhood instead of a shelter or the projects, which just makes me sad for her on so many levels. Single and alone, destitute, no family, childless, alcoholic. Wildly obsessed (for seven years) with someone she’s never met. I pray for her for all that and in general; however, I have to admit, she has rarely come to mind otherwise.

IMG_6572Then, a week or two ago, totally unprovoked and out-of-the-blue, we started receiving random letters and packages. At first, it was just a catalog here, a free sample there. Obviously it was her (using random homophones of my name is typical of her often middle school like tactics), but again, feeling more pity for her than anything, we chose to ignore it.

Unfortunately, narcissistic sociopaths do not like being ignored.

IMG_9318The mailings increased every day. More types of junk mail, more weird name spelling, more Jr. High obnoxiousness. Plus-size clothing catalogs. Religious brochures. Adult incontinence product samples.

She must have enjoyed some pretty intense drunken binges and several late night Google searches accompanying her daily visits to my social media sites. How miserable does a person have to be? I cannot even imagine how much time it would take someone to do all this. All just to get my attention? I might feel special if it weren’t so incredibly creepy. Of course we still ignored her. I’d still be ignoring this if it hadn’t continued to get worse and worse.

IMG_0900 3-downThe past two days, I finally reached the point where I decided to publicly call her out (and hopefully shut her down again) because of the OTHER victims in this ridiculous stalker prank. All of this costs people money to send, but the bulk magazine and bulk mail advertising is one thing — but making people send us things using Next Day Fed-Ex is something totally different. Especially when it isn’t a regular envelope. In just the past two days, we’ve received three books that cost the senders between $4.00 and $8.00 each. Why would someone do that to people?

IMG_7865The other victims are our postal workers. Today alone we received 14 POUNDS of junk mail. The mail carrier had to get out of his delivery car and make two trips to bring it all to the door. The ONE DAY pile is 9 inches tall.

Seriously? These poor people have to work hard enough every day. I could not possibly care less at her pathetic attempts to garner my attention, but I’m pretty irritated that she’s involving total strangers. It’s just so immature and gross.

Sadly, outside of calling her out on her obnoxious stalking, I imagine there is little we can do to help the other victims. We’ll cancel what we can, obviously, and we’ve reported it to the Postal Inspection Service. Will they be able to do anything? I doubt it. It’s not like anyone is going to set up a sting operation at Dunkin’ Donuts.

I used to wonder if my husband exaggerated her crude and bitter ugliness when he told miserableme stories about her, but I realize after years of her torment that he was actually generously flattering. What right does an uneducated, homeless, unemployed prostitute have to do this to people?

This tasteless prank illustrates how very basic she really is. The epitome of classlessness. These hardworking folks – just trying to make an honest dollar hauling mail in the South Carolina heat. WTH?

Just because someone she doesn’t even know is living the life she thinks she wants but doesn’t think she can have? If she would just get a job and take her meds regularly – plus get a sponsor and stay on her AA program – I’m sure she could find some guy to marry, get a little house in the suburbs, plant a garden, learn to cook. I’ll even unblock her on Pinterest so she can repin my life to her heart’s content – I would wish anyone a wonderful life like mine… even her. I am the first one to say I’m blessed far beyond what I deserve.

I guess I need to keep praying for her. Maybe I need to take her off rotation and add her to the daily list.

Luke 6:27-30 – 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Romans 12:20 –  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

If you feel so inclined, please pray for a woman named Melissa David.

UPDATE 5/21/17:

Sadly, the harassment continues. She must have wanted to make absolute sure I knew it was her since she’s using calling cards. “Ericunt” is, apparently, her favorite pet name for me. The fake email addresses she keeps using to order stuff online (from the U.S. Government!!) follow the same pattern she has used on all of her fake profiles and her personal gmail address (erroin76heroin – anais77nin).

Only someone with absolutely nothing to lose would risk felony charges for stalking, mail fraud, slander, and identity theft over and over again. It’s so sad! Continually attacking innocent people demonstrates a complete lack of morals.

IMG_5106

Human Issues

:::sighs::: #Election2016

It is done. I keep reading all over the interwebs “How did this happen?” It’s pretty clear to me.

When changes happen too fast (for the “average” person), even if changes are good changes, the pendulum will ALWAYS swing back hard…with equal force.

Change breeds fear. Fear breeds hate.

1928 was the last time we saw Republican control of the Senate, the House, majority of Governors, Supreme Court pick, and presidency. This immediately shut down the super scary changes of the “roaring 20s” – but that pendulum swung really, REALLY hard… giving us the stock market crash in 1929, the Great Depression that followed and the 1929 Mexican Repatriation (1.5 million American CITIZENS of Mexican descent deported).

Pendulum back swing didn’t just impact America – it impacted the world…change-fear-hate created the atmosphere allowing for the rise of Hitler…who people followed willingly; gleefully. People united in their desire to return to some unnameable time “before the changes.” Unable to point to the exact cause of the changes, blame turned to anyone “different.” Jews, targeted both as a race and a religion mostly, but gays and mentally ill and others, too.

The past eight years have seen a lot of change. The iPad didn’t exist when Obama was elected. Things like Pinterest and Instagram hadn’t been invented yet. Add on big social change in the US [like new (controversial) healthcare and same-sex marriage] and in the world [like ISIS and refugees from Syria and Libya]. It would be an easy cheap shot to over-simplify a slogan to “Make America ‘white’ again,” because it’s not, at its core” purely about race or religion or any one thing. If it were, poll predictions would have been easier and more correct.

I believe this is more complicated–a pendulum swing…an attempt to take us back to before all this change that has overwhelmed half the nation. Just like in 1928.

In case you’re wondering, I am not a liberal. I have generally identified as moderate to conservative. I have deeply-held religious beliefs – Southern Baptist, born and raised – living on the buckle of the bible belt in the South for the larger part of my adult life. That being said, I have never been afraid of change.

Now I am afraid.

It’s not that I can’t believe this is happening. It’s that I can’t believe it’s happening AGAIN.

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:34

Dear God in Heaven, please let me be wrong.

Human Issues

Will you take the pledge with me? #MentalHealthMonth #StigmaFree @NAMICommunicate #IAmStigmaFree

I haven’t been blogging much lately. Between entertaining relatives taking shelter with us through Hurricane Matthew, starting a new role at work, and getting hooked on Civilization V, I’ve really had to cut back my time spent on social media. I can’t say it has hurt me a bit. Of course I normally go offline a lot during an election season because the extremes on both sides drive me away, but this year seems even different – darker – meaner.

When I do get on the Internet and see the headlines, I find myself getting angry or sad – especially about the stories involving children. In just the past week or so, three horrific stories kept popping up. Each version and update to each story released more graphic, heart-wrenching details.

Sadly, so many of these stories can be traced back to untreated (or poorly treated) mental health issues.

 

  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.1

  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.2

  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.3

 

I have people very close to me suffering from serious mental health issues. I see how they struggle to get the right help. I see how they have to “explain” themselves to people over and over again. I get frustrated and angry when people judge the people I love… and yet, just today I caught myself getting emotional and throwing around phrases like “crazy” and “wackos.” I know what hurt language like that can cause. It doesn’t help anyone, and I decided I needed to revisit my behavior and renew my pledge to be #StigmaFree!

Please join me. Take a moment to check out the video below and visit Nami.org to learn more.

 

 

social-badge-share

Source: Nami
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-50, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 15-4927. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Retrieved October 27, 2015 from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf
2. Any Anxiety Disorder Among Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved January 16, 2015, fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-anxiety-disorder-among-adults.shtml
3. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. (2007). Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Delmar, N.Y: Skowyra, K.R. & Cocozza, J.J. Retrieved January 16, 2015, fromhttp://www.ncmhjj.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2007_Blueprint-for-Change-Full-Report.pdf

 

Fitness, Human Issues

Interview with Louisa – Marathoner, triathlete & mental health advocate

I love when people acknowledge the tie between physical and mental. When I can’t run for some reason or another, the first thing I notice is the change in my head space.

I follow Louisa on Instagram. http://instagram.com/louisaruns Check out her blog, too. https://louisaruns.wordpress.com

Marathon Marcus

As part of my blog I (MM) believe it’s important to share common and similar experiences. With over 22k Instagram followers and acting as an advocate for the equality of physical and mental health. I’m so inspired by the work she is doing. I’d like to introduce you to Louisa (LE).

MB: In 2013 you started training for your first marathon, which was London 2014, what advice would you give other people attempting their first marathon?

LE: Yes it was London 2014. My main advice would be to set reasonable goals. I gave myself a year to change which I felt was beneficial as I didn’t put to much pressure on myself and was able to go at my own pace. At the beginning I could only run three/four miles non-stop so I definitely had my work cut out. But I set small goals, I made sure I started covering…

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Human Issues, Spiritual

Pope Francis Says It’s Not Right to Identify Islam With Violence — TIME

(ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE) — Pope Francis says he won’t describe Islam as “terrorist” since that’s “not fair and not true.” Francis was asked Sunday why he never uses the word “Islam” when denouncing extremists’ killings like that of an elderly French priest during Mass in France last week. He was speaking to reporters aboard…

via Pope Francis Says It’s Not Right to Identify Islam With Violence — TIME