Posted in cancer, faith, God, Grace, help, loss, prayer, soul, Thanksgiving

Death Comes For All

I don’t imagine this will be my most popular topic to write about but when you are told that yours may be imminent, it has been cause for me to explore the topic.  It is said that we are born to die.  And it is true, nobody gets out of this life alive.  Even Jesus had to experience physical death before eternal life.

In this day and age we have distanced ourselves from the concept of death.  We have hospice and funeral homes.  But just a century ago, most people died in their own homes, surrounded by family members and death was observed by families, up close and personal.  This is not the case today.  It was also something that many cultures embraced and prepared for.  Whereas, in today’s  society where we avoid the subject or reality of it, at all costs.  I am not saying that I am racing to the grave but I have made a bit of a study of it.

In many cultures or beliefs there is a bit of a ceremony at the time of transition.  Drums are beat, chants are made, music is played.  Here is the US, the priest or pastor is called at times and the last rites are said etc.  But what is all this about?  Is it for the departing soul or for the remaining family?  If you die alone, does it make an eternal difference to the dying?  Many of the dying wait until they are alone to slip away.  They find it difficult to do when surrounded by family and wait and quietly slip away when someone steps away for just a moment.  It’s as if they cling to life while surrounded by family but find it easier to depart when no one is around.  I have heard of this happening many times.

My very first experience with death came when I was 8 years old.  My young and beautiful step sister was dying of brain cancer.  I was very young when the reality that children die too, was thrust upon me.  It was sad and difficult watching a child I played with and cared for, die a slow and agonizing death.  And I am struck with my own cancer in my brain and my gamma knife success, how different it may have been if she had been diagnosed in today’s medical age.

My next death experience came when I had just graduated high school and my great grandmother (who had survived breast cancer in the 1940’s) was dying of leukemia. After graduation, I went to live with my grandparents once again and helped with meals and laundry while Nana took care of Nanny until she drew her last breath.  Nanny was surrounded by loved ones and in her own bed when she died.  The coroner was called, they came and took Nanny away and we had a traditional funeral service for her.

Then came the death of my second husband’s sister.  She drank herself to death.  She had been told where her drinking was taking her but she did not heed the warning and drank herself into full blown liver failure.  I remember being mad about this death it seemed so senseless at the time and she left behind 2 teenagers and a husband.  I later found out about some trauma that must have scarred her on a very deep level that she hid and it most likely ate her alive.  She died in the hospital and was not in her right mind as the toxins (from a failed liver) built up in her system.  It was very sad to watch, especially knowing that she had done this to herself.

Since my breast cancer experience, I have witnessed many folks on their deathbed.  I am a witness to their passing.  I am OK with being there.  I have had very deep conversations with folks who are passing over and I have had a glimpse of what comes after.  There is an after.  This life that we see and experience is not all there is.  Souls (mine and yours) live on beyond the relinquishment of the physical body.  The essence of who we are goes on.  It does not matter what you believe happens after that……know this, you will continue to exist.  The love you expressed, the people you helped, the kindness you showed matters.

Take some time out of your life to figure your next stop.  It always amazes me at how much time is spent preparing for things that MIGHT happen and so little time is spent on what is definitely going to happen, at some point.  Death comes for us ALL, no exception.  What are you doing to prepare for yours??

Microsoft Word - heaven.docx

 

Posted in cancer, faith, friend, God, Grace, gratitude, hapiness, healing, heart, help, Love, prayer, soul, Thanksgiving

Living From the Heart

Living from the heart.  What does this mean?  Another expression “living wholeheartedly.”  I love Brene Brown, she has done several great works on this subject of living wholeheartedly and authentically.  But what does it look like, this wholehearted living?

I will try to flesh this out in the way that I have been working on.  The Word courage actually has at the root of it “Heart”.  Middle English (denoting the heart, as the seat of feelings): from Old French corage, from Latin cor ‘heart.’  So we know that courage takes heart.  It has meant for me to moving forward despite the way I am feeling.  Courage does not mean that I am not afraid but that I continue on my path despite my fears.

The bible tells us that “perfect love casts out fear” 1John 4;18.  So, it is impossible to experience love when we are in a state of fear.  Courage is an act of faith, to move forward despite our fears.  It takes courage and faith to believe you are not dying of cancer when the doctors tell you that you have six months to live.

Much of this courage begins with thought and intention.  Humans are the only created being that have the ability to observe thought.  That means we can think about what we are thinking about.  We also have the ability to police those thoughts.

When I was first told I had six months to live, I sat one day and made a list of every negative, fatalistic thought that I had.  I memorized it and place it before myself so any time I had one of those thoughts, I recognized it and chased it from my mind.  I replaced it with prayers and healing intentions for myself.  This went on hundreds of times a day, in the beginning.  In time, I found I had less and less of those thoughts to chase.

I spend nearly a half and hour a day when I am in a dreamy state before I get up and and I do my work.  My true work.  I pray and meditate on my good health and healing intentions for my body.  I chase fear, I invite in love and light and express extreme gratitude for another day.  This time I spend is extremely important and it helps me to be fortified from within before I begin my day.  I am not in a particular position but I do practice breathing and listening to my breath.

In this state I envision and experience health with my thoughts and my emotions.  I express my gratitude for the simplest things: my body, my mind, my family, my husband, children, food, shelter.  I ask for nothing just gratitude for what I have.  I experience joy and contentment.  Here and now.

Living from the heart is rare.  People often say I am brave, if that means being authentic and genuine then yes, I am brave.  I guess I put a lot “out there” and express openly what others would not.  At times it does feel risky but it is mostly out of an attempt to help  someone who may be in a dark and fearful place.  To give them hope and potentially show them a way out.  I have been in dark places myself and I know how scary it can be to be alone with bad thoughts and intentions towards myself.  I spent many years there.  But those years have given me much compassion and understanding.

Living from the heart is healthy.  I believe it is what we were created to do.  To experience love and express love freely.  It is mainly negative experiences that cause us to wall ourselves off.  And with some folks who have proven themselves to be untrustworthy with our hearts, it is right to do.  I was not created to be anyone’s doormat.  Neither were you.  But I was created to be a welcome mat and there is a HUGE difference!!

I will share one of my favorite talks here:

 

Posted in cancer, Chemotherapy, friend, healing, help

The Things People Say………….

It has been very interesting to have my new diagnosis and run into people in the community at events. I have had the strangest things said to me. I will list some of them here in efforts to help people communicate with folks who have a difficult diagnosis. First I will list some of the things said:

1. “OH, I thought you had passed” My common response to this one is, “well thanks for coming to my memorial”. Yes, this has actually been said to me 3 times. This one is obviously nothing that you want to say to anyone. The first time someone said it, I felt like I had been slapped. My new oncologist actually said this to me. Very bad form.

2. “You look awesome for a dead woman walking” This one is funny when I say it (jokingly)but not so funny when others say it. It hurts me a bit and I don’t see myself as a dead woman walking. I see myself as a person living with and managing a cancer diagnosis.

3. “How are you really doing”? This one bothers me because I am fairly transparent. If I was not doing well, I would be pretty vocal about it. One of the things that I try to strive to be is authentic. I am not much of a complainer and I am the cock-eyed optimist so unless things are tragic, I will be focusing on what is right in my life, not what is wrong.

4. “OH, you are out”? I am not bed ridden. I am still very active. You may run into me shopping, at the gym etc. I have pulled out of many community activities mostly because I have to steel myself against the things people say and the pity that some people exude. Let me just say this here. I hate pity. I am not pitiful, I am OK. I am doing really well and I appreciate genuine concern but I hate pity!!

5. “OH, wow You still have hair”? Yes, I am not doing chemo or whole brain radiation. Cancer does not equal no hair. Many people who are in the midst of cancer do not lose their hair.
That is a stereotype. And although, I have been bald before. I have a healthy head of hair now.

I know folks are well-meaning and most do not know what to say and do. I have a suggestion. Why don’t you just treat me like Dawn. Treat me as you always have. I don’t mind genuine inquiries about my health. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have, especially if you want to know what I am doing and you want to pass my name or information to someone else so that I may help or encourage them.

I believe I am still here to help others and I have done much research, scientific research into the routine and regime I am using daily. I am always happy to talk about that.
I love people and I know most of them mean well. These are just some guidelines when conversing with me or anyone who has cancer.

Thanks

Posted in bitterness, help, loss, narcissism

New Post on Narcissism: Respost

The Timing And Motivation Behind Why Most Narcissists Discard Their Partners

 

Why do narcissists seem to pick the worst possible times to discard their partners? Are they really that cold-blooded that they not only break-up with you, but also plan to do it at a time that would add insult to injury? What would motivate a narcissist to hurt someone they professed to love so much in such a heartless and brutal manner?

I have heard many stories of narcissists dumping their partners right before a major holiday, or on their partner’s birthday, or after their partner shared something very personal. I’ve also heard of narcissists ending relationships right before a special planned event, or when their partner was down on their luck, grieving the loss of a loved one or even diagnosed with a serious illness. The list of heartless, cold and calculating ways that narcissists end relationships continues on and on.

It is not your imagination. Indeed, it is true that the narcissist will purposely plan the timing of their breakups to occur during times when distress or vulnerability is extremely high in your life.

Narcissists thrive from kicking you when you’re down.

Adding to your troubles and blindsiding you increases the odds that you will become completely unhinged by the cruelty of their cold-blooded actions and complete surprise of your expulsion.

Narcissists are fully anticipating you to beg, plead and promise to change even more than you already have when they unexpectedly break things off with you. It is their deranged way of further managing you down the road and fully establishing their superiority and dominance over you. The more that you abandon all dignity in a desperate attempt to try to understand how they could simply dispose of you as though you never meant anything to them, the grander and more in control they feel.

Your pain creates a transitory jolt of self-worth that silences a narcissists nagging feelings of self-loathing. It gives them a temporary rush. Watching your heart break with agony is literally intoxicating to them. It’s the equivalent to a hit of cocaine. Their behavior, post discard, may appear almost manic as they become drunk in their own premeditated ego boost.

Flaunting a new  “supply” or relationship in your face just days or weeks later is their coup de grâce. Emotionally healthy people would feel too ashamed or embarrassed to publicly jump into another relationship so quickly. The narcissist doesn’t. Not in the least.

Why?

Because the narcissist has most likely been planning your discard and smearing your reputation behind your back for weeks, if not much longer. The narcissists’ supporters won’t think twice hearing that you were replaced so suddenly because they have heard all about your alleged faults and misdeeds for quite some time. They more than likely will be happy that the “poor” narcissist has found someone to rescue them from the likes of you.

What should you do if your narcissist breaks up with you unexpectedly and smears your character? Absolutely NOTHING! Their supporters are still under the influence of the narcissist’s stories just like you were. In fact, you’ve probably seen sides of the narcissist that his or her supporters have never seen or could never even possibly imagine. Guess what? You still stayed and hung in there in the haze of your Kool-Aid spiked cocktail mixed with shots of your own cognitive dissonance and unconditional love.

Do not try to defend yourself to your narcissist or their supporters. This is a waste of precious emotional energy that you will need. Do not try to sway the supporters in to siding with you. The narcissist has anticipated the things that you might say and has already countered them by planting a very credible sounding rendition of the truth in the minds of their supporters.

“But it’s NOT fair! Why should I let the narcissist get away with trying to destroy my character and play the victim while I’m the real victim and the one hurting?”

It’s not fair. But narcissists don’t play fair or by the rules. They are morally deficient and lack a conscience. For this reason you can never win a battle against a narcissist. There is no level that they will not stoop to in order to win. Your mind may be able to travel to hateful and horrible places, but your conscience will not allow you to pack your suitcase and follow suit.

You never entered the relationship to play games or “win.” You entered the relationship with an open heart and pure intentions. It may appear that the narcissist has “won” as they are running off happily into the sunset with their new soul mate while you are beyond devastated, just hanging on by your fingertips trying to put the pieces of your life back together and figure out what just happened.

As the fog slowly dissipates and you, like the thousands of survivors before you, will learn that there’s a name for the ABUSE you suffered. It’s called narcissistic abuse. You will realize that the narcissist tried to destroy, devalue and then discard you not because you were unworthy or flawed, but actually just the opposite. The narcissist devalues, destroys and discards from a place of insecurity and inferiority. “All cruelty springs from weakness”. ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Narcissists believe that if they can destroy and dominate good people who possess qualities that they lack, then they can adopt those qualities through some disordered process of osmosis.

If you’ve been discarded, most likely it’s a tribute to your strength.

You started seeing through the charade of the narcissist. You began challenging the narcissist on their lies and hypocrisy. You saw their mask slip and caught a glimpse of the evil, phony person that they have been hiding from you. At that point, you’re no longer a good source of supply. Your expiration date has arrived.

Your inkling or glimpse of the truth of what has been hiding behind the mask invalidates the deluded image the narcissist has of themselves. Their cover has been blown and to survive they need to discard you so that they don’t have to acknowledge the reality of their real, flawed self. To acknowledge the truth of their real-self would shatter the narcissist into pieces from which they could never recover.

Unfortunately, understanding the motivation and timing behind your dismissal does not lessen the torment of the feelings of pain, heart-ache and betrayal. You’ve been lied to, toyed with, and manipulated. Your love has been exploited and used as a weapon against you. Healing from this abuse takes time and tenacity.

When I said that you can never win a battle against a narcissist, I meant that you can never win if you play their game. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose. On the contrary, now that the relationship is over, you are no longer their unwilling opponent in their twisted “love” games. You’re sincere, genuine and you believe that love is not a game where there must always be a winner and a loser. Let the narcissist play the “You’re Always Going To End Up The Loser Game” with someone else.

You may still feel that the narcissist has won and that’s okay. Be patient with yourself. The more time and distance you have away from the narcissist, the more you’ll realize how mentally and emotionally imprisoned you actually were.

You are FREE now. So F.L.Y. (First Love Yourself) and let go of what you know in your mind is not good for you. That way you will be available to receive what you truly want and deserve.

Bree Bonchay
Bree Bonchay is a Los Angeles based Licensed Psychotherapist (LCSW) who believes “relationships are the currency of life”. She’s a relationship expert dedicated to helping people heal from break-ups, recover from toxicrelationships with narcissists and sociopaths and to never settle for a life less than the one they dreamed of. She is a Blogger, Advocate, Facebook Toxic Relationship Recovery Forum Administrator, Radio Guest Expert, and is the Author of her upcoming book, “I Am Free”. http://www.relationshipedia.me/
Posted in cancer, Chemotherapy, friend, healing, help

The Power of Small Gestures

I have spent considerable time thinking about what made the biggest difference and had the largest positive impact on me, while I was going through cancer.  After much reflection and careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that is was the small genuine gestures of people around me.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate EVERYTHING that was done for me……….EVERYTHING.  But whether it was a phone call, a card, a gift card, a touch, a smile.  It was these gestures from people who lifted my spirits when I was at my lowest.

I encountered my fair amount of people in the places I traveled, who looked at me and pitied me.  Cancer patients HATE pity.  We do not want pity, we want compassion.  And it is palpable folks.  A cancer patient can tell the difference between what is done out of pity, obligation or true and genuine compassion.  When your head is bald, it is like hanging a sign around your neck saying, I AM SICK!!  And there were times I wore my wig just to not have to deal with the stares, the pity and occasionally contempt.  When I see someone with scant hair on their head, it takes me instantly back to those days when I was in that same boat.  My heart becomes full, I know how they feel.  I soften, I remember and I try to engage.  I rush in to encourage and try to help them to envision a future.

So many people do not understand my passion to surround myself with cancer patients and face my demons daily.  Someone has to help cancer patients and it needs to be people who love and understand them.  People fail to remember that inside every body, healthy or not is a SPIRIT and SOUL.  That soul is not sick, their body is sick.  Their spirit is intact and very interested IN LIFE and HEALTH.  They are not defined by their disease.  They need you to see them not just the cancer.  Look them in the eye, don’t avert your gaze.  SMILE and say HELLO and engage them as you would anyone else.  You have no idea that just that can be so refreshing from where they sit.

If you know someone in the fight…..call them, write them a note, bring a meal, just visit them.  I still tear up when I think of the genuine gestures that were demonstrated to me when I was in the fight.

I know it is tough, I used to run away from this myself.  Until my own cancer diagnosis, and having watched 3 family members die up close & personal, I ran away like my hair was on fire.  I get it, it isn’t  always easy to do.  BUT remember……………………….

Small gestures………when we are beaten down and feeling alone in our pain/ disease, it is the powerful small gesture that elevates. It is not grandiosity that warms and connects us to others, it is small and genuine gestures of caring that bring people back from the brink.

Chemo cake

Posted in heart, help, narcissism, Uncategorized

Why do Narcissists Cheat, commit adultery and have extra marital affairs and liasons.

My series on narcissists is very popular on here so I found this very good article I thought I would share.

By Sam Vaknin.

http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/marriage/why-narcissists-cheat-on-their-spouses-commit-adultery-and-have-extramarital-affairs-and-liaisons.html

Narcissists cheat on their spouses, commit adultery and have extramarital affairs and liaisons for a variety of reasons which reflect disparate psychodynamic processes:   1. In the quest for narcissistic supply, the somatic narcissist resorts to serial sexual conquests.   2. Narcissists are easily bored (they have a low boredom threshold) and they have a low tolerance for boredom. Sexual dalliances alleviate this nagging and frustrating ennui.   3. Narcissists maintain an island and focus of stability in their life, but all the other dimensions of their existence are chaotic, unstable, and unpredictable. This “twister” formation serves many emotional needs which I expound upon elsewhere. Thus, a narcissist may be a model employee and pursue a career path over decades even as he cheats on his wife and fritters their savings away.   4. Narcissists feel superior and important and so entitled to beabove the law and to engage in behaviors that are frowned upon and considered socially unacceptable in others. They reject and vehemently resent all limitations and conditions placed upon them by their partners. They act on their impulses and desires unencumbered by social conventions and strictures.   5. Marriage, monogamy, and child-bearing and rearing are common activities that characterize the average person. The narcissist feels robbed of his uniqueness by these pursuits and coerced into the relationship and into roles – such as a husband and a father – that reduce him to the lowest of common denominators. This narcissistic injury leads him to rebel and reassert his superiority and specialness by maintaining extramarital affairs.   6. Narcissists are control freaks. Having a relationship implies a give-and-take and a train of compromises which the narcissist acutely interprets to mean a loss of control over his life. To reassert control, the narcissist initiates other relationships in which he dictates the terms of engagement (love affairs).   7. Narcissists are terrified of intimacy. Their behavior is best characterized as an approach-avoidance repetition complex. Adultery is an excellent tool in the attempt to retard intimacy and resort to a less threatening mode of interaction.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of narcissists, loosely corresponding to the two categories mentioned in the question: the somatic narcissist and the cerebral narcissist.

Narcissists are misogynist. They hold women in contempt, they loathe and fear them. They seek to torment and frustrate them (either by debasing them sexually – or by withholding sex from them). They harbor ambiguous feelings towards the sexual act.

The somatic narcissist uses sex to “conquer” and “secure” new sources of narcissistic supply. Consequently, the somatic rarely gets emotionally involved with his “targets”. His is a mechanical act, devoid of intimacy and commitment. The cerebral narcissist feels that sex is demeaning and degrading. Acting on one’s sex drive is a primitive, basic, and common impulse. The cerebral narcissist convinces himself that he is above all that, endowed as he is with superior intelligence and superhuman self-control.

Still, sex for both types of narcissists is an instrument designed to increase the number of Sources of Narcissistic Supply. If it happens to be the most efficient weapon in the narcissist’s arsenal, he makes profligate use of it. In other words: if the narcissist cannot obtain adoration, admiration, approval, applause, or any other kind of attention by other means (e.g., intellectually) – he resorts to sex.

He then become a satyr (or a nymphomaniac): indiscriminately engages in sex with multiple partners. His sex partners are considered by him to be objects – sources of Narcissistic Supply. It is through the processes of successful seduction and sexual conquest that the narcissist derives his badly needed narcissistic “fix”.

The narcissist is likely to perfect his techniques of courting and regard his sexual exploits as a form of art. He usually exposes this side of him – in great detail – to others, to an audience, expecting to win their approval and admiration. Because the Narcissistic Supply in his case is in the very act of conquest and (what he perceives to be) subordination – the narcissist is forced to hop from one partner to another.

Some narcissists prefer “complicated” situations. If men – they prefer virgins, married women, frigid or lesbian women, etc. The more “difficult” the target – the more rewarding the narcissistic outcome. Such a narcissist may be married, but he does not regard his extra-marital affairs as either immoral or a breach of any explicit or implicit contract between him and his spouse.

He keeps explaining to anyone who cares to listen that his other sexual partners are nothing to him, meaningless, that he is merely taking advantage of them and that they do not constitute a threat and should not be taken seriously by his spouse. In his mind a clear separation exists between the honest “woman of his life” (really, a saint) and the whores that he is having sex with.

With the exception of the meaningful women in his life, he tends to view all females in a bad light. His behaviour, thus, achieves a dual purpose: securing Narcissistic Supply, on the one hand – and re-enacting old, unresolved conflicts and traumas (abandonment by Primary Objects and the Oedipal conflict, for instance).

When inevitably abandoned by his spouse – the narcissist is veritably shocked and hurt. This is the sort of crisis, which might drive him to psychotherapy. Still, deep inside, he feels compelled to continue to pursue precisely the same path. His abandonment is cathartic, purifying. Following a period of deep depression and suicidal ideation – the narcissist is likely to feel cleansed, invigorated, unshackled, ready for the next round of hunting.

But there is another type of narcissist. He also has bouts of sexual hyperactivity in which he trades sexual partners and tends to regard them as objects. However, with him, this is a secondary behaviour. It appears mainly after major narcissistic traumas and crises.

A painful divorce, a devastating personal financial upheaval – and this type of narcissist adopts the view that the “old” (intellectual) solutions do not work anymore. He frantically gropes and searches for new ways to attract attention, to restore his False Ego (=his grandiosity) and to secure a subsistence level of Narcissistic Supply.

Sex is handy and is a great source of the right kind of supply: it is immediate, sexual partners are interchangeable, the solution is comprehensive (it encompasses all the aspects of the narcissist’s being), natural, highly charged, adventurous, and pleasurable. Thus, following a life crisis, the cerebral narcissist is likely to be deeply involved in sexual activities – very frequently and almost to the exclusion of all other matters.

However, as the memories of the crisis fade, as the narcissistic wounds heal, as the Narcissistic Cycle re-commences and the balance is restored – this second type of narcissist reveals his true colours. He abruptly loses interest in sex and in all his sexual partners. The frequency of his sexual activities deteriorates from a few times a day – to a few times a year. He reverts to intellectual pursuits, sports, politics, voluntary activities – anything but sex.

This kind of narcissist is afraid of encounters with the opposite sex and is even more afraid of emotional involvement or commitment that he fancies himself prone to develop following a sexual encounter. In general, such a narcissist withdraws not only sexually – but also emotionally. If married – he loses all overt interest in his spouse, sexual or otherwise. He confines himself to his world and makes sure that he is sufficiently busy to preclude any interaction with his nearest (and supposedly dearest).

He becomes completely immersed in “big projects”, lifelong plans, a vision, or a cause – all very rewarding narcissistically and all very demanding and time-consuming. In such circumstances, sex inevitably becomes an obligation, a necessity, or a maintenance chore reluctantly undertaken to preserve his sources of supply (his family or household).

The cerebral narcissist does not enjoy sex and by far prefers masturbation or “objective”, emotionless sex, like going to prostitutes. Actually, he uses his mate or spouse as an “alibi”, a shield against the attentions of other women, an insurance policy which preserves his virile image while making it socially and morally commendable for him to avoid any intimate or sexual contact with others.

Ostentatiously ignoring women other than his wife (a form of aggression) he feels righteous in saying: “I am a faithful husband”. At the same time, he feels hostility towards his spouse for ostensibly preventing him from freely expressing his sexuality, for isolating him from carnal pleasures.

The narcissist’s thwarted logic goes something like this: “I am married/attached to this woman. Therefore, I am not allowed to be in any form of contact with other women which might be interpreted as more than casual or businesslike. This is why I refrain from having anything to do with women – because I am being faithful, as opposed to most other immoral men.

However, I do not like this situation. I envy my free peers. They can have as much sex and romance as they want to – while I am confined to this marriage, chained by my wife, my freedom curbed. I am angry at her and I will punish her by abstaining from having sex with her.”

Thus frustrated, the narcissist minimises all manner of intercourse with his close circle (spouse, children, parents, siblings, very intimate friends): sexual, verbal, or emotional. He limits himself to the rawest exchanges of information and isolates himself socially.

His reclusion insures against a future hurt and avoids the intimacy that he so dreads. But, again, this way he also secures abandonment and the replay of old, unresolved, conflicts. Finally, he really is left alone by everyone, with no Secondary Sources of Supply.

In his quest to find new sources, he again embarks on ego-mending bouts of sex, followed by the selection of a spouse or a mate (a Secondary Narcissistic Supply Source). Then the cycle re-commence: a sharp drop in sexual activity, emotional absence and cruel detachment leading to abandonment.

The second type of narcissist is mostly sexually loyal to his spouse. He alternates between what appears to be hyper-sexuality and asexuality (really, forcefully repressed sexuality). In the second phase, he feels no sexual urges, bar the most basic. He is, therefore, not compelled to “cheat” upon his mate, betray her, or violate the marital vows. He is much more interested in preventing a worrisome dwindling of the kind of Narcissistic Supply that really matters. Sex, he says to himself, contentedly, is for those who can do no better.

Somatic narcissists tend to verbal exhibitionism. They tend to brag in graphic details about their conquests and exploits. In extreme cases, they might introduce “live witnesses” and revert to total, classical exhibitionism. This sits well with their tendency to “objectify” their sexual partners, to engage in emotionally neutral sex (group sex, for instance) and to indulge in autoerotic sex.

The exhibitionist sees himself reflected in the eyes of the beholders. This constitutes the main sexual stimulus, this is what turns him on. This outside “look” is also what defines the narcissist. There is bound to be a connection. One (the exhibitionist) may be the culmination, the “pure case” of the other (the narcissist).

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
Beated and chopp’d with tann’d antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.

(Sonnet 62Free Reprint Articles, William Shakespeare)

Article Tags: Spouses, Commit AdulteryHave Extramarital AffairsNarcissists CheatSpouses, Commit,Commit AdulteryHave ExtramaritalExtramarital AffairsSomatic NarcissistNarcissistic Supply,Cerebral NarcissistSexual Partners

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

 

Posted in faith, healing, help, narcissism, stress, treatment

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? How to spot a Narcissist

  • Are you in a tumultuous relationship/ marriage that is like riding a roller coaster daily?
  • Does your partner fail to even consider your wants/needs?
  • Is your partner overly concerned about their appearance, prestige or power?
  • Are they constantly critical of you but SUPER sensitive to ANYTHING that is critical of them?
  • Is it impossible to get them to admit that they have done anything wrong, ever?  Is an apology from them an impossible fantasy?
  • Does your partner have a pattern of broken relationships and friendships?
  • Do they have anger and rage problems when challenged about anything?
  • Is EVERYTHING about them?
  • Are they impossible to please consistently?
  • Do they negate all that you do for them, regardless of how much time or energy you donate to their cause?

If any or all of this sounds familiar, you may be dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Wikipedia has this to say about the disorder……..

Narcissistic personality disorder


Narcissistic personality disorder
 (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.[2] Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to egocentrism.
Symptoms of this disorder include, but are not limited to:
  • Reacts to criticism with angershame, or humiliation
  • May take advantage of others to reach his or her own goal
  • Tends to exaggerate their own importance, achievements, and talents
  • Imagines unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
  • Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
  • Easily becomes jealous
  • Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others
  • Obsessed with oneself
  • Mainly pursues selfish goals
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships
  • Is easily hurt and rejected
  • Sets unrealistic goals
  • Wants “the best” of everything
  • Appears as tough-minded or unemotional [3]

The symptoms of Narcissistic personality disorder can be similar to the traits of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence, differentiation occurs when the underlying psychological structures of these traits are considered pathological. Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others. Yet, they have a fragile self-esteem and cannot handle criticism, and will often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. It is this sadistic tendency that is characteristic of narcissism as opposed to other psychological conditions affecting level of self-worth. [4]

Causes

The cause of this disorder is unknown, according to Groopman and Cooper. However, they list the following factors identified by various researchers as possibilities:[5]

  • An oversensitive temperament at birth is the main symptomatic chronic form
  • Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or abilities by adults
  • Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
  • Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for bad behaviors in childhood
  • Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
  • Severe emotional abuse in childhood
  • Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
  • Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem

Some narcissistic traits are common and a normal developmental phase. When these traits are compounded by a failure of the interpersonal environment and continue into adulthood, they may intensify to the point where NPD is diagnosed.[6] Some psychotherapists believe that the etiology of the disorder is, in Freudian terms, the result of fixation to early childhood development.[7]

A 1994 study by Gabbard and Twemlow[8] reports that histories of incest, especially mother-son incest, are associated with NPD in some male patients.

Theories

Pathological narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity. In its more extreme forms, it is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). NPD is considered to result from a person’s belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others.[9] This belief is held below the person’s conscious awareness; such a person would, if questioned, typically deny thinking such a thing. In order to protect themselves against the intolerably painful rejection and isolation that (they imagine) would follow if others recognised their (perceived) defective nature, such people make strong attempts to control others’ views of them and behavior towards them.

Pathological narcissism can develop from an impairment in the quality of the person’s relationship with their primary caregivers, usually their parents, in that the parents were unable to form a healthy and empathic attachment to them.[citation needed] This results in the child’s perception of himself/herself as unimportant and unconnected to others. The child typically comes to believe they have some personality defect that makes them not valued and unwanted.[10]

To the extent that people are pathologically narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others’ views, unaware of others’ needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen.[11]

People who are overly narcissistic commonly feel rejected, humiliated and threatened when criticised. To protect themselves from these dangers, they often react with disdain, rage, and/or defiance to any slight criticism, real or imagined.[12] To avoid such situations, some narcissistic people withdraw socially and may feign modesty or humility. In cases where the narcissistic personality-disordered individual feels a lack of admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation, he/she may also manifest a desire to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).

Although individuals with NPD are often ambitious and capable, the inability to tolerate setbacks, disagreements or criticism, along with lack of empathy, make it difficult for such individuals to work cooperatively with others or to maintain long-term professional achievements.[13] With narcissistic personality disorder, the individual’s self-perceived fantastic grandiosity, often coupled with a hypomanic mood, is typically not commensurate with his or her real accomplishments.

Splitting

Main article: Splitting (psychology)

People who are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder use splitting as a central defense mechanism. According to psychoanalyst Kernberg, “the normal tension between actual self on the one hand, and ideal self and ideal object on the other, is eliminated by the building up of an inflated self concept within which the actual self and the ideal self and ideal object are confused. At the same time, the remnants of the unacceptable images are repressed and projected onto external objects, which are devalued.”[14] The merging of the “inflated self concept” and the “actual self” is seen in the inherent grandiosity of narcissistic personality disorder. Also inherent in this process are the defense mechanisms of devaluationidealizationand denial.[15] Other people are either manipulated as an extension of one’s own self, who serve the sole role of giving “admiration and approval”[16] or they are seen as worthless (because they are unable to collude with the narcissist’s grandiosity).[17]

If you are in this type of relationship…………put as much distance as possible between you and them.  If it is your Mom or Dad, put some boundaries in place and stick to them.  If the person can not respect your boundaries, find an exit door.  The narcissist is almost always a lost cause.  It is a nearly impossible to cure, and always must begin with the narcissist admitting that they have a problem.  That by the way would violate everything that they want to believe about themselves……….thus why it is a difficult personality disorder to cure.

If you think, like I did…….that the individual just needed LOVE and ACCEPTANCE and they would be better.  You are sadly mistaken to think as a non professional, you can help this person.  This person has to first admit that THEY HAVE A PROBLEM, which is highly unlikely.  From their broken perspective, all the broken relationships that litter their landscape was 100% the fault of the other person.  They will even weave a web of lies to convince themselves and others of that fact.  They need professional help.  Even if they go to a counselor, it will be difficult for them to be honest.  You need a very skilled professional to help guide this person to reality and to let go of the fantasy world that they have created to hide their true damage.

The real question for you is not whether your partner can be “fixed”.  It is WHY did you pick a person like this for a partner to begin with?  What do you believe about yourself?  Now THAT is something you can work on and figure out.  Once you do…..you are on your way to better things, relationships and outcomes.  So here is a list of questions for you to consider?

  • Do you believe in yourself?
  • Do you feel you are worthy of good things?  relationships?
  • Do you surround yourself with people who respect you and your needs?
  • Do you surround yourself with people who support what you want/need?
  • Do you love yourself?
  • Like yourself?
  •  Involve yourself in things that are good for you and others?

These are serious things to look at and think about if you have a narcissist in your life.

I will conclude this discussion with a legend that I feel as though I lived………..  there is so much of this legend that I can relate to.

LEGEND

In Greek mythology Echo was a wood nymph who loved a youth by the name of Narcissus. He was a beautiful creature loved by many but Narcissus loved no one. He enjoyed attention, praise and envy. In Narcissus’ eyes nobody matched him and as such he considered none were worthy of him.

Echo’s passion for Narcissus was great and deep.

Echo often waited in the woods to see Narcissus hoping for a chance to be noticed. One day as she lingered in the bushes he heard her footsteps and called out “Who’s here?” Echo replied “Here!” Narcissus called again “Come”, Echo replied “Come!”. Narcissus called once more “Why do you shun me?… Let us join one another.” Echo was overjoyed that Narcissus had asked her to join him. She longed to tell him who she was and of all the love she had for him in her heart but she could not speak. She ran towards him and threw herself upon him.

Narcissus became angry “Hands off! I would rather die than you should have me!” and threw Echo to the ground. Echo left the woods a ruin, her heart-broken. Ashamed she ran away to live in the mountains yearning for a love that would never be returned. The grief killed her. Her body became one with the mountain stone. All that remained was her voice which replied in kind when others spoke.

Narcissus continued to attract many nymphs all of whom he briefly entertained before scorning and refusing them. The gods grew tired of his behaviour and cursed Narcissus. They wanted him to know what it felt like to love and never be loved. They made it so there was only one whom he would love, someone who was not real and could never love him back.

One day whilst out enjoying the sunshine Narcissus came upon a pool of water. As he gazed into it he caught a glimpse of what he thought was a beautiful water spirit. He did not recognise his own reflection and was immediately enamoured. Narcissus bent down his head to kiss the vision. As he did so the reflection mimicked his actions. Taking this as a sign of reciprocation Narcissus reached into the pool to draw the water spirit to him. The water displaced and the vision was gone. He panicked, where had his love gone? When the water became calm the water spirit returned. “Why, beautiful being, do you shun me? Surely my face is not one to repel you. The nymphs love me, and you yourself look not indifferent upon me. When I stretch forth my arms you do the same; and you smile upon me and answer my beckoning with the like.” Again he reached out and again his love disappeared. Frightened to touch the water Narcissus lay still by the pool gazing in to the eyes of his vision.

He cried in frustration. As he did so Echo also cried. He did not move, he did not eat or drink, he only suffered. As he pined he became gaunt loosing his beauty. The nymphs that loved him pleaded with him to come away from the pool. As they did so Echo also pleaded with him. He was transfixed; he wanted to stay there forever. Narcissus like Echo died with grief. His body disappeared and where his body once lay a flower grew in its place. The nymphs mourned his death and as they mourned Echo also mourned.

This echo (Dawn) has found her own voice and healthy love and belief in herself.  How about you?  Begin today to reinforce the wonderful creation that YOU ARE!!  Get a glimpse of how GOD sees you……..and you will never see yourself the same again!!  Let him be your reflecting pool, it will change your life!!

Psalm 139:14

New International Version (©1984)
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

Posted in faith, God, Grace, healing, heart, help, Love

The Power of “IF”…………..

The word “if” is an interesting one.  It speaks of hidden potential.  It is often used conditionally……if you do this, then this will happen.

It is a poem by Rudyard Kipling (which is a favorite of mine)

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Great Poem……………

But yesterday I realized in my reflection that the word “IF” is the only difference between LOVE and LIFE.  And it made me smile to realize that without LOVE……true uncommon and unconditional LOVE, there is NO LIFE.  Or at least no life worth living, that is.  So I came up with a small and simple equation.  LOVE + IF = LIFE.

If we love others and extend ourselves sacrificially towards others, we have an exceptional and satisfying life.  It has truly worked for me!!  And God did it for us FIRST!!