Friday, April 30, 2010

The Best I Could Do

During our many attempts to have a break through intervention with the Counterfeit Mother and explain to her how her abuse hurt/s her Children emotionally & psychologically
she would say. . .

“I did the best that I could do”

I totally thought that when I was young,
Made excuses for all the evil you’d done.

Hung on to all your excuses throughout my college years
Your painful legacy created so many sleepless nights & fears

If I become a Mom will I know how to love & what to do?
Or will I crush her beautiful spirit and be evil like you?

Since abuse was all you ever talked about and said you knew
And all the horrible, terrifying nightmares you but us through
Was this really your very best and all that you could do?

This can’t be about your accountability
Which is something your unwilling to do
Because it always has to be about poor you

Now that I am a Mom too, I must say . . .
It was your choice to love or hurt me every day

No responsibility, no remorse do you ever show,
so now I know . . . It is finally time to let you go.

I must break free from all your evil ways
And choose to love my daughter all her days
I will not be like you its true
You didn’t do the best that you could do

All your lies I clearly see,
I don’t have to be like you,
I am now free to be me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Gaslighting Effect


The term derives from the 1938 stage play Gas Light (originally known as Angel Street in the United States), and the 1940 and 1944 film adaptions. The plot concerns a husband who attempts to drive his wife to insanity by manipulating small elements of their environment, and insisting that she is mistaken or misremembering when she points out these changes. The title stems from the husband's subtle dimming of the house's gas lights, which she accurately notices and which the husband insists she's imagining.
"Gaslighting" has been used colloquially, since at least the early 1980s, to describe psychologically upsetting manipulations of the type depicted in the play and film. In her 1980 book The Best Kept Secret: Sexual Abuse of Children[1] Florence Rush summarizes George Cukor's 1944 film version of Gas Light, and writes, "even today the word [gaslight] is used to describe an attempt to destroy another's perception of reality."


The classic example of gaslighting is to change things in a person's environment without their knowledge, and to explain that they "must be imagining things" when they challenge these changes.[2] Similarly, the Manson Family, during their "creepy crawler" burglaries of the late 1960s, would enter homes and steal nothing, but would rearrange furniture to upset and confuse residents.[3]
According to psychologists Gass and Nichols,[4] another relatively frequent form of gaslighting occurs when a husband has cheated on a wife. The husband may strenuously deny the affair and insist "I'm not lying; you're just imagining things." Further "male therapists may contribute to the women's distress through mislabeling the women's reactions. [...] The gaslighting behaviors of the husband provide a recipe for the so-called 'nervous breakdown' for some women [and] suicide in some of the worst situations."
Psychologist Martha Stout[5] explains how sociopaths frequently use gaslighting tactics. Sociopaths are often cruel, manipulative, or conniving, and are often convincing liars who consistently deny wrongdoing. When coupled with the personal charm that can characterize sociopaths, many who have been victimized by sociopaths may doubt their perception.
Jacobson and Gottman[6] report that some physically abusive husbands may gaslight their wives, even flatly denying that they have used violence.
Are You Being Gaslighted?
Your husband crosses the line in his flirtations with another woman at a dinner party. When you confront him, he asks you to stop being insecure and controlling. After a long argument, you apologize for giving him a hard time.
Your boss backed you on a project when you met privately in his office, and you went full steam ahead. But at a large gathering of staff - including yours - he suddenly changes his tune and publicly criticizes your poor judgment. When you tell him your concerns for how this will affect your authority, he tells you that the project was ill-conceived and you'll have to be more careful in the future. You begin to question your competence.
Your mother belittles your clothes, your job, your friends, and your boyfriend. But instead of fighting back as your friends encourage you to do, you tell them that your mother is often right and that a mature person should be able to take a little criticism.
If you think things like this can't happen to you, think again. Gaslighting is when someone wants you to do what you know you shouldn't and to believe the unbelieveable. It can happen to you and it probably already has.
How do we know? If you consider answering "yes" to even one of the following questions, you've probably been gaslighted:
Does your opinion of yourself change according to approval or disapproval from others who play an important role in your life, such as a spouse, parent, family member, bestfriend?
Do you dread having small things go wrong at home - buying the wrong brand of toothpaste, not having dinner ready on time, a mistaken appointment written on the calendar?
Gaslighting is an insidious form of emotional abuse and manipulation that is difficult to recognize and even harder to break free from. That's because it plays into one of our worst fears - of being abandoned - and many of our deepest needs: to be understood, appreciated, and loved. In this groundbreaking guide, the prominent therapist Dr. Robin Stern shows how the Gaslight Effect works and tells you how to:
Turn up your Gaslight Radar, so you know when a relationship is headed for trouble
Determine whether you are enabling a gaslighter
Recognize the Three Stages of Gaslighting: Disbelief, Defense, and Depression
Refuse to be gaslighted by using the Five Rules for Turning Off the Gas
Develop your own "Gaslight Barometer" so you can decide which relationships can be saved -and which you have to walk away from
Learn how to Gasproof Your Life so that you'll never again choose another gaslighting relationship.
Turn Up Your Gaslight Radar. Check for These Twenty Telltale Signs
Gaslighting may not involve all of these experiences or feelings, but if you recognize yourself in any of them, give it extra attention.
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
2. You ask yourself, "Am I too sensitive?" a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You're always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend, boss.
5. You wonder frequently if you are a "good enough" sibling/spouse/employee/friend/child.
6. You can't understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren't happier.
7. You buy clothes for yourself, furnishings for your apartment, or other personal purchases with your partner in mind, thinking about what s/he would like instead of what would make you feel great.
8. You frequently make excuses for your significant other's (sibling's, friend's, spouse's, etc.) behavior to friends and family.
9. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.
10. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
11. You start lying to avoid the put-downs and reality twists.
12. You have trouble making simple decisions.
13. You think twice before bringing up certain seemingly innocent topics of conversation.
14. Before your partner comes home, you run through a checklist in your head to anticipate anything you might have done wrong that day.
15. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person - more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
16. You start speaking to your husband through his secretary so you don't have to tell him things you're afraid might upset him. You avoid speaking directly to your significant other (sibling, friend, spouse, etc.)
17. You feel as though you can't do anything right.
18. Your kids begin trying to protect you from your partner. Other people try to protect you from your sisignificant other (sibling, friend, spouse, etc.)
19. You find yourself furious with people you've always gotten along with before.
20. You feel hopeless and joyless.
How I Discovered the Gaslight Effect
I've been a therapist in private practice for the past twenty years, as well as a teacher, leadership coach, consultant, and fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, where I help develop and facilitate trainings for women of all ages. In all these domains, I constantly encounter women who are strong, smart, successful. Yet I kept hearing the same story: Somehow, many of these confident, high-achieving women were being caught in demoralizing, destructive, and bewildering relationships. Although the woman's friends and colleagues might have seen her as empowered and capable, she had come to view herself as incompetent - a person who could trust neither her own abilities nor her own perception of the world.
There was something sickeningly familiar about these stories, and gradually I realized that not only was I hearing them professionally but they also mirrored experiences my friends and I had had. In every case, a seemingly powerful woman was involved in a relationship with a lover, spouse, friend, colleague, boss, or family member who caused her to question her own sense of reality and left her feeling anxious, confused, and deeply depressed. These relationships were all the more striking because in other domains the women seemed so strong and together. But there was always that one special person - loved one, boss, or relative - whose approval she kept trying to win, even as his treatment of her went from bad to worse. Finally, I was able to give this painful condition a name: the Gaslight Effect, after the old movie Gaslight.
This classic 1944 film is the story of Paula, a young, vulnerable singer (played by Ingrid Bergman) who marries Gregory, a charismatic, mysterious older man (played by Charles Boyer). Unbeknownst to Paula, her beloved husband is trying to drive her insane in order to take over her inheritance. He continually tells her she is ill and fragile, rearranges household items and then accuses her of doing so, and most deviously of all, manipulates the gas so that she sees the lights dim for no apparent reason. Under the spell of her husband's diabolical scheme, Paula starts to believe that she is going mad. Confused and scared, she begins to act hysterical, actually becoming the fragile, disoriented person that he keeps telling her she is. In a vicious downward spiral, the more she doubts herself, the more confused and hysterical she becomes. She is desperate for her husband to approve of her and to tell her he loves her, but he keeps refusing to do so, insisting that she is insane. Her return to sanity and self-assertion comes only when a police inspector reassures her that he, too, sees the dimming of the light.
As Gaslight makes clear, a gaslighting relationship always involves two people. Gregory needs to seduce Paula to make himself feel powerful and in control. But Paula is also eager to be seduced. She has idealized this strong, handsome man, and she desperately wants to believe that he'll cherish and protect her. When he starts behaving badly, she's reluctant to blame him for it or to see him differently; she'd rather preserve her romantic image of the perfect husband. Her insecurity about herself and her idealization of him offer the perfect opening for his manipulation.

Excerpted from The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life
By Robin Stern, Ph.D.

May the Lord bless you were ever you are at on your Life Journey.

There comes a time in our Healing Journey to Move On from the Pain of the Past. Moving On is a Process too that begins with little steps or small movements from a Crawl to a Walk to a Run. We will all reach this point in our own time in our own way. For me it is about having a Future that is Larger, Greater, and more Powerful than the Past. It is about having a Vision, a Mission, and a Dream much Much MUCH Bigger than myself. Here is my Small Movement focusing on Restoring Hope by Giving Dreams Wings,

If this helped you in any way, or any other chapters in the Journey of Letting Go has made a positive difference and you would like to also Share It Forward and Help bring Hope any donation will help to change one Life at a time. No donation is too small, and every bit helps. And the Lord will say to us, Thank You for giving me Hope and we will say to Him, Lord when were you without Hope? And the Lord will say when you restored hope by Giving Dreams Wings what you did for them, you did for Me. Thank You & GOD bless your Compassionate Heart, Generous Soul, and Loving Spirit.

(you can donate at the top of the blog in the upper right hand corner)
Our Dream List includes raising funds for a Giving Dreams Wings website to better promote our Programs, Find Sponsors & Partners, and Share how Restoring Hope is Transforming Lives, which is the Vision & Mission of Giving Dreams Wings.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Litmus Test for a Narcissist

I could have titled this post, Is my Selfish Sibling a Narcissist? Dr Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde, or
Identification = Transformation.

I just finished reading the two articles that CZ recommended. Great read. At there are a lot of great recommended material, but I must say that these two items should be on The Required Reading List.

Narcissism and Co-Narcissism by Gundren Zomerland

Alan Rappaport, Co-Narcissism: How We Accommodate to Narcissistic Parents

Here are the gems of knowledge that apply to my question, Is my Selfish Sibling a N?

Co-Narcissistic people automatically and unconsciously assume that everyone is narcissistic. Given that my sibling and I were born in the Land of Narcissism where there was the abuser & the abused, the dominator and the dominated, to admit that you need help from someone else was a sign of weakness and something one must neverdue or suffer the consequence of being used & abused. In the Land of Narcissism the motto was, use or be used. If you showed emotions, especially sadness, you were deemed weak. Those who are weak are viewed as inferior, not deserving respect, less-thans, powerless victims to be controlled & dominated. To do what someone said meant that you are forced into the role as being dominated & controlled. My S & I were victims on the same "inferior level" together in the Land of Narcissism and now I was changing my role and trying to be a helper, but she mistakenly perceived my helping as wanting to dominate her & express my superiority over her. When I tried to explain to my S the changes in my life that I made that are different from the ones we grew up with (no verbally abusing the ones you love) My S use to make comments to my H like, who does she think she is to judge us (her Nh & herself)? She thinks she is so better than us. My S could never appreciate nor accept my advise--all the degrees in the world would never make a bit of difference. I didn't see it then, but I do see it now. However, the same exact advise coming from my H to my S was valued & appreciated -- go figure!

When my sibling & I lived in the Land of Narcissism w/NP Compliance was a mech. of defense to avoid abuse from Nparent, which resulted in a loss of self, Co-Narcissism (CO-N). Once I exposed myself to truly loving people I realized that the abuse from NP was
not normal and I rebelled against it. I would do whatever I needed to do to find out what real love was & meant and how I could both give it & receive it from others. I must admit Jesus was/is my best teacher. The close relationship I have w/Jesus broke me free from falling head first into C0-N. Don't get me wrong I definitely had the tendencies, but it is Christ who sent me a Life-Line, so that I didn't drown in Co-dependency or Co-N.

As Mr Rappaport states, "There are three common types of responses by children to the interpersonal problems
presented to them by their parents: identification, compliance, and rebellion (see Gootnick, 1997, for a more thorough
discussion of these phenomena)." Mr Rappaport does a great job identifying what happens to a person who is born in the Land of Narcissism or even marrying into the Land of Narcissism. What I would like to do it to take what he has said one step further and explain the dangers of Co-Narcissistic people in long-term interpersonal relationships. The constant & consistent compliance from the Co-N turns into Identification in long-term intimate interpersonal relationships as w/ a NParent and a NSpouse. In the Selfish Sibling Case she has had
double dose of high level N's her entire life. She has been surrounded by them, and as the old saying goes, if you can't beat them join them, and that is what she has done. A person such as the Selfish Sibling may start off w/being a Co-N, but the desire to connect & deeply bond w/the N in a Nparent-child relationship and/or a NSpouse-Spouse relationship has consequently turned the Co-N/Selfish Sibling into a true N. The level of N is lower compared to the Nspouse or Nparent, but N none the less due to the evidence of D&D and lack of empathy. A Co-N has a hyper concern for the feelings & thoughts of others, so a D&D to a loved one (friend, sibling, or spouse, etc.) would not occur, especially for an extended amount of time (e.g., 5 years in this case). The main difference I see between N's and Co-N is how they value others. N's don't value others at all, where as Co-N are extreme people pleasers. They have a fear of rejection & abandonment. The mere thought of hurting somebody else causes great anxiety, discomfort & pain for the Co-N and s/he will avoid this at all costs, were as w/the N they actually find pleasure in the pain they cause others. Identification is a response to the Nparent seeing the child as a representation of him/herself, or the Nspouse seeing the other spouse as a representation of him/herself and is the price of connectedness with the Nparent or Nspouse, respectively. It results in the child or the spouse becoming a N him/herself. The need to comply, identify, connect, relate, and bond to the Nparent and the Nspouse over an extended amount of time can transform the Co-N person into a N. Unlike high level N's, low level N's who were once were Co-N have a chance to change, if they first recognize that there is a need to change and secondly that they will do what it takes to make permanent change. There is hope for the lower level N -- however, due to our history, I am not the one she will accept help from.

In conclusion, the evidence of D&D & the required lack of empathy to pull it off, Is the Litmus Test of a N!

Now to get out of my head and into my heart,

The fact that nS knows how it feels to be rejected & discarded and she not only does it to me/her Sister, and my H/her BIL, who has been there for her emotionally & financially, and
most importantly that she knows that my D misses her & the cousins, especially the oldest who she got along well with, and she still D&D us -- yes, no way around it, excuses are all gone, Selfish Sibling has become calloused & a cold-hearted N herself!

To quote Anna, Narcissism Sucks!
and destroys Evil

Must See TV. . . and Movies!

Counterfeit People/Narcissists on the small & big screen.
Ever watch a tv or movie and say to yourself, That person looks real familiar. Where have I seen him/her before? Oh yeah, that's just like . . . (insert the Counterfeit's name here)!

Narcissism is on a continuum. It doesn't matter if the person in your life is low level or high level. It all breaks down to one shared truth, you will never be valued, respected, validated, appreciated, cherished, treasured, and loved by this Counterfeit person.

Lower Level Narcissism:
Life Unexpected
is not only a new tv show that I have been watching lately, but it can describe most of us who come from the Land of Narcissism, Abuse & Dysfunction and have decided to either go low contact or no contact with toxic people in our lives. Going NC is definitely a life unexpected, and a life that our Holy Father never had planned for us. You can find Life Unexpected Monday nights, 9:00 PM, on the CW channel, 5? This week's episode titled, Father Unfigured showed what it is like when the absent father's true identity is revealed. This would be an example of a lower level Narcissist.

Last Sunday night there was a good episode on Brothers & Sisters, on ABC, called Where There's Smoke. It was heart wrenching to watch Norma (one of the main characters) a grown intelligent woman, mother of grown children and now grandmother, seeks her elder mother's love & validation. It just goes to show you that one never out grows the need for his/her Parents, unconditional love & acceptance. It was so sad to watch their dysfunctional interaction. The lack of respect Nora's Counterfeit Mom has for her in addition to withholding love in my book qualifies for a low level Narcissist.

High Level Narcisssim
Criminals Minds, episode Parasites -- great example of the highest level of Narcissism. I believe at this level they turn into a Psycho! It is a very interesting episode to say the least. It shows the double life Counterfeits lead. It shows how persuasive, charismatic, and deceptive they are towards those they use & abuse. It definitely demonstrates the love vs. unhealthy admiration and life-threatening danger that comes when a Counterfeit/Narcassist is exposed.

The movie Informant played by Matt Damon has been recently recommended. It is described as a "dark comedy" based on a true story (which I also find interesting) about a covert narcissist. The covert N refers to the sneakiness, not obvious deception/abuse, and not the level of Narcissism. Mark Whitacre, the main character is a biochemist and a corporate executive. In real life he was diagnosed with Bipolar, a mood disorder, which by itself is not dangerous. It is the fact that this person is also a classic covert Narcissist. He even had the FBI fooled for awhile. It has been recommended as a comic relief and to explain what it is like dealing with a covert Narcissist. It is rated R, but according to this viewer "there is no violence or nudity, just a whole lotta white collar crime."

The 1981 movie Mommie Dearest based on the true life story (which I always find interesting) of Christina Crawford, Daughter of the famous actress Joan Crawford. Mommie Dearest is a memoir and expose' written by Christina and published in 1978. Didn't take Hollywood to long to make this real life nightmare into a movie! Both the book and movie depicts Christina's toxic abusive childhood and her relationship with her Counterfeit Mother. Some of Joan Crawfords children, the golden children, deny what Christina has said. Some of Joan's famous friends have also denied that Joan is an abusive person. However, there are other famous friends of Joan's, that have verified Christina's accounts of abuse. Crawford's best friend actress Eva Arden, sided with Christina about Crawford's lack of parenting abilities, saying that "Crawford suffered from Bipolar Disorder; a good woman in many ways but, as an alcoholic with a violent temper, simply unfit to be a mother." This is the movie with the famous line, No Wire Hangers! Remember, Narcissism is only now being talked about in the general public. Back then they didn't know about Narcissism and child abuse was not talked about as it is today.

Some more great movie classics about Narcissism are:
Citizen Kane
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1941 version
All About Eve
A Letter to Three Wives

V on ABC network, Tuesday nights, you can watch it here,
This is a re-make of the the original 1983 two-part television miniseries. Vs = Ns and the leader of the Vs, Anna the leader of the V which stands for visitors, is a fantastic example of the covert N -- especially those who have had her for a Counterfeit Mother! One of Anna quotes is
"Our species is designed for efficiency. We're not burdened by emotional imprints like humans.
Click here to see Anna and here some of her other quotes,
The Fifth Column is the resistance group made up of both humans and Vs who know Anna's true evil agenda. Anna says,
"The Fifth Column is immune to my bliss. They've begun to feel human emotion. Empathy. Love. If they find a way to unify, they could become a real threat."

If you have spotted any other Counterfeit People/Narcissists on the small or big screen let us know, we would like to add them to this ever growing list. Thank you.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Am I Still Hooked?

Why is that once we have identified our family member or friend as a hurtful person, we still go back for more? Maybe not right away. Perhaps we let some time go by and things to cool off, but at the first call for help, or that we are needed, wanted, desired, and we go right back.

There are many explanations for why we remain hooked on those that hurt. There is never one clear cut answer for anything in life. Life is complicated consisting of one interacting confounding variable after another. In other words, one reason piled up on top of another to explain why we do the things we do. I believe it is a combination of things, Nurture AND Nature, biological influences/birth order/role assignment/learned behavior from our Family of Origins in the Land of Narcissism, Abuse, and Dysfunction. I was the oldest raised by a Malignant Narcissistic single parent, so my focus became entirely on the needs of others and lost myself. Then there is the biological influence that Women by design are the Care Takers where Men by design are the Protectors & Defenders.

I chose the field of Psychology to build my career which you all know is the study of behavior & focuses on helping the needs of others. Psychology (lit. "study of the soul" or "study of the mind"). I don't know which desire was stronger that led me to select careers in Psychology, the need to make sense of a senseless nightmare that I endured & survived, or the need to help others. Surely if I learned my trade well, then I could help my Narcissistic Mother change her hurtful ways, and I could help heal the wounds of abuse that my Siblings and I sustained. There is a reason that they say professionals should not work on family & friends, but I thought that because FOO (Family of Origin) refused to seek help I would bring the help to them. HUGE Mistake! It is interesting, you can spend less than an hour with a complete stranger and help them gain insight and change their life significantly, but people who you know your entire life, hours upon hours, years upon years of tilling the rock-solid ground of stubbornness, providing nourishing soil of knowledge, planting seeds of wisdom, and pulling weeds of lies yield a fruitless harvest. It is only until recently that I fully realized & most importantly accepted that my Family of Origin mustwork the land themselves. Each one must do their part. I can not do it for them. Like the Holy Handbook says, a man who does not work, does not eat. You can not force feed change.

Another large hook in my life was suffering for the Savior or Save Her complex. This is a huge mistake many Christians and other Believers and even Non-Believers make. We keep running into the burning building of Abuse and coming out empty handed with lots of 7th degree burns. The 7th degree burn is the one that attacks so deeply that it affects one's very soul. Like the bones in a 6th degree burn, the soul is charred beyond salvation. The wounds from the 7th degree burn, unlike the ones from the previous six leave no visible damage, but left undetected & untreated will destroy lives for generations to come. When the fire of Dysfunction, Narcissism, and Abuse are raging out of control, the only thing that can extinguish it is the Living Water of Jesus. The life saving Living Water of Jesus brings abundant life to a Graveyard of Abuse. Only Christ can raise something this dead, butI can not. I have got to stop getting in God's way and stop what is not working and get out of God's way. It is a very hard thing to do. However, it is the right thing to do. It is the necessary thing to do. And it is the loving thing to do. When the damage from the Land of Narcissism, Abuse, and Dysfunction is so severe, you can not only take a sip or two, you have got to drink the entire glass of Living Water. You have got to take a dive, head first, into the Living Water.

By Susan Anderson

Why is it that the more they hurt you, the deeper in goes the hook?

When pain is introduced when you’re forming an attachment, it strengthens the attachment. I mentioned that when the researcher accidentally stepped on the toe of the duck, the duck imprinted him stronger than the other ducks. I also mentioned that fraternities inflict pain in their “hazing” to make the new “pledges” more loyal and bonded to the fraternity.

Here’s a little more explanation. The Zagarnic effect shows that the more problematic a situation is, the more enduring its impact upon your motivation. The study gave problem-solving tests to two groups. The control group had an easy-to-solve problem; the other group was given a problem that couldn’t be solved within the time-limit. Researchers went back to the two groups many years later. The ones who couldn’t solve the problem still remembered what it was about, but the control group had forgotten all about it.

When someone causes you to feel pain, the mammalian part of the brain (it is unconscious) creates an impression of that person so that it can warn you (with stress signals) to proceed with extreme caution during your next contact with him. This extra arousal from your autonomic nervous system gets confused with “being excited.” It arouses your “fight or flight” response, which gears you up for “competitive mode,” and the challenge holds your interest.

Also, someone who arouses those old familiar insecurity feelings reminds your mammalian brain of old feelings you had as a child when you were trying to gain your parent’s attention or acceptance, and this creates a kind of special arousal that hooks you in – and you find yourself “groveling.”
Regardless of the reason, if you find yourself in this position, first know that you are not alone. The best among us have probably been in this position. The key is to learn take back control of your life.

You are not your mammalian brain – it’s just a powerful part of your biological being. The antidote is to take 100% responsibility for your emotional needs, stop looking to your partner to take away the pain that he or she caused in the first place. It’s your job to set your life right.

Just don’t underestimate the strength it takes. And don’t judge anyone who is caught up in this. This is all about being human and learning not to be ruled by your addictive emotions – by your primitive brain.

Another explanation for, The more They hurt you the more They hook you is Partial Reenforcement. The toxic, dysfunctional Narcissistic family or friends are like a slot machines: very often you loose, every now and again you win the jackpot -- or at least you think you win the jackpot. Problem is the jackpot is just a deceptive illusion, a fake, a fraud, a Counterfeit.

Think of the Counterfeit person as an Evil Scientist who uses behavior modification to his/her wicked advantage. The Evil Scientist uses the power of positive and negative reinforcement to keep us hooked.

  • Positive reinforcement is an increase in the future frequency of a behavior due to the addition of a stimulus immediately following a response. Giving (or adding) food to a dog contingent on its sitting is an example of positive reinforcement (if this results in an increase in the future behavior of the dog sitting). How does this look in a healthy relationship? Every time your spouse does something nice & unexpected you reward him/her with sign of affection, praise, hugs & kisses. How this looks in the Land of Narcissism, Abuse, and Dysfunction is every time you ignore the warnings of your friends & family who have your best interest at heart and side w/the Counterfeit/Evil Scientist s/he rewards you with praise, hugs & kisses. The goal for the Evil Scientist is toseparate/alienate you from the feedback of others, so that you rely & trust only him/her.

  • Negative reinforcement is an increase in the future frequency of a behavior when the consequence is the removal of an aversive stimulus. An example is if a mouse presses a button to avoid shock. Do not confuse this concept with punishment. There are two variations of negative reinforcement:
    • Avoidance conditioning occurs when a behavior prevents an aversive stimulus from starting or being applied.
    • Escape conditioning occurs when behavior removes an aversive stimulus that has already started.

Counterfeit People/Evil Scientists primarily use negative reinforcement. In an toxic relationship, we constantly find ourselves how do I avoid another negative out come from the Counterfeit Person (any where from a silent treatment to verbal & physical assaults)? What do I have to do to make him/her happy? -- they have trained us well haven't they? Then if we had an independent thought or behavior that the Counterfeit didn't approve of the negative outcome occurs. Now it is what do I have to do, how great of a compromise or sacrifice to I have to offer to escape this negative outcome and bring it to an end? With couples it often occurs with "Make Up Sex" after a fight which further reinforces the abusers that it is okay to attack, because there will be a great pay-off afterwards. The Evil Scientist and his/her subject become one another's reinforcers of dysfunction. Some abusers have honestly convinced themselves that their spouse/subject likes it rough, because the sex immediately follows the attack. He mistakenly believes that it is her willingness/eagerness to have sex after a fight that she is enjoying this dysfunctional interaction when in reality she is trying to avoid & escape further escalation from her abuser. The successful avoidance & escape of an escalated dangerous situation is a great physical relief to the victim and s/he can confuse her/his own relief as romantically turned on.

People in abusive & dysfunctional toxic relationships are hooked on the pay-off. I like what Susy from Web of Narcissism has said recently, "To further explain to Repetitive Compulsion Disorder: scientists have conducted experiments with lab rats proving this condition. A rat is given a button sequence to extract pellets and quickly works out how many times he needs to nose push to receive a meal. The number of pushes may be altered daily and the rat will work out the number required.If, however, the button is changed to random the rat becomes agitated and frenzied. He will repetitively push and push the button scattering pellets all over the floor, and ignore all other distractions in his cage. Why? Because his sense of stability is threatened. The same occurs in narcissistic relationships. Love partners become hooked to the narcissist because emotional stability is unobtainable. Women go in harder trying to create a ‘set result.’ This is why poker machines hook people. Women become severely addicted to narcissists, ‘pushing the button’ all the way to their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual bankruptcy. Morbidly and dangerously they become so empty and powerless that they can barely perceive a life without the narcissist, and spiral into a deep dark pit. In essence the victim feels and becomes the annihilating depression that the narcissist avoids by feeding off her energy. He has taken your light and you have become his darkness."

The bottom line for me is, that my self-worth is too high of a sacrifice to pay for a lousy sticky piece of cheese. Does it really matter how the hook got there, how deep the hook is, or even why it has remained there for as long as it did? I know for myself, I can get so caught up in the how's & the why's of it all that I lose sight of the Where & the When. Where is the damage located, Where can I get help to remove it, and When can I get rid of it. I believe what matters most is to find out where the hook is so we can remove it & throw the hook away immediately! I initially said, throw the hook back, but I don't want the Counterfeit to use this hook on anyone else!

Oh one last thought, as Counterfeits age the mask is to heavy and they no longer put it on, and after all every time they showed their true self, their world did not come to an end -- they just got rid of the Truth teller (us) or we left on our own. Everyone else just puts up and shuts up and has "just accepted them as they are" and has not asked them to change in the past and now it is just too late.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Discovering a love one is a Narcissist

This Post is No Longer Valid, because the WoN On-Line Support Group has Changed is Unsafe for Healing, and I can NOT recommend it any longer. This Post is ONLY kept up to prove that the Forum Leader & Creator of WoN has lied to her Members in order to create a Smear Campaign.

* I am updating this Post due to recent changes at a Forum I once Highly recommended, I now have to add it to the Unsafe Forum List. For details on the WoN Forum, Click Here. Is it "as bad" Toxic or Harmful as other Forums? Some say yes, some say no, so you need to judge for yourself and make your own decision. "Not as bad" is still No Good.

If it looks like a duck, walks, talks, and thinks like a duck, well then . . . it is a duck!
A duck by any other name is still a quack!

Learning that your family member, love one, or friend is not just self-centered, selfish, and ego-centric, but a true Narcissist who only wants to use you, diss you and dismiss you, and you feel Devalued & Discarded. . . You're not alone.

If you feel like you have just been suckered punched. . . You're not alone.
O yea? Take THAT!

If you have been emotionally beaten up and your heart feels like it is breaking
You're not alone.

How does that saying go,

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice. . .

you don't fool me twice.

Well I am tired of playing ignoring and for answers and

Do you need someone to talk to who will understand what you have just experienced?

Maybe you still have some questions and are looking for answers?
Maybe your heart is hurting and you just want to share what you are going through with people who understand?

Then may I recommend a great no charge on-line support group -- where the only thing you need to get in is a broken heart.
*The WoN Forum Creator/Leader Believes in Censorship, Intolerance & Discrimination. The Members are Great the Leader is Not*

This Post is No Longer Valid, because the WoN On-Line Support Group has Changed is Unsafe for Healing, and I can NOT recommend it any longer. This Post is ONLY kept up to prove that the Forum Leader & Creator of WoN has lied to her Members in order to create a Smear Campaign.

* I am updating this Post due to recent changes at a Forum I once Highly recommended, I now have to add it to the Unsafe Forum List. For details on the WoN Forum, Click Here. Is it "as bad" Toxic or Harmful as other Forums? Some say yes, some say no, so you need to judge for yourself and make your own decision. "Not as bad" is still No Good.

The price of a self-help book is $20.00
The price of therapy is $100.00 per hour
The price of joining is FREE
The support, understanding, validation, clarity, and help you receive is

While you are thinking about visiting the Web of Narcissism Support Group
Click on the song below.
It is nice to have Somebody to Lean on