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  • Barbara 21:38 on February 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    NONSENSE CHECK ON CODEPENDENCE 

    by Kathy Krajco

    The preachers of codependence say that you are to blame for how the narcissist’s abuse makes you feel. They say that no one can make you feel anything. That if you feel bad about abuse, it’s your fault. Specifically, you lack self-esteem. Shame on you. That makes you a victim. And it’s bad to be a victim.

    If that isn’t blaming the victim, I don’t know what is.

    I ran across this example on the web: It starts off in the title saying that no one can make you feel anything, though the writer admits it’s hard to achieve this mental armor.

    Lets say someone comes up to you and says you are a liar. Inside you know you always tell the truth, you are confident in that and don’t feel threatened by the accusations of this other person because you know youself, you know how you treat people and you don’t care what others believe about you, you let your actions speak for you. The idea is if your self esteem is HIGH enough, and you are not dependant on the opinions of others, then you would be able to blow this off and feel secure in the knowledge that you are not a liar. The power then, that this other person seems to have over you is lost because you know the truth and you have faith in yourself/ your higher power.

    It’s hard to know where to begin disentangling this mess.

    Presumably, the third sentence contradicts the second because the writer got the cart ahead of the horse and meant to say that ‘only if your self-esteem is high will you be able to know that you are not a liar, etc.’ Which is absurd. Your self-esteem can be in the pits, and you’ll still know that you’re not a liar.

    This literary spaghetti confuses mere insecurity with being brain-dead, so brain-dead that if someone tells you that you are 3 feet tall, you believe them.

    And what follows doesn’t follow: “You know you always tell the truth, so you are confident and don’t feel threatened by the accusation, and you don’t care what others believe about you.” There are two – count ’em, two – absurdities in that sentence.

    First, being honest makes you feel unthreatened by the accusation that you are a liar? That’s absurd. Being honest does not make you immune to damage by being called a liar. If you are a liar, THEN you suffer no real damage by being called a liar, because then you are just getting the reputation you deserve. That’s justice. No foul. But when you’re honest, that false accusation can make your whole past life go up in smoke. That’s damage. The threat is real, and if you don’t feel it, you are off ga-ga land.

    Second, because you know you’re honest, you don’t care what others believe about you? That’s a non sequitur. And anyone who says they don’t care what others think about them is either deluded or lying.

    Now for the self-esteem thing. First, self-esteem itself is but a feeling. It’s your emotional response to how you treat yourself. People who force you to knuckle under to abuse beat it down, because they have made you stoop.

    So, this guy is saying that if you pump up one feeling enough (your self-esteem) you won’t ever be made to feel other (bad) feelings? That’s another non sequitur.

    That’s two gigantic leaps of illogic.

    Your self-esteem, among other things, will figure into your emotional response to this false accusation or any other kind of abuse. But the main factors will be whether the accusation is true and who the accuser is.

    For example, have you ever incurred the wrath of a tempestuous little child? She stamps her foot at what you’re saying and yells, “You’re a liar!” You are not going to be bothered by that, are you? In fact, you’ll be amused and have to try to hide your amusement so as not to rub it in. Why? Because you don’t feel threatened by the accusation of a child.

    But if your boss calls you a liar, that’s a whole different thing. You are threatened by that, just by virtue of who he or she is. And you can’t make his power over you go away by just pumping up your self-esteem.

    So, the circumstances and the accuser have much more to do with your feelings than your self-esteem does. If you need fear that this accusation is going to be spread all over town, you are off in ga-ga land if it doesn’t evoke a very strong negative emotion in you.

    And any sensible, thinking person knows all this, so where is this half-baked doctrine coming from?

    What’s more, if it is a FALSE accusation, you will be all the more angry. Correction, you will be outraged, because your sense of shame and your sense of justice are being outraged. Yes, your sense of shame, because (contrary to this sloppy thinking) shame isn’t guilt: shame is something others put on you. It wounds the innocent far more deeply than the guilty. Indeed, the most damaged are the most innocent.

    Note that this preacher of codependency even says that you don’t counter the false accusation. You just let your actions do the talking. In other words, you act like the offense didn’t happen.

    If that isn’t aspiring to victimhood, I don’t know what is.

    I’m a firm believer in the victim rising from the dust as soon as possible and thundering with both fists in the air.

    What’s so horrible about admitting that other people’s treatment of you can make you experience negative feelings as well as positive ones? Is that too scary, or what? Isn’t it narcissistic to be in denial of that fact? Why do people need to feel in control of their feelings? And notice how it all comes down to power in the end. Why do people feel the need to be more powerful than their abuser? That too is exactly how the scared-of-his-own-shadow narcissist thinks.

    He NEEDS to control others because he is terrified of a world in which he isn’t more powerful. He NEEDS to feel in control of his feelings because he is a big baby who can’t take them. He too regards feelings as weakness, so he represses them. Deludes himself about them. He too pumps up his self-esteem. Or, he thinks he does. He just pretends he has high self-esteem and represses awareness of his low self-esteem.

    I don’t think the cure for narcissistic abuse is to become like the narcissist who abused you.

    Some feelings are pleasant, and some are unpleasant. Some, like anger and sorrow are emotional pain. Of course we don’t like feeling them. At least if we are normal we don’t. But does that mean they are intolerable? That they should be feared?

    I know that fear is the first thing to go when you “descend into Hell and rise again.”

    Owned and acknowledged, feelings are not harmful, just painful. And they pass if you don’t keep them buried in your subsconscious. In fact, those unpleasant emotions are good for you in a way. They MOTIVATE you to do something about the theft or abuse. Without those feelings we’d all be pathetic wimps.

    Numb ones betraying ourselves by going around and acting as though it didn’t happen.

    For how far codependence theory has run amok, see:
    Codependence and Is It Wrong to Be a Victim?

    UPDATE: Note that those who “believe in codependency” always talk as though a person’s feelings automate his or her conduct. But this obviously isn’t true. At a very early age, we learn to stop being impulsive. That’s a character trait of childhood that normal people leave behind. We learn to keep the rational mind in control of our behavior, even when angry. So, what is wrong with these people? Have they failed to learn this? Are they still so childish that their own behavior is driven by their emotions? Listen to them. They talk as though they have no idea that a human being has any self-control. They equate feeling angry with losing your temper and acting out to do something bad.

    Their unnatural solution is to numb their natural feelings instead of to just grow up and practice self-control of their words and deeds.

    http://narc-attack.blogspot.com/2008/03/nonsense-check-on-codependence.html

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    • somethinggoes 23:06 on February 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Touche’! My husband would intentionally say things to hurt my feelings and then tell me I was weak because they upset me. He’d quote the psychobabble he gleaned from his myriad of self help books. Apparently happiness is a state of mind and I was ‘choosing’ to be depressed or unhappy by letting his name calling affect me. I was the one with the problem. He actually had me questioning my own sanity.

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    • somethinggoes 23:44 on February 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I have to agree. My husband would intentionally say things to hurt my feelings and then tell me I was weak for being upset. He’d quote the psychobabble gleaned from his myriad of self help books, telling me happiness is a state of mind, not circumstance. By allowing his name calling and belittling to affect me, I was choosing to be unhappy. Therefore it was my problem, not his. He actually had me questioning myself and my sanity. We’ve been separated for several weeks and only now am I able to see what was happening.

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    • Brent Blonigan 21:04 on February 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Melody Beatty was the person that promulgated the nonsense around codependency and that this was a process addiction warranting professional and/or peer support. She sold a lot of books and made Hazelden a lot of money.

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  • Jerry Caskey 07:42 on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    I believe this blog is a very good learning tool. It has opened my eyes to watch for traits that I never associated with an emotional disorder. The thing that bothers me, is the fact that I have posted three thoughts and every one of them has been turned into some emotional evaluation of me as a person. Seems funny to me that we can’t discuss what my thought was, instead of “why” iI had the thought. A discussion between differing points of view leads to one of four things::1) you teach someone something; 2) you learn something form someone, 3) you agree to disagree; or 4) you get into a fight. I prefer the first three options over the fourth. Seems to me that someone who is unwilling to consider another person thoughts could easily fall into the the emotional category that this blog is trying to discuss, but again, I could be wrong, just like everyone else.

     
    • GeneticPsycho 08:17 on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Are you asking for commentary? My view: I also read your posts at your personal blog. The superb points that you are trying to make in your articles are often clouded by your insertion of some unnecessary hateful statement. The hate becomes the focal point. In addition, your comments/responses sound like you’re drunk. Maybe you aren’t a psychopath, but did you grow up around them? People who have grown up with them will unknowingly assume their habits.

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      • Jerry Caskey 12:35 on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        What I write about in my personal blog does contain some hatred. Hatred of what has been done and is being done to our nation. I do not hate the people, but I can hate what they do. If they lie, deceive, hide things, cover up things I have every right to hate that. It does not mean I hate the person. As far as I know Obama is a good father, and good husband, a good friend, and a person who enjoys life. I also think he has a perverted view of how our nation should function. Instead of refining what is not working to his liking, he is dead set on his “transformation” and will not stop to realize the consequences of his action, because he is so sure he alone knows what it best. If I can’t hate that then I’m just left with quietly disagreeing with someone who will not yield his point – and that accomplishes nothing. I believe it will take anger/hate to galvanize enough people to make a difference. Chamberland’s approach to Hitler didn’t turn out so well before WW II, and Pearl Harbor was meet with anger and hate for what was done. Once we won, we didn’t keep hating Germans or the Japanese.

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    • Human 11:17 on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You are totally off base, starting with referring to psychopathy as an “emotional disorder.” It is clear that you don’t like intelligent, knowledgable responses or challenges to your mindless banter, but you are looking for fault in the wrong place. Inability to substantiate your claims, hate mongering, an abundance of logical fallacies, entitlement over what other people discuss, and attempts to censor views that don’t appeal to you add up to appallingly poor reasoning skills and lack of intellectual integrity. You are blind to these things, but many of your readers see them clearly and you can expect some of us to respond with objections and counter-arguments. Attempts to vilify any such respondent only makes you look worse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jerry Caskey 12:18 on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Your first 5 words were great and looked like you might explain why they were said, but everything after those 5 words had nothing whatsoever to do with what I said. I presume many of the readers will see clearly that you never indulge in vilifying anyone. Seems like I am guilty of: hate mongering, have an abundance of logical fallacies, have entitlement over what others discuss, attempt to censor views, appallingly poor reasoning skills and no intellectual integrity. I posted a message. Your comment ignored the message and devoted your response to the messenger. I guess us poor old folks who just want to learn something should just shut up and let the experts tell us what to think and how to act. Come to think of it, that seems to be the very problem this blog is trying to get resolved. Our elected officials seem to have the same attitude as you do. No offense intended, just an observation from a hate mongering, logical fallacies, entitlement over others, censor views, poor reasoning skills, and no intellectual integrity guy.

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    • GemGirl 17:48 on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Jerry wrote about his concerns, saying he has “hatred of what has been done and is being done to our nation.”

      Your blinders show clearly when you just focus on recent years — as if historical events have no bearing on the present.

      The damage to this nation occurred over time in increments, throughout history, beginning with the killing and displacement of Native Americans and enslavement of African Americans. Until there are reparations and other forms of healing with systemic reforms, America will go in circles.

      It continues through ongoing systemic racism and sexism that attempts to promote and support the false ideology of white and male superiority. That’s why so many incompetent people are in positions doing damage — they get credibility based on race and gender but lack adequate empathy as a result of viewing themselves as the only important human beings in the world, the only ones who matter.

      Ideology constitutes psychological and spiritual violence when it goes against nature and that which honor spirit and the natural world.

      This is where the roots of sociopathy can be traced — false ideology imposed on the masses, with incompetent people in positions of authority who used propaganda and violence to keep people in fear and compliance.

      There is a Native American concept known as “Wetiko.” It refers to cannibalism that attempts to devour and destroy human life by damaging others mentally, psychologically, spiritually and physically. Native American philosopher Jack D. Forbes wrote that wetiko is a reference to the lack of morality and values of the western ‘civilized’ man embodied by Europeans like Christopher Columbus. This morality represented insanity to original inhabitants of America who lived in harmony with nature and the land, and had strong connection to the spirit. Natives attributed wetiko to the greed and materialism that causes severe harm and results in deprivation, disrespect and threats to others’ survival that extend to systemic genocide.

      Get out of yourself for a change, Jerry. The world does not revolve around you. If you don’t know your own limitations, your real strengths will not serve this world for the better since you can only see your own preferences and references.

      Hatred is sometimes legitimate but it is mostly an existential wasteland, often displaced and misdirected for the purpose of scapegoating the wrong people, since you cannot bear to face the real culprits of chaos.
      What would happen if you dared to hate extremist white males who look like you, who are obstructing progress for this beautiful nation?

      Racism and sexism are forms of violence against entire groups of people due to systemic oppression imposed by those who seek to control and destroy others.

      The extremist white males in power who seek to disempower women and people of color collectively behave like sociopaths — whether they are sociopaths or not. Many of them lack basic maturity and should not be in positions responsible for the welfare of diverse human beings.

      If you cannot make these connections on a macro level, the micro and minor stuff makes no sense due to lacking context.

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  • Jerry Caskey 05:59 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Avoid The Utterly Useless Venture 

    One of the characteristics of a psychopath is the inability to admit they are wrong, or that they made a mistake. Another characteristic is the uncanny ability to win any argument that is presented against them, or at least they perceive themselves as winning no matter what the outcome may be. An argument is a challenge to their identity because part of their identity is that they know they can not be wrong or make a mistake. If that sounds like a regenerative circle, then you can see how disagreeing with a psychopath can be an utterly useless venture.

    One of the problems with having a psychopath elected to public office is the combination of the two characteristics mentioned above. As long as they make decisions that do no harm, their personality disorder is of no consequence, and this does happen quite often. Doing what makes the general public they serve happy and content helps them keep their power and control, so they will jump on every opportunity to implement something that really doesn’t matter to them. The true problem with an elected psychopath is when they have a belief that is in opposition to the belief held by the majority of the people they serve. The public will give a push back on the idea, and that becomes an argument to the psychopath. As shown above, you should already know how the perceived argument is going to be handled – all hands on deck to defeat the enemy. And “all hands” does mean all hands. Elected officials have a staff, and their staff is hand picked to insure they are the faithful followers who will implement any order given them till the death.

    A member of Congress who is a psychopath can have an impact on how the country is run, but the eight hundred pound gorilla is the room is the President. He not only has a staff, he has an entire administration, and the appointed heads of the various departments and agencies are the hand picked faithful followers who will follow the orders from above without question or push back. Now you have a machine that can roll over the values and principles our nation was founded upon to implement the personal belief of one person. Our current administration is a glowing example of this, and while not unique from other administrations headed by psychopaths, the astounding thing to me is the degree they are operating in the open with what they are doing. There is an attitude that no matter what action is taken, there is nothing anyone can do, so do anything you want. Most previous administrations at least worked at hiding what they were doing. Like I said, the current Administration is not unique, but I feel it should be used as a learning tool to show people what happens when you elect a psychopath, and you can’t do that until the people learn the characteristics of a psychopath. The education of the public is the only answer. The psychopath is a psychopath and their are no words or actions that will cause them to change, Their disorder is just as much a part of their identity as the color of their eyes. We just have to prevent them from getting what they are driven to have – power and control.

    The title to this post is “Avoid The Utterly Useless Venture”. The only way you can avoid the venture is to elect well balanced individuals that can be trusted to govern in a manner that is consistent with the values and principles of our nation. Those values are what made the United States what it is, but unless they are maintained by succeeding generations, the country we have always been will no longer exist. It will not go away, it will just not be what it was designed to be. Based on the impact our nation has had on the world, that would be a significant loss and I fear what would take our place.

     
    • Human 09:44 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      In the absence substantiating evidence, labeling the President of The United States—or anyone else—a psychopath is nothing but a hate mongering insult. Got any?

      Liked by 1 person

      • GeneticPsycho 10:38 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I would offer that anyone who is recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, and yet continues on the military offensive without remorse, is a psychopath.

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        • Jerry Caskey 12:44 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          Thanks. Like I said, you can’t win a disagreement with a psychopath and evidently you are not allowed to have yoyr on opinion with hard and cold evidence, which means it’s not an opinion – it is a fact. I am unaware of how one lives life based on absolutely nothing but facts, because opinions are what leads to the development of facts. But hey, I’m just a guy who thinks about things, and I could be wrong.

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          • Human 12:57 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            I ask you to substantiate your allegation and you respond with word salad. Telling!

            Liked by 1 person

        • Human 13:00 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          Your diagnostic approach is novel. Why bother with MRIs or Hare’s checklist if it’s that easy?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Human 13:02 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            (Response to GeneticPsycho)

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          • GeneticPsycho 13:06 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            It’s easy for me because I grew up in a family of psychopaths. I know when someone’s actions contradict their words, and can plainly see the underlying void of conscience. This has been my experience for well over 40 years. Anyone outside of my family has no idea what debased level of humanity they are dealing with. Only people in the family know and they think it is real funny.

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          • Jerry Caskey 13:13 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            Let me know when you can schedule the President of the United States for an MRIS and any other test. Until then we all get to guess. I made mine, why not stop arguing something that is not going to be resolved. A non- psychopath is capable of agreeing to disagree when the subject matter is unsettled. Anything else is just needless bickering. Just like last time, this is my final entry. Feel free to get the last word in, if it makes you day.

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          • GeneticPsycho 14:05 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

            Thank you for acknowledging my innovativeness. From my unique perspective (painful memories) I gladly share with the world my list of red flags so that anyone could identify the psychopaths in their lives:

            10 Habits of Highly Psychopathic People: alt

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        • GemGirl 14:32 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

          In response to the “I would offer” comment by GeneticPsycho,
          “It’s not that simple” is applicable.

          Liked by 1 person

    • GemGirl 14:25 on February 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Jerry Caskey has gall to diagnose Obama as a psychopath. I am a psychotherapist and I do not publicly diagnose individuals due to not having access to pertinent information to make an accurate determination.

      Caskey’s writing is irresponsible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • GeneticPsycho 01:14 on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Psychopath, a designator for someone who has no conscience, is not a clinical diagnosis by Caskey. Jerry’s non-medical opinion is that Obama should be designated as such. It is up to lay people to recognize the lack of conscience in their fellow humans, if people would simply pay attention properly. It doesn’t require a college education, since psychopathy is not as scary and mysterious as most people are made to believe.

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      • Jerry Caskey 17:12 on February 14, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        So us uneducated dumbbells are not even entitled to an opinion. Strange attitude from a “professional”, but I am just an uneducated dumbbell with 72 years of dealing with the world, and the many different type people who live in it. Seems like the “professionals” were the ones who professed the world was flat at one time. I guess that was based on education and hard facts, surely it could not be an opinion.

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