Sanctuary for the Abused

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is Projection, Exactly?


Written by Kathi Stringer
Projection is to blame another person for one’s own actions.
Primitive and Infantile Defense



Projection – Action 
You made me do it! Ever hear those words from an angry and frustrated child? In essence, the child is projecting the responsibility of his/her actions onto someone else. This child is anxious to rid themselves of the garbage. Projection is to ‘blame’ another. And, the words, ‘you made me do it,’ slip out ever so easily.

My little 5-year-old girl was listening to her grandparents in a tiff. Grandma said, “You made me [do this]!” Grandpa said, “No, you made me [make you do this]!” Finally, K, an intuitive child, shouted in response, “Stop projecting!” She caught them both by surprise. A small child had recognized projection in action.

Example #1: (Action) 
Jim is holding an expensive camera. Jane is fumbling with the keys to the door. In the meantime, Jim drops and breaks the camera. Jim screams at Jane, “See what you made me do! I broke it because you didn’t open the door!” Jim blamed Jane for dropping the camera. Jim could have prevented the camera from dropping if he had employed foresight and safety measures..i.e putting the camera band around his neck.

Projection – Emotional
You make me [feel] so mad! This is a bit more complicated because a degree of transference is involved. Easy speak – Transference = transferring memories from the past, placed onto a different person.

The derivatives of transference in this case transmutes into projection. Meaning, if an individual gets angry beyond the objective meaning of the statement, (reads more into it than intended) then a level of projection is at work. In other words, a person that reminds another individual of their hated father (transference at work – transference is ALWAYS a distortion), and OVERREACTS to a statement from that person based on that memory (triggered), then, that excessive anger would be projection.

Example #2: (Emotion) 
Jane said, “Jim, just make a choice. We don’t have all day.” Jim screams back, “Why don’t you just shut your big mouth?” and stormed off. On examination, Jim grew up with an over critical, and impatient mother. When Jane made her remark, Jim regressed into the child that hated his mother. Jim did not see Jane standing there at the moment. He saw his hated mother, in the transference. Now that Jim has a bigger body and is more confident to protect himself, he reacted in defense of the critical mother. It happened in a snap of the fingers. In this case, Jim was projecting out of his transference. Jim had distorted Jane into his hated mother. Remember, transference is always a distortion.

Caution:
 While pointing out that action projection can be funny at times, (Remark: You made me drop the hula-hoop when you spoke! – Response: ha ha projection!), it is dangerous to point out the err of a person’s behavior during an emotional projection, UNLESS YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL. Since the person is caught up in the transference, empowered by the transference, and enraged by the transference, it would be wise to let the transference diminish before discussing the event. To address the distortion in the heat of the moment, can be perceived as minimizing the original trauma. This will lead to an unconscious perception of the invalidated child/victim (How dare you!? It did happen!). Wait until the person cools down and gets a grip back on reality and the transference is held in abeyance.
 
For Professionals:
The superlative therapeutic window to target projection, from the transference, would be in the height of the moment. However, a strong therapeutic alliance and rapport MUST BE established first. Trust is paramount. At this time, the client’s internal closed core objects are ‘hot’ and can be redefined through a new experience. See more on ‘projective identification.

Projection Keyword Alerts

· ACTION – You made me do it!

· EMOTIONAL – You make me feel this way!

Question:
Is transference and projection the same?

Answer:
No. Some claim they are the same because psych can become convoluted (duh) to the point meanings are no longer clear to the novice. However, on exact examination, projection is ‘caused’ by the transference. Transference is ‘activated in the person, and projection is the release of that transference out of the person. One treater said, “I hope you know, all this anger you are projecting on to me is not my anger, it is YOUR anger.” The client coolly said, “Can you think of anything better to do with it? (Gabbard)

Homework
Observe the number of times you can spot projection. Then, in cases of emotional projection, try to objectively determine the extent of the justified response vs. the transference reaction. Is if off just a little? Is it half-and-half? Is it way out there? This exercise can be a powerful indicator for self-awareness, an indicator to seek treatment for self or other.

References:
Psych 101, Unlocking the Secret of Terms – K. Stringer

An Object Relations Approach toProjective Identification and the Borderline – K. Stringer

Star Trek and Projective Identification – K. Stringer

Effective Inpatient Treatment And the Amelioration of the Therapeutic Alliance For Resistive Individuals with BPD – K. Stringer

Transference – K. Stringer

Defense Mechanisms – K. Stringer

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Monday, April 21, 2014

When Bad People Do Good Things


Even bad people can sometimes behave well. That seems a strange twist on the idea of “good people behaving badly.” But it’s true. Even the skeeviest personality isn’t usually spending all day long exploiting everyone who enters his path.

Now this doesn’t mitigate his skeeviness one wit. But it’s also true that sociopaths aren’t always exploiting and mistreating others, all day long. They will be taking some time off, in different contexts, from their more unseemly behaviors.

And so sometimes, sociopaths can be nice, even very nice; sometimes they may extend themselves to others. Now we can question what motivates them when they are behaving well; probably, very often, their prosocial behaviors are driven by relatively shallow, if not manipulatively self-serving, motives.

Still, it’s fair to say that most sociopaths aren’t spending their lives 24/7 causing havoc to everyone around them; and it’s fair to suggest that, sometimes, if motivated to do so, they may even bring some cheer into others’ lives.

After all, we know these personalities can be charming and engaging; and that when they are, this isn’t necessarily, always an “act.” The sociopath can be genuinely charming and engaging, and he may enjoy, genuinely on some level, being charming and engaging.

In a sense I’m suggesting that not everything about even the sociopath is fraudulent; the sociopath, like anyone else, has genuine experiences, although we are right to question the depth of his experiences; and we are right to question his motives when he is behaving himself.

But to avoid confusion, my point is this: Beware! Do not rule-out sociopathy, or a similarly exploitative personality disturbance, simply because the individual is capable of behaving well sometimes, or even, alas, often.  

To do so risks our missing the significance of the dangerous, always lurking curve-balls that the even sometimes well-behaved sociopath may throw at any time (predictably or not).

One may be tempted to think, “If he can behave this well, can he really be that bad?” The answer is, yes. He can behave, sometimes, this well, and yet really be that bad!

So while I’m not necessarily saying “don’t be fooled” by his better behaviors, which may (or may not) have a genuine component to them, I am suggesting the exercising of great caution not to let the sociopath’s better behaviors distract you one bit from giving full weight to, and appreciation of, his destructive behaviors.

The latter should not be regarded as one bit less menacing and forbidding by virtue of his capacity to display the former.

(This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Steve Becker, LCSW. Use of male gender pronouns is strictly for convenience’s sake and not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the behaviors and attitudes displayed.) 

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Open Letter to Christian Pastors & Clergy


(can be applied to Imams, Rabbis, Priests, etc)

Pastors, have you ever preached a sermon against domestic violence? Odds are, you haven’t. I’ve listened to approximately 4,000 sermons and have yet to hear a pastor condemn domestic violence from the pulpit.

Southern preachers prefer to pontificate on matters like abortion and homosexuality. Sometimes they rail against feminism. On occasion they preach against pornography, using the occasion to slam churchwomen over immodest attire. In every denomination, pastors preach often enough on tithing, and never fail to pass the plate. Yet they fail at addressing an issue faced by approximately one fourth of their congregation.

Recently a wildly popular pastor shoved the problem of Christian violence into the spotlight when he choked, kicked and stomped his wife in the parking lot of an Atlanta hotel. In the South, beating your wife may or may not be a crime. Records show that the most common law enforcement response to domestic violence is “separating the parties.”

V
ictims rarely press charges because they fear reprisal. Law enforcement rarely presses their own charges (though they could and should), essentially treating wife-beating as a “victimless crime.”


Bishop Thomas W. Weeks, III crossed the line that even Georgia will not tolerate: He was wearing shoes when he kicked his wife. That’s a felony. Besides that, he committed the acts publicly and on video surveillance tape. He also threatened to kill her, which is another Georgia felony.

The abused wife, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, is an internationally acclaimed televangelist and best-selling author who empowers Christian women with her preaching. Church members say that couple of weeks before the attack, Weeks announced that Bynum would no longer be preaching at the church they founded.

Bynum is pressing charges against Weeks and seeking to end the marriage. Attorneys for Weeks say he will contest the divorce on the grounds that she was cruel. The strangest part of this story is not that the man who kicked and stomped his wife is contesting the divorce or fighting the charges; that happens all the time. What is so bizarre is where this man was just a few days after the beating: He was behind his pulpit telling his congregation that the devil made him do it.

Finally, a preacher is talking about domestic violence! If only his congregation had responded with a resounding movement down the aisle – and right out the church door. No one should sit under the teaching of a wife-beater. The elders should have stripped this man of his title and never let him behind the pulpit again.

T. D. Jakes, the famous televangelist who helped bring Bynum to power, condemned violence against women in a written statement two weeks after the attack. He pointed out that every day, four American men murder their wives or girlfriends, resulting in 1,400 deaths per year. That’s an FBI statistic. He also mentioned that over half a million cases of intimate assault are reported each year. Most cases go unreported. According to the most conservative estimates, between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 women are battered each year. In 1990, the U.S. had 3,800 shelters for animals, and only 1,500 shelters for battered women.

Other Christian leaders even try to blame the victims. Christian author Gillis Triplett claims that there are thirteen traits common to abused wives, including “THEY LOVE THE DRAMA!” (Emphasis his.)

Trait #1. They Don’t Know What Domestic Violence Is
An act of domestic violence takes place every 12 to 15 seconds. It is rare that a week goes by without us hearing about a husband, boyfriend or lover who assaulted or killed his wife or girlfriend. Call any Police precinct and they will tell you the lion’s share of their calls are not related to robberies, drugs or drunk drivers, but to domestic disputes. We hear about domestic violence on Oprah, Court TV, the Channel 5 News and V-103. Every year, the entire month of October is dedicated to this prevalent issue. In Manhattan, New York, one City Councilwoman proposed a bill that would require all newlyweds to receive a brochure on spousal abuse when they receive their marriage license.



Even with all of the public outcry and the private and government agencies that dedicate themselves to domestic violence awareness, amazingly some ladies still don’t know what domestic violence is or that it exists on such a large scale. They don’t comprehend that some men believe they have a God-given right to abuse women. They don’t understand that there are devious misogynistic men who intentionally seek to lure women into domestic nightmares. Due to their lack of knowledge, these ladies become prime targets for abusive men.


Trait #2. They Don’t Know The Warning Signs
In today’s society, every woman actively engaged in dating or seeking a mate should know the warning signs of abusers, but most don’t! At least not until they find themselves booby-trapped in an abusive nightmare. Abusers give off warning signs and they use certain techniques and tricks to lure their victims into their vise-grip like clutches. With domestic violence so pervasive, not knowing the warning signs of abusers is self-annihilation. I advise all ladies not to date until they can identify abusers. Ladies who don’t know or refuse to learn these tell-tale signs are soft, exploitable targets for these hardened men.



According to family therapist, Dr. Torri Griffin, LPC, domestic violence takes on many forms, some of which leave no visible wounds. “Many ladies experience the non-verbal types of abuse from their partners long before experiencing the physical ones. Social isolation, financial deprivation, verbal abuse and emotional abuse are usually present when the physical abuse begins. Most ladies excuse these behaviors as his temperament rather than as serious signs of worse things to come.”


Trait #3. They Intentionally Ignore The Warning Signs
Karen did it again! She covered for her boyfriend’s short fuse and hair trigger temper. They were on their way to a restaurant after leaving church. While stopped at a traffic light, Eric became peeved because the light was taking too long to turn green. When one of the passengers gently reminded Eric that they were on their way to have soup and salad and no one was in a hurry, Eric lit into her with a verbal tirade that shocked everyone in the vehicle; except for Karen. She was used to it! Not to Eric’s outbursts. He scared the daylights out of her with his unpredictable anger. Karen was used to intentionally ignoring the warning signs. She had an abusive man and she knew it. People warned her and pleaded with her to stop dating Eric, but she ignored them. These types of ladies are literal magnets for abusers.



Trait #4. Some Women Believe They Can Change Abusers
We are in the year 2005 A.D. After watching billions of women over the past two-thousand years, fail at their attempt to convert dishonorable males into honorable men, some women refuse to accept this truth: “Women cannot change men!” Secretly, many of these women have convinced themselves that their physical beauty, sexual prowess, feminine wiles and magnetic personalities are powerful enough forces to magically convert misogynistic men into princes. Abusive males, especially repeat offenders, love these types of women.



Trait #5 They Don’t Know What True Love Is
I once did a survey of 4000 men and women to find out what they believed love to be. All told, they presented me with about forty-four definitions; many of which were very scary. Some believed: Love makes you do crazy things; sometimes love hurts; love makes you do wrong and the much publicized… love is blind. News flash: Love does not hurt and it does not make you do crazy things. Jealousy makes people do crazy things! Abusers, inconsiderate and emotionally callous men and women, intentionally hurt the people they claim to love. People with True Love in their hearts ARE NOT abusers and NEVER will be!



Furthermore, love IS NOT blind! It is the men and women who are naïve or unlearned who are blind! Actually they are not blind. Like Karen, they squint their eyes at the truth. Women who don’t know what True Love is are easy pickings for abusive men. These men will slap a woman in the face and afterwards claim, “I love you!” With those three words, these women display unyielding allegiance to their tormentors.


They tell their family, friends, pastor, concerned neighbors, a judge and the police, “You don’t know him like I know him, he’s really sweet and he loves me!” The hard truth is… the love in his Dr. Jekyll side is not strong enough to control or eradicate the hatred in his Mr. Hyde side. Not knowing what true love is what entraps some women in abuse.


Trait #6. They Have A Hard Time Loving Themselves
Some women act as if they simply do not love themselves. They demonstrate self-hatred, no self-respect and low self-esteem by doing things such as: (a) engaging in promiscuity, (b) becoming chronic victims of abusive men and bad relationships, (c) freely, willingly and knowingly entering into risky relationships and marriages doomed for failure, and (d) otherwise putting themselves in situations with untrustworthy men who gladly jeopardize their spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being.



It is a fact: women who properly love themselves don’t become or remain victims of abusive men. They refuse to allow hateful and disrespectful males to torment their souls or bruise their bodies.


Trait #7. They Don’t Understand Love’s Booby Traps
Most abusers are smooth… super smooth. They primarily prey on women who don’t know about the love, sex and relationship booby traps. With untrained women, abusive men are capable of easing into their lives with the tactical precision of an F-117 Stealth Bomber. These low lives are masters at short-circuiting women’s intuition—seducing and manipulating their feelings and emotions—and once snared, controlling them with the barbaric weapon of sheer fear.



In today’s society, few women receive training on love, sex, relationship or pre-marital booby traps prior to dating. Consequently, most women have no idea they need this vital training! They know nothing about the engagement ring trick, the desert island trick or the family feud trick. Those are all commonly used tactics employed by abusive men to snare unsuspecting women. Due to their lack of knowledge, these ladies are fair game for any of the predatory males.


Trait #8. Some Women Wear The Scent of Desperation
These women have got to have a man and quite frankly ANY MAN will do! Whatever their reasons; they’re lonely or they need companionship, sex or money, their desperation seeps into the atmosphere as a scent that attracts: thugs, abusers, wife-beaters and sociopathic liars. The scent of desperation is a powerful aphrodisiac for abusive males.



Trait #9. Some Women Choose Men Indiscriminately
To choose a man indiscriminately means to be unselective; it means to choose a man without careful consideration or good judgment; to randomly choose a man. On one hand, women with this mindset give little or no consideration to the men they allow into their lives. On the other hand, their evaluations are superficial. Usually based solely on a man’s material possessions and perceived assets, like the car he drives.



His track record and character are insignificant afterthoughts. In addition, in this day and age, some women boast about their attraction to thugs and hardened criminals. They make no secret about their love for jerks! Some of their boyfriends, lovers and husbands are dead give aways with nicknames and aliases such as: Pimp Juice, I-Murder, Lady Killa and Glock Gotti. Others fall in love with men who are addicted to alcohol, drugs and pornography; not understanding how these hazardous and addictive vices exacerbates violent prone men.


Because of their lack of proper evaluation, some women are easily swayed into relationships by abusers. After tracking over 2600 domestic violence cases and speaking with countless victims, I found multitudes of incidents in which the woman was the second, third and forth victim of a serial offender. Whether these ladies were black or white, college educated or barely made it out of high school, made no difference. Often, their tormentors already had domestic violence convictions, warrants looming, cases pending or restraining orders filed against them by other women. When a woman indiscriminately chooses a mate, she indiscriminately puts herself in harm’s way.


Trait #10. Some Women Love The Drama
If you have a hard time believing that statement, log on to one of the numerous Internet relationship discussion groups on the World Wide Web. Go sit in a beauty or nail salon for a few hours and just listen and observe. Or go to your local bookstore and make a b-line to the romance or relationship section. What you will read and hear about is plenty of DRAMA, DRAMA and more DRAMA! The fact is; some women love drama! Take note: I said, SOME, not all! Please don’t falsely accuse me of making any sweeping generalizations about women.



The women that love drama do bizarre things such as move in with a man they met at church last Sunday; end result: DRAMA! Marry a man they met last month at a bar; end result: DRAMA! Leave their child with a lover they only know by his alias; end result: DRAMA! Get pregnant by a man who has sired five kids by four different women; end result: DRAMA! Fall in love with a crack addict; end result: DRAMA! Although they are clearly in perilous relationships with impudent men, these women still insist on being treated like queens; end result: DRAMA!


No matter what you, I or anyone else says, they forge ahead into these chaotic relationships simply because THEY LOVE THE DRAMA! You can plead with them, pray for them, cry over them and scratch your head and go hmmm? You can suggest church, therapy or counseling and you show them the alarming domestic violence statistics, but it will all be for naught! Why? Because THESE WOMEN LOVE THE DRAMA! Although their Hollywood heroines and romance novel divas turn out OK, these women rarely walk from their dysfunctional abusive lovers unscathed.


Trait #11. A Lack of Positive Male Role Models During Upbringing
Women who have had no positive male role models in their lives, (e.g., good father, grandfather, stepfather, uncles, big brothers) have no real (authentic and legitimate) points of reference to help them distinguish between dishonorable doggish males and honorable men. This puts most women at great risk because their views and beliefs about the opposite sex are usually derived from three confirmed totally unreliable sources: (a) the media, music and Hollywood, (b) women who know little or nothing about men, and (c) conniving, ungodly males.



This lack of positive male role models usually leaves the average woman unprepared to properly deal with the male gender: particularly with respect to detecting and rejecting harmful males. Many women with this trait have a pattern of choosing untrustworthy men… again and again.


Trait #12. For Some Women Abuse Is All They Know
These women come from abusive environments. They’ve watched their mother get abused or be an abuser. They’ve been victims of abuse. Some grew up in abusive foster homes or juvenile facilities. I once tracked a 13-year-old girl who was thrust into a state run facility by her heartless parents. After years of maltreatment, (i.e., starvings, beatings and locking her in closets for hours and days at a time) they gave her up. Her new parents; the state, put her into a penal system type dorm with kids who had no semblance of a conscience and no inkling of morals or values. The petrified little girl was attacked numerous times.



She had never known love or what it was like to have someone care for her. From the time she was small, all she had known was persecution. Because of her traumatic childhood, she had come to expect abuse. Sadly, her mindset was, “Cruelty and betrayal comes with all inter-family relationships.” Some women who grow up in these types of environments feel that abuse is par for the course. Consequently, abusive men are drawn to them. It usually takes long-term therapy to help these women develop the proper depictions of true love.


Trait #13. Some Women Are Contentious
These women love to yell, scream, argue and engage in endless debates and fruitless verbal jousting matches with MEN. They have taken the war of the sexes to a new level, albeit dangerous and oftentimes deadly. Their weapons of choice include: name-calling, put downs, curse words, 911 blackmail calls, threats, I dare ya’s, parental alienation, attacks on manhood and their silver bullet: false rape and abuse allegations. Once they find a combatant, (A.K.A., husband, lover or boyfriend) these women get hyped up for war and the conflict is on!



Unfortunately, they unwittingly thrust themselves into a dark hole of retaliation; which leads to abuse, domestic violence and spousal murder. If it sounds like I’m justifying abuse, you are not reading me right. It is an irrefutable fact; some women are contentious, belligerent and combative. They choose to be that way and they have a knack for provoking and inciting men to domestic warfare. Some of these women are known for pushing otherwise easygoing men to their wits end.


SOURCE
Evangelical leaders John MacArthur and James Dobson have both gone on record stating that women must be careful not to “provoke” abuse. In the 1996 printing of “Love Must Be Tough,” Dobson told a story about a woman who was physically beaten by her husband. Dobson concluded that the woman “baited” her husband to hit her so that she could show off her black eye, which he calls her “prize.”

Following the advice and example of such leaders, thousands of pastors regularly dismiss domestic violence and send women back into dangerous situations. With “saving the marriage” as the highest aim, these pastors seek to prevent divorce at all costs.  

Women receive the subtle message that their pain – or even their lives -- are not as important as keeping the marriage intact.

One woman told a victims’ support group how she took her children and fled the state in fear of her life. Her church responded by sending her a letter of ex-communication.


In the introduction to her new book "Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence,” Jocylen Andersen states that "
The practice of hiding, ignoring, and even perpetuating the emotional and physical abuse of women is ... rampant within evangelical Christian fellowships and as slow as our legal systems have been in dealing with violence against women by their husbands, the church has been even slower." The Christian wife abuse cover-up is every bit as evil as the Catholic sex abuse cover-up.
Christian leaders set the stage for domestic violence by perpetuating pop-culture stereotypes of femininity and masculinity. T. D. Jakes claims in his book “Woman, Thou Art Loosed” that all women were created to fulfill the vision of some man. Jakes bases his gender theology solely on the physical characteristics of male and female genitalia, insisting that all women are “receivers” and all men are “givers.” This false dichotomy breaks down quickly when one considers that female sexuality includes giving birth and giving milk. More importantly, Jakes deviates from Scripture in claiming that women and men must operate like their genitalia in every facet of life.

John MacArthur also does his part to set the stage for female subjugation. He calls the women’s movement “Satanic.” In a sermon called “God’s Design for a Successful Marriage: The Role of the Wife” MacArthur blames working women for everything from smog to prison overcrowding. As an antidote, he offers this quote from Charles Haddon Spurgeon on the disposition of a godly wife toward her husband: “He is her little world, her paradise, her choice treasure. She is glad to sink her individuality in him.”

Finally, consider Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Patterson recently dismissed Hebrew professor Sheri Klouda, simply because she was female. He claims the Bible does not allow women to instruct men. Patterson then launched a new major at the seminary: Homemaking. Only women are allowed to take these courses, which focus on childcare, cooking and sewing -- as well as a woman’s role in marriage. The courses are taught by Patterson’s wife, who is the only surviving female in the school’s 42-person theology faculty.

Considering Patterson’s view of women, we should not be surprised at his response to domestic violence. Participating in a panel on “How Submission Works in Practice,” Patterson tells abused wives to do three things:  

Pray for their husbands, submit to them, and “elevate” them. He admits that this advice sometimes leads to beatings, but also claims that the men eventually get saved. Apparently, it’s only the men that matter.

Pastors who truly want to help people and save marriages should stop attacking feminism. Instead, teach couples never to hit, choke, kick, threaten or verbally batter their spouse.

Preach against domestic violence from your pulpit.

Help abuse victims to escape their batterers – permanently.

Encourage them to press charges so that justice can be served.


Pastors, if you want to defend marriage, set an example of a loving relationship. Instruct couples to live in a way that makes their spouse want to stay with them. It really does not take a six-tape series to teach the number one tool of a successful marriage: the golden rule.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Anti-Social Emotional Vampire Checklist


LISTENING TO THE CALL OF THE WILD:

True or false? Score one point for each true answer.

1. THIS PERSON BELIEVES THAT RULES WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN OR THAT THEY ARE THE 'EXCEPTION' TO THE RULES.

2. THIS PERSON IS ADEPT AT USING EXCUSES TO AVOID DOING WHAT HE OR SHE DOESN'T WANT TO DO.

3. THIS PERSON HAS HAD LEGAL PROBLEMS.

4. THIS PERSON REGULARLY ENGAGES IN DANGEROUS ACTIVITIES FOR THEIR THRILL VALUE.

5. THIS PERSON CAN TURN ON BRILLIANT BURSTS OF CHARM TO GET HIS OR HER WAY.

6. THIS PERSON IS NOT VERY GOOD AT MANAGING HIS OR HER FINANCES.

7. THIS PERSON SMOKES WITHOUT APOLOGY.

8. THIS PERSON HAS ONE OR MORE OTHER ADDICTIONS.

9. THIS PERSON HAS HAD MORE SEX PARTNERS THAN MOST PEOPLE.

10. THIS PERSON SELDOM WORRIES.

11. THIS PERSON ACTUALLY BELIEVES THAT SOME PROBLEMS CAN BE SETTLED WITH A FIST FIGHT.

12. THIS PERSON SEES NO PROBLEM WITH LYING TO ACHIEVE A GOAL.

13. THIS PERSON JUSTIFIES DOING BAD THINGS TO PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY WOULD DO IT TOO IF THEY HAD THE CHANCE.

14. THIS PERSON CAN CONSCIOUSLY THROW A TANTRUM TO GET HIS OR HER WAY.

15. THIS PERSON DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF LOOKING BEFORE YOU LEAP.

16. THIS PERSON BELIEVES IN HAVING FUN FIRST AND DOING THE WORK LATER.

17. THIS PERSON HAS BEEN FIRED FROM A JOB, OR HAS QUIT IMPULSIVELY.

18. THIS PERSON REFUSES TO COMPLY WITH ANY SORT OF DRESS CODE.

19. THIS PERSON REGULARLY MAKES PROMISES THAT HE OR SHE NEVER KEEPS.

20. DESPITE ALL THESE FAULTS, THIS PERSON IS STILL ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING PEOPLE I HAVE EVER MET.


Scoring: Five or more true answers qualifies the person as an Anti-Social Emotional Vampire, though not necessarily for a diagnosis of Anti-Social Personality. If the person scores higher than ten, hold onto your wallet, and your heart.

By ALBERT J. BERNSTEIN, Ph.D.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Do Narcissists KNOW?


"Do narcissists know what they're doing is wrong?"

"Do narcissists know they hurt you?"

"Do narcissists know they're doing bad things?"

"Do narcissists know what they do?"


Do... Narcissists... Know?!

This is by far the most common question asked about narcissists [  ]. Everybody wants to know if narcissists are aware of the pain they're causing, and whether or not they know their behavior is wrong.

People feel very differently about someone who chooses to do something hurtful that they know is wrong and someone who isn't aware that what they're doing is hurtful or wrong (or who doesn't do it on purpose).

Let's say you and a friend are jogging side by side when his foot catches yours and trips you up accidentally. He apologizes, asks if you're all right, helps you up and tells you he didn't mean it. You forgive him without a second thought, and you say it's okay.

But what if you were running alongside a competitor in a road race, and they tripped you to get ahead? You'd feel very differently about this person tripping you up than you felt about your clumsy friend, wouldn't you?

If a two year-old pushes another child down the stairs, we feel very differently about the toddler than we'd feel about a 12 year-old who did the same.

If a developmentally delayed person gets upset and yells at someone, we don't have the same reaction to that as we would to someone of average intelligence who does it.

We clearly have different expectations of - and responses to - people who do not truly know the pain they cause or at least do not cause it intentionally.

Narcissists do know wrong from right. If they didn't, they wouldn't hide their unfair actions like they frequently do. If you ask narcissists whether it's fair play to cut someone off in traffic or take credit for someone else's work, they'll easily be able to tell you it's not right. And if they do either of those things, they will attempt to hide the fact that they've done it. This is because they do know it's wrong, and they don't want to lose the admiration and respect of others who will think less of them for having done so.

However, the diagnosis of pathological narcissism involves the presence of insufficient empathy. Even though narcissists do know hurting someone's feelings is wrong, they still aren't capable of really empathizing very much with (and therefore, caring about) the person being hurt.

So when narcissists need an ego fix, they do what they know is wrong (like putting someone down), largely because they lack the empathy that should stop them. Then, because they are aware that what they did is wrong and that people will think less of them for it, they cover it up so they won't have to pay the consequences. (Narcissists don't like consequences. Those are for little people.)

So narcissists will do insensitive things to get their narcissistic supply, because they both want it so badly and because there's no empathy to make them feel for the people they're being unkind to. Then, because they are aware it's wrong and that it makes them wrong, they cover it up and (perhaps sometimes unconsciously) deny it, gaslighting and projecting their way out of responsibility so that nobody, including themselves, will see them as imperfect for having done it. (And if you see them as imperfect, then you're a serious problem, because as long as you're there to remind them they're not perfect, they'll have to think about the concept, and they just plain won't.)

So...

Do narcissists know they hurt you?

They know you're hurt, but they don't feel your hurt.


Do narcissists know what they're doing is wrong?

They know what wrong is, and they may do it, but they cannot accept the concept of being a person who does anything wrong, because that means they're not superior and perfect. So narcissists vehemently push away the information that they've done something hurtful. They do know what a hurtful act is, and yet they have to deny that they did it.

Narcissists use a number of different ways to deny their hurtful actions (and to try making you deny it along with them so you'll stop complaining). Blaming others, gaslighting, labeling someone who complains about them cruel, lying, making excuses and playing the martyr are a narcissist's typical responses. Whatever it takes to stop all recognition (by them and you) of the fact that they were inconsiderate can be expected.

So yes, narcissists are aware that they've hurt your feelings and that it's wrong, but they just cannot accept that knowledge. They deny it to prevent narcissistic injury, and desperately want you to deny it as well. And usually, they deny it so quickly and so habitually that it doesn't even register in their consciousness before the excuses and protests are given out.

Typically, when told they've hurt your feelings, a narcissist's denial takes the forms of insisting you're not hurt, or that you shouldn't be hurt, that you're wrong to be hurt, that they didn't hurt you, that you're too easily hurt, and that you shouldn't complain because they're hurt worse. Narcissists

Copyright 2009. Lights House


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Top 10 Wreckers of Relationships


Top 10 Relationship Wreckers
 
1. Neglecting Your Partner (ignoring, workaholism, addictions):
A primary function of a relationship is to provide companionship and to meet each other’s needs. When other activities, interests or preoccupations interfere with our availability, we can wind up short-changing our partner. This can be thought of as absenteeism or being MIA. Taking an inventory and making adjustments in how we spend our time is the first step in correcting this problem. Treat your partner as the important person they are by spending enough quality time together to satisfy each of your requirements in this area and to maintain your connection.

2. Depriving Your Partner (not being attentive, expressive, affectionate, supportive, caring, loving, withholding compliments - affection - intimacy):
Being there physically is not enough. We cannot expect our relationship to thrive if we withdraw emotionally for extended periods of time. In order to be fully present, we must be aware of our partner and be willing to show how we feel both verbally and non-verbally. Expressing love though affection and caring behaviors are crucial to keeping a relationship strong and vibrant. Small regular doses of intimacy will usually suffice, and the most important times of day to communicate positively are upon waking, upon reuniting after a long day, and before going to sleep.

3. Dishonesty & Betrayal (infidelity, lying):
Most people are aware that the foundation of any relationship is T-R-U-S-T. In no relationship is trust more important than in a relationship between mates, except for a parent and dependent child relationship. Cheating and lying breaks down the basis for a relationship, and often results in its demise. A problem of this nature is serious, and resolving it must be a top priority if the relationship is to survive. Couples counseling is highly recommended in order to facilitate the changes that are needed.

4. Attacking Your Partner (blaming, abuse – physical, emotional, sexual):
Aggressive communication is simply unacceptable, especially if the abuse is getting physical. Physical or sexual abuse are deal-breakers in a marriage, and should prompt a permanent separation. The abusive partner needs to get professional help to learn skills in anger management, in order to gain and consistently demonstrate better control over his or her emotions and behavior. Even if the help is sought and progress is made, the risk of recurrence remains high, so in most cases, the abused partner should not return to the relationship. Returning serves to reinforce the abusive behavior, leading to increased severity and frequency of subsequent abuse. Instead, the abused partner should also seek help, and work through issues that have potential to lead one into another abusive relationship. Verbally blaming, accusing, and insulting your partner are less extreme forms of destructiveness, but are not OK either, and assertiveness training can provide the essential skills for healthy communication.

5. Scapegoating (taking your anger or frustration out on you partner):
We all know that it’s not right to kick the dog after a hard day at work, so why do it to your partner? Being held responsible for things that are out of our control is the most stressful of conditions, and that is what we do to our partner when we scapegoat them. Rather than hurt the ones you love, do what it takes to meet the real problem head-on, as effectively as you can. If you are unsure of how to address a problem, the strong and mature thing to do is to ask for help and support from trusted sources (i.e., a friend, relative, or therapist).

6. Negativism (nitpicking, nagging, criticizing):
In order to have a good relationship, the positives must outweigh the negatives by a large percentage. If negativity is creeping into your relationship, it is like water seeping into walls, eventually weakening the structure. People usually feel good around others who are upbeat and positive, as well as those who help them to feel good about themselves. Bringing a negative spirit into your relationship crowds out the positive. However, pushing aside or neglecting to address real problems is not the answer either, and can be just as harmful to relationship health as dwelling on the negative. So pick your battles wisely, strive to communicate effectively, and practice cooperative negotiation.

7. Gossiping (telling family or friends about your problems but not addressing them with your partner):
That’s right, if you are talking about the problems in your relationship with friends or relatives but not working on improving the situation, that amounts to gossip. Gossip is not a productive way to handle problems, and can result in additional problems. For instance, your partner may feel betrayed that you revealed sensitive material to others that cause him or her to be embarrassed or uncomfortable around them. Also, if you promote a negative side of your partner or your relationship, others may get a distorted view, and changes in their attitudes and behavior may follow. Others may remember your conflicts long after you and your partner have gotten past them. Instead, work on improving your communication skills. Turn toward your partner, not away. If you need help, seek out the assistance of an objective third party such as a therapist who works with couples. When it comes to your needs, stop complaining and start asking!

8. Controlling Your Partner (“my way” or else, perfectionism, trying to change your partner, possessiveness):
Wanting things to be a certain way and having preferences are completely natural and even healthy. However, when this tendency becomes extreme and starts to encroach on the rights, needs and desires of others, it can cause major havoc. Freedom of will and self-determination are basic needs, and when these are being threatened, negative reactions may include anger, resentment, and/or rebellion. If the need to control is a problem in your relationship, identify the motivations behind it and work towards dealing with those issues rather than acting them out with your partner.

9. Putting Yourself First (self-centeredness, selfishness, entitlement):
It’s not “all about me,” folks. Letting one’s self interests take priority in an unbalanced way can be toxic to a partnership. The other person usually winds up feeling deprived, resentful, and unimportant. Furthermore, the more self-involved you are, the more you take your relationship for granted, the less you appreciate your partner, and the more alone you actually are. So if your relationship is slanted in this way, you also lose out, because you experience less of the joy that a true connection brings. You and you partner both get more from the relationship through reciprocity in giving and receiving.

10. Putting Yourself Last (self-neglect, passivity, self sacrifice):
Martyrs are seldom happy. More often, they are angry, bitter, resentful, depressed and burned out. This is not to say that you should not consider others and be thoughtful in meeting their needs. But having a healthy relationship involves factoring your own needs and desires into the equation. You teach people how to treat you, and if you act like a doormat, you can’t completely blame someone if they wipe their feet on you. Learn how to stand up for yourself, practice assertive communication, ask and allow others to meet your needs, and take care of yourself as much as you take care of your loved ones.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Online Predator


The following is a composite profile of an Online Predator.

The Online Predator
Definition : The Online Predator is one who uses the mechanisms of cyber space to hunt human beings with the intent to exploit, rob, plunder and pillage their body, mind, heart and soul.

Characteristics of a Predator:
1. Liar: (Self explanatory)

2. Deceiver: His self situation is presented as other than what it is.

3. Betrayer: He is likely to break trust.

4. Insecure: He is worried that others will be faithless.

5. Inconsistent: He will say one thing while doing another or his stories aren't consistent over time.

6. Lacking Honor: Usually while protesting that he has honor.

7. Lack of Respect: He will tend to denigrate others.

8. Transient: He is unlikely to have many long term friends.

9. Manipulator: He calculates and contrives for his own benefit to the detriment of his partner.

10. Secretive: He will tend to cloak himself and his activities. (blocking you online for days or weeks at a time with no real reason why or being online and not chatting with you)

11. Charming: If he could not steal your breath away, he would not be a successful hunter.

12. Selective: He will pick victims carefully, looking for weaknesses and filling those voids completely.

13. Chameleon: He will appear to fit any need perfectly and adapt to fill any desire.

14. Lacking in Self Control: At times, he may have extraordinary self control and discipline, a predator probably exhibits these characteristics in all aspects of his life. Impulsive.

It may be that the only place the predator seems to have honor and value "Truth" is in the "Relationship" he is developing with his victim.

CAUTION
When developing a new relationship, make a conscious effort to observe your partner's interaction with others, not just how he interacts with you. The predator may well reveal his true self through his interactions. But, you may only see this revelation if your are committed to taking every precaution for your own safety.

Predator Warning Signals:
While any of these phrases or actions may be acceptable in a given context, pay close attention when seeing or hearing them:

Phrases:
1. Do not tell ____________ .
2. (_______) is crazy! (or psycho, sick, a liar, or out to get me)
3. It would be best if you no longer spoke to _________.
4. I do not need to defend myself against lies.
5. They are just jealous (of me, of us, of what we have, that you have me).
6. I have never done this before. I am not that sort of person.
7. I wouldn't lie to you. I would never hurt you.

Actions:
1. Operates from inocuous web areas or chat rooms. (parents chats, music chats, classmates chats)

2. Has personal information which is incomplete or not verifiable.

3. Becomes defensive or angry when questioned.

4. Questions your sincerity when questioned.

5. He will usually discourage or forbid personal information checks.

6. He will usually discourage, schedule for certain times only or forbid the use of his home, work or cell phone number by you.

7. He's badmouthing his current partner, wife, girlfriend or significant other ("they don't understand me, etc.")

Personal Warning Signals:
These are items that, even if JUST ONE, anyone should pay attention to:

1. I feel he is just too good to be true.
2. You are hearing consistent warnings from more that one person.
3. Your instincts are whispering " something is not right about this person".

Summary:
Th final best defense against an Online Predator is your own common sense and judgment. Always remember that desires, needs, and the heat of the moment can combine to drown that judgment. Always take a moment to step back, take a deep breath and look at a potential partner with common sense and not with neediness.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ONE MOM'S BATTLE

One Mom's Battle is an AWESOME resource for women & men battling thru divorce and child custody with a Narcissist, Sociopath, Psychopath or BPD person.  I can't recommend strongly enough for anyone having these issues to join their Facebook group or Twitter and to follow their website. - Barbara

~~~~~~~~~

This battle started as “One Mom’s Battle” but it has become a village. Together, this village will make changes in the Family Court System and will bring awareness to Narcissistic Personality Disorder. What started as a lonely journey has turned into a family of men and women who are “in the trenches” and working to ensure that the Family Court System starts to do what it was designed to do: act in the best interest of the children.

Tina 
 TINA SWITHIN

In 2008, a heard three words that would forever change my life. As quickly as my therapist said the words, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder,” I wanted her to take them back. I didn’t want to hear that my marriage was irreparable. I didn’t want to hear that there was no hope for my husband. I was in a lonely, empty and verbally abusive marriage yet I was still not ready to throw in the towel. I left my therapist’s office that day and I did not return to see her for over four years.

I spent the remainder of 2008 trying to salvage my marriage. As the victim of gas lighting, a stealth form of emotional abuse which is generally delivered by individuals with personality disorders, I was a shell of the person I had been prior to meeting Seth. I was no longer a bright, bubbly, free-spirit –  I was insecure and filled with self-doubt. During that year, I began to discover that my marriage was fraught with lies and deception. In the beginning of 2009, a second therapist (our marital counselor) suggested that Seth undergo a psychological evaluation and that day, he walked out of therapy and proclaimed that our marriage was over.

I quickly discovered that there is only one thing worse than being married to a narcissist and that is divorcing a narcissist. I also discovered that the Family Court System is not equipped or educated on Cluster B personality disorders. Individuals (male and females) who suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are generally charming and charismatic. They are also pathological liars who are skilled at deceiving those around them whether it be in the business world, political arena or sadly, in the courtroom. Because perjury is not punishable in Family Court, this venue becomes a playground for the narcissist and winning becomes their driving force.

My battle began in 2009 when I went from a 4,000 foot home in a gated community to my local women’s shelter – this was the very shelter that I had volunteered my time for many years. To be on the “other side” was the most humbling experience of my life. I lost everything in one short year: my business, my home, my cars and my marriage. I then spent the next four years entangled in one of the worst custody battles to enter the San Luis Obispo Family Court System. During this time, I acted as my own attorney and had to dig deep for inner strength. I found God and learned what “faith” really means.

My battle came to an end in July of 2013 when I was awarded full legal and physical custody of my daughters, ages 6 and 8. Not only did my battle come to an end but I received validation when the courts handed down final custody orders consisting of professionally supervised visits. After four long and exhausting years, my daughters are finally safe. This is a story about not giving up.  This is a lesson about believing in yourself and what you can accomplish when the odds are against you.

This is about my experience in the Family Court System and the frustrations that came as a result of this broken system. This isn’t about mother’s rights or father’s rights.  It’s about a child’s right to be happy, safe and loved.

xoxo Tina

###
“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a private forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com.
Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? 


Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Safety Nets Often Fail Abuse Victims

This situation is true of far TOO MANY places in North America... not just Seattle.


Domestic Violence Hotline Pictures, Images and Photos

By SCOTT GUTIERREZ

Victims of domestic violence often turn to a neighbor instead of the police, and even if they sought court protection they often weren't given help to stay safe, according to a recent study of domestic violence homicides in Washington.

In addition, women of color were two or three times more likely than Caucasian women to be killed by an intimate partner, according to the report, and often faced cultural and language barriers to escaping an abusive relationship. The same trend was apparent with 43 men who have been killed since the biennial Domestic Violence Fatality Review began in 1997, according to the report.

The report, which was presented Monday by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, looks at trends in domestic violence homicides in an effort to improve the criminal justice system and community response to better protect victims.

Sixty-eight people were killed as the result of domestic violence in the latest two-year period examined, between July 2006 and June 2008. Of those cases, 11 were chosen for an in-depth look.

In six of those cases, victims went to a neighbor or community member instead of calling the police. Private citizens often didn't know what to do and weren't aware of organizations that they could call for advice about how to help a victim of abuse.

In the past, the fatality review mostly focused on improving how police and courts handle domestic violence. This year, the focus shifted more toward how community members could better prepare if someone sought help from them, including how to help without jeopardizing their own safety, she said.

"In general, who do you turn to when in a crisis? I think most go to the people who are closest to us before we go to a stranger," said Kelly Starr, a coalition spokeswoman. "We can't rely on all of these systems as the answer."

The report recommended that block watches and crime-prevention groups learn more about domestic violence resources and share information. It also suggested that the media give contact information about advocacy services when reporting on domestic violence.

"I think the next piece is building the community's capacity to respond to this. We all have to build ourselves up so we're ready," Starr said.

Still, the report found areas where the court system needed improvement. For instance, victims often had no help from advocates when petitioning for court protection orders against their abusers. Without someone helping them make that decision, they could increase their risk in some cases, according to the report. An advocate can help plan where to go or what to do if the abuser retaliates or with deciding whether obtaining an order is the safest option.

One woman was killed last year in Federal Way just three hours after her boyfriend was served with an anti-harassment order.

In King County, the Prosecutor's Office provides a protection order advocacy program that victims have used in 73,000 cases since it was established 20 years ago. Generally, advocates serve about 5,000 cases each year, in addition to 2,500 walk-ins seeking advice, said David Martin, who supervises the domestic violence unit.

"For some folks, these are very difficult decisions to make -- life-altering decisions. There could be children involved, or a long-term relationship," Martin said. "We want people to understand what's going on and to make a good, informed decision."

Most Washington courts that provide protection orders, however, don't offer advocacy services, according to the report.

In those cases, court clerks' offices could consider referring victims to community-based organizations, which wouldn't cost extra money, Starr said.


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Characteristics of the Targets of Harassers & Adult Bullies


Adult bullies target their victims in many of the same way children who bully do. While many people think that bullying only occurs amongst children, it can also happen in the workplace among adults. No matter what the age of a bully, they are opportunistic and tend to prey on people they perceive as a threat or that they dislike because of differences. Adult bullies almost always bully others continuously and when one target leaves, quickly pick another. 

The following traits are common in adult bullying victims and usually make the bully feel insecure or threatened. Adult bullying can be more of a challenge to handle because it is harder to recognize and not as widely accepted as the bullying that occurs with children.

Adult bullies target people who are good at their job and excel beyond them. Bullies want to eliminate their competition and make their work seem better than it is. While bullying is not acceptable no matter the age of the person doing it, adults will still bully others if they see it as the only way to solve their problems. Adult bullies target people who put them in danger of looking bad in an attempt to sabotage their work.

Adult bullies target people who are popular and well liked as well, especially if they are not too popular them selves. The more well liked and competent a person is, the bigger the threat they are to an adult bully. If an adult bully is seeking attention, they will target people who receive the most attention and try to make them seem less valuable.

Adult bullies target people with differences from themselves, especially those who have high morals and integrity. Adult bullies usually have problems coping with their own problems and are desperately trying to find ways to make themselves look better by targeting other adults who they perceive will not fight back. Adult bullies seek out these people because they are less likely to retaliate against them. Adult bullies target people with vulnerabilities as well, such as inexperienced employees or older employees. If a new employee refuses to join an established clique or act a certain way, adult bullies target them. If new employees do not conform or have new and independent ideas, they also may be targeted.

Adult bullies target employees who have talents, strong friendships, or who are excelling because of jealousy and inadequacy issues. Adult bullies feel as though they have to victimize others because they are envious of their talents. Even though it would be easier to just work harder at developing their own talents, adult bullies seek to damage other people instead of working harder themselves.

Many adult bullies have had problems forming their own friendships their entire lives. Adult bullying is often overlooked and misunderstood in the workplace. While bullying among children is more common, adult bullying does take place.

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