Ex, music, narcissists, Twitter

The Greatest Love of All…

I remember the very first time I ever heard the song, “The Greatest Love of All”. It was the early 80s, and I was in middle school. There was a talent show, and a young Black boy sang George Benson’s version of “The Greatest Love of All”, a song that Whitney Houston would make famous just a few years later. I remember the boy who sang was quite talented. I enjoyed the song and its message of hope for the future. I later got into Whitney Houston’s music. I loved her debut album, and used to listen to it all the time. Although I quit being such a fan of hers as I got older, I always respected her immense musical gifts, beauty, and charisma. It’s truly sad that she met her end in 2012 at age 48. It’s even sadder that her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, died in eerily similar circumstances when she was 22 years old, just three years later.

George Benson’s version of a song that Whitney Houston made huge a few years later.
Too bad she didn’t love herself enough to stay away from illegal drugs.

When I got older, I stopped liking “The Greatest Love of All” as much. The lyrics started to sound cloying and cliched, and it became the butt of cheesy jokes about schmaltzy songs. And now that I’m a cynical woman of 50 years, the childless second wife of a man whose first wife spews such lofty platitudes as she mistreats people close to her, I don’t view the song with as much idealism. I probably would do well to go somewhere and realize there’s still a lot of beauty in the world, in spite of everything bad that is happening right now.

A year ago, Bill and I visited Slovenia and Croatia, and I was mesmerized and STUNNED by how astonishingly beautiful both places are, especially at this time of year. Slovenia was particularly gorgeous, with its rugged Julian Alps. This time of year, the trees turn so many different colors, all in concert to create a gorgeous backdrop. When I look at such natural beauty, I’m distracted by some of the awful things that are going on today. From rising cases of COVID-19 to political strife to war, things are quite messed up lately. An idealistic song like “The Greatest Love of All” seems kind of “pollyannaish”… unrealistic and ridiculous, even.

So why am I writing about “The Greatest Love of All” this morning? It’s because of Ex. Lately, she’s been posting about a movement on Twitter called My Peak Challenge. I just looked it up. According to its Twitter page, My Peak Challenge is “a global community rooted in the belief that we can all effect positive change in our lives while helping others.”

On the surface, this sounds like a great idea. And for those who take it seriously and actually walk the walk, it probably is an excellent idea. However, I know that Ex doesn’t walk the walk. She presents herself as someone who is misunderstood and desperately searching for safety and security. But in reality, she presents a false image that hides a person who is capable of unapologetically inflicting great pain and damage to other people. I know this from 20 years of living with her ex husband, who is truly one of the kindest, most decent people I know. I know from talking to people in the family who have been her victims. So, when Ex posts stuff like this:

Just sharing what LIFE is all about… LOVE! You, every person & your Creator deserve unconditional love from YOU! It’s not always easy, especially to love oneself, but do it!!

I smell the heavy aroma of bullshit. And I am reminded of the treacly strains of the song, “The Greatest Love of All”, a song that promises that “the greatest love of all” is learning to love yourself. Maybe if Ex didn’t feel so wounded, she wouldn’t be so hurtful to others. I realize that I’m speculating about how she feels… but I think anyone who publicly refers to herself as a “bastard child”, probably doesn’t have the greatest self esteem. She’s a long way from loving herself. And because of that, she doesn’t really love anyone else, either, in spite of all of the flowery platitudes she puts on social media.

Right now, Ex’s Twitter page is littered with pictures of a certain actor from Scotland. She has fixated on a character he plays as the ideal man. She’s made a lot of comments about his looks and demeanor, even though she’s a married woman. I know, from being married to her ex husband, that she has certain ideas about what a man is supposed to be like, and how he’s supposed to behave, particularly toward her. I also know that she tries to mold her spouses into that person. The trouble is, it’s hard work to try to be someone you’re not. It’s even harder to be convincing in that role. Acting is a craft that has to be developed, even if someone has natural talent. That’s why not everyone can be a successful actor. I also know that even when changes are made, she’s never satisfied with the results, and the changes are very difficult for the other person to maintain, anyway. And she’s so ungrateful and resentful that the other person also becomes resentful. She wants her fantasy to be a reality, and that’s just not possible.

I found this recent comment by Ex rather telling:

will ye please grow your hair long again? I can make ‘hair jewelry’. It’s set w/quartz or white sapphire. I’d love to make one with one of yours, Sophie’s, Cait’s & Charles’ curls, woven together. You represent what @Writer_DG meant & can literally save my marriage.

This doesn’t sound too good to me. Of course, it’s not my business… except that if she and #3 are on the skids, it might mean that she’ll be trying to hit up Bill’s family again for help. Because, as far as I know, #3 is the sole breadwinner at their house… unless, of course, older daughter is working.

When Ex posts this kind of thing:

Breathtaking words @Writer_DG ,truly. A turn of phrase that is what everyone needs to hear. “…your place…” ::swoons:: You have a way of capturing that which the human heart needs in order to feel safe, to feel loved. Such simple phrases that can completely alter a relationship.

I am once again reminded of Annie Wilkes, of Stephen King’s Misery. And I wonder if she has lost intimacy in her marriage and is trying to find it in romantic fiction, television, and films. I know from younger daughter that she pushed her kids to be actors. She might not have realized that encouraging her children to become actors might not work for her, because that would mean they would be developing skills that would help them be convincingly fake. She continues, though…

The curls the curls the curls… I would give anything to touch the curls and get a snippet of one!! :: faints at the thought:;

I’ll admit, the actor Ex is gushing about is handsome. But she has a husband. He’s obviously not enough for her, even though he works hard, and has stuck with her for 20 years… in spite of her sheer craziness and abuse. I don’t know why he stays. It could be because he knows that if he leaves, she will suck him dry, and alienate him from his children. Or it could be because he has nowhere else to go. When Bill got away from her, he had a career to return to, and he was still in his 30s. #3 is middle aged, and doesn’t have a high paying job. He has with Ex a daughter in college, and a son who will probably never be able to live on his own. Ex is looking elsewhere for attention, though:

I’m a #peaker also! I won’t intrude, but please consider messaging me. I could use some Peaker support!!!

If she’s serious about wanting to be a force for good, then more power to her. But I’ve been watching long enough to know that this is just a facade. She’s even trying to build a false history… as Ex is from Texas, but lately, she’s been trying to convince people that she’s from Scotland.

See the ridiculous thinking we have to put up with over here? I want to go back to MY HOMELAND of Origin! As Ben Franklin said…”if you can hold onto it.” With each passing election, democracy dies a little bit more in the nation created by it. Remember what King George said…

There’s more, of course. I could post it all, but I’m not going to, because I think anyone who reads this will get the point. I don’t even disagree with a lot of what Ex posts, at least when she’s posting about politics and how awful the Republican Party has become in the wake of Donald Trump. I just know that in reality, she’s not at all the way she portrays herself. Or, she will say it or write it, but she won’t actually mean it… at least not for her. These things apply to other people, not her.

I think Ex is one reason why I find Meghan Markle so oddly fascinating. I don’t like Meghan Markle much, because what I’ve seen of her reminds me a lot of Ex, and all the fake bullshit she peddles. She says things that sound good, but in reality, it’s all fake, and done simply to promote her image. Actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap. It’s easy to say and write things that sound good, but if you spend all your time bleating out stuff, you have much less time to actually do anything worthwhile.

In any case, having been married to Bill for 20 years, I can say that if he couldn’t make her feel “safe”, no one can. Bill is truly one of the gentlest, kindest, most loving and considerate people I have ever met. We work well together, and I’m not sure there are that many men out there that are as compatible with me as Bill is. So Ex did me a kindness when she decided to divorce Bill. Maybe I could even say that she did something as a “Peaker”, when she divorced Bill. I’m sure she doesn’t see it that way, though. She’s another one of those people who doesn’t see other perspectives too clearly.

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Ex, narcissists, Trump, Twitter

A deep dive into the narcissist’s “false self”…

Good morning, all. I’ve been awake since about 3:00 am. Bill is on another business trip, and I’m alone here with Noyzi and Arran. Arran woke up at 3:00, needing to pee. Prednisolone makes him have to go to the bathroom a lot. Poor guy didn’t even make it to the grass before he was cocking his leg. When we came back inside, he wanted food. Prednisolone also makes him hungry. I gave him a little snack, and we went back to bed. I tried to sleep and got close to falling into slumber, but then he’d wake me up again. At 5:30, he jumped off the bed, and ran downstairs, demanding his breakfast.

I must say that chemo has affected Arran in a mostly positive way. As long as it keeps him going until Bill can be home again, I don’t mind the side effects. Arran obviously feels a lot better, and that’s what matters to me.

So now to delve into today’s topic. I want to write about the so-called “false self”. You know what that is, right? That’s the fake veneer narcissistic people put on in an effort to fool people into not seeing them for who they really are. If you watch any of the best YouTube narcissism channels, you will hear that term brought up a lot– the “false self”. Basically, it refers to a thick layer of bullshit meant to mislead the masses into thinking the narcissist is a decent person.

Donald Trump is pretty good at creating a false self that fools people. Or, at least he used to be. Lately, as he stares down multiple legal challenges, he seems to be more and more deranged and unhinged. But he says a lot of things… makes a lot of promises. For some reason, many people still believe him, even though he lies constantly, and has a long history of not honoring his promises. Like most narcissists, Trump has a certain charm. He says what some people want to hear, and speaks in a way that doesn’t come across as weak or “woke”. Some people respond to that the way Pavlov’s dogs responded to the sound of the bell.

The crazy thing is, Donald Trump has completely fucked up the Republican Party. The sensible Republicans are being punished for his fuckery. People are now voting blue, not because they agree with Democrats, but because Trump is an autocratic psycho who wants to be a dictator. But a lot of people are blinded by his charisma, and they refuse to see what is plainly in front of their own faces. I don’t understand how people think Trump will do anything for them. He has never done anything for anyone but HIMSELF. And all you have to do is see what he does instead of listening to what he says. What he says is 100 percent the false self at work. He’s not a reliable reporter on his own work.

Farron explains why the Republicans are screwed… this man is the poster child for malignant narcissism.

On a much smaller scale, you can easily see rank and file, garden variety narcissists presenting a false self. I see Ex doing it all the time on Twitter. Watch her on social media, and you’ll see her posting all sorts of crap that is surprisingly “woke” and progressive. It’s almost as if she’s a different person than she was twenty years ago, when I first became aware of her existence, or thirty years ago, when she was married to my husband. If I were to assess her based only on her Twitter posts, I might think she was a rising star in the woke brigade. But because I know a lot more about her than what she presents, I know that she’s presenting a false self. I don’t know her reasons for doing this, to be honest. She seems determined to reach out to perfect strangers and celebrities, the vast majority of whom she will never meet in person. But to people who know her offline, she’s completely different. Or, at least she’s different to the people who have an intimate relationship to her.

Below are two very recent tweets by Ex…

Next, she tweets to her favorite author, apparently “crushed” that she didn’t get to meet her in a major US city close to where she lives:

Wait wait wait… Diana was in …? Oh Damn, how am I so far out of the loop! I’m only four hours away and I’d have been there had I known!!!

😭

Diana, do you have a newsletter or something to which I may subscribe????

And here, she claims to “believe the best about people”. But she called up my mother-in-law at Christmas, as Bill was on his way to stay with her, and told her to think twice about letting him in her house, because she claimed Bill was “dangerous”. She told Bill’s stepmother that he’s a violent pervert who hates women. She told Bill’s kids that he had an affair with me, and that he abandoned them for me. None of that is even remotely true. But to read what she puts out to the masses, you’d think she was the most decent person in New England. Watch what she does, though… don’t listen to what she says or believe what she posts. Her words are mostly lies.

Her claim that she believes the best in people is pure bullshit. But her truth doesn’t fit the false self.

And finally, she posted to a doctor who was tweeting about a child who was sexually abused. Ex wrote this, which I think probably is the truth:

Did they make an arrest? This story is my story. I need to know. My assault was reported to my mother by me and she didn’t believe me. He went free and I was beaten for lying. Please tell me that they made an arrest in your case?

I do believe Ex was abused. She isn’t lying about that. But when she discovered that abuse eventually happened in her house, to her own daughters, she didn’t do anything but stop the car and scream at the perpetrator. Then, some time later, when he thought it had blown over somewhat, she brought up the abuse out of the blue, saying she should have left him on the side of the road. She never told Bill what had happened on her watch. She didn’t think of her daughters’ safety. She knew that if she told Bill what happened, he would take steps to protect his daughters. But her need for control and presenting that facade of being “awesome” was more important than being a good mother and getting help for her kids.

I’m not saying that wasn’t a difficult situation for her to deal with. It was. But she’s constantly behaving as if she’s the most functional person alive. And we know she’s far from being functional. To me, it’s fascinating to watch. I don’t understand narcissism. I know it when I see it, but I don’t understand it. All I can think is that narcissists are basically black holes of people. They are never fulfilled or satisfied. And they can’t share or be truly authentic. It must be a really miserable way to live.

I know… she really isn’t a threat to me anymore. I should probably just move on with my life. Except she has made it plain that she doesn’t ever completely let people go. Aside from that, I find her very interesting to observe. She’s a fascinating character, especially if you know the truth. And given that it’s October, it’s only fitting. This is the spookiest month of the year, right?

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Ex, narcissists, politicians, royals, Uncategorized, YouTube

Speaking the “Queen’s English”, doesn’t make you a Brit, Ex…

Recently, I read and reviewed UK journalist Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, which is all about Meghan Markle. As I read the book, I also followed H.G. Tudor’s YouTube channel, in which Mr. Tudor read the book to his followers and explained what was happening within the lens of a narcissist. H.G. Tudor claims to be a sociopathic narcissist, and he says that gives him special insight to obvious narcissists. Tudor believes that Markle is a narcissist. Frankly, I agree with him, but I obviously don’t know for absolute certain. It’s just a hunch.

Let’s just say I clearly see the signs of narcissism and facade building, and I am fairly convinced that most of what Meghan Markle does publicly is an act. It would stand to reason that she’s playing a role, since she was most recently pursuing an acting career. She is literally an actress, albeit not a very convincing one, in my opinion. I’ve been around a lot of narcissists in my lifetime, as most of us have. Hell, Donald Trump has subjected the entire world to narcissistic abuse, so it’s safe to say that the vast majority of the world’s population have been exposed to the toxicity that comes from narcissism and narcissistic people. In my view, spotting a narcissist or narcissistic behavior is kind of like spotting pornography. You can’t always define it, but you know it when you see it.

H.G. Tudor explains why he thinks Meghan is a narcissist.

H.G. Tudor is not the only person who thinks Meghan Markle is a narcissist. So does The Body Language Guy, Jesus Enrique Rosas, who has done a bunch of YouTube videos analyzing Meghan Markle’s body language and nonverbal behaviors. If you look around YouTube, you will find many people making videos about Markle and her apparently self-serving behaviors, to include a thinly veiled ambition to someday be the President of the United States or some other high ranking political leader. God help us… I hope the country figures out that obvious narcissists don’t make good leaders. Because besides being abusive and lacking in empathy for others, narcissists are FAKE… and they are constantly putting up a facade that is meant to fool people into thinking they are better people than they are.

Jesus Enrique Rosas talks about the speculation about Meghan’s political aspirations.
Lady Colin Campbell says that she thinks Meghan is a narcissist, too. I’m not the only one, obviously.

So why am I writing about this today? I had actually meant to write about an entirely different topic. I changed my mind when I checked out Ex’s latest tweets, most of which give me a good laugh. Lately, she’s been tweeting incessantly about a certain TV show about Scotland, excitedly claiming she is, herself, a member of a famous Highland family. She has also, more than once, expressed a desire to learn “Scots Gaelic”, as she claims that it’s her “native tongue” (even though she was born to US citizens in Texas). Like Meghan Markle, Ex is very narcissistic, and she isn’t satisfied with who she is. So she goes to great lengths to try to convince people that she is someone she’s not. The harder she tries, the more unconvincing she is.

As far as I know, this obsession with Scotland is a somewhat recent development for Ex. According to Bill, when they were still married, Ex didn’t speak incessantly about being a “Scot”. She was then a fan of romantic historical fiction and fantasy, as she apparently is now, but she wasn’t claiming to be from a renowned Scottish family. Given that she was adopted, it would have been a strange claim to be making. But Ex has since apparently met her birth parents, and has openly disparaged them. So why she would want to claim any ancestral ties to them– people who had an extramarital affair, conceived Ex, and then gave her up for adoption, where she landed with abusive and neglectful parents– I don’t know. Obviously, they weren’t great people, even if there’s any truth to her claim that one or both of them came from a famous Scottish clan from the Highlands. What they did is, in fact, very ordinary behavior that had rather tragic consequences on many levels.

Like Ex, I have heavily Scottish roots, and I am proud of them. I have been to Scotland several times, and I used to live in England, which is where my second highest DNA concentration of ancestry comes from. I’ve also visited Ireland, which is where the third highest concentration comes from in my DNA heritage, though by much less than Scotland and England. I do feel a kinship to the UK, not just because I have the DNA from there, but because I have also spent a lot of time there, have friends from there, and it’s just become a really familiar place for me, just as Germany has.

BUT– I am still an AMERICAN. I don’t claim to be British, in spite of having a huge amount of British DNA. Most of my family came to the United States in the 1600s and eventually made their way to the western side of Virginia. That’s more like my home, even though I have never officially lived in Rockbridge County or its environs. I was born and mostly raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia, and even though I have no family living there, aside from my mother, that is also my home. Not Britain… in spite of my very British heritage, and in spite of the fact that I feel at ease there and obviously look like the natives, especially when I’m in Scotland.

I have lived in Germany now for ten years of my life, but I don’t have a lot of German heritage. I know I have some, because I’ve found obvious Germans in my family tree, and I doubt the Germans I found were actually Brits who were adopted by German families. The DNA tests don’t seem to recognize my German ancestors, even though they recognize the Native American woman who got pregnant by one of my ancestors in the 1600s. I guess this just proves that the DNA tests aren’t necessarily the clearest picture of where a person’s origins are. I’ve been in Germany for a long time, but I’m not German. I’m still American. Living here, learning the language, and appropriating the culture would not make me German, no matter how long my stay is. If I became a German citizen, I guess that would make me more of a German, at least by means of a passport. But really, at least culturally speaking, I’d still be an American.

On some level, I suspect Ex is engaging in some fantasy, building a story that makes her feel better about herself. What I find interesting, and potentially problematic, is that she is presenting her bullshit to the masses on Twitter. There are people who actually know her, and know the realities of who she is. People who know her real story probably laugh at her claims of being descended from a famous Scottish family, as if that somehow makes her special. Nevertheless, Ex still tries to put out this false image– the same thing Meghan Markle does– as if she hopes to convince strangers to accept her for what she’s not.

If you do some digging into Meghan Markle’s life, you quickly realize that her false “Diana-esque” humanitarian facade is not real. She knows how to act like a nice person when people are watching, but based on multiple accounts by credible people, it’s not genuine. Furthermore, Meghan has lied about a lot of things, like, for instance, her assertion that she didn’t know much about Prince Harry before they dated. That is obviously a whopper of a lie, and it has been debunked by people who actually know her. And yet, in spite of people who know her reporting the truth of what they know to others, Meghan has still tried to convince us of the veracity of her obvious lie.

Same thing with Donald Trump. There are many examples of his egregiously bad behavior… but people will still swear up and down that he was sent here by Jesus Christ to save America, and that the media is “persecuting” him. I won’t say that the media can’t be brutal, and certainly there has been “fake news” put out there. But… where there’s smoke, there’s almost always fire. Lots of credible people have spoken and written about what a vile person Trump is, and the proof is becoming more evident every day, especially right now. So, even though Trump knows how to charm people, that charm is superficial. It’s not real. And people who are clued into narcissism obviously clue in to it quickly and don’t accept Trump’s alternative version of “truth”.

Narcissists love to revise history. Listen to H.G. Tudor, and you will hear him talk about how Meghan Markle has done it many times. Meghan has, just like Trump, also used DARVO. Remember when she claimed that Kate made her cry during a dress fitting? I don’t believe Meghan’s story. I have not seen Kate Middleton make a false step yet. Although she’s clearly human, and like all people, she makes mistakes, I have not heard of Kate Middleton bullying anyone. When she smiles, it’s believable. She’s the epitome of charm and grace. If anyone were going to do the impossible and step into Diana’s shoes, it would be her, not Meghan Markle.

I remember hearing that when Princess Diana died, Ex was reportedly devastated. Bill has told me that she idolized Diana, as many people have. People like to emulate those they admire– and take on some of their traits. Obviously Meghan wants to be like Diana, or at least get people to see her as “Diana-esque”. She’s a poor substitute, because she doesn’t have what Diana had… and Diana, by the way, was no perfect saint herself! But, she was clearly much more genuine in terms of her feelings than most Royals are. Ex would probably very much like to be like Diana, just as Meghan obviously wants to be, but that’s impossible. All she can be is herself, which is all any of us can be.

Now… just for those who have managed to wade through the bulk of this post, I’m going to show everyone what has inspired today’s rantings. Before I do that, let me explain that there was a time when Ex was decidedly NOT liberal in her political leanings. But like many, in the age of Trump, she has apparently chosen a different path. I don’t fault her for that at all. In fact, I am delighted that she’s voting blue, because today’s Republican Party is a total shitshow, and every vote is a push for getting rid of this very destructive political trend. However, some of Ex’s “woke” platitudes are very hypocritical, especially given that I know firsthand about the horrific and obvious physical, mental, verbal, and emotional abuse she has delivered to her supposed loved ones and former spouses.

Someone on Twitter posted this:

This is a funny song that Trump adversaries sang at some rally. It uses the word “cunt”, which Americans recognize as an extremely misogynistic, offensive, nasty word that is often hurled at women. Sadly, most people who use the word “cunt” don’t even save it for the end of an argument anymore. Ex… showing everyone that she is, in fact, an American, and not a Brit, posted this response.

Ex… you are quite clearly NOT a Brit. You are an American, and you think like an American. Time to embrace that, and stop trying to be someone you’re not.

As to Ex’s contention that no one has the right to use the word “cunt”, I would say that she’s wrong. That word, like all words, has a use, and sometimes the use is appropriate. There are times when it’s not even offensive to use the word “cunt”. It’s all about context, right? Like, people in Ex’s precious Scotland don’t get upset when Brits say the word “cunt”. Why? Because it doesn’t have the same meaning there that it does in the United States. Same thing with the word “fag”. In the US, “fag” and “faggot” are very offensive slurs that refer to male homosexuals. But in Britain they are, respectively, a cigarette and a type of sausage, or even a bundle of sticks.

If Ex really wants to be “woke”, she might want to consider that the US perspective is not the perspective for everyone else in the world. Like, for instance,– I have seen the Confederate battle flag flown in countries all over Europe. People don’t care much here, because that flag doesn’t have the same meaning to Europeans as it does to Americans, and many people here don’t feel like they should have to avoid offending Americans. Likewise, a Nazi era swastika is offensive to many people, including Americans. Hanging one up here, outside the house, would likely merit a visit from the police. But Nazi symbolism will likely be much more offensive to certain groups– specifically Jewish people and Germans, who have been taught that it’s very taboo– than it is to, say, your garden variety American redneck who is also proud to display a Confederate battle flag.

Those symbols, which obviously mean something to some people, don’t mean the same thing to every person, because not every person has the same perspectives. And people can’t and shouldn’t automatically be expected to follow the perspectives of everyone else. We shouldn’t, for instance, get angry at someone who lives in the bush country of Africa for admiring the Confederate battle flag after seeing it for the first time. They wouldn’t automatically assume the flag is “bad”, because they lack context or a concept of what that flag represents– just like any young child does when seeing or hearing something for the first time. In fact, I would argue that the flag isn’t actually “bad”, in and of itself; it’s actually a neutral thing. It’s the racist and hateful attitudes from the people behind what the flag symbolizes that makes it “bad”. But it’s much easier to ban a flag than it is to confront the people behind what it symbolizes.

I could go on and on about this, as it’s a pet topic of mine. I get annoyed by people who want to aggressively cram their agendas down other people’s throats, as they claim to value freedom of expression and opinion. The left is just as bad as the right when it comes to this, especially when it’s clear that the person who claims his or her opinion is “correct”, hasn’t actually thought much about the issue at all, and is really just parroting what other people have said.

Father Nathan Monk has had a couple of recent contentious Facebook threads about so-called “spelling and grammar police” that has clearly demonstrated that as open minded and tolerant as some left wing folks want to seem to be, they really share some characteristics with some of the most militant right wingers. The behavior is the same, even if the ideology isn’t. But… this is already a long and convoluted post, and I’m thinking about doing a music video. So I’m going to close this post and get on with the day.

Personally, I think Father Nathan Monk, as well as a lot of his followers, are doing what they accuse other people of doing. Any time some responds to a disagreement with rudeness, anger, and derision, rather than patience, forbearance, and tolerance, they are guilty of the same toxic behavior as what they’re criticizing. And before anyone calls me out, I will admit that I am guilty of this myself, sometimes. Telling that guy I posted about yesterday to “fuck off” wasn’t constructive. But then, I doubt he wanted to hear me out, anyway.

Well… if you’ve managed to get through this and actually read it to the end, I thank you. I continue to write about this topic because it’s fascinating to me, but it also helps me maintain perspective. Anyone who has had direct ties to a narcissist knows that things will get confusing quickly, if you let them call all of the shots. So I write this stuff down to keep my head straight. If anyone else finds it helpful, informative, or interesting, so much the better.

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Ex, mental health, narcissists, psychology, scams

“Um… excuse me for noticing, but your slip is showing…”

Happy Friday, y’all. Tomorrow is the big day… we’re gonna load up the Volvo and drive south for a vacation in Switzerland, Italy, and Liechtenstein. I’m looking forward to going, although I always worry a bit when we leave home. I especially worry about Arran, who is getting pretty old, and doesn’t enjoy being boarded as much as he used to when he was younger. But one of the reasons we chose to live in Europe is so we could do some exploring of the continent. Because of the pandemic, we’ve been doing less of that in recent years. It’s time we got back to it, if only so I can justify keeping my travel blog going. I do still have a handful of readers there who don’t follow this blog at all, so I like to offer fresh and interesting content to them whenever possible.

I have some stuff to take care of in preparation for the trip. I still need to pack, and there are a couple of routine household chores I’d like to get done before we head off in the morning. But being busy hasn’t stopped me from checking in on Ex. I know a lot of people think I’m “obsessed” with her, and my preoccupation might even be “unhealthy”. I might agree with them; although at this point, I mostly find her intriguing, rather than personally threatening. As an occasional student of psychology, some of the things she does, and gets away with, are fascinating. I think I would find her interesting even if she hadn’t been married to Bill, and I didn’t know her backstory. As a somewhat “relatively normal” person, I am continually shocked by her gall and complete lack of authenticity.

Years ago, I used to love watching cartoons. When I think of Ex, I often think in terms of cartoons. On my original blog, I once famously compared Ex to Wile E. Coyote, because she often has “big” ideas that turn out to be harebrained schemes that eventually blow up in her face. When I wrote that post in the fall of 2018, I got a comment from a reader who felt my posts about Ex were/are completely inappropriate and in “poor taste”. This person, obviously not someone who knows me or the situation, probably assumed that Ex is a “normal” person and I’m just a mean, bitter, second wife. But she’s not a normal person, and if you know anything about her, that reality becomes very clear in a hurry. And I may be mean and bitter sometimes, but I have never once come close to doing some of the things Ex does on a regular basis to people she supposedly loves.

On the surface, she seems like a lovely, thoughtful, “normal” woman. But look closer, and you see who she really is. I often find myself comparing her to cartoon characters, maybe because some of her behavior is very cartoonish. In 2018, Ex’s antics reminded me of Wile E. Coyote… but in 2022, she reminds me more of Yosemite Sam.

“Your slip is showing.”

In 1955, Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam starred in a cartoon called “Sahara Hare”. Yosemite Sam comes riding in on a camel, yelling and carrying on. When the camel doesn’t “whoa” when Sam says “whoa”, he knocks the poor animal on the head with his rifle. Just your typical, garden variety bully, posturing for all the world to see, right?

Meanwhile, Bugs Bunny is bathing in an oasis, good naturedly singing as he steps out, in search of a towel. His eyes are shut when he encounters Yosemite Sam, who wears desert garb that covers his head. Bugs mistakes Sam’s head covering as a towel. Sam whirls around to confront the rascally rabbit, who is busily drying off with Sam’s garb. Bugs asks him what’s up, and wonders if he’s with the side show. Yosemite Sam responds by introducing himself in threatening terms… to which Bugs says, “Your slip is showing.” This makes Sam cower in shame as he tries to cover up something that embarrasses him.

Of course, Bugs was conning him…

Realizing that he’s been duped into shame and humiliation, and feeling determined to gain Bugs Bunny’s respect, Sam gets angry and starts firing his weapon at Bugs, who is calmly departing the scene and easily missing Sam’s bullets. But then Sam nearly misses Bugs, who takes off running. Sam gets back on the camel and screams at him to follow Bugs. The camel doesn’t move, until Sam hits him again… then he won’t stop running, again causing Sam to hit him over the head with his gun.

Yep… Sam is really nothing but a bully, putting on a facade that is meant to intimidate other people. But really, he’s just an abusive, foolish, buffoon, who doesn’t manage to sway the astute. Only the naive or unaware are impressed or intimidated by Sam– a cartoon character who cowers in shame when a rabbit tells him that his “slip is showing”, even after he’s postured this loud, obnoxious, ridiculous spectacle that is supposed to be scary.

Young people among us might not know that a slip is an undergarment, typically worn by women, underneath dresses or skirts made of sheer or otherwise revealing material. It’s intended to preserve modesty, and cover up panty lines and the “naughty bits”… or private parts, if you prefer. That a tough talking little turd like Sam is wearing women’s undergarments is also a statement about his status as a “beta”, trying to act like an “alpha”.

In these more “enlightened” times, this cartoon might seem hopelessly sexist and un-PC, but the point is, Sam is trying to be something he’s really not. He’s a coward and a bully, who preys on the weak, foolish, and gullible. In that way, he’s kind of like Donald Trump. I don’t know how many of us ladies are still wearing slips these days, but when they were commonly worn, just like underwear, slips weren’t supposed to be shown to others. And men, at least in 1955, weren’t supposed to wear slips at all. So, the fact that Sam rushed to hide his “slip” from the trickster bunny is especially embarrassing and shameful.

Now Ex does have her moments of acting like the fiery version of Yosemite Sam. When she gets angry, she’s reportedly kind of “scary”… not that I’ve experienced it directly. I have just been here in the aftermath of other people’s dealings with her. I believe them when they say that she has her “Yosemite Sam” moments, and is full of bluster that can be frightening to experience. Ex also doesn’t really bluff much. Call her on her bullshit, she will happily cut off her nose to spite her own face– or more often, other people’s faces– just to try to “prove you wrong”. While a lot of her antics are, at best, truly ridiculous, sometimes she does do damaging, and even dangerous, things in her efforts to command “respect”.

Like, for instance, she gave up Bill’s generous financial support of his adult daughters, which I know she could and would have used, even though, technically, it wasn’t her money. She realized that maintaining control of offspring, and the official narrative of what really happened, was more important to her than access to Bill’s money was. It also didn’t seem to matter to her that Bill’s daughters might have appreciated having that support, or even access to Bill’s 9/11 GI Bill for college expenses. She was much more focused on her own agenda and what suited her, not what was actually best for Bill’s daughters. I specify Bill’s daughters, because Ex’s other kids aren’t his responsibility, even if he did raise and pay support for Ex’s son with #1. She probably treats her kids with #3 somewhat similarly, although sometimes it seems like Bill’s daughters got the worst treatment– as if they needed to be punished for having his DNA. From what we’ve heard, #3’s daughter seems to be the current golden child.

But, even though Ex was proud to stop taking child support from Bill, and was all too ready to stop her daughters from getting the support directly, she still needs money. She also needs a lot of attention and narcissistic supply. So, she will do things like force her children to take out loans that she can skim from. And, for some reason, she feels compelled to present a completely false version of herself to the world. The opinions of strangers seem to be much more important to her than the opinions of family members. I find that very interesting, which is why I continue to watch her. Of course, I also watch her because she’s repeatedly proven that she’s very underhanded and not above trying to take advantage of people in Bill’s family.

So anyway, this week, after a period of relative calm and quiet, Ex resurfaced with more of her outrageous bullshit. On one social media platform, she shared several memes, accompanied by nonsensical blather that sounded good, but weren’t actually in harmony with specific actions that she’s taken. Click on the images to see what I mean.

Um… this was NEVER an issue with Ex. In fact, in over 20 years of observing her, I have seen that she’s not one to consider other people’s feelings or needs, at least not unless there is something in it for her. Other people are usually catering to her whims.

I really have no idea if she actually believes the crap she routinely spews to the masses. I know she hopes that other people will believe it, and she must get some kind of payback from affirmative comments, positive reactions, and validation she gets from total strangers. But people who really know her, or have even just been exposed to people who know her, realize that this is all a bunch of smoke and mirrors she puts out to the world for some reason. She is a very manipulative person, and it’s not wise to take anything she says or writes at face value.

Making things stranger is the fact that Ex puts out details that have an element of truth within them. Ex did, for instance, work as a university administrator for some years. But we know that Ex dropped out of high school and got a GED, just as her oldest kids did (not sure about her youngest daughter). Ex talks about her alleged goals that were thwarted by other people– her adoptive mom, her adoptive and step dads, her ex husbands, her children (especially her “severely autistic and non-verbal” son), or other entities that supposedly took advantage of her or ripped her off– ie. Mary Kay Cosmetics, Nutrisystem, the LDS church, etc. The list goes on and on. She never seems to be satisfied; she never takes personal responsibility; and her plans are always seemingly overtaken by events or the “bad actions” of other people.

Younger daughter told us that she was forced to leave public school when she was a teenager. Ex made her get a GED, then enroll in college classes, so she could get student loans, something Ex learned about in her role as an administrator, and possibly from her multiple attempts to get her own bachelor’s degree. Ex took the money that wasn’t used by tuition and spent it, leaving younger daughter to pay off the debt. Sadly, younger daughter didn’t even manage to finish the degree. Older daughter supposedly did get a degree, but still lives with her mother and has lots of debt. Ex has had multiple bankruptcies, but here she is dispensing advice as if she’s an expert on education. She did, supposedly get a master’s degree in education, but she’s never really used it professionally. In fact, she left her “university job” because she got fired… something about “mishandling funds”, which prompted her to move across country to a new place, where she hasn’t repeatedly shit in the local well of human forbearance and understanding.

One would think, looking at Ex’s public persona, that she’s a very loving, caring, and devoted mom and wife. But yet, instead of taking care of her family, as she claims she does, she’s posting crap for the masses… especially for celebrities. And there always seems to be a hook for money, narcissistic supply, and some kind of prestige or recognition by people who don’t even know her, and will never even meet her.

As I mentioned up post, I find Ex to be a fascinating character. If I were a practicing mental health professional, I would probably alternately be amazed and frustrated by her. A psychiatrist or psychologist (or both) could write quite an interesting book about her. But I think the personal price they would have to pay to create such a book would be much too high to justify the effort. Still, she really is something… and I must admit, I’m probably too wedded to watching her in action. Maybe our trip will help refocus my attention to things other than Ex’s slip… and the facade she constantly puts up that is always slipping to show the ugliness underneath.

It must be exhausting to have to constantly create this fantasy world she lives in, along with the constant framing of the narrative so that people will believe that she’s really who she claims to be. There’s a very human part of me that feels empathy for Ex, and a smaller part that is kind of amused by her. But then I remember what she did to Bill, who is the best person I know, and I get angry again. So here I am, processing this shit on my blog for anyone to read. Maybe I’m no better than she is, but at least I am not passing this crap on to my children… because in part, thanks to her, I don’t have any. Well, I’ll at least try to keep things real. You may not like what you see in me, but at least what you see is what you get. I try to be honest and authentic, even if the real me isn’t always a pretty sight. I find that being that way keeps most of the malicious fuckers away from me.

Anyway, I don’t mind if my slip is showing. Remember, I like to go to nude German spas. Speaking of which, it’s time I closed this post and got on with my chores, so we can get on the road tomorrow. Have a great Friday, y’all.

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narcissists, overly helpful people, psychology

“Spanx” for the psyche– when your friends and family members don psychological shapewear…

Almost a month ago, I wrote a blog post about manipulators who insist that they’re straightforward and honest. In that post, I wrote about how I’d seen a meme on social media that really spoke to me. I saved it, and three days later, was presented with a real life situation that pretty much described the wisdom of that truism someone shared on Facebook. I will repost it below for those who don’t want to read the older post.

So true…

Bill and I were talking about this subject again this morning over breakfast. It’s Veteran’s Day, and he’s a veteran, so he’s at home. I asked him if, looking back on his experiences with people who turned out to be toxic and manipulative, if they had started off trying to look like they were “above reproach.” He said they mostly had… and in fact, thought of a few people in my life who had acted that way at first, and then turned out to be controlling, manipulative, deceptive, and underhanded. It’s as if someone designed Spanx for the psyche, put them on, and then tried to sell it to the unsure.

You know what Spanx are, right? Spanx are foundation garments designed to make people appear to be thinner and more shapely than they actually are. While Spanx may make a person look more attractive by compressing and smoothing out those trouble spots, people who wear them are basically hiding their true selves. Just as today’s featured photo implies, that’s all well and good until it’s time to get more intimate. Then, the truth comes out, and you find out if your partner only loves you for the illusion of your “perfect” body instead of your personality.

I don’t think shapewear can help me. I am who I am, like it or not. Have you ever noticed that the people who model shapewear don’t actually need to wear it? I think they should get someone who looks like me to model their products. But I don’t want to do it myself… love me, love my fat rolls.

To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a person covering up their physical flaws if it makes them feel more comfortable with themselves. I do, however, think trouble starts when a person hides their authentic selves with “shapewear for the psyche”. That’s when a person behaves like someone they’re not for the purpose of shaping or manipulating your opinion of them. Then, when you realize who they really are, you find out you were duped. It’s like the person wore psychological Spanx to hide their unsightly ego bulges, sagging virtue, and flabby morals. The next thing you know, you’re wondering if you’re crazy or stupid. Surely this person is as good as they first seemed. You wonder if you’re the problem. But nope… they were just hiding their true selves in psychological shapewear, designed to trick people with an illusion.

This type of behavior is a form of “gaslighting“. According to Medical News Today:

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where a person or group makes someone question their sanity, perception of reality, or memories. People experiencing gaslighting often feel confused, anxious, and unable to trust themselves.

A person who comes on strong, and tries hard to make a great first impression on you, is trying to shape your opinion of them. Then, when the behavior changes for the worse, as it always does, you will think back to that initial strong and positive first impression and be more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. You will wonder if they’re just having a bad day. You will assume that someday, they’ll be that person with the warm, winsome personality who insisted that they are above reproach, and would never lie, cheat, steal, or do anything that isn’t for someone other than themselves. The reality is, they were never that person. They just wanted you to think they were. They want you to second guess yourself as you start to realize that they deceived you.

These folks are the ones who take it upon themselves to set a good example for others to follow. To give a recent and relevant example, there’s a woman I know casually who, when the pandemic was first in the news, made a point of posting pictures of herself wearing face masks while she was hanging out with her friends. She added a “PSA” of sorts about how important face masks are and– oh look!– she’s wearing one! Obviously, she was putting it out there that she’s a “caring” person, and you should try to emulate her. She sacrificed wearing lipstick so we could see her taking one for the team, dutifully wearing her face mask and being an example to all.

Later, I noticed that she deviated somewhat from that initial caring for the masses message she put out on her Facebook page. I got a taste of her control issues and the underhanded ways she tries to rope people in to doing her bidding. I realized that the first impression I got of her was just a facade. The reality is, she was wearing “Spanx for the psyche” and I had bought into that initial false image of her. I don’t think she’s a bad person, per se. I just think she tries to put forth an image that isn’t quite authentic or accurate. I find myself being more careful in my dealings with her.

Looking back, I can think of other people who made dynamite first impressions on me. I came away from meeting them thinking they were amazing. They were cordial, witty, charming, funny, and entertaining. Then, after awhile, the mask slipped, and I realized the first impression was just their version of a sales pitch. They were just trying to sell a false version of themselves so that when their real personality inevitably came out, I might cut them more of a break.

This phenomenon reminds me of that old joke about the man who visited Heaven and Hell to see where he’d like to spend eternity. Heaven is quiet, serene, beautiful, and comfortable. Hell looks like a raucous party, with sexy people having a blast with endless games. The man likes how Heaven looks, but ultimately chooses Hell, because it looks like it would be more fun. Then, when he shows up on this first day of eternity, he sees how miserable and awful Hell really is. He asks the demon who is showing him around what happened to the fun version of Hell he’d seen. The demon says, “Yesterday, we were recruiting you. Today, you’re committed.”

It’s easier in hindsight to acknowledge that sometimes people cover up who they really are. When you’re actually meeting them for the first time, it may not occur to you that they would be deceptive about their real selves. Most of us want to give people a chance, and try to see at least some good in others, especially when we first meet them. That’s kind of what our culture teaches us. If we let a negative impression cross our minds, we might hear the stern reproaches of someone from the past, chastising us for being “prejudicial”. However, I have found that that initial gut impression is often correct. There have been many times when I’ve regretted not heeding that impression. Because, once the more “intimate” part of a relationship begins, and the “Spanx for the psyche” is peeled off, the real ugliness sets in… and the person tries to sell that fake version of themselves again. I’m left wondering if I’m crazy or they’re just lying to me.

I’ve often discovered that people who need “psychological Spanx” also tend to be surface acquaintances. They aren’t interested in getting to know other people as much as they want some dirt on them so they can use it to their advantage at some point. Most of the fake people I’ve known are much more concerned about their reputations and images than they are in forming solid and honest relationships with other people. They’re more worried about how they look to others than they are in caring for friends and loved ones who have already committed to them. They don’t value deep relationships; they just want people to submit to their control tactics. Once someone is on the hook as a supporter, they aren’t going to go to the effort of covering up their flaws anymore. And if that’s not acceptable to you, the person who was duped, they’ll make it painful for you to object.

It’s kind of like when we first met our ex landlady. She tried hard to present herself as caring, understanding, and decent. But there were a number of signs that she was being deceptive. We chose to ignore them, even though I know I picked up on the signals from the first meeting. Her words and actions weren’t congruent. And later, after we heard many assurances from her about what a good and responsible person she is, she became the worst landlady we’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with. Over the course of our relationship with her, she made a number of external improvements to the house, but they were mostly cosmetic and meant to make the house more appealing to people on the street. She couldn’t have cared less about the comfort and convenience of the people who actually lived in the house and paid rent to her. That’s why she replaced the driveway and put up a flimsy fence instead of replacing the weird toilet that repeatedly backed up and required her husband to give me a tutorial. That’s also why she didn’t get rid of the disgusting carpet that reeked of cat piss. People on the street can’t see those things and don’t have to deal with them. But tenants have a contract, and are subjected to seeing her as she really is when things go wrong.

I have also seen how these types of people, when they have a commitment with others in their lives, feel free to mistreat them. I always pity people who are born to manipulative liars. It’s much easier to get away from someone who is a not a close blood relative. When it’s your parent or sibling, the stakes are much higher, and people tend to tolerate their bad behavior for longer. Then, when they can’t take it anymore, other people judge them for escaping the clutches of their tormentors. More often than not, the judgmental folks have only seen the charming, appealing, “psychological Spanx” wearing versions of the relative who is being abusive. They haven’t see them when the Spanx come off and the person lets everything unattractive about their true selves hang out.

Now… I’m not saying that it’s wrong for a person to try to make a good first impression. To some extent, most of us try to do that. What I am saying is that when a person tries too hard, or, when you first meet them, they insist that they’re “good, honest people” who never have problems with others, that’s a red flag. Nine times out of ten, they’re going to turn out to be the opposite of what they claimed to be. Or, at the very least, you’re going to find out that they aren’t authentic.

Authentic people don’t have to tell you how good they are. It shows in the honest way they behave and how they relate to other people. They don’t need “psychological Spanx”, because their personalities are naturally attractive. It’s possible to meet someone who is lovely and that’s who they really are. Usually, those types of people don’t give you a bad feeling. You don’t have that little voice in your head, warning you. The authentically good people don’t need to bowl you over with charm. They have no need to impress. They’re just good people who are real. No psychological Spanx or shapewear required.

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