Part 2 – The Narcissist Project: About Narcissist’s self-love, and my personal exposure

To get a good start in this series I will be adding some additional posts to this weekly series.

Is Narcissism always a destruct thing?  – No definitely not, all of us are narcissists in one degree or another. We all need a certain degree of self-esteem and feelings of worthiness to cope in the world today.  Here is a little about that from one of my source books:

Is Self good or is it bad? It would not be possible to function, let alone survive, without some degree of investment in the Self. Without attention to ourselves, we would remain undeveloped and unaware, our talents lying dormant and our values unformed. In a world without ego, there would be no originality, no color, no contrast. Variety would cease to exist, and choice would become unnecessary. Even love would be meaningless if there were no “I” to be smitten with “you.”

Hotchkiss, Sandy (2008-06-20). Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism . Free Press. Kindle Edition.

It is just when our self-love drowns out other necessary characteristics that it becomes destructive. When it reaches the level called Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD) it becomes tragically destructive, especially for those who live with a Narcissist on a day to day basis or those who have to live with the consequences of their fanaticism.

One of the dominant characteristics of an extreme narcissists is self-love and the need for constant admiration to the exclusion  of just about everything  and everyone else.

Now here is my personal story about a narcissist’s self-love:

Narcissist Project.jpgI knew my mother up until I was about 9 years old. That is when she abandoned us in search of a better life for herself.  Even at an early age I knew there was something different about her. All of her conversations usually centered around herself and continued to be so all of her life. She thought the best Christmas presents she could give to her kids were pictures of herself. All her life she always had big portraits of herself displayed around her homes. She always put on unwarranted airs of “fame and fortune”

Narcissist Project-2.jpg
Me and my two brothers with our latest Xmas gift from Mother.

that I knew were not true. I didn’t know for sure but even as a nine year old I thought that was just not normal.  

At times mother could be very charming but there were other times when she was a very spiteful person who told us young boys to hate our father because of something he did that she didn’t like. Everything was about her. She just didn’t seem to have any capacity of love for me and that was probably the reason I became pretty much the opposite of her in many regards. More on that in later posts.

Narcissist Project-4.jpgMy father was almost the exact opposite of my mother. He had very low self-esteem and usually said very little. He was a good looking man, much like Errol Flynn of those days, so that is probably why she was attracted to him. He seemed to always go with whatever she wanted. I would learn years later that this is a typical characteristic of someone who is a victim of a narcissist.

The Most Vicious President in American History Is Donald Trump’s Role Model

I want to use this week’s InSearchOfAmerica post as a history/current events lesson. My least favorite president in American history is without any doubt Andrew Jackson. He was simply everything I detest in a human being. Yes, as the source article below mentions he is the CO3 (current Oval Office occupant) favorite.  Why am I not surprised?

Here are some selected lessons from the Jackson years. Will the coming times mimic these?  I dread that they will..

“Jackson under cover of the War of 1812… [created] the land-and-slaves boom remembered as ‘Alabama Fever,'” the authors write. “Jackson’s subsequent taking of Florida by military conquest and removing the South’s remaining Native Americans from their ancestral lands—we now call it ‘ethnic cleansing’—made the entire Deep South safe for plantation slavery and further increased the demand for slave labor.

shutterstock_2962976“The Alabama massacres are generally not mentioned in War of 1812 histories, because they do not entail fighting with the British. But it was a deliberate ethnic cleansing and land grab “under cover of war,” the Sublettes note. “The United States—in the person of the most effective general in the U.S. Army, Andrew Jackson—grabbed a vast area of Native American land in Georgia and Alabama; and the Gulf South, whose seaports of New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola were essential for control of trade with the interior. Here the British were vanquished… a tremendous victory for Southern slaveowners against the power that had dared to offer freedom to their property.”

Petty, Vindictive, Vengeful

Whether dealing with slaves, soldiers or politicians, Jackson was an authoritarian leader who, another historian noted, “could hate with a biblical fury and would resort to petty and vindictive acts to nurture his hatred and keep it bright and strong and ferocious.” In 1804, “he advertised in the Tennessee Gazette for the return of a runaway slave, he made the extraordinarily vicious offer of ‘ten dollars extra, for every hundred lashes any person will give him, to the amount of three hundred.'” Jackson also relished killing a man who owed him money from a gambling debt, who wounded him in a duel. “After Jackson’s pistol jammed and did not reset during the rest of the exchange, he was allowed to recock his pistol and fire a second shot… Streaming blood from his chest wound, Jackson took aim and shot Charles Dickinson in cold blood from a distance of 24 feet.”

Jackson gained political power because, as the Sublettes write, he “spoke the plain language of a warrior, wanted a weak federal government that would distribute as much former Indian land and as much specie as possible to individuals in an expanding slave society.” His faithful created what became the Democratic Party, and he was elected president in 1828—his second run for that office—and again in 1832.

Source: The Most Vicious President in American History Is Donald Trump’s New Role Model | Alternet

I have never understood why the Democratic party holds this thug in such admiration? They often put his name with one of the best in their Jefferson/Jackson annual celebrations. It makes no sense to me. Jackson is one of the reasons I just don’t call myself a Democrat. There are so many reasons I don’t call myself a Republican. 😉

 

1,000 mpbs for the Cities, BUT….

internet-speedI want to start out this post with a personal snapshot of my Internet access.  Below is a picture of my connection over the last few months. As you can see for much of July through September I had a 3 Mpbs speed but then in November it suddenly dropped to below 2 and became very sporadic. Meanwhile those in cities around me were getting 50 Mpbs or more with the promise to move to 1,000 Mpbs in the near future. What that means is  I will have to have to live with less than 1% of what my city neighbors get in Internet broadband and my neighbors to the north of me will have to settle for only 5% of what I have.

It is broadly recognized that Internet access in the 21st century is absolutely essential to the world. Information is power and that information is broadcast across Internet channels. To provide Internet access to only a portion of a countries citizens is the same as providing only some with real opportunities in life.

There are still many homes in the U.S. – especially in rural areas – that have slow or no internet connectivity. In 2016, we began trialing Fixed Wireless Internet (FWI) service in several states. We plan to begin offering FWI in mid-2017 in areas where we accepted FCC Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) support. We expect to reach more than 400,000 locations by the end of 2017 across the 18 states where we accepted CAF II funds, most of which will get internet access for the first time. By the end of 2020, we plan to reach 1.1 million locations in those 18 states.

Source: AT&T Details 5G Evolution | AT&T

What the above quote means for me personally and for almost all of us rural folks is that If Indiana is not part of those 18 states then I am almost perpetually stuck with my sporadic slow speed connection.

To help you understand a little about what CAF means in the above quote I give you another quote about that and rural access to the Internet.

In some states, those large providers rejected that offer – so that territory is now available to smaller providers. Clearly, it is still significantly more difficult to deploy broadband in rural areas. In fact, the latest data show that only 55 percent of people living in rural areas have access to the speeds that currently qualify as broadband, while 94 percent of the urban population does…

Companies currently receiving Connect America Funds are required to provide at least 10 mbps down and 1 up. However, in 2015, the FCC again upgraded the minimum broadband service to 25 mbps down and 3 mbps up. The fact that the CAF program will fund projects that do not meet the current official definition of broadband has been a point of criticism.

Source: Technology Is Improving, So Why Is Rural Broadband Access Still a Problem? | National News | US News

As cited above today’s corporations are not in the business of  equal opportunity access to their products. They go for the “low hanging fruit” and leave the upper branches to rot so to speak. Maximum profits is the total name of the game.

In the past our government took up the slack and gives them subsidies to provide services to a larger portion of the population.  I simply don’t see any of that happening in this country for at least the next four years so I guess I will have to wait for a more socially responsible government before I, and literally millions more like me, can really take advantage of  many of the Internet provided opportunities.

I wonder how much this lack of service was responsible for our recent presidential election results?  But even more I wonder if CO3 will being trying to do anything to equalize this disparity?

Part 1 – The Narcissist Project: The Sources

For 2017 I have designated Mondays as my series posts day.  It will be the day that I go into more detail about a particular topic.  Since it is so prevalent today, especially in the Oval Office, the first go around for the year will be about Narcissism. I pre-advertised it as a 10 part post but in reality I’m not sure I can contain it at that number. But I do promise that I will only give you 500 or so words doses at a time.

2017-01-28_10-23-40Let’s start out with a very basic definition of this condition:

I also want to emphasize that I am not an expert by any means on this topic but am just a guy trying to further understand this condition. But I have had some very personal experiences with  a Narcissist for much of my life.

Except in its extreme form which is known as “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” narcissism is not particularly a bad thing. All of us need to love ourselves before we can really love others. Self-esteem is something necessary to have a fulfilling life. There is nothing wrong with that.  But NPD goes way beyond that state.

I will primarily be trying to show you the basic  characteristics of this condition.  In order to do that I will be relying on a couple of primary sources for information in addition to my personal experiences of growing up around an extreme narcissist and how that affected my life and others around her.

2017-01-24_09-54-38The first source is Why is it Always About YOU? – saving yourself from the narcissists in your life by Sandy Hotchkiss. I will admit that his book written by a professional in the field and is full of a lot of blah, blah,blah, To me it just rambles too much after making a critical point.  I will skip the blah, blah to give you the bones of each topic. 🙂

2017-01-23_16-38-56The second book is entitled Narcissists EXPOSED – 75 things narcissists don’t want you to know by Drew Keys. This is a much more readable book by laymen such as you and me. I will be using several quotes from this one to start my personal story and to reflect how we might understand and cope with our current Oval Office occupant.

I want to leave this initial post with the very first words in the first source. They are contained in the forward by James F. Masterson, M.D. Director, Masterson Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry Cornell University Medical College, New York Hospital:

People who are involved in business and/or close relationships with people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often bewildered and perplexed by the extraordinary contradictions of their behavior, in contrast to the underlying enduring consistency of their narcissistic needs. These needs are expressed in their grandiose search for constant admiration, underneath which lies an exquisite vulnerability to the slightest rebuff, which then evokes devastating shame. Their behavior can be charismatic and charming one minute, cold and calculating the next, or on occasion breaking into unpredictable rages.

If these words don’t remind you of someone recently shoved on us then this series is not for you. 🙂

Pope Francis.. Not Afraid To Speak Out..

To me the foundation of my spirituality lies in the words of Jesus in Matthew 25, particularly verse 40: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Here are some words from Pope Francis to get us started:

“the contradiction of those who want to defend Christianity in the West, and, on the other hand, are against refugees and other religions.”

“This is not something I’ve read in books, but I see in the newspapers and on television every day.”

2017-02-05_07-51-06.png“The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy, which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,”

“You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.”

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help.”

Francis continued by saying that every country in the world should:

“service to the poorest, the sick (and) those who have abandoned their homelands in search of a better future for themselves and their families.”

“In putting ourselves at the service of the neediest. we will experience that we already are united; it is God’s mercy that unites us.”

Source: Pope Francis Just Called Out Trump For Being An Intolerant Racist – Awaiting Twitter Rant

Pope Francis almost wants me to return to my religious roots in Catholicism. He says inconvenient truths that so many other religious leader shy away from or completely disregard.  Verse 40 as cited above is the most often quoted verse in Matthew. Seldom are the verses before or after used as a pretext to that sentence. In those verses Jesus basically tells the current religious leaders that they are hypocrites who will not be welcomed into heaven if they don’t take care of the “least of these”.  In fact he tells them an inconvenient truth often ignored: 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

These are very strong words that Pope Francis said about not being a Christian without practicing the words Matthew 25:40!  Many of the 81% of the Evangelicals who voted for CO3 (the Current Oval Office Occupant) often twist these words to say they only apply to other Christians (and particularly of their flavor of Christian!) but to me that is an intolerable rationalization that diminished their self-professed faith.

But I do also realize that these words and logic of Pope Francis will have not affect on CO3 as he is unable to admit that he is wrong about anything.  I just hope that the other two branches of government do their job and prevent the current Executive branch from destroying the spiritual roots of our country…

GOD SAVE OUR COUNTRY (in spite of ourselves)