It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Some days this is very discouraging...
There is an email program on this blog for a simple reason: some people have something personal to say, something they cannot abide to reveal on a public site where their Ns might see it. The email was to give people privacy to express thoughts or feelings that they were not ready to say publicly. Imagine my surprise when I started getting emails that essentially dictate what I should/should not say on my own blog!
I expect people to take exception to some of the things I say…I also expect these people to have the courage to say it publicly, as I have put myself out there publicly. If you must impugn my ethics, at least have the guts to say it in a public forum where others can weigh in…I give everyone who reads this blog an equal opportunity to respond to my thoughts…how can my detractors justify doing anything less? Just yesterday I received an email saying that my tabs warning people away from a pair of sites I know for a fact are less-than-above board, taint the rest of my work. What? So in telling people that the bridge ahead is out, I am somehow tainting everything else I say? Warning people of danger is wrong? Did I just step through Alice’s looking glass??
It feels like I have fallen back into NarcissismLand, where up is down, black is white, wrong is right, and reality is what the controlling N deems it to be. Objective reality is invalid and only the N’s perceptions have validity. Another email (actually a series of emails) with a purported ACoN left my head spinning. Her entire correspondence was so narcissistic I was slack-jawed: scientific studies, peer-reviewed journals, academic and scientific rigour took a far back seat to her own perceptions: those were reality for her and science and investigation be damned. “It works for me and that is proof enough!” she claimed, completely dismissing such things as the placebo effect...and then topped the whole thing by accusing me of being “close minded” and “sophomoric.” Yet, for some reason, she persists, email after email, trying to change my mind with her personal experience (known in research as “anecdotal evidence” and completely without value), despite my having repeatedly said that when she shows me the studies that support her view, published in peer-reviewed journals, I will revise my opinion. Not good enough…for some unknown reason, my buy-in to her delusion is of the utmost importance to her and she persists. This creepily reminds me of more than one N I have known…
Believe it or not, I actually spend a lot of time researching the subjects I write about. I used to work in the biotech industry and I was also employed by a dietician who wrote articles for magazines and industry publications: I actually know how to conduct bona fide research on the internet and how to track a concept reported without any attribution back to the scientific study that gave rise to the report. In many cases, I have enough knowledge of the specialized language to determine if the report is accurate or if it has misinterpreted the study…or, in some cases, completely disregarded it. I know the difference between “junk science” sites and bona fide sites such as PubMed, NIH, CDC, etc., and I can read scientific journals on the web and do research through them. In other words, the years I spent in Silicon Valley’s biotech industry have not fallen out the back of my brain: the research skills I learned there, the ability to read an article and synthesize it for my boss, my ability to suss out suspected anomalies, research further, and to draw accurate conclusions based on my research is alive and well.
This is not to say I do not make errors. I am human and I am as prone to errors as anyone else. And I welcome corrections, assuming they are honest corrections of error on my part, and not that I have stepped on someone’s personal pet belief. We all have our pet beliefs, but do we have the right to not only impose them on others, but to excoriate them when those others’ beliefs run contrary to our own? And especially on their own turf?
I don’t expect praise, or gratitude or anything, really. I am gratified and surprised and pleased to receive comments and emails from you, I am grateful to have just one regular reader, let alone 99 of you. But after a lifetime of having the very core of my being discounted, demeaned, diminished and devalued, I find it very difficult to come to terms with people who think it is OK to come in here and use hurtful language to tell me I am wrong about things simply because they disagree…especially after I have spent hours—sometimes days and even weeks—doing the research that brought me to my conclusions, and they are operating on nothing more than personal belief. To be called “sophomoric” by a person who has done no research whatsoever on a subject I researched extensively (one of those “weeks long” projects) is just beyond the pale.
I don’t mean to squelch disagreement because I welcome it and the dialog it opens. But what I do mean to squelch is the “You are wrong because I believe something different” approach to dialog. That is like telling me that I am wrong when I say Santa doesn’t exist because you saw him yourself when you were eight years old. Perceptions may be our own subjective reality, but those perceptions, if not objectively researched, do not necessarily carry the weight of truth. When you put it to a scientific test and your perception is not supported by the science, what do you do? Do you alter your perception to include the science or do you cling to your perception and try to browbeat others to step back from the science and into your perception? This last has been my experience of the last two days, being the browbeatee, and after a while it really calls into question just why do I subject myself to this?
One of the things that I believe provides value to this blog is the fact that I do do research, I am cognizant of junk science and can repudiate it, and that I am willing to change my position if the research proves me wrong. I am heavily fixated on truth and am willing to change both my opinions and beliefs if the state of the scientific art shows I am wrong. I have a retentive memory and excellent logical and deductive reasoning skills. I am able to take my own perceptions and use my research skills to either validate them or find the truth. It is an ongoing journey for me, something I expose to the public through the blog rather than keep to myself as I once did. Believe me, blog or no blog, the research and writing continues because this is how I figure things out. By publishing this blog, I am letting you in on my processes. I reveal personal pain and how I cope with it, what I do to assuage and relieve it, what I learn through my research and how I synthesize it so that I can incorporate into my understanding. I share this with you and I share it without reservation and so I am surprised…and sometimes hurt…when someone takes this carefully crafted gift and critically throws it back in my face.
And it makes me wonder if it is worth the effort I put into writing things up in a publication-worthy format (as opposed to several pages of notes and half-sentences), the time I spend crafting sentences that are not so dense and convoluted as my thought processes, the work I put into making things coherent and cohesive and illustrative. I don’t mind disagreement…what is life without some disagreement? But to be told that if I don’t agree with your perception, I am close minded, that is something else. And to be told that the compassionate exercise of my ethics is wrong, that I should just let others fall into the hole that hurt me without warning them…that to exercise those ethics taints the rest of the blog…that is just too much.
And it makes me wonder if maybe it isn’t time to put this project to bed.