The Madman and the Shaman

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

The difference between a madman and a shaman is that a shaman comes back, they gain something and use the tools they have learnt to heal others through their own survival guide. ~ DiosRaw

I would like to address these terms as archetypes. The Madman representing the narcissist, the person in denial, the person who wishes to live with their head in the sand. The Shaman representing the teacher, the master, the healer. The madman stays complacent and will never change. The shaman forever grows but also gives back to the community.

Just yesterday, my client was asking me “How can they [the narcissist] see things that I can see but they don’t learn anything?” It is a question I have asked myself a million times when I have dealt with a narcissist (or a person in denial) in life. This would be similar to looking up at the stars and not noticing how beautiful the night is. It would be similar to seeing a deer in your back yard and not wondering why it chose your yard and no other. A person who looks at a forest but is annoyed for it blocks the sun. A suburban person killing a wild animal for getting lost and having no place to go (especially in a new development, that has eliminated their habitat).

Each day we are giving new opportunities to grow. We make mistakes over and over again. The madman pushes them away and blames someone else. They end up being served the same lessons over and over and over again. Yet, they continue to see the mistake as being the other persons fault and refuse to take responsibility for how it occurred. For their own role in the matter. They live a life with a mask on. The eyes look out upon the world but see nothing. Their body is rigid with control or force. Trying to manipulate people into doing their bidding. Their mind stays unnourished and never blossoms. Like the movie “Groundhog Day,” each day is repeated, over and over again for the rest of their life.

The shaman grows from these mistakes. The shaman looks at these lessons as blessings that provide pain but also comfort. They explore the pain, knowing that at some point they will heal from this, and at that time, will be stronger and wiser. The comfort is the realization that this will pass one day, once they rise above the struggle. While they may not love the obstacle and would not wish it upon others, they understand it is there for a reason. Once they have embarked on this journey and have come to the destination, they give it back to others. Like with Jesus on the cross, he acknowledges that the nails hurt but willingly sacrifices himself for others. This is the shaman, a person living with “Christ” Consciousness.

The shaman can be the psychotherapist, the naturopath, the holistic practitioner, the massage therapist, the chiropractor, the professor, the spiritual teacher, many many titles can come from this archetype. At the same time, people may have these titles and yet be the madman instead. The madman can be anyone. You must trust your instinct and stay mindful of the choices you make. You can be the shaman.

Confessions of a Promiscuous Woman

from Artspace.com

On the heels of yesterday’s post, Confessions of a Trauma Bond Survivor, I will continue to tell Annika’s story from the other side (I am also continuing to share this in first person). Having been through this horrible ordeal with her previous lover, and going through the pain and suffering from this trauma bond, Annika began to awaken her consciousness by taking responsibility for how she got here. There are two sides to every story. No one is born a narcissist and no one is born a victim. We make interpretations from the cards that are dealt to us, along the way.

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Corridor of Mirrors: Portrait of a Covert Narcissist

Last night, I watched a 1948 British classic, “Corridor of Mirrors.” I started by looking on Kanopy, at various films and kept seeing “psychological” thriller or mental health issues and I said to myself “not in the mood for psychology tonight.” Then I see this film and it says it is about a man who thinks this woman is his reincarnated lover from 400 years ago. Sounded intriguing to me and I set about to watch it. The sound was horrible and I had to re-start it three times and finally, put on closed captioning so I knew what they were saying. I was a little confused with the storyline in the beginning too, but kept at it. Then, we get to the character Veronica, who “is allowed” to live in the basement of the mansion. It is where the main male lead, Paul, lives in. Veronica spells out his personality, almost like she is giving the description of a covert narcissist. I thought to myself, “Oh, well now, I have to sit up straight and pay more attention to this storyline.” I just can’t get away from my specialization at the office. And, I knew this was going to be a film I would be talking up to my clients. And, it is an amazing film. It is different from Gaslight, which is focused on the title. This film, bares a lot more explanation to the average person. So, here we go.

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I Knew a Man

I knew a man who did not know how to love a woman.

He could not love himself.

He was filled with anger and hatred for a girl in his past.

He determined this was her fault.

Then he decided it was me he was angry with, because of her.

He forgot that he loved me, or did I only imagine that he had?

He was unable to empathize with others in pain.

He would not allow himself to feel.

I loved and adored this man and gave him all that I had to give.

He never saw this because he could not believe this.

I thought that his praises and rewards and adoration were acceptance.

He was patronizing and biding his time.

I assumed that his smile and willingness and gifts were acknowledgement.

He was the good guy, and I was filling a gap.

In the end he could not say goodbye. He was unable to just walk away.

He had to find a way to make me wrong. This made it easier on him.

For so long, I searched for answers as I sat in denial.

I wanted to believe he would return. I wanted to believe I was wrong.

The thought of never seeing, touching, or being held by him was more than I could bare.

If this were true than the whole time was no more than a mirage.

I would be laughed at for being such a fool and the humiliation was more than I could take.

Deceit is a game I do not play and yet he had no qualms about playing me.

All alone I sat in wait, month by month, hoping and praying.

In darkness, I saw a shadow of light, as time went on, it became brighter.

God held my hand as I returned to walk beside him once more.

If I should falter, He stood me back up.

Once more I walked my path alone, though this time reassured.

My devotion and faith – now consistent and clear.

He will lead us together, and I will find, the person I thought that I already had.

 

Jeannine Vegh, 2021

Manners, Morals, Faith and Values: A Decline in Current Civilization

I blame my own generation for the current downfall of manners, morals, faith and values. We stopped paying heed to these rituals and rules to continue rebelling and punishing our parents for corporal punishment and other frustrations growing up. However, this decline is seen generation after generation, due to wars which caused society to shift from a state of depression with the loss of sons, brothers and husbands, but also economic changes as well. The decline also has suffered due to relocation of families, who are no longer near grandparents, uncles and aunts. Of course now we have social media, cell phones, texting which all correlate to a decline in the above as well as religious practice or even spiritual beliefs as well. Will we ever go back, I certainly hope so but it is highly unlikely. People get lazy and just as their ancestry or cultural background is watered down from the old country to the grandchild, the same has occurred for manners, morals, faith and values.

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A Secure and Healthy Relationship: What does this Look Like?

A secure and healthy relationship is what all men and women aspire to be in. How do we find these partners? What do they look like? Where are they hiding? What am I doing wrong that I seem to attract the same type of person over and over again?

First, we have to work on ourself. Birds of a feather, flock together. If you are an angry person, a secure and healthy person is not going to stick around very long. It is not unusual that you would attract drama into your life. An addict is not going to attract someone who is healthy and secure, they would not feel comfortable being with someone who is unable to function without a glass, pipe, horse race, pill, etc… A person who has lots of mental health issues – PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Personality Disorders and is not working on themselves, is not going to attract a secure and healthy relationship. Likewise, if you are insecure, immature, unhealthy – physically, avoidant, you are not going to attract a secure and healthy partner. So, what is the answer to this question? Find a really good therapist who specializes in helping you to get into a better place in your life and then you will attract that healthy partner toward you.

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Evelyn and Antonio – Staying True to Themselves 55 years in

A wonderful conversation with Evelyn about her 55 year relationship with her husband and what makes it work. The second in my series on Staying True to the Self in a Healthy Relationship.

Critical Thinking – An Enlightening Conversation

What is critical thinking and what are its various uses and benefits? This topic shines brightly in the “sorely needed in our society”  category. As you listen, appreciate your ability to think with finer and finer discernment. Be open to picking up new tips on honing your skills in this area. You can also notice how you inspire others to use their Critical Thinking ability. 

To learn more about the presenters:

Ellen Seigel, LISW-S To work with Ellen as a Transformational Life Coach contact her: ellen@BeHappyNoMatterWhat.com or call 614-389-5795 To receive enlightening Contemplative Thoughts daily and receive a chapter download from her book Be Happy No Matter What – 5 Steps to Inner Freedom, visit http://behappynomaterwhat.com

Jeannine Vegh, IMFT at Transformative Psychotherapy, LLC https://jkvegh.com Survivors of Narcissists Workshop available at Udemy https://www.udemy.com/course/embracing-me/?referralCode=C515C00CF7BBEE83BEC5 Blogposts on Psychology, the Arts and Ohio Women’s History https://discerninggal.com

Disclaimer: As we are two humble therapists, all discussion you see between us in the video/podcast is based on our training and education, therapeutic work in our practices, and thoughtful opinions formed over our years. We are not the last word in this discussion, and we commit to providing ongoing resources beyond ourselves to enlarge your understanding of this complex subject. Thank you for viewing and we hope this will be helpful as you move forward on your journey.

Happiness: Ellen and Jeannine in an Enlightening Conversation

The many perspectives we share in this episode will stimulate new self understandings, going beyond society’s general view points on the matter and take you further in your quest to experience happiness and satisfaction as a default setting.

To learn more about the presenters:

Ellen Seigel, LISW-S To work with Ellen as a Transformational Life Coach contact her: ellen@BeHappyNoMatterWhat.com or call 614-389-5795 To receive enlightening Contemplative Thoughts daily and receive a chapter download from her book Be Happy No Matter What – 5 Steps to Inner Freedom, visit http://behappynomaterwhat.com

Jeannine Vegh, IMFT at Transformative Psychotherapy, LLC https://jkvegh.com Survivors of Narcissists Workshop available at Udemy https://www.udemy.com/course/embracin… Blogposts on Psychology, the Arts and Ohio Women’s History https://discerninggal.com

Disclaimer: As we are two humble therapists, all discussion you see between us in the video/podcast is based on our training and education, therapeutic work in our practices, and thoughtful opinions formed over our years. We are not the last word in this discussion, and we commit to providing ongoing resources beyond ourselves to enlarge your understanding of this complex subject. Thank you for viewing and we hope this will be helpful as you move forward on your journey.

Patterns in the Narcissists Behaviors

Personally and professionally, I have dealt with narcissistic men in relationships, as family members, as clients, and in business. I like to study patterns that I see that continue to appear over and over again, as a psychotherapist and began to reflect on this when it came to the narcissist specifically; for this post. This is not research, just an observation that I have seen, heard, learned of. I do not work with the narcissist (except when they are part of one of my couples), so I often hear it from the partner. If I am working with a couple, I am able to listen to them when I do a family history and glean more from them with the questions I ask. You have read many articles on line, most likely, about the narcissistic relationship to the wife/girlfriend. This article is going in a different direction.

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