Imagine you are on a second or third date with a very handsome man. There is something that draws you into his face. His smile, his eyes, his generosity, his warmth. You find yourself lapping up everything he has to say. Then you come home and you talk to your friends about how it went. What did he say? You can tell them where he works, how old he is, what he looks like, even how many siblings he has. When it comes to answering questions about his previous relationship, what he wants for the future, any tensions he might have brought up with family or friends, or anything at all of substance that may have seemed to be a conversation that triggered you in some way – you draw a blank.Continue reading
“The mind in conflict with itself is dangerous to itself, and of course, by extension, to everyone else in all dimensions. Therefore, indeed, beloved friends, beware of those that come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Beware of the viciousness of the ego within your own mind.” (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 266)
Ah, those sheep. They are so handsome, so sexy, or even when they are not, there is something about their character that draws you in like Little Red Riding Hood thinking it is Grandma. In psychotherapy, we talk about countertransference and transference issues. This is when a characteristic of the other person, makes us think of someone else and we transfer those thoughts onto that person. For example, Little Red Riding Hood is so focused on her ego telling her “This is Grandma’s house, so the person answering the door MUST be Grandma.” Her gut feelings told her that she had “Big Eyes,” today and “Big Ears,” and “Big Hands,” but little red’s ego kept insuring her, in compliance with the wolf, that he was in fact her Grandma.Continue reading
I am a psychotherapist in the Columbus, Ohio area. I have been working with survivors of narcissists for many years and during this time I continue to find new ways to help support the survivor as I learn myself. In my own evolution or increasing self-awareness as a psychology professional and a survivor of narcissism.Continue reading
The above quote is the very first line you will read in Anna Karenina. It is the only line I really cherished as I couldn’t fathom the book. I could manage the movie but Russian writers are not my forte.
As we go into the holiday season, don’t focus on what you see on social media, focus on the reality of your own life, on how you can become a better person. I can tell you that so many of the lies you see on social media, I have learned about in my office. They are not happy families; they show you what they imagine they have. There are some rare circumstances but more and more, it is like finding that rare penny that will make you a millionaire.Continue reading
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf
The pathological liar is a covert narcissist, an addict, a psychopath, a sociopath, a gaslighter, or you could say a spin doctor. No matter what you attribute it to, if you are listening to someone who is trying to make you believe something, that you know in your heart to be untrue, this person has prepared their case very well. You may love them, you may have given birth to them, they may be your parent or grandparent, nonetheless, you must trust your soul. Learn from this and grow.Continue reading
My book review and thoughts. Well worth your time!
When I read a novel about a heroic woman, it fills me with pride. Even though it is historical fiction, these things did happen, just a different name or city or country. The Physicians Daughter is a historical fiction written by Martha Conway. Ms. Conway is Cleveland born, now living in San Francisco, where I also lived (on the Bay side) just 12 years ago. Of course, I was a transplant from Columbus and moved to the Bay Area after having lived in California for a couple of decades. I loved this book because it is filled with all the good things you want in a novel. For us history buffs, it takes place post-Civil War. It appears that Ms. Conway has done an incredible amount of research about the details of not just the war but also about being a doctor and many other things that occur in this…
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Phantom Thread is a 2017 movie directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the Controlling Narcissist (Reynolds), Vicky Krieps as the Victim in his trauma bond (Alma) and Lesley Manville as his sister, and dominant female ally (Cyril). The film is well-done in many respects, showing the trauma bond that is created between perpetrator and victim. However, there are some key moments where I felt that Daniel and Vicky came out of character. One scene was him giggling with her in the bathroom, with bowl on his lap and asking her to kiss him. It didn’t feel real to me. Another scene was when she was telling him about the egg dish and again there seemed to be an odd moment between the actors. I was also confused about how the director brought us into the movie. Was there another woman at the beginning of the film that was his girlfriend (I thought his wife, due to the time period) or was this Vicky’s character and we are later going back in time when he meets her in the next scene? We also hear Alma talking to some guy that we will later learn is Reynolds doctor. It was confusing because we see her (the girlfriend) for a brief moment, get to know the character Reynolds, his sister and then suddenly he is meeting his victim or next one, Alma and says he is not married. I already knew he was a controlling narcissist by now but not sure about the women.Continue reading
Sugar and spice and everything nice…Mother Goose nursery Rhyme
Hardly! Though it is a beautiful thing, to hear nursery rhymes, and other fairy tales as a child. I remember how lovely these worlds seemed and how I wanted to be in them. It is up to the parent to help transition the child, into the realities of life once they hit puberty. Unfortunately, in a traumatic household, the child figures it out for themselves.
Recently, I turned 60 years old. I took a trip with a good friend of mine, another therapist, for four days. She is 73. Her job was to help me transition into my sixth decade. I perceived this birthday as one that would cause a lot of depression and anguish for me. It did not. The reason for this was that I was not alone. I had built up a strong female support system in the past year. They are all in my age group or older and they all resonated with what I felt like. On my big day, they sang songs, sent cards, they all made a point of congratulating me in their own special way. There is nothing like having strong, trustworthy, faithful female friends during a time of need. It is part of what being a woman is all about.Continue reading
Now your just somebody that I used to know.Gotye (A song about a narcissistic partner)
Many times in my office I hear this from women “My boyfriend/husband is/was gaslighting me.” I will respond by saying “So, he was trying to make you believe something that didn’t really happen?” Often times they will say “Well, no.” Sometimes they have looked this up and are very clear what it means. The term Gaslighting originated from the 1944 film “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. In this film, the husband (who would actually be diagnosed with Anti-Social Personality Disorder) is trying to make his wife believe she is going insane. For purposes of the title, he “goes out” for the day/evening, though he is actually going into the attic and he dims the light switches in his wife’s bedroom, so that only she sees this and not the housekeepers. He also moves pictures on the wall, hides a watch that he gives to his wife, many, many other things. This is Gaslighting. Making someone believe something happened that did not. It could be the statement of a pathological liar, in which case this is a reality they believe, or it could be like Charles Boyer’s character where he is purposely setting up the stage to torment his victim.Continue reading
“The Martha Mitchell Effect,” is a documentary you can see currently on Netflix. While watching this film, which shows her relationship to bringing down President Nixon, in the Watergate scandal, I began to glean some thoughts about her marriage as well. Martha was married to John Mitchell, appointed as Attorney General, under President Nixon. John was previously a law partner with Richard Nixon, before he became president. John and Martha were married until her death but were separated in 1973, as a result of the Watergate scandal. In fact, President Nixon, scapegoats Martha, in a David Frost interview, by saying that there would have been no Watergate, if it weren’t for Martha. As if she were the one who orchestrated the entire affair. President Nixon colluded with John Mitchell, and others in Watergate. During their cover-up, her husband ordered an ex-FBI agent to keep her silent. This involved kidnapping and violently assaulting Martha.Continue reading