Narcissism Revisited in Light of New Research

I devote a lot of attention in my books In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, and The Judas Syndrome to narcissism and what I believe fosters this aspect of character. I’ve also posted several articles on the topic (see, for example: Egotists: “Above” the Need for a Governing Higher Power, Malignant Narcissism, and Malignant Narcissism: At the Core of Psychopathy).  Those familiar with my work know I’ve long been of the opinion (based on years of clinical experience and research) that the majority of narcissists are not, as we once used to think, anxious, insecure individuals who unconsciously compensate for underlying feelings of low self-worth by presenting a facade of competence and haughtiness, but rather individuals who do indeed think far too much of themselves and who, in their sincere belief in their “special” status, harbor problematic attitudes of entitlement. When I first began espousing these views in the mid-nineties, many of my colleagues found reason to question my perspective. But I was bolstered in my efforts by the support I found among readers of my work whose experiences more than resonated with views I was advancing.  Gradually, however, empirical research also began providing support for my perspective and recently two respected journals published studies that provide even more support, the results of which I thought appropriate to share.

One study, published in Psychological Bulletin (Reference:  Gender differences in narcissism: a meta-analytic review, Emily Grijalva, et al., Psychological Bulletin, doi: 10.1037/a0038231, published online 29 December 2015) distinguished between the “vulnerable” or more neurotic type of narcissism thought to be fueled by anxiety, inner emotional conflict, introversion, and underlying feelings of low self-worth, and the more prevalent and socially problematic narcissism characterized by feelings of entitlement (qualities that predispose a person to abuse and exploit others), grandiosity and exhibitionism (qualities that predispose a person to be vain and showy), and leadership/authority striving (qualities that predispose a person to seek positions of superiority, power and control) and looked at differences between the sexes on these dimensions. Interestingly, the study found that while men and women appear equally predisposed to vanity, when it comes to ascendance-seeking behaviors and feelings of entitlement, men are more prone than women to harbor such tendencies.  What I found most validating about this study, however, is that researchers are now solidly recognizing that not all narcissism is of the “neurotic” variety, and that the attitudes of entitlement and difficulty recognizing or acceding to a higher power are part of a very different kind of narcissism that is not rooted in pretense but rather is a manifestation of a person’s true (yet clearly disturbed) character.

Even more recently, a study co-led by researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Amsterdam and published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (reference: found that overvaluing children and especially praising them excessively or in the wrong way fosters in them an unwarranted sense of being “special” and invites them to see others as inferior and, therefore, to treat them unkindly.  What the study did not detail, however, is just what kinds of praise are of the detrimental variety.  As readers of my work know, it’s always been my assertion that praising or affirming children for things they cannot legitimately claim credit (e.g., their looks, their intelligence, their innate talents, etc.) is the way we most often foster an unhealthy narcissism in them (because the aforementioned characteristics are nature-conferred as opposed to self-developed), an unfortunate circumstance only compounded by the fact that we rarely recognize and reinforce our children for what they can rightfully claim credit: the responsible exercise of their will. Recognizing and reinforcing that helps engender healthy self-respect (I count myself among those who make a distinction between “self-esteem” and “self-respect,” which some researchers have lately been referring to as the “healthy” kind of self-esteem, and you can read more about what my experience has taught me about how a person’s ego typically becomes inflated in the article: How to Inflate an Ego in Three Easy Steps).

It would certainly not surprise me to see more studies affirm what many clinicians working in our age of widespread character disturbance have been surmising for some time now. For in the end, the folks we work with are the best teachers we can have about the human condition. Of course, to really learn we have to be willing to set aside biases and preconceptions and more objectively evaluate what our clients are trying to tell us through their attitudes, thinking patterns, and behaviors.  And if we’re to really help, we have to confront those things head-on, using tools both research and experience have demonstrated to be effective.

This Sunday night’s Character Matters program will again be a live broadcast, so calls can be taken.

177 thoughts on “Narcissism Revisited in Light of New Research

  1. Another cogent argument, Dr Simon. I have never known a shy introverted narcissist, though I believe some must be out there.

    Forgive me for changing the direction for a moment. I have to mention a pet peeve of mine, a frustration. There are by now gazillion programs for abusive people to learn new skills. I have not been able to find one program for people who have been on the receiving end of the CD behaviors and badly need to learn new skills themselves. I suppose part of the reason is that money flows toward abusive men treatments. The only programs for women are support groups for women who’ve been beaten, etc. and end up in the safehouse or with some case worker.

    This problem is incredibly wide spread, dealing with CDs, yet most sources basically pretend that it’s all about domestic abuse! A bit of stuff about school and work bullies thrown in. I want trainings for all of us! We need better skills, and we can’t learn them by reading books. Help!

    1. Vera, I think you bring up a good point. Not all DV is physical violence. I personally believe that all CD behaviour falls under the umbrella of a form of Family Violence…not sure if that’s what you are alluding to. Any form of manipulation is a problem and has an intent of power and control. Finding a program that helps empower women against these individuals is difficult. Mostly it’s about finding an understanding therapist who can help you individually. I think most DV centres work on protecting women whose lives are in serious danger from physical abuse which is paramount. Funding is so limited and so often cut (which annoys the hell out of me) that good programs that can help all women have to be abandoned. I’ve heard that so often and it’s these programs that are vital to keep people moving forward. Even for those who have been physcially abused, there’s help initially in the crisis time and then they’re left floundering. I don’t think that’s the fault of DV centres etc… I just think they can only do what they have too with the funding they receive. I wish I could give you more help, I can only sympathise. Books are great but not everyone can put what they read into practice, sometimes it takes guidance.

    2. Vera, I also agree. I was able to receive therapy at the DV intervention center here, however, when it comes to groups … putting you in contact with others, even helping you “get out” … they truly only have the resources for people who are physically abused, even as far as lawyer or representation help (which is volunteer).
      It is frustrating (although I do understand what Tori is saying about only so many funds being available). I can also attest, even the counsellor I was seeing didn’t seem to get it – although she was really great at helping me think about things in a different way and put different coping skills into practice, set goals, etc. I also find all the “little” day to day problems of living with a CD person even DV therapists don’t quite get,
      I love this online group, where it’s people who “get it”,

    3. I just wanted to reiterate what Vera says: once a woman is in a relationship with CD or Narcissist we end up going into therapy only to discover that the therapists want to delve into what we can do to change ourselves – which is good. Only if you have children with these kinds of people and still have to deal with them it doesn’t really help that much. Most of the information is how to protect yourself and group talk – well great. I actually learned more from a divorce support class paid for by the county because it clearly defined tools and ways of behaving that I could utilize in dealing with another person I don’t get along with! It might be harder with a CD, but at least it was better than sitting in a therapists office and doing storytime. I know the stories, I lived them. Such a class was more effective than weeks of talk therapy or commiseration. I tell all my friends who are parents about how easy it is to fall into these patterns of being over protective and giving our kids undue praise and kudos for just being alive! Without tools, our children also suffer. So I’m with Vera!

  2. Vera, I wholeheartedly agree. People who have to deal with those with personality disorders need all the tools they can find to keep from being ran over by such people.
    Dr. Simon, I read the OSU study and wasn’t surprised it added to what you’ve been saying in your books. Your books have been very helpful in learning what to expect from PD persons.
    Other books I’ve read should be referred to as “How to walk on eggshells” for all the help they gave a PD’s victims.
    Looking forward to reading more from your site and tools to combat PD persons when one has no choice but to attempt to work with them.

  3. THANK YOU VERA! I am so over CD not being recognized as abuse. That is why I feel like I was given a gift when I found this site. The legal system scoffs, at me, anyway. No clue, nor care about why my anxiety level was sky high. I get furious about things he has done, but no bruises, nothing can be done. He gets away with everything. I’m the one getting punished.
    I’ve been involved with some divorce groups, which can help some, but as we all know, unless you’ve lived our story, you just don’t get it.
    Does anyone know about MeetUps? They are groups formed online around a specific interest, then you Meet Up at a neutral location to do whatever. I looked to see if there was something in my area about dealing with CDs or other types of Ds but no luck.
    For me the CD nightmare is about so much more than the power and control. It was about me trying to make sense about the behavior of a lunatic. It was making me crazy. Then as I was cleaning out the house to sell it, finding so many lies and betrayals. Putting pieces together and realizing this thing wasn’t
    true either. And, until now, feeling so alone and lonely in it.

    1. Lulu, it’s hard to put into words what being involved with a covertly deceptive and manipulative liar does to you. I can’t fid the words still, all the ones I’ve tried seem to miss the mark.
      These situations are so complex and subtle and twisted……how do you prepare anyone for that who hasn’t already lived the Hell that leads a person to a site like this?

    2. Exactly. There are some blogs where people let off steam, and there is this place. That’s all I know about. I am not interested in going into private therapy over this. I am interested in being in groups with other people who have awakened to the tactics and the pain, and are learning, from each other, where some of us know more, or have nifty new discoveries to share.

      And then, every so often, there could be a workshop given, by someone like dr Simon or Lundy Bancroft, with tons of experience facing up to CDs, confronting their tricks, teaching us what to do by practicing it together. Something like that. I am sick and tired of being alone in this. I am running into more and more older women who are suddenly sharing about all the surreptitious abuse they have gone through, with fathers or husbands. It’s everywhere.

      Lots of people I know are putting all their eggs in the basket of Non Violent Communication, which is great with normal people, but not with CDs! Jeez, I am just at the end of my rope. Most people don’t even believe me. But those that do and know this is going on, we are still not effective, still don’t quite know what to do. Dr Simon here tells us more the “what” but there is precious little of “how.” How do we do this? How? The bloody world is being overtaken by these character disordered people, they are everywhere in all walks of life, and we are like sitting ducks! AAAARRRGH!

      It’s as though all the effort right now is going into violent men, and some effort into their battered victims, but that is just the top of the iceberg!

      1. Vera, maybe you could try starting a group in your area. What you have just said is something I’ve been thinking on a lot lately, the idea of women helping women. Unless you’ve been through this situation, it is almost impossible to understand the deep impacts. It might just take one person such as yourself to say I’ve had a gut full, and put an add in the local paper or something and suddenly I won’t say you might find…I think you WILL find many others like you and then perhaps you can get something started. I’ve thought about this very thing myself because there are none in my area. I don’t know how we fight it if we can’t get together and really discuss it openly.

  4. Dr Simon, what I found interesting in this article and the study was as you pointed out the gender issue with men scoring higher on the entitlement, grandiose side of narcissism which is they state is a “Entitlement is a resource expectation,
    which helps to maintain the male–female division of
    labor that is a core feature of the biosocial construction model” It’s interesting because they say there was no evidence to suggest that this generation is more narcissistic than previous generations which has been said to be driven by the closing of the gender gap with regards to narcissism because of women’s changing roles in society. They point out there is no real evidence because women have mostly stayed in gender stereotypical occupations. I wonder if in future studies that gap may close if you look at women now moving into the construction and mining industries in a big way, and also the defence forces. Mind you I don’t think there is yet to be a woman General (I could be wrong) but women are becoming project managers on construction sites. What an interesting dynamic that would be on how or whether stronger narcissistic traits would become evident on both sides of gender. The roles we play in society seem to have so much to do with how we behave toward each other.

  5. Dr. Simon, It is great that more professionals are putting the proper perspective on narcissistic individuals. I know for me, reading your material really help me begin to set better boundaries and not feel so sorry for the CD in my life. With typical therapists or others in “helping” professions, I’ve basically been told that “he’s really just a damaged person who has experiences pain as a child” … “he really has such a low self-esteem that he NEEDS to act that way to protect himself” … “he’s afraid that if he lets his real self show, he’d be rejected” … All of these concepts led me to try harder to show him love and acceptance, to feel sorry for him, etc. So reading your material really opened my eyes and empowered me. Setting limits is still very hard as a CD will find as many possible ways around a limit as they can … but I can still walk away. But the important thing about understanding the true nature of character disordered people is that it empowered me to live in the “light” and the truth. It truly helped me see that he is the way he is because he wants to be that way, he’s the way he is because he’s entitled and wants control … not this damaged person who has such low self-esteem that he can’t help it! You work (and others who view it in the same light that you do) has really helped me work more on myself, and most importantly helped me put the responsibility for his problems where it belongs … on him.
    Thank you so much.

  6. Puddle, One of the many things I love about this site is words aren’t necessary. I just know that you and others get it, it has done so much for the aching loneliness I have been feeling. If any of you are into Myers-Briggs types, I am an NF. Being connected is at the core of my being. Except when you live in CD Crazyville, how do you identify your village people? I am so very grateful for each of you.
    CBT was very helpful to me, to a point. Therapist said my sister was BPD, I’m convincd my mom was also. That had done such a number on me that first I had to learn that I was a good, worthy person who deserved to be treated well. Although he had come across one of Dr. Simon’s articles and given it to me, I don’t think he got it. if you haven’t studied it or lived it, can you?
    Vera, isn’t it just the worst when you feel you aren’t believed or are dismissed? It’s like being victimized all over again.
    I would still like some help with my original question(s), how to deal with my kids. Backing up on the wedding deal, the groom and my older son have been friends since they were three. Then little brothers came along who were also close friends. It’s strange that I’m not going so it makes perfect sense that they will wonder. What I was trying to ask is how honest should I be? My reason for not going is that it is too painful to be around my sons. Is that ok, or too harsh, to say? I am also done with Older Son calling me when times are tough, but when things are good…see ya. He went through a job change, lots of trauma/drama, but when it all finally settled down? He can’t be bothered to tell me. I don’t think that’s right. Other Son can be the greatest and he can be so nasty. Can’t even talk to him right now. If I never got it about dad being CD, is it reasonable to expect them to? It’s been 4 years and they are stuck, life is not moving forward. Ppl say they will figure it out but is it realistic to expect them to do that? I want to give them a bit of info, then let them decide for themselves. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Lulu, This is such a dilemma you are facing but, Ok, sit down completely by yourself, in a very quiet calm place……maybe in the bathtub or another quiet and secluded place…….close your eyes and just calmly focus on your breathing for 5-10 minutes. Then, ask yourself the questions you are asking here, keep breathing and see what comes to you. The most important thing is, what do you think the right thing to do FOR YOU is? What do you feel right about, what course of action makes you feel like it’s the right thing for YOU to do?
      Ultimately, that is the answer……..what can you live with no matter what the outcome is, because there are no guarantees that what you do or say will accomplish what you want it to or hope it will. What you do not want is to live with regret and at the same time, all you can do is the thing that seems and feels right to you, given a multitude of changeable circumstances, at the time. There are no guarantees in life and we are all making “mistakes” and learning our entire lives.
      So, give it a try Lulu and see what you come up with! 🙂

      1. Great idea, Puddle, thank you. Sometimes I get so twisted up in all this that I forget that I do know the answer. I’ve gotten so much better at trusting myself, but decades of being told how very wrong I was come back in really stressful situations. You are absolutely right, I have to be able to live with this. And I will know what’s right. Does anyone every get on the other side? Where we can live CD free?

        1. Lulu, I think the important thing is…….no matter what the out come, as long as you do what feels right in your heart and your motives are pure and sound, you need to accept that you did your best no matter what the outcome is. You have to accept your limitations and life’s circumstances can affect your limitations from day to day. It’s really not a matter of what it “right”, it’s a matter of what feels right to you and living with that choice and knowing you did the best you could do AT THAT TIME. 😉

  7. Hello to all and so many good points. So much unnecessary sadness and for what? LuLu, I have got to the point with my divorce I had to go NC. Absolutely NC of any kind. I have decided with all the work I have had to do and immense struggling to get out of the triangle was to go NC with all the other CD’s in my family. I divorced them too!!!!! and it feels great. Do I really care what their sick delusional minds think/ if I do then I’m getting pulled into the loop again. Yes, I have met people that have had success with the groups called Meet Up, but then I think we all have to be careful. I have thought of a group outside of the DV centers, they stay focused on DV and don’t get into the heart of the matter. But, then, so many of the individuals don’t have a clue to understanding the dynamics like the folks on this site. I have also been encouraged in the way of being a Life Coach and believe me there is a need in the area of the CD.

    In all this I cease to be amazed at the tactics the CD use. When they want something isn’t it something how nice they can be. They know how to behave when it suits their purpose, its like Dr. Simon says they choose not too.

    I get caught in leading the stubborn mules to water, but they just won’t drink. One of the CD in my life kept asking me what was wrong with them, why do people cop an attitude towards me. I wanted to tell them, but then sometimes giving them to much info strengthens their position and makes them smarter.

    I apologize I have been all over the place. And, yes it would be nice to have a convention where all on this site could meetup and ask so many of our unanswered questions. What’s great about this site is the validation. I do hate typing into nowhere instead of a real live voice! Thank you all for sharing.

    1. Hi BTOV — seems you are really making progress!! When you realize that contact with disordered people makes it so much harder for you to get on with your life journey, NC is absolutely the way to go.

      I’ve mulled over what I could suggest that you might want to read. If you are seriously considering being a life coach, take a look at She seems to be sort of New Age-ish, I don’t agree with all of her opinions, but she has some very good points. Other sites I visit daily are news aggregator type sites. is tops. is about arts and letters. is current news with a bit of a political slant (and also read some of the articles in the right-hand sidebar. is definitely left leaning, but has an occasional good article. helps me to keep up with what’s current / upcoming in the tech world. No, obviously I don’t read every single article, don’t have that kind of time.
      Don’t remember the author’s name off-hand, book was titled “Toxic parents” — you could google it. And lest I forget, I consider this one extremely important — it’s titled “The Power of Sound” by Joshua Leeds. Now in 2d ed., comes with a CD. And you can google for Tomatis and Benedictine Monks. People do not realize how powerful music is, because it is ubiquitous, in elevators, markets, etc. actually has an article posted right now on how “Listening to classical music modulates genes that are responsible for brain functions.”

      Hope these suggestions will help you get started.

      When you have a better idea of which direction you are going, if you’ll give me more info I can probably suggest other sources. I started reading 68 years ago, so must have read millions of words by now. Peace and hope from Elva

        1. Hi Puddle — the article I mentioned to BTOV is up now on Again, it is “Listening to Classical Music Modulates Genes That Are Responsible for Brain Functions.” The site has a search function which is easy to use. If you pull up the article, there are several other articles listed alongside with related content. Or you can search for music and the brain.

          About Hitler, it’s possible he was using the music to self-medicate; only a guess on my part, I haven’t happened to run across any particular info about his taste in music. Remember in the Bible, King Saul used to have some kind of crazy fits, David played his harp to calm Saul down. You can google for music used for healing, it’s now being used quite a bit in hospitals to help ease pain, soothe those terminal cases where patient is dying because, medically, nothing more can be done for them.

          I highly recommend “The Power of Sound”, 2d ed., c. 2010, by Joshua Leeds. You can get the book from, costs $16 or 17, as I recall. You can visit, and Lots more info and links there. Plus I have quite a few other books on this topic, but this particular one is very current, and will give you a good start. Incidentally, Joshua Leeds’ favorite background music while he is working is Gregorian Chant.

          When I am drafting clothing patterns, I prefer to listen to Bach’s Brandenburg concerti. If it’s a gray overcast day (we have lots of those here in winter) I like Celtic music, Strauss waltzes, and marches. And when the snow here is 2′ deep, Hawaiian slack key guitar takes me away to a beach on Maui, breeze ruffling the palm fronds.

          There, that’s enough to give you a good start, ask for more whenever you are ready!! Peace and hope from Elva

          1. Hi Elva, Yes,,,,,probably like many things in life, music can be used for “good” and evil (Hitler). And there are many examples of both in the world. I was VERY drawn to classical music when I was very young and I can remember sitting alone in my room listening to classical music and I knew where the the piece was “going” even if I’d never heard it before. It’s hard to describe. Unfortunately, music really gets me stirred up emotionally and then I start wanting to drink! LOL! So,I pretty much don’t listen to music anymore. But, I do miss it. The other thing is I need quiet in my surroundings and find music too distracting when I’m really needing to get things done (all the time!). I still enjoy it though if that makes ANY sense!?

    2. BOTV, What does NC mean? I was wife and mom for many years, and while I’m grateful that I got to be home with my kids, I am financially dependent. So, since he shouldn’t have to pay alimony, I am using the Courts to take money from him to give to me. There is a certain level of satisfaction in that.
      I started to jump for joy when I first saw NC, I thought it was referring to North Carolina where I live. A convention type meeting would be fabulous!

      1. Lulu, NC means No Contact. I understand with children that may prove to be difficult. That means; say as little as possible in dealing with him or her, with children it would be best to document everything. I didn’t do that and I wish I did. I am in WI. Support from the right sources are so important. Blessings

  8. I learned early on that it had to be NC. He was already working close to an hour and a half away and only home on weekends. We tried to email and while some could be pleasant (light bulb just went off: every time he was nice, it was so he could get into the house when I was gone. Damn, why does that realization hurt so much after all this time? I really didn’t mean anything at all to him. Not even being a great mom to his kids meant anything). many dissolved into ranting, raving crazy talk. So I said do not email me unless it is business related. Now I know everybody on here is going to be shocked beyond belief, but he would put business in the subject line and the message would be twisted, illogical gobbledygook. Can you believe that? So I changed my email addresses, and blocked his. I changed my phone number. He tried twice one night, when he was drunk, to yell at me, but I didn’t answer. A couple of years ago, after a bad car accident, I was in rehab for a while. He called the main office there and they brought a phone to me. No hello, no how are you, he just jumped in with ugly voice because I hadn’t signed the papers to sell the house yet. Sorry, I’ve been a little busy, almost died a couple of weeks ago, but I’ll get right on that. The kids were in their 20s when we split so, thank goodness, I didn’t have to deal with any of that mess. Even being NC, he found so many ways to harass me and make me miserable. The hits just keep on coming, don’t they? 35 devoted years and I never meant anything.

    1. Lulu {{{{ Huge Hug to you}}}}………I’m so sorry. It is so crushing when the real picture shows it’s self. I swear, I have tried and tried to express how much damage he did and i feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. It is something we each experience in our own hearts and in our own way……I think even though the people here really “get it”, part of the isolation is because it is our pain and only we can really feel and understand it. AND, the people who do “get it” are dealing with their own version of the same.
      Good for you for setting NC limits to protect yourself (to the bast of your ability). it really is the ONLY chance we have to regain out footing and recover ourselves. You just have to get out of the web once and for all.

    2. Hi Lulu — my deepest sympathy for your problem with sons. I’ve had a similar problem with my son, but am not able to talk much about it, still too raw. It hurts, he married a woman who is 36 going on 15 years old, she manipulates him, he can’t see it. I pray for him daily, that’s all I can do.
      As BTOV (?) suggested, document every interaction with sons. May seem like too much trouble, but I think it should be done. Peace and hope from Elva

      1. Lulu, In documenting the hostile treatment and calls by the CD in your life and perhaps putting them on notice by a written document not to contact you, and I would have an attorney send it, would possibly serve you well in the future. This would set you in good standing for requesting a restraining order should you need one. It’s sad to say the CD selfishness our own children can return in kind. I have prayed for mine and have let them go. Its their choice. I have a D in-law and her sights are on inheritance, make sure to cover yourself on this one too. She’s a devious one and hides behind religion. Remember, God said “you will know them by their fruit.”

        And yes, it would be great if Dr. would have a convention.

        Puddle, I understand what you feel about our pain, however, I have met others, and I do feel their pain and grief. A part of me feels again what is inside me, deep within, and I know this must be how they feel. I think when we find others who have experienced the similarities of betrayal that we have, speaking for myself, I know the hurt, loneness, etc.. and I feel such compassion to reach out. I believe I see this display of humanity here. Puddle I need quiet too, I am going to try the recommended music. How about subtle sounds of the ocean, just so ever quiet and gentle, subliminal in tone.
        Puddle, I have had such peace in letting go, and that is I laid it all and I mean all of it at the foot of the cross. I have decided to let Jesus deal with it and that has set me free. It gave me such a feeling of well-being. Not to say I don’t have bad days and yes the betrayal, the unbelievableness, of it all, that they never cared a hoot is extremely painful. At least you are genuine, a deep thinker and you have become a stronger, better person as a result of your experience . (I don’t mean to be out of line) But then look at the cesspool of their beings, they carry all this around, and don’t think they don’t have extensions of the holding tanks. They are miserable and hideous inside. They are the image of(The Portrait of Dorian Gray) they will ultimately pay the price for their conceit. Continue in your growth, I bet before you met #$%%$ you would never had the insight and wisdom and experience you share here with so many. Blessings

        1. BTOV……I feel that same feeling when I read about someone else who is just coming out of the fog. I feel what I felt then and it floods over me and I just wish I was there to hug them and let them cry and cry. I honestly think the faster and deeper you can get the initial and subsequent emotions out and processed the better and to have someone who really “gets it”, in the person, has to be a huge asset. I had no one and I have never been more alone in my life. Not to be overly dramatic but it was a living hell and there were so many contributing, insults added to injury…………wha. Unreal. ANYhow….that was then and I am way past that 🙂 I just want to be there for people who can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because they are just going into it. What I meant was that we can extrapolate from what we feel or have felt, and empathize with people who are in a similar situation such as this, but we can’t feel their pain in it’s entirety because we aren’t them. Like with Spathtard……..I know that the pain he caused me linked up with some really REALLY old primal stuff, I’m sure he wanted it to as well. No one but me will ever feel that because they can’t. Eh….I don’t really think I can get ahold of what I’m trying to say with words!!
          But………quite honestly? I can’t ( can not ) say that this has made me stronger, wiser, smarter, ………but it has made me sober’er! 🙂 That has brought on it’s own batch of issues. Nothing is ever normal for me seemingly. in other words, I personally don’t see any real personal benefit to what I’ve been through. That may not be the “right thing” to say but it is honest. Oh………one thing I do see! I think that this did open me emotionally, as in expressing my feelings more openly and fully. Like allowing myself to be seen emotionally.
          I thank you BTOV for your kind words and thoughts and agree 100% that I would rather be the one feeling the pain I have been through than be him and his ridiculous circle of what ever they are. I really don’t think they realize how ridiculous they ALL look which is hysterical because it is SO obvious that they think they don’t! So many moments in review, through the rear view mirror backwards……just shake my head and squint my eyes……, really Puddle??

  9. BTOV, great sentiments. Thanks! Sometimes I think that, as horrible a waste of time it seems to have been, struggling with CD’s, what we learn from the pain can serve some larger purpose. Not sure what that purpose is, exactly, just feel that all that has happened to all of us here, is fraught with meaning. We should keep reminding ourselves there are silver linings and diamonds in dung hills. As hard as it has been, maybe we were chosen to have these experiences, not because we are weak but because we are strong enough to endure them. It will serve the greater good some way, some how. This is very hard to believe during the grief and realization phase, but it will come. The grief passes eventually, or at least lessens…a lot.

  10. The virtual hugs, the care, concern, sympathy, all of it means so much to me. No one may get it exactly because each situation manifests in a unique way. The no words can describe it core is the same, I think. I picture my Prince Charming as a cauldron of witche’s brew, venomous blend of all sorts of toxins, filling up his body. I’ve never seen him happy for any length of time, so now that he has retired, I’m guessing he sits around all day drinking and feeling sorry for himself. I’ll take the pain any day over not being able to feel love and joy. Elva, how very sad to have to sit by and watch your son’s life. Every fiber of the Mom being is programmed to help, care for and protect. Must be so hard to feel helpless.
    Already tried the restraining order route. I had a stack of things he had already done, including having all the mail forwarded to him and stealing my checks out of it–no bruises, no restraining order.

    1. Lulu, do what ever you can symbolically to get his toxin OUT of you, the sooner the better. No matter how ridiculous it may seem, how ineffective,,,, do it. Start the process and put everything you can into it. It’s like an exorcism. I stopped short of bleaching my entire house but I honestly wanted to!

  11. Lulu,

    I hope you don’t think I was admonishing you for accepting your son’s behaviour. I am just extrapolating from my own experience which may or may not be appropriate for yours!

    Putting myself into your shoes about wedding. You want to let son’s friend know you won’t attend wedding. It is awkward and could create hurt feelings if you are too finite, or clipped. If you don’t provide some kind of reason you risk sounding terse. But…you may not want to be completely honest about not wanting to be around your sons, either. What about if you just said that you are experiencing a little emotional turmoil right now, that has nothing to do with them, groom and bride. . For that reason, you are unable to go. Then you could tell them how you feel about them, how happy you are for them and how sad you are that you can’t make it. When I put myself into their shoes, this kind of response from you would feel warm and satisfying, not rejecting.

    1. Oh, LisaO, admonishing never entered my mind, even though I thought you were referring to responding to my sons. I feel like I have found friends wobbling through this jungle of CD hell. See how conscientious you are? Making sure I was okay, makes me smile a bit given that we are all here because of folks who will not/do not care for a second about how they make someone feel. Blame, blame, blame.
      I sent the groom and bride an email saying that I was unable to attend after all, and how sad I was. Did some reminiscing about when he and my son first met (funny story) and other warm fuzzies. He sent a kind note back so we’re all good. Thanks for affirming my instincts.
      You guys (or y’all) have done so much for me in the past couple of days to help me regain my footing and faith in following my instincts. Time to tell sons you may have seen your dad say/do this and that to me but it is not okay. This is why he did it, but you are not CD, so if you ever want to be a respectful part of my life, let me know. I kept thinking, wishing CD would fill the aching lonely hole inside me. You know how well that works. Now I’m taking garbage from them out of loneliness. That’s over.
      I really think this kind of pain and betrayal transcends words. Yes, there is a huge desire to hug and cry and hug some more. I just try to think of this as it is what it is, at some point I may see how this piece of my life fits in the whole picture, but I think if I tried to figure out why, I would get even crazier. To me, thinking that way almost assumes that we somehow deserve this. If that’s the case, Between my mother and the Lunatic, I must have been some kind of evil in a past life.

      1. Hi Lulu — no, no, no!!! You were not evil in another life! Into every life some rain must fall, and you got a hurricane! Some of these people (have had them in my life too) are evil personified, but you are headed in the right direction, onward and upward, if you would like to be my friend, good, but DON’T step on me!! Cheering you on, Peace and hope from Elva

  12. I would like to comment on the overvaluing children presented in Dr. Simons article. I have always held the belief that as children we are to obey our parents. I was brought up with the 10 commandments and am grateful for this, I shall say lightly the knowledge and respect for myself and others, a simple value system that covers almost everything. # one to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and the second greatest commandment to love your neighbors as yourself. WOW if we could fulfill these 11 commandments in there ultimate simplicity what a wonderful world this would be!
    AH, the children, my wonderful 4.00 grandchildren. Two of my grandchildren, both girls 3 and 10 wear clothing that is gaudy and provocative to say the least. They are worldly children and are clueless about God. I am not allowed to say anything to them. So sad.
    My other 3 grandchildren 4.00 students, supposedly Christian, are so awesome, everything they do is awesome, (please excuse the vulgarity) from not peeing on the toilet seat, to lazy to lift, to picking up their dirty dishes. They are told constantly and I cant count the time how many time they are told they are wonderful, awesome, great, the best, beautiful, smart, etc….. and the list goes on. Now, the truth, they are lazy!!!!!! They will walk over their own shoes, dirty dishes in their rooms, clothes strewn all over the house, everything you touch is gooey, the 18 year old idolizes and likens himself to Einstein. 4.0 graduated with honors, is an idiot! If his mother didn’t buy toilet paper I’m not sure they would even wipe themselves. They are all know it all’s and knowers of nothing. They are conceited and worry about themselves and what they are going to get. My daughter in law, everything is about her family, I am invited last, a second party, only to give presents. I’m even given a list as what to buy and it gets pricy too. They don’t like my answers, and I expect respect which is not part of their repertoire so I am rarely included. they have so much stuff they trip over it and it will be lost or broken in short time. Soooooo I decided to not give anymore gifts to the “prima donnas” a cake for the birthdays and a card, wow I wish I had gotten a cake for my birthday! Christmas, lets go to church and worship, celebrate Jesus birth, give to the food pantry or the shelter. Well, now since I’m not giving I’m not being invited. All of them are so lost and full of themselves. If they didn’t have there computer gadgets they would be lost. So sad, I can see the Narcissist in the making, and I mean I see literally the transformation of this sickness in front of me take shape blossom and I am not allowed to say anything and if I do they are seething with resentment. There is no bonding or love in them except for themselves and what they want and can manipulate from you. My CD daughter in law or in laws (DIL) is a whole different subject for discussion!

    In this world their are 2 (two) paths 1. the super highway full of mans delight, we can obtain any perverted pleasure in this world and dare we speak out we are labeled politically incorrect and intolerant to others “feelings” feelings that might be hurt. The none stop pounding of music especially the Rap full of hate and sex (its played at the goodwill). The subliminal mind control the bling the perversion that spews from the televisions the moral corruption of values, the home of the Narcissistic society. This path leads to destruction and the loss of ones soul.

    2.The straight and narrow, and I must say full of hard knocks and difficult choices, pain and suffering, stumbling and falling but I get up again on this road, and many times pulled up by another following and walking this same path. However, on this path I have found strength, compassion, and love of the values of the simple big 10. I humbly thank the Lord that I am on this path and to fill me with the Holy Spirit, with all his strength to keep me here. I choose the way of the truth the way and the light.
    I believe their are many individuals on this site whose values are the same.

    Of concern to me and I have seen the development of this sick society, is the new phenomena of the New Age Religion. What I have gleaned is the subtle worship of oneself the demi-god. I have seen the corruption in the “meditation form” illusive and open to any medium taking hold. Be so careful..

    My grandchildren are little demi-gods and that is where I am ever so cautious on what I say to them, they use the knowledge to make themselves stronger in their narcissistic endeavors. I can say the 18 now 20 loves to engage me, just to see if he can get my goat so to speak and then uses what he has gleaned from me and turns it on me. But then, I know who he is inside, I don’t falter, and stare him in the face, sheer evil, and I’m not kidding. I can see the hate and resentment because I can’t be controlled……. I have a family of these that present with all the aspects of the narcissist. I have chosen to separate from them, and they know it which in turn makes them hate me and I not over-reacting when I use the word hate I do not use it lightly.

    Its a scary twisted society today, we are becoming a minority, but then we must stand strong. Like Dr. Simon says one at a time. My mother is on a sound and humble journey and my sibling’s keep trying to pull her back into the “Loop or Triangle” but we reinforce each others values of the Big 10 and the Jesus, Foot of the Cross.
    Blessings to all

    1. BTOV, That was a very inspiring post and I can not imagine how horrific it must be to watch a child, or several, being allowed to develop into monsters. I have always questioned the commandment, as have others here I believe, about honoring your parents when the parent is the source of abuse or someone who is in the process of ruining a child by any means, like the children you describe. I Think there are many parents who use gifting a child whatever they want as a means to pacify them while they are busy focusing on their own selfish interests. They “buy” their children rather than raise them with love, attention to their character, respect, etc because they are investing their time in themselves and not their children’s long term welfare. Horrible.

      1. Btov, “Awesome,” is scaling Everest or going over Niagara Falls in a barrel not clearing dishes off the table. Even more awesome would be doing something really brave to serve a greater purpose. I recall ordering a BLT sandwich and having the young waitress respond, “awesome!” That just struck me funny. Like, ordering a big meal with appetizers, desserts a d drinks would have earned me a ticker tape parade!

    2. Thanks, BTOV. New Age -thought has been discussed here a few times before and indeed, it has many things in it appealing to narcissism and wishful/magical thinking that propagate what you just refered to. Cringe-worthy as all get-out.

      I have to disagree a bit with the bit about two paths. It does make sense that one is a path of entitlement and another one is a path of wanting to actually improve things. There are more than two ways.

      You may be interested in a discussion about lex talionis, starting from my comment May 23, 2014:

      I’m a bit wordy. 😀 You’ve been warned. It’s its own discussional branch.

      It’s a bit hard to believe that it’s just good guys, who just take it or use “spiritual jiu-jitsu” or “bad guys”, who retaliate when harassed. Not every wrong or slight can be avenged(unless you are incredibly lucky), since this is a world, where chance can complicate things considerably. However, if you just take it all of the time, don’t you get depressed, because you seemingly can’t hold your own? If you just take it, aren’t you more vulnerable to getting more of the same?

    3. BTOV,

      You say: “I have seen the corruption in the “meditation form” illusive and open to any medium taking hold. Be so careful..”

      Those kinds of things, too, have been discussed here. Still, would you please clarify what you mean with that?

  13. While parenting my now 26 and 30 y/o I often felt that I was swimming against the tide. It was cool to be busy, busy, busy. Nope. And while we are rushing to this or that, no time for family dinner. Wrong. In my opinion. We weren’t into accumulating stuff, so interesting to hear people say they need this or that thing. First son didn’t care much about things, but second son was dazzled. I stood my ground, did not give into the incessant yapping about someone else’s cool stuff. Do not know where that came from, certainly not home. And family dinner? Very few of their friends did that. Towards the end, CD didn’t support me in that either. He would just get up and walk away when he was finished. I would do their laundry until the laundry basket started coming back to me with dirty clothes on top, clean, previously folded stuff underneath. Sorry, you don’t get to disrespect my time and effort like that. You get to do your own clothes. I would think it would be excruciating to watch grandchildren being turned into entitled “adults”. That will catch up with them one day. Unless mom and dad intend to let Kiddos sponge off them forever. Easy in the moment to buy peace and quiet, so hard to do the heavy lifting required to raise a healthy productive adult.

    1. I was almost a member of a friend of mines new family. They had no money and I mean almost none. She could have worked in addition to her husbands job but chose to stay home and be a mother. I have endless stories about how beautiful that family was to watch come into being and evolve. It was not some ideal fairy tale existence and they had many many troubles and challenges to say the least but the children that came out of that marriage are two of the best I’ve ever known. They had one truck, period. Lived in an old rented farm house with water they had to have hauled, I mean it was bare bones but I will never forget the love in that developing family. So many stories there. They were the polar opposite of the stereotypical upwardly mobile types of the 80’s.

      1. Puddle, I love this story. A family who forgoes material comforts, to provide a rich loving home for their kids. Beautiful. If only, if only….

        It seems that there is a ‘shift in consciousness’ going on now. People are becoming more aware that ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ doesn’t work. The Jones’s are a mess, their kids are crackheads, he’s an abuser and she’s a toxic narcissistic monster.

        1. Yes LisaO, they barely had heat in the house but it was the warmest and coziest home I’ve ever been in. We used to go collect construction wood scraps to burn in the wood stove and I remember the husband walking around the living room singing to his daughter while he held her or playing the guitar and singing, wonderful simple home cooked meals….. Really really nice memories. The whole story is pretty incredible LisaO, I’ll tell you some time.

      2. Beautiful Puddle, the essence of what a true family is…one of love and supporting each other. It’s not about the accumulation of things. It’s about living life that brings about the best in people, nurturing, encouraging, helping and working together.
        You know the biggest loss for me in all this mess, was not my home or all the material possessions, it was the loss of a dream which is essentially what you describe. Only, I didn’t have that anyway. So perhaps in some way I’ve gained that dream now. My son and I don’t have much but we have each other and we can work together to forge our own little family. One of love, respect and support. Thank you for sharing this, it’s a nice awakening to the positives that can come out of this type of thing. It’s so beautiful Puddle, I can just picture this lovely family.

        1. Tori…..I wish I could post a couple pictures from those days! Of course I can’t but I do have a couple wonderful pictures from then ( paper of course…..before the digital technology). They have been through hell and back again as individuals and as a family but yes, they are a beautiful family to this day. I’m sorry Tori, I felt sad when I read about the loss of your dream and yes, you have a new dream now, a real one this time with your son. It’s good.

    2. Good for you Lulu for putting your foot down and not indulge your kids in their attempt to disrespect your hard work as a mother! I would have done the same. Mothers do so much thankless home labor that just goes withe the territory. Bad enough that it goes with the territory but to have a kid of a husband blatantly take that for granted makes my blood boil. I’d be,,,,,, oh I’m sorry,,,,,you wanted CLEAN clothes?? Dinner is ready, better go find your dish ( singular ). News flash, I’m not the maid here.

  14. Lulu, is it possible for you to go to the wedding with other friends? I went to xnh’s cousin’s daughter’s wedding last summer with some members of my family. Xnh tried to approach me, but others interceded and he never got an opportunity. His new wife wanted to meet me, but I politely told others that I didn’t want to. I enjoyed the wedding and visited with friends and family. Their loss, not mine.

    Here is a site where they get it and give a lot of support:

  15. Noel, thank you ever so much for thinking of me, the wedding is over 5 hours from here. I had my sources out and knew that CD would not be attending. The reason I cannot, or choose not, to go is that being around my kids has become too painful. They are inconsiderate to not nice to rude.
    They were not perfect before the split certainly, but never treated me like this. Not even close. About two years ago I was in a very bad car accident and spent over two weeks in ICU. On lots of meds so I don’t remember much, but I heard story after story about how wonderful they were (sorry if I am sounding obnoxious). If I asked them to rub my arm, one would do it for 30 minutes, on and on. [On a side note, I had almost finished moving out of the house, so the furniture, refrigerator were gone. They live over 3 hours away so coming to see me, which apparently they did often, was complicated. So, there they were, mom, their rock through some really, really tough years of their lives hooked up and tubed up everywhere, I cannot imagine how terrifying it was. Plus finding food and sleeping on the floor. Guess was CD dad did? Yup, NOT ONE THING. If there was ever a doubt about being CD, it’s gone now. That one I may never get past. Hate me, hurt me, all you think you can, but mess with my kids?? NO]
    That’s who we were. Tight like that. And now…….my heart hurts so much. We’ve talked until our faces are blue. All fine until we see each other. I’m on the same hope and despair roller coaster I was on before. I’m not riding any more, if they want a relationship with me, they need to figure out how that works.
    So my borderline PD sister tried her drive the wedge with nasty gossip thing. That was not nearly as painful as the other sibs buying into it. I realize it’s pointless to ask this any more, but cannot they not judge me based on their own interactions with me? Her hateful talk vs. their experience. Wow.
    And, somehow, finding friends is so hard. I know that I am a good, funny, kind person. I’m always putting myself out there trying to meet new people. So what is it? I can physically feel the hurt inside. The ache of total loneliness.
    Right now, I am grasping at all of you. Getting on line, reading and rereading your warm, caring words to me and to others. First my mom, then CD. I’m. Just. So. Tired.

    1. Hi Lulu — I’d give you my shoulder to lean on if I were anywhere close to you. Don’t forget to take some extra B & C vitamins, your body uses those up fast when you are under stress — 3 times daily is best. Hang in there, we are all pulling for you. Peace and hope from Elva

    2. Lulu, I can understand you being tired, emotionally, psychologically and physically dealing with these people takes its toll. It seems to take over so much and sometimes it’s hard to get out there and be the person you are. Have you ever thought of volunteering in schools or community centres or something like that…I suggest this because I know that in working with kids I find it to be the best therapy. I feel very fortunate because for the time I’m there I am so focused on the children and helping them. All thoughts of my own problems disappear. It is so rewarding and I feel happy that in someway I might be making a difference. I say this because you can then meet people and new friends on a neutral ground so to speak. It’s separate to the pain of your personal world and you find other common ground to establish friendships. I think it opens up a whole new avenue to explore who you are on a personal level. You seem to be a loving and caring person and it could be an ideal place to start to rebuild a new and stronger you!

    3. Lulu it does really sound like you need a break from the hurtful people, and there’s no need to explain why to them or feel guilty about it. I can understand the way your feeling, I can handle being judged on things I’ve truly done, but it’s the unfair judgements based on other peoples twisted interpretations that are hard, there’s no way to stand against that. I’m glad you are seeing the loving qualities in yourself, hold onto those, eventually others that are worth the time will see them too. I also agree with Tori, I teach a group of Sunday school kids, ages three to twelve. It gives me an opportunity to express genuine love that’s accepted, and the love I receive in return is immeasurable. I can truly be me around these children and they accept me no matter what

  16. Lulu, am thinking about you. It’s so intensely painful to have a very strong family bond fractured or unravelled in any way. As I mentioned (probably ad nauseum) I am going through the same thing with my little brother. If he wants to have a relationship with me he has to learn to give as well as take. It’s that simple. Your kids will probably come around as they’re givers, too, by your description of car accident! When I was in my early twenties I was in a car accident…not serious but hospitalized for four days. When I got out of hospital I called my mother every day. Like you, there’s much I don’t remember as I was recovering from some serious concussions. After the fourth phone call, I can remember my mother imploring me not to call and asking me why I was ‘trying to worry her’. Contrast that with a mother who approaches her child from their needs rather than her own. My mother was always so kind, caring and ’empathetic’. The crazy making part is she would react in the strangest way at times, so out of character. I couldn’t understand it. And it was nearly always around situations where help was required. So weird…like a ‘fair weather mother’, at times. I distanced myself but still loved her for the times when she was so lovely. So, it seems you are dealing with a situation, too, where there is terrific inconsistency of reaction and response from your kids. This is the most difficult kind of situation. It is so ambiguous. Keep on writing about it and maybe you will be able to glean something of value about how to live with it and acquire some peace of mind about them. I am very very sad for you. At the same time, know that you will make it.

    Big digital hug to you!

    1. It helps so much to get those big hugs. I sit here and feel the warm embraces. Wow. A mom who says don’t worry me. Do you think she had some sort of PD? I went through a lot of therapy and learned that I am a good, caring person. Not the ugly caricature my mother created of me. That’s when I started expecting CD to treat me well. That was the end of the marriage and the beginning of CD Hell. I see my journey through therapy as Discovering Real Me, Valuing Real Me then Experiencing Real Me. When I wasn’t debilitated by anxiety, I did all sorts of fun, new things, zip lining, para sailing (trying to conquer my fear of heights). My most favorite was getting a tatt!
      I can get to that good whole place…for a while, but somehow I don’t/can’t sustain it. I get so so lonely and then the depression spiral. I have to feel connected and I don’t know what else I need to be doing.
      I do volunteer, as a mentor in a teen mom program, my passion. I found a place to play cards 2/month (I bailed last time), I’m auditing a college course on WWII. I keep looking for MeetUps.
      I am exhausted by fighting the Courts and a corporate bureaucracy trying to get a bit of the alimony he refuses to pay. I started May 16, no end in sight. Why am I being punished because he won’t do what the Judge ordered him to? Other than living with himself, which is pretty punitive, he gets away with not doing what he is supposed to do. That infuriates me.
      So I will keep pouring it out to my new virtual buddies, soaking up some strength, knowing that you know the special pain, and the heartache of children get in the mix. Yes! I will find the way!

      1. Well Lulu, I take my hat off to you, you’re a real fighter!! I love that…parra sailing…whoa!! I know what you mean how infuriates you that he gets away with it! I just found out the reason the other day why my ex won’t call his only child…if he stays missing I can’t go to court! Imagine the sort of father who is so hell bent on seeing me with nothing that he doesn’t care about his own child’s welfare! His vindictive nature before a little bit of love and care for his son! Though I am not surprised he’s a callous, selfish POS!! It wasn’t only me who was lied to…he lied to his own child all those years, pretending to love and care for him. Makes me sick! But while that would have consumed me before I now think OK, I’ll rethink but I’ll be damned if it’s going to stop me going forward! I am getting to the point where I couldn’t care less anymore…but like you I still have some fight, I’m just not going to let it consume me and stop me from living my life! Maybe some parra sailing…lol!! Hmmm! 🙂

        1. Tori, when they do evil things to their kids, that has to be the no doubt about it diagnosis of CD. I can get the hating me part but to do harm to your own child? That is beyond my comprehension. I guess if you don’t have any empathy and are completely self absorbed, you are that way to everyone in your world. Does POS start with Piece Of….?

      2. Lulu!! You are the amazingest! 😉
        My goodness, maybe you just need to rest!!
        I feel so bad for you, I reaky do. These dead beat dads that get away with bailing out on their own off spring and putting you through such unnecessary Hell trying to do what is right for them. …… Again, blood is boiling.
        (((Super hug to you! )))

      3. Lulu, Therapy, life coaching really saved me, too. Lucky for me my coach had intimate knowledge of predators, CDs, and particularly narcissistic personalities. We worked mainly on PTSD, acute anxiety issues. I think I had some inner strength going on and enough self esteem that I was, at least confused by my siblings. Still, I was so so susceptible to feelings of shame, unworthiness, all of my life, until I finally hired therapist/coach. In many ways, I am a different person now. I am still working on remaining calm and collected in highly triggering situations. Online bullying is a major trigger for me. I hate seeing people who have been emotionally raped by a CD, particularly a Psychopath, suffer further distress when an online bully attempts to shift some of the burden of responsibility on to them. Then there are the bullies, who insist they are just ‘so worried about the children’!! Some women (and men) aren’t in a position to leave their deranged partner,,particularly when their kids are young. If Dad (Mom) isn’t a total ogre to kids, then mother (father) is to be admired for sucking up distress for their sakes. If she (he) does leave, the CD, she (he) should be admired for taking that route. Her (his) unique circumstances, always difficult to completely convey in print, should be respected. Strident criticism, veiled as consideration, is so often, just an ego based play for dominance, on forums.

        The criticism you may have been exposed to is, “well, if it was so bad you MUST have known years ago. You were just ignoring red flags.” This too, isn’t always the case. It can take years for someone’s true colours to shine. And this has to be the worst situation, the most mind bending.

        Anyway…chatty Kathy am I today!! My mother wasn’t PD. She was usually very empathetic, but even that was limited by the fact that she wasn’t very imaginative. She also used to laugh and exclaim that she ‘wasn’t very deep’. She was the youngest child of four sisters and so adored. Though very mature, patient and capable in most ways, she retained this child like character. She was a wonderful mother to babies and young children but did not have the capacity to be a great mother when we became older. She was too much the little girl archetype, if this makes any sense…also very much a woman of her era.

  17. Lulu, I am so sorry that you are experiencing these problems with your family. Hopefully time with show them where the problems lie and they will understand when they are caught up in the practices of the CD.

    In the meantime try to focus on yourself and bit by bit things will smooth out. CDs are poison to a family. If only we had known about this years ago.

  18. Hi Lula, WOW!!! Para-sailing I have always wanted to do that, I am glad you mentioned that I may still have to try that in my old age. It seems you are doing some very good things. My therapists will remark when I am having a difficult time “This to will Pass” and I say “Yea Right.” Easy for him to say, but yes, it does pass, maybe not in the time we would like but it does pass when we work on ourselves. I think your doing the best you can for right now. It is hard to strart new friendships, so many are married and others are so involved in other things. Give it time it will happen. I can only tell you Jesus has been my salvation and guiding light which helps me through all this. The ladies above have given some exceptional support and advise.. Take those positive comments and fill your thoughts with them. Take one day at a time and in some instances it might be 10 minutes at a time. Taking back your life is the most healthy and positive thing you can do and with that will come strength and growth. Becoming the best you can be is the strongest message to all the CD’s in your life. They fear positive truthful strength, in fact it is the best repellant for those human bloodsuckers you can use. I also pray for all the CD to have a revelation of like the apostle Paul of be knocked off their step stool ponies ( I would say horses but they are still in the sense retarded children stuck in toddle time.) This is why they can treat their own offspring in such a callous manner. They are to selfish to share even a sucker, (two year old selfishness) Lulu you are in my prayers and God bless and keep you safe and may this difficult time ease.

  19. Puddle, I always thought I would have loved to have lived in the family of The Little House on the Prairie. Your memory brought a smile to my face and I remembered good things. Thank you and Blessings

    1. Oh, yes, I loved all the Little house Books. My childhood fantasy was that the grown up Laura would move in next to me. Thank you, Miss Mims, for introducing me to them in the third grade!
      I am reading a lot and trying to gain strength from your words and care. Except for this money part, I’m not really upset with CD any more. He did mail a letter a couple of weeks ago, which the smart person in my brain says don’t open, but not knowing always seems worse, so I read it. The utter cruelty of his words can still kick my behind. Other than that, I think sitting in a chair, wallowing in alcohol and self-pity, is pretty much of a hell on earth. He lives the consequences of his evil choices every minute of every day, I don’t need to wish anything on him.
      I really don’t want to be negative about all your good ideas, but I feel like I’ve tried many things for 3 or 4 years. My therapist would say it just takes time. I just can’t seem to find anyone people connections. That’s when I ask why. I don’t remember the whole song but “when will I be loved?” runs through my mind, I have to push it out. I feel like there is something I’m missing, I’m only half serious when I say I must have been evil in another life. I don’t want to do anything harmful, but this is not a life either. What do I do? What I always need to be reminded of, Trust?

      1. Lulu, I understand your pain and frustration. You were never evil in another life. We are all children of God. Jesus loves you and he is the only one you can truly count on and trust. There are some really good churches out there, I would suggest an Assembly of God bible based church. I don’t know your religious background, I have studied many faiths, but I have found the core believers in a Christian church will rally around you. Call a church, meet with the pastor or priest and explain where you are in life. They can’t come to you, you need to reach out to them. The first, second or third church may not work for you but I guarantee they are out there. They will embrace you, Mathew 7 vs.7&8 7. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you; 8. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh if shall be opened.” Also, Luke 11 vs. 9. Mathew 6 vs. 33 But “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
        I understand the loneliness, the CD leaves you with no one and drives everyone away. Part of the healing process is the strength to persevere and overcome. Don’t give up, the Lord Jesus protects all his children and hears their cry’s for help. It may not be the answer we want to hear, remember yes, no, or wait. Come here Lulu and vent, a dear person said to me when I asked them if they could let it go, they said; “you don’t understand there is this sickness in my belly and I have to vomit it up until its gone.” I did understand what they meant and I listened again and again, we prayed together many times and laid it at the foot of the cross. They are in a better place now, they still have to vomit it up ever so often. You are in a good place here, come as much as you need too, as you know the support is overwhelming and no one will tire, if this is the only place then come and empty yourself here. A big hug and prayers may God bless and keep you safe.

        1. BTOV, that was so enlightening an descriptive about having to vomit it up. I actually went through a spell of being vomit ridden after the truth came out. It was so weird and now, reading what you just wrote? I think that is what it was because I’ve never had that happen before in my life. I was not sick, not at all but I kept getting the dry heaves. I had forgotten all about that till I read this. Oddly, I have always vomited (heaves) when I cry really hard. Just something going on there. Have you heard the term “poison container”? I’m not sure I fully understand it but it’s a Spath thing, they project their poison onto their victim or something like that.

        2. Hi Lulu — I will echo BTOV’s advice here. I had to learn to reach out after my divorce, 24 years ago now. Visited several churches, finally settled on one. Eventually left it for another. It has been a long journey, but I can say that God has led me, buoyed me up when I was really down in the dumps.

          Just think, you’ve been posting here about 2 weeks now, you have made friends here who are cheering you onward and upward, I think you’ve made some progress in 2 weeks!

          Peace and hope be unto you, from Elva

          1. Yeah, Sheri, I keep waiting for this motherhood thing to get easier, at 26 and 30, not seeing that happening soon. This is my plan. I talked to the one that I sent the article to, who doesn’t usually open up. He said he just can’t take this any more, 4 years he’s just done. He also said his brother would feel too guilty to say it, but he’s at the end, too. No surprise. I sent him the article today. I’m putting it on me, that this CD stuff is my reality and they need to accept that, understand that it will never change and be supportive of me. I also told him about this blog so I have people I can “talk” to. I emphasized that the CD stuff was with my relationship with their dad, it isn’t about their relationship with their dad or how he feels about them. Which, of course, we all know is ridiculous, you aren’t a CD with some people but not others. I don’t want to make them admit what their dad really is, I think that would be too painful for them and I can’t see that it serves any purpose. I also said that I can’t deal with this sort of being in contact with them, the hope and despair roller coaster. I said that he could have all the time he wanted, but I needed for him to accept my reality before we can communicate again and move forward. It slices my heart out, yet in some ways I feel better. I could never ever have imagined my guys and I would be at this place. My bouts of depression come at least partially from not having the open, honest relationship we’ve always had. Pretending that it is all okay when it isn’t. Now I wait. CD could win the biggest prize of all–getting the kids away from me.
            Had a thought/question…has there ever been any discussion about nature/nurture and CD? My in-laws were all lunatics, I hate to think that this is on my sons’ gene pool.

          2. You are so right, Elva, I feel like I’ve made some awesome friends who are so supportive and caring. I never imagined that there would be people out there who know what life with a CD is. And who know that psychological torment is abuse!!!

          3. Hi Lulu, you have taken a stand for yourself and that is huge. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself the hug that we can’t. You have no control over the outcome other than to accept it and to know that all things can change so it may go one way now and turn around a different way in the future. Accept what you can not change (them) and change what you can (you). As Elva says, onward and upward.
            The nature/ nurture topic has been discussed a lot and researched and continues to be researched. As far as I know and have read, it can be nature or nurture or a combination of both.
            Your doing great Lulu. Keep up the good work and keep the faith.

          4. Psycological and emotional torment/ manipulation is abuse without bruises but as we all know…..there are bruises in the heart and in the mind that can’t be seen. It’s invisable abuse just like there are invisable disorders and diseases. And there IS physical damage more often than not from the heartbreak and stress.

      2. Lulu, keep getting out there, don’t give up! Is life no good because we don’t have someone in our lives? I don’t think so! We are programmed to believe that unless someone else loves us we are not worthy. It’s a whole new alien thing caring for yourself and learning to love who you are! I say keep para sailing, sky dive Lulu! Live life, after years of taking care of everyone else learn to find and love you! It’s not selfish it’s about knowing who you are and then once that happens people will connect to you. (Now I just need to take some of my own advice) 😉 Take care Lulu…Go out and get em!

        1. Tori, I totalky believe in fate. I have met people in the strangest ways. My best friend who lives far away, I lived next door to her for 6+ months until one day something, I swear, pulled me over to her house to say hello. That was 15 years ago and she is like a sister, mother, friend. One of those people I know I’ll know the rest of my life. I figure there is no forcing anything and this is just what it is………for now. But I also understand that desire like Lulu has. We are social creatures and I wonder how much of what goes on today is becsuse the fabric of our core social/ family bonds is so torn up. It used to be different but I guess I’d be fooling my self to think it was “the answer” because Im sure it wasn’t perfect either. Still, it’s so much easier to bear life’s hardships when you have a solid support system and companionship. You can still develop as an individual but I do yearn to feel “part of” a ……….something more than just me.

          1. Puddle and everyone, I understand what you’re saying, that yearning to be part of something. It is natural and I did believe in fate. Not so sure about that now, although many strange and wonderful things have happened along this awful journey that makes me wonder, what is the worst thing that’s ever happened has somehow has shown me that there is great kindness and love in strangers.
            Maybe things are too raw for me as the thought of sharing my life with someone for companionship and support just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know if this makes sense, as it certainly doesn’t make sense to me but I was completely in love with that…POS, in my book he was the “one”. Despite being frightened of him, despite how he treated me I completely loved him and never thought of another and still don’t. I don’t want to be with him ever again but there’s something that feels like I have given all my love over. I understand trauma bonding all those things but it feels deeper sometimes and I know it sounds strange. It is a bizarre feeling that hurts and twists but won’t let go and I wonder if it ever will. Honestly I’ve let go on every level it’s just this part of me that says I gave my love to someone who didn’t deserve it and I’m not sure I can feel that way again. I lost it in all this stuff. I hope others get this part, it’s a confounding part of all this that is probably part of all the real deep seated pain, some say it’s that sense of commitment but I think it’s much more than that, yes it’s betrayal too but really I just can’t bring myself to believe that I’ll ever find someone else, that I can ever fully give myself again. He stole my love and threw it away as if it were trash. To feel part of something is to love and if that’s gone? It’s quite different to the love i have for my children and yeah to tell you the truth I don’t have the words.

          2. Actually, now I think I’ve answered my own question…it’s grief over losing and giving away my love to someone who took it so callously. Does that make sense now!

          3. Tori, I have a hard time defining what and where and how this hurt me it seems elusive in the weirdest way.

          4. Tori, I can really relate. I think too, that during all of the years, even though I did know that he truly had no love and completely deemed me unworthy, somewhere deep down inside I still help onto the idea that he did love me. The realization that there really is no love in them is such a hard reality to face. I also mourn the love I gave so freely and all the lost years.

      3. Lulu, one thing I realized fairly recently is that you are going to spend the rest of your life with you and that is the only thing you can count on. My father is VERY old and he has lost almost all of his friends, his wife of 50+ years, etc….. No point to that really but I’m just throwing that out there! 😉

    2. BTOV…… 🙂 this was not quite as “romantic”! Lol maybe the dime store paperback version!! Or Readers Digest……

      1. Don’t quite get you comment, though I know it was meant with a smile. I been referred to as a savant, with naiveté. wouldn’t be fun to have Dr. diagnosis each of us. That may put an end to many of our questions we wonder about ourselves but, then, it may be better to stay in the dark! Under the serious circumstances of this site it is nice to know we can still laugh at it. when I find another malicious vindictive thing that has been done, I just laugh and think how childish and pathetic. What a way to waste ones life. Maybe we can ask Dr. to setup a Happy, silly, corner for us to laugh and vent and leave the serious issues here. That way we will know just where to find all the ridiculous stories and just laugh and have fun. I think a book could be written just on the hilarious idiocy of the CD.

        1. BTOV, there was a thread on Love Fraud called something like….. When a sociopath says this, he really means that. I am here to tell you the comments were some of the funniest things I’ve ever read and came at a time that I really needed some comic relief. Hysterical. I don’t know if you can find it on the site but if I come across it I’ll post a link.
          Tori……..all I can say is that I understand your confusion and what you think might be your answer to your self. Sometimes I wish we could talk real time because my replies can’t be captured in this format for the most part it’s an exercise in frustration for me to try! 😉 (((Hugs Tori)))

        2. Hi all — here’s a candidate for the funny corner. Using quotation marks, Google for “response to who wants bacon.” And don’t forget teddy bear porcupine pumpkin and Maru sliding in boxes. Cheers, peace and hope from Elva

          1. Hi Elva! I LOVE Teddy bear porcupine and have passed that link on to several people. Rave reviews! Just the sweetest thing in a long time. Isn’t he a lucky porcupine?

      2. ” That may put an end to many of our questions we wonder about ourselves but, then, it may be better to stay in the dark!” Disagree. It’s beneficial to know oneself so others have a harder time taking advantage.

  20. In Dr. Simons article Para 2 last sentence. the attitudes of entitlement and difficulty recognizing or acceding to a higher power are part of a very different kind of narcissism that is not rooted in pretense but rather is a manifestation of a person’s true(yet clearly disturbed) character.
    Are we talking about a newly defined mutation/element that wasn’t noticed or observed in prior studies? I know that observation and diagnosis are continuous in scientific research and what may have been a theoretical answer today is thrown by the wayside tomorrow when new information is unearthed that changes the whole opinions that were previously accepted.
    I know I did not articulateate this well, any thoughts?

  21. Dr. Simon, is it possible for an individual to have all the manifestations of the CD narcissist in your article and if so how would you define them?

  22. One other comment, every CD I have encountered has in one way or another had a problem with authority. And, I am looking back on incidents throughout my lifetime. In discussing Narcissists, many people do not have a clear understanding or none at all for that matter of what a or who a narcissist really is in terms of pathology. I do now after many years of study and continue to learn everyday. However, we are always coming up with new information as your studies Dr. Simon and other scientific research is revealed.

  23. Hi Tori — I know exactly what you mean about not being half of a couple again. After my divorce, I felt like I should be looking around for another mate, but there really aren’t that many men around here that would be eligible. I finally came to the realization that if God wants me to be married again, He will supply the right man at the right time. Besides which, I am selfish, and I enjoy doing what I want to do, rather than trying to do everything for someone who doesn’t appreciate my efforts. You do not have to be “one half of a couple” — you can function by yourself! Peace and hope from Elva

    1. Hi Elva, Thank you, I can’t and don’t want another person in my life right now, I couldn’t be a couple even if I wanted to! I also feel that there wouldn’t be another mate out there, I don’t see many who would be “eligible” either not that I’ve met any really. Also that’s probably not fair because I’m sure there are lovely men out there. I don’t want to close it off completely as far as the future is concerned but learning to trust, love and be myself is too important right now. Like you if it happens, it happens but I am learning that yes, I don’t have to be part of a couple to function and be strong. I want to take pleasure in that journey first and heal. Thanks again Elva. 🙂

      1. Hi Tori — You’re most welcome! Treat yourself to dinner out once in a while, or maybe a concert.

        I have a friend here, who was involved with a male. Every time she came to see me, she complained about “he did this and he did that” and on and on. I said do you realize that you haven’t said one good thing about him? Oh, well he does this one good thing. Finally I got online, started looking, found check lists, etc., wrote her a long letter, said, he is a loser and you need to get rid of him. Then I promised that I wouldn’t mention him again, unless she wanted to talk about it. She finally did mention, I asked why are you still dating him. Well, to help fix him. I said, it is NOT your job to fix him, even if you were qualified to fix him, which you are not. He’s old enough (45ish) to get help on his own, he needs therapy. A year later, he left. I’m leaving out lots of details, would take too long. He was a low-grade sociopath, not murderous, but certainly not marriage material. She’s doing much better now. I told her it’s better to be alone, work in your studio, read a book, go for a walk in the woods, walk down to the lake, than to be trying desperately to make some miserable excuse for a man happy. I’ve gotten to the point that I get exasperated when some man tries to hit on me, but now that I’m getting older, that doesn’t happen nearly so often. Life can be good if you take bits of time to enjoy flowers, sunsets, squadrons (40+!)of dragonflies flitting around devouring mosquitoes, puppies playing, visiting with friends, new ducklings and cygnets on the pond in one of the local parks, hearing the rusty croak of sandhill cranes in a local bird sanctuary, am sure you could add other things to the list. Cheers, peace and hope from Elva

        1. Hi all — edit. I am not putting all males down, I know some very good ones. If some of you reading this are male, I certainly don’t mean to imply that you are not welcome here. I am reporting on one experience, with a friend’s poor choice of someone to date. Peace and hope from Elva

  24. Tori, could part of your feelings come from how complex and complicated our relationships were? For me, and I guess for everyone, it was give, give and give some more, that’s what you do when you love someone. To give your whole SELF to someone who makes a mockery of it, then throws it in the trash. What we were receiving was crazy-making CD responses. People have suggested to me that I need to start dating. Puh-leez. My head immediately goes to why do I want that complication in my life? I’ve always had trust issues, I’m not sure I could trust enough to let someone in.
    When I said I would like to experience love, it doesn’t mean from a relationship necessarily. My mom didn’t, my siblings don’t, since I’ve been on this site I realize every bit of my 35 year marriage was a sham. I do think my dad did, but he was very introverted, unemotional and not one bit touchy-feely, so in adulthood, I’ve come to feel that he loved me, but this was long after he passed.
    I do know that I am enough. In good times (not depressed) I love this chapter of my life. Not tied down to a job or children, I can come and go as I please. I choose things that are not long term commitments because I love the freedom I have now.
    With help from all of you, I have the courage now to just put it all out there with my kids. I realize I’m back on the hope and despair roller coaster. No more. There has been lots of talk, but as Dr. Simon points out, actions speak louder. I was very ambivalent, but sent one the article about Divorcing the CD. He thanked me, found it “interesting” and that it helped him see the big picture. He’s in therapy so hopefully he’s talking about it there. Have been kind of pushing back with the other, trying to figure out where I was and where I wanted to go before I talked to him.
    I’ve been so so careful about letting them have a relationship with their dad. They still can, I don’t care but I don’t see how they or them and I (grammar??) can get on with our lives unless they know what they are dealing with. People tell me they will figure it out. How? He is an expert at lying and manipulating, fooled me for a lot of years. It feels right so I’m going with it.
    Gratitude to each of you overflows my heart right now. I have been desperate to process all this stuff in my head. You have given me the opportunity along with care and support.

    1. Lulu I am really glad that this forum has helped you work through some of your thoughts, it has been amazing for me in that way too. I totally see how you want your children to see the truth about their dad, not just for the benefit of your relationship with them, but also for genuine concern for their sanity and emotional wellbeing. I also understand, the man I married had me duped for twenty plus years, is an expert at manipulation, playing the victim, acting like he’s done everything in his power to be a good dad and husband. I often fear, too, that he will keep them in his control for a long time. I have really prayed a lot about this, on how to help them see who he really is. The problems I think I’m up against is that it is all so hard to explain, plus I won’t lie about him or twist things, whereas he has absolutely no problem lying or twisting things about me. Also I think if I truly attempt to reveal to them the extent of his character, it will just be more ammunition for him to accuse me. It is such a difficult dilemma, I truly don’t want my kids to be further damaged or influenced by him and his manipulation, but it really is something I think there’s nothing I can do about it, it is really difficult being a mom and knowing the right thing to do…but the father being CD makes things so much more complicated

  25. Hi Puddle — just happened across an article that might interest you. Go to, at top of left hand column, titled Articles of Note, is an article about people who are conspiracy theorists. If I understand it correctly, the article says that conspiracy theorists don’t seem able to think rigorously in examining details, which leads to their making wrong conclusions. Peace and hope from Elva

    1. The link you mention is here:

      It’s also worthy of note that people, who point out flaws in a societal system or convention can be and have been labeled as conscpiracy theorists. With that being done, their sayings can easily be dismissed, because the label “says it all”, so to speak.

      Obviously, to reiterate and emphasize, there’s a difference between a genuine conscpiracy theorist and a person, who challengingly points out flaws in a system’s conventions.

    2. The link you mention is here:

      It’s worthy of note that people, who point out flaws in a societal system cna be and often have been labeled as conspiracy theorists. Their sayings can then be easily dismissed. After all, they’re “some crazy conspiracy theorists”, along those lines. They needn’t be believed or listened to, even though what they say is rational and not at all like conspiracy theorists would actually think.

      To reiterate and emphasize, there’s a difference between a genuine conspiracy theorist and a person, who challengingly points out actual flaws of a system.

    3. Hi Elva, was this in reply to something I posted? I will try to give it a look but I’m short on time right now.

      1. Hi Puddle — yes, you’ve mentioned 2 different times about conspiracy theories, once about pitch, once about Hitler’s predilection for classical music and the theories attached to that — the author’s thesis, as I understand it, is that conspiracy theorists don’t seem to have the desire, or perhaps even the ability, to carefully consider all the facts in such cases. I’ll pull it up again and post the author and title for you — the site posts new stuff every day so older posts gradually get pushed down the page and eventually into their archives. Peace and hope from Elva

        1. Hi again Puddle. Here’s the link to the article, which is 3400 words.

          As I mentioned before, I’ve received catalogs from a “new age type” book company. Many of the authors have Ph.Ds after their names, but they seem to be too tightly wound wingnuts. I’m sure that there are a few conspiracies around, but trying to make a case for music pitch conspiracy is absurd. I used to know someone who was forever sending me emails about the latest (that he was aware of) conspiracy. I just deleted most of the emails. If you are short for time right now, obviously this can wait. Peace and hope from Elva

          1. Hi Elva! Yes, I’m in the middle of a couple things and then a surprise visitor from out of town, it’s the when it rains it pours thing. I may have to ask you for the link again if this gets burried! 😉

        2. Elva,

          REAL PhDs used in propagating New Age fluff? I HAVE seen many books like that on Amazon, but it’s so odd.

        3. I wasn’t even aware that the music issue(pitch and Hitler) were conspiriacy theories. Just something I have heard in regards to music, sound, etc. several things, many facets in the whole topic. One of which is certain belief systems frowning on music, even clasical music? In its earlier days? Like it was considered as radical as rap is now? I have so many fragmented pieces of information like this floating around in my head though!
          I would easily fall into the group that doesn’t have the time or ability to fully delve into every tid bit of information or misinformation that I run into! 🙂
          I look at most things, information, as buyer beware and they should be fully researched before you fully swallow them. And I’m very cautious about beliefs as it seems to me they are very subjective.

          1. Even if one does gather many different viewpoints about anything(which is beneficial), critical thinking is a helper, not an impediment, no matter what appeals to ego or non–ego are made. Just ask ex-cult members. Indeed.

          2. Hi Puddle — Always best to be very careful. There are dozens of conspiracy theories, just google for list of conspiracy theories. Wikipedia (admittedly NOT always accurate) has an article about the most prominent ones. And yes, some religious groups forbid music, most notably these days, Quakers and the Taliban. If you want to get more information about that, you could google for religions which forbid music. Don’t know that you’ll want to spend any great amount of time on this.:)
            And about critical thinking mentioned below, seems to me that anyone who would lie about having had a “conversation between I [sic] and Elva” is not practicing critical thinking. I had NO conversation with him about meditation. And anyone who would lie about a supposed link which “had stuck in the site’s spam filter” and then contact Dr. Simon about it, was NOT practicing critical thinking. There was NO direct link in my first post about the conspiracy theory article, just brief directions on how to get to the article. So, in effect, he lied to Dr. Simon in order to get the Dr. to change my post. I do not appreciate such actions; those who do such things are immediately stricken from my list of possible friends. Seems to me he is desperate for attention; sort of like my (half?) sister who would do things which she KNEW would get her in trouble, just so she could get some attention, even if it was “negative” attention. I could mention many other examples on lack of critical thinking, but I have more important projects which need my attention. As always, Puddle, if you have other questions, I’ll do my best to answer with what information I have. Peace and hope to men of good will from Elva

          3. Elva, I am getting a little clarity on this evil music thing, recalling somewhat maybe what I heard. I think some issues arose surrounding the harpsichords invention and development. I can see how that instrument could stand out as different than other ones in people’s views towards evil. I have no conclusive belief towards the whole subject really.

      2. I posted the link. It had stuck in the site’s spam filter and I contacted Dr Simon about it.

        There you are. 😀

      3. Then again, some power-keepers have labeled anyone criticizing a system as conspiracy theorists. See my comment above.

        1. Much of our current reality, or consensus reality, defies testing, isn’t subject to verification through experimentation or examination. We should be careful not to take conspiracies too seriously; depending, on the theory. We should be doubly careful about unquestioning acceptance of information radiating from the apex of power.

        2. Well said, LisaO, damn well said.

          In fact, when these insidious little indoctrinations have taken root in our brains, even logic and rational thinking is unlikely to impede them. They’re a part of our reality, so to speak. They’re our stories.

  26. Ok, my new BFFs, I did it, ltr go and let God. Have spoken with each of my sons and told them they need to accept CD as my reality. It feels like I’m pretending, or living some sort of a lie if they don’t. I assure them it has nothing to do with their relationship with their dad, just that it has been mine. Does that make any sense to anyone? I spent a lifetime doing what my thrtapist and I called “stuffing”, shoving things inside to keep the peace. This feels like that’s what I’m doing now. It’s an instant recipe for depression. Big hugs to all of you.

    1. Hi Lulu — will uphold you in prayer — read Isaiah chapters 40 and 41 when you have a moment or two. Peace and hope from Elva

    2. Lulu, You have done the right thing. They can take it or leave it. You left them with some perceptual wiggle room by declaring that CD has been YOUR reality. That permits them to carry on having a relationship with their father, while honouring your perspective at the same time. You haven’t forced a choice on them. Haven’t given them an ultimatum, haven’t used language that could easily funnel down the argument vortex. Well done!

      Different issues in my life but I have done similar. I no longer stuff too much down. My sister has gotten the message loud and clear, yet delicately too, just recently, that she is NOT to involve me in scenarios that promote her idea of ‘one big happy family’ and then ignore me the rest of the time, or call me and talk non stop about herself and her problems, which are all minor and well within her power to control. I have dealt with her in a dignified way. No arguments, just a few clearly stated, “that’s not acceptable.” Remarks. Period.

  27. LisaO, you go, girl! Do you get any kind of support from anyone in the big, happy family? I’m living vicariously through you. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to call my sister out. Love it! Thanks for the prayers and support, it helps so much. Sons and I keep trying to talk it out, but end up back in the same place. Nothing is really resolved. I know that when they aren’t in the “div stuff”, they are happy and enjoy their lives. If my stepping out is what it takes for them to have a good life, I will do that. I have always run interference between them and their dad. Maybe it has ended up backfiring on me since now they are getting the real deal. I stayed on that slim path of this is my reality, not yours so I wasn’t forcing anything on them. But……when he did not help them one single bit while they dealt with me in the ICU for two weeks, what else do you need to know?

  28. What I find particularly disturbing is the groundless narcissism of a person in my life. This is a person who grew up in a dysfunctional family, and has not done or accomplished much of anything, drifting from one marginal job to another. Yet believes she is vastly superior in every way to pretty much everyone. She’ll tell you that herself. She’s an expert in everything.

    Her background involved addicted parents who neglected their many children. So can this pathological narcissism be blamed on parents who didn’t care one way or another what their kids did? Sometimes it boils down to genetics and dysfunction, living in a fairy-tale world of one’s own creation, where the ugliness of reality is not allowed to intrude.

    1. Wondering, the person you reference is living a life that should be a humbling experience. And yes, from the sounds of her upbringing, it is likely a result of very poor parenting. You have to feel sympathy for people who, almost literally, cover their ears and sing, ” do, ray, me, me, me, me, me, me!” Narcissists may try to sing a full scale, but they always get stuck at me, me me. So,so,so,sad. They are stuck in lala land!

  29. Wondering that’s a great point about living in a fairy-tale world of one’s own creation. If parents are so wrapped up in their own little world and let children do what they want without any guidance does the child’s personality evolve on its own or is it a creation of the lack of boundaries and neglect?

    1. Good question Tori, I think its both, I have some input on this and would like to get back to you as I’m limited in time. Blessings

  30. Hi Lulu, thanks for your compliments. Wow! I don’t know what kind of a role model takes 8 years of near total dismissal from sister and lousy behaviour from brother before they deal with it! I accepted so much of their treatment of me as ‘normal’. I also misinterpreted the occasional gushing affection from my sister, as expressions of genuine warmth and connection. All show. And like…why did she bother? She was and is cold at her core, towards me, so why not just leave it at that? It took me forever to figure out that I was an essential prop to fill a chair at family social functions. All show, a parody of happy family, a sham. Here is the reality … After my husband died, I had to have a second family memorial, because his memorial conflicted with sibling and s-i-law’s schedules. ( not work schedules, or anything that took them out of town, mainly fun stuff they had already planned). My sister didn’t bring my niece, which baffled me. I put two and two together and figured that it was because she and her husband were staying at a resort nearby and would have had to share a room with her.

    As it was supposed to be a romantic weekend for them, they didn’t want her there. This is the same sister who wore a skin tight dress to her own mother’s memorial, and had lovely posed mother and daughter photos taken just before the mourners arrived. You know, because it was a pretty setting and they both looked so nice. Then she got up and delivered the eulogy. An, big surprise, wouldn’t you know that she would relate some of my mother’s struggles to problems she had also heroically conquered, in her own life. She smiled wide, laughed, because she had an audience…and didn’t shed one tear….ever.

    Yuk…like I want that in my life? It just took me forever to figure it out.

    So, have I had support from family through anything? No, lots of judgement and a bit of faux support. Last Christmas, just a few months after husband passed, my bro emailed me and asked me on Christmas Eve, if I was having a wonderful time. Not one of these moral emotional midgets had bothered to even ask me what I was doing for Christmas. My therapist tells me I didn’t get it, for years, because when you are giving and care about others, you project that onto others. She has met both of them and just laughs, saying they are so apparently and fundamentally different than I am. I have no children, so siblings were very crucial to me…too much so, for years. Therapist encouraged me to develop and deepen friendships. When husband passed I had a few good friends to lean on. Also, a good single guy friend took over, cooked for me while I was despondent and hugged me back into the world. I went really numb, so those hugs were crucial. People thought I was coping really well because it was a sudden death and I kept acting almost as if nothing happened….I kept repeating to people that I wasn’t ‘strong’ I was numb and some large part of me didn’t believe it actually happened.

    Am really doing well now thanks to .wonderful therapist and a world class hugger! Plus for months I felt my husband was watching over me and smoothing the transition for me. I hope he takes a break from whatever he is doing currently to help me deal with taxes!

  31. LisaO, you are a funny girl. Maybe we get some laughs along the way, we can keep on keeping on. I know we all will move forward, might be two forward, three back occasionally but we’re not quitters. So annoying to infuriating when people judge you ( or my kids, which is worse) as being okay because you look okay. It makes me feel diminished. It is not one bit funny, but I did laugh (sorry) when your brother called on Christmas Eve to ask if you were okay. I’m not sure I would know what to say. Sis can’t make it to your husband’s memortal service?? Again, so hard to fathom. I wonder if those of us on the blog are so caring and thoughtful, it just doesn’t occur to us that others can be so completely not. I still get surprised when people are mean. While we are story swapping, maybe 3 years ago, I got an email sent to the entire family. I have 2 brothers and evil sister, all married, and we all have grown children. I wrote back and said sure, love to! My sister-in-law called me a few days later to tell me I really couldn’t go. It seems that she, other s-in-law, evil sis and niece-in-law were talking at Christmas about beach trip and there was lots on convo about whether or not I should be invited. Evil was adamant that I not go, two were strong yes and one stayed out of it. So, all my sibs were represented, all said yes! Evil’s husband and daughter are afraid to buck her so they would say no, altho I know niece would love to see me. Essentially she was the only one with the problem, yet who did they say too bad, so sad to? That hurt but let me know really where I stood. Excuse me, bro emailed you. So do you have that same feeling of being switched at birth? Just being so fundamentally different. Good luck on that tax thing. I’m betting that your husband will be there to help you out.

    1. Lulu, gosh your story is similar to something that happened in my family. I know how painful it can be to be ostracised by your whole family. It is one of the cruelest forms of abuse in my book. When I was pregnant with my first child I had a devastating experience where there was an issue with a routine test. My doc was very concerned because the test seemed to indicate that I had to come back to test the viability of the foetus. I was a mess. Anyway unbeknown to me at the time my family were arranging my sisters wedding. I wrote a letter to my sister, telling her about my baby and what was happening how upset I was. I got a two sentence reply. “I’m getting married. I understand if you can’t come.” That was it! I can’t even put into words how I felt. Anyway I got some more tests and everything seemed to be okay so the doctor thought the first test had been wrong…of course I worried throughout the rest of my pregnancy. Luckily all was well. But in the mean time I rang my sister, asked her if she wanted me at her wedding, she said she did but wasn’t overly enthusiastic. This is my only sibling. So I rang my mother to be told that it would be better if I didn’t attend because I would be an embarrassment because I was pregnant and not married at the time. It’s a long story that has caused me torment most of my life but I went to the wedding. It’s a long complicated story but just to say I was humiliated in front of guests with absolute glee from my family, particularly my mother. The cruelty was unbelievable. I wish I’d never gone but it was my only sister. Like you I was under no illusions as to where I stood. My friends have always commented to me on how I change when my family is about… that I go from this comfortable, happy person to a tense, scared person in their company. It has always been that way. It’s like I wait for something horrible to be said.

      1. Oh Tori, Very self involved, judgemental people, your family, huh? It has always blown my mind how some people withdraw support from others when it’s most needed. To a narcissist, social conventions and appearance supercede all other considerations. Nasty nasty nasty. So sorry you were made to feel so small at such a big event. When I read your posts I get so irate at your ex I wish I could kick him in the butt. Seriously, I get so steamed. Now I want to boot your Mom and sis in the butt, too! LOL

        1. Thanks LisaO, sometimes I wish I could get that can of “Whoop Ass’ you mentioned myself! LOL! You know going through all this and leaving my ex, I had such great support from my friends and I think that really shocked my mother. I don’t think she could comprehend that people would go out of their way to help me the way they did. That’s the greatest sense of loss I have in all this, having to move away from my friends. But I still have contact and like coming here to this blog I have made new friends. So all is good! 🙂

      2. Tori……..
        “So I rang my mother to be told that it would be better if I didn’t attend because I would be an embarrassment because I was pregnant and not married at the time.”

        If someone said that to me,!it would be the last thing they ever said to me until the really appologized and pulled their head out of their arse. Easy to say at my current age and I might not have been as bold in my younger years but how utterly, unforgivably hurtful and shallow.
        ((((Hugs Tori))))

        1. Oh I got an apology Puddle… and in the realm of apologies it was the worst ever! No attempt to even make it sound as if it was a heartfelt apology. Said with absolute contempt. I’ll never forget it and I realised my mother would NEVER apologise because in her book I wasn’t worth it and she had every right to treat me as such. Believe me, I haven’t forgiven them for that and there’s a lot more that went on a that wedding…a speech that basically pulled me apart, that had guests staring at me. Though, I have to believe they were as horrified as I was. My mother loves an audience. Growing up I was sure something was terribly wrong with me and that I was a black sheep in the family. Which I always thought as odd because normally the black sheep in someways is the one who is always in trouble. I guess the black sheep can be the one who is actually healthier! I won’t say completely healthy ha ha…you can’t come out of that without some problems! My family always say those statements, “that I am too sensitive”, “I am emotionally unstable”, etc… talk about manipulation, I think it’s been part of my whole life. Again thank goodness for DR Simon, pity he couldn’t write a book for children who could pinpoint the issues before they are completed infected by it all! Hugs right back at you Puddle!

          1. Tori…….a REAL apology? Hers was insult to injury! Must try hard to not take on her disgunction(s).

          2. 🙂 Puddle, I’ll admit in my younger years I think it did have an impact. I realise now that it has contributed to the partners I’ve ended up with to a point. Not consciously but I think it’s that what is familiar aspect! Now I am very much aware of their tactics and do my best not to let it get to me. The things I’ve learned from this blog have been a real emotional life saver! 🙂

  32. Oh ugh Lulu, they had a family convo where they hashed out whether they should disinvite you or not and then decided you shouldn’t come?? It was then explained to you how the participants voted?? That is so insanely cold, I just can’t believe it….well uh…maybe I can. Can you even imagine ever doing that to anybody, let alone family? That’s really ‘high school mean girl’ behaviour. Your evil sister beats my Nar-sister–hands down. There should be a CD Olympics. My Nar-sister is so cunning she would get gold for free-style manipulation, with extra points for condescension, I am sure. But your sis would get gold for grand slalom callousness!

    1. Then there would be some, who’d get a gold medal and extra points for sheer depravity or lack of restraint.

    2. Sis does have borderline personality, but the rest of them going along with it? That was a major league kick in the gut. I think S called S in L said she was not happy so SinL took care of it. All of the other sheep didn’t say anything, because if Sis isn’t happy, there is hell to pay. Still painful that there was no regard for my feelings at all.

    3. To think anyone would think such. A man I had a misfortune of knowing a long time ago, whom I’ve called Viper here in comments, seemed to have a similar train of thought.

      He dated a woman once. I know no idea whether he just dated that one time or he’s dated ever since and I sure hope not. This girl was a friend of a friend of mine. The relationship had started out seemingly charmed, then in creeped many kinds of insidious little digs, trivial criticisms in guise of being helpful(in that subtle judgemental “I know better” -tone), seemingly caringly and affectionately expressed disparaging statements, silent treatment, subtle belittling, sulking over silly little “thoughtless” statements she had allegedly made, implications he “thought” she didn’t care enough etc. He’d emphasize reconciliation and letting the past be past many times it seemed the slightest bit convenient for him. He even once said: “Everyone makes silly little mistakes and I sure have forgiven you a lot.” Once: “We can make it work.” Creepy!

      Later Viper’s combative hypervigilance would find more room for itself. He’d “advise” her not to let “small things” or “ego” come in the way and while I listened to her recount these(while piecing things together according to many things I’d read about similar cases), I wondered to myself why he hadn’t bothered to quote the Bible, Torah, Quran or Upashinads when he was at it.

      The verbal abuse got more and more overt. When she would question what he said, he’d retort with: “What are you being so paranoid about? Or do I follow what you do?” He became physically violent. She luckily got out pretty early.

      I don’t know how much of what Viper said was a ploy and how much he actually believed. Wouldn’t be beyond me to think some things could even be both. Why couldn’t someone actually believe some very extreme, warped, out-of-another-world-stuff, perhaps to delusional degree, and still consciously say things for effect?

      Talk about “hell-to-pay” -mentality AND hypocrisy.

  33. J, you are very good at picking up on and describing mind games. As far as delusional goes, Viper and his ilk are very likely delusional with regards anything ego related. They feel they are bigger better smarter (by several orders of magnitude) than everybody. That is delusional. So a minor slight becomes much bigger to correspond with their warped view of their own importance. I don’t like this Viper guy.

    Lulu, Yes. Total kick in the gut when anyone in any situation allows a CD person to control events–particularly if it’s to avoid discomfort. My definition of a person with poor character is someone who lets somebody else suffer a lot, do they don’t have to suffer at all. People like that would be okay with someone else being hit by lightening if it meant they would avoid a slight zinger from a poorly wired electrical outlet. I am so sorry you have had so much to go through!

    1. I give credit to many books I’ve read that have explained things I’ve heard from my gut many, many times. Some passages from ISC, Character Disturbance, Field’s Bully in Sight, Hirigoyen’s Stalking the Soul and Evans’ Verbally Abusive Relationship read to me like they could have been written with Viper as a model.

      Also, to have some idea, prepare to cringe, go to Youtube and watch I, Psychopath part 8 at 3:50 where Sam Vaknin gets really crude. Now, I can’t say Viper is either as crude as Vaknin acts there or as sophisticated. Perhaps something that would give a bit better of an idea would be this(he’s still subtler):

      He’s incredible, LisaO. I’ve heard of his repertoire. He’s nowhere near the only unpleasant person I’ve met, but luckily most unpleasant people I’ve met have been more of rude, overtly haughty, quick-to-anger-over-trivial-things or passive-aggressive type.

  34. Hi again, J,

    If you don’t mind me asking, did you have a bad experience with Viper or were you horrified just observing him? Will follow up on links. Thanks

    1. I’ve mentioned him here before and I had a memory you would’ve actually commented before.

      I got to know him in junior high, grades seven to nine of comprehensive school. He was friendly at first, even helped with some homework. There are many loosely related sequences of events including not only Viper, but also some other people, some of whom were jerks as well. Explaining everything would take an eternity. Viper turned out to gossip about people, including me.

      He assaulted me once after I’d told him that badmouthing me and throwing obscenities is immature. He waited until after the schoolday and surprised me. I was actually surprised seeing him laying on his back. Good thing witnesses backed me up. Didn’t prevent Viper from making up many different versions of the story, with some of his immature and spineless friends going along with their guru.

      Viper made a big deal how I no longer was welcome to visit “his” house(which really belonged to his parents, whom I’d noted to be decent folk; his mother was superficially strict, but could be quite lost as to how her son was doing and his father was conditionally permissive, “you-do-this-and-you-get-free-hands” -type).

      Though I’m not sure how many bought into Viper’s stories, I hung out with a few boys(and some girls), who knew well what was going on. Some of these would later indirectly get a taste of Viper.

      I once, as an art class had ended, oversaw Viper painting something with swastikas on it. I realized I’d blurted out why. Viper, completely without any hostility or sarcasm in his voice, just sheer levelheaded confidence, commented: “Aatu(his calling name for Adolf Hitler) is a badly misunderstood man.” There were a few others, who immaturely thought swastikas were cool, but it feels wrong to try to be fair to Viper.

      Some of these aforementioned friends of mine went to the same senior high as Viper. There was one man, who shared a circle of acquaintances with one of my friends. The latter heard this from the former. This man was busily going to a lesson some late afternoon and Viper happened to be, too. They bumped, a few steps and Viper throws a vaguely threatening hissy fit, another man apologizes in confusion, frowning, both exit. Sometime later, Viper traces him down to a nearby forest and reminds him. Another guy does something stupid, then: He’s heard of the instance where Viper’s assault on me backfired, a version where he “got beat up by an autistic boy”(which I’m not). Viper flies into rage and beats another guy up, then warns him not to talk to cops, because his(Viper’s) friends can give him an alibi.

      Now, most of Viper’s “friends” I believe to be okay, not-too-questionable people, who simply haven’t caught on to what Viper really is like. Some, however, seem to get it and not mind at all.

      Sometime as it was ending, Viper had met a girl(who also was a friend of this same friend of mine; I didn’t personally know her from before) through some youth activities association. They clicked, thanks to no small part to Viper’s charm and sense of humour. I heard these things from her afterwards. Connecting, I can see how much worse he’s become.

      So, LisaO, both.

  35. Hi Puddle — sorry if I didn’t make it clear. A couple of weeks or so ago I posted about meditating, that anyone considering it should do research first. In that post I asked Dr. Simon if he had any opinion on meditation. I don’t think Dr. saw the question, but J posted twice right underneath, with his comments, WHICH I NEVER ANSWERED. A week or so later, J claimed “conversation between I [sic] and Elva. NO. I never had conversation with him on meditation. He flat out lied.
    And when I posted about the conspiracy theory article, I gave directions as to how to find it; I did not then provide a direct link. So J took it upon himself to contact Dr. Simon, apparently telling the Dr. that “the link had stuck in the site’s spam filter.” NO. There was no link to get stuck. So J lied to and convinced the Dr. to add another post in addition to what I had put up, in effect changing my post. NOT appreciated. Would you like to have your posts 2d guessed and changed without your first being informed? So, with those 2 things and other incidents which have happened previously, I will no longer trust _anything_ J says. Period.

    Hope the explanation makes things a bit clearer for you — Peace and Hope from Elva

    1. Oh, I think I understand. I hope there is a misunderstanding of some sort to explain this? I’m not second guessing you but wondering if there could be a language barrier to blame.
      I respect your decision Elva no matter what.

      1. And……..thank you for explaining. Sometimes it’s SO difficult to stay current with all the comments!

      2. Hi Puddle — No, I don’t think there is a language barrier in this instance. I contacted Dr. Simon some weeks ago, because I was (and am) deeply concerned about things J had posted. I promised the Dr. that I would not answer any more of J’s posts directly, and I have not done so. Claiming to have had a conversation with me, when there was none, is just plain wrong. And getting another person’s post changed underhandedly is just plain wrong. Added to that are all the times previously that he has apparently failed to use “critical thinking” — all the times he has posted comments without really having anything to contribute, posted links to the church of satan, and to an atheist ranting/yelling, another post answering a woman who posted with a horrific story about the many years of abuse she had suffered — his answer to her was along the lines of Oh, I know just how you feel, I was bullied in high school. If someone had answered me like that, I would have felt like I had been assaulted again, with a punch to the gut. That’s like comparing a stubbed toe to 2 broken arms, 2 broken legs, cracked ribs and a broken pelvis. How’s that for sympathy? I don’t believe she has posted again, at least I’ve not seen her name again. There are other instances, but I’ve spent enough time on this. In short, I would never invite him to my home.
        Yes, sometimes it is difficult to keep track of all the comments.
        Peace and hope from Elva

      3. Elva and Puddle, Sometimes two declarative statement type posts sandwich a response in such a way that makes it look as if a conversation is taking place. I read what seemed like a conversation and the comment about the spam filter and didn’t get a sense anyone was being anything but respectful to one another. As Puddle says, there is likely a misunderstanding here.

        1. Hi Lisa — I thank you for your concern, but I don’t think there is a misunderstanding here. No conversation took place because when I contacted Dr. Simon directly with my deep concerns about J’s posts, I promised Dr. Simon that I would not directly engage in any response to J. And I have not. The patterns I see over time in his replies show me a person that I, in person, would avoid.
          Making up a story about a link being caught in the site’s spam filter was totally unjustified. My first post about an article which I thought Puddle might like to see HAD NO DIRECT LINK to the article. So J took it upon himself to underhandedly get Dr. Simon to insert another post (which did not show up in the Recent Posts column, I just happened to see it (duplicated, even) when I scrolled down through the comments. Would you like to have your comments changed or amended without your being notified? So, adding these latest incidents to his other previous posts, many of which seemed to have been designed to provide him with a chance for “discussing various ideas” and to pull/divert attention away from this blog’s primary purpose, that being to educate and help people who have been victimized by CDs, no, I don’t believe I am misunderstanding here. There have been other instances of inappropriate posts from him.

          If you or anyone else wants to debate or discuss ideas with him, you are certainly free to do so. Peace and hope from Elva

    2. I’m not directing this to Elva, though Elva IS free to comment if she chooses to, but Puddle, LisaO and all others, I’m saying this to you.

      I HAVE posted about things that don’t directly relate to character or other matters Dr Simon talks about. I have posted about meditation, lex talionis and many other things including a guy who I’ve known to do dating violence and what I want to discuss Christianity REALLY is about. I have even posted some links I have admitted up front coudl be controversial, including a video by a Youtuber calling himself The Amazing Atheist criticizing Christianity as a group of people worshipping some imaginary deity. Times ago, a commenter Juliette said to me she suspected me of being manopulative as to researching for my own PhD(if someone can actually recall what comments those were under, kudos to you). I’m not researching for a PhD, but I’m not a dilettante, either.

      Times ago a manipulator came here, talking in a way I saw was subtly belittling of many experiences folks here have gone through. I was outraged. Poking into emotionally painful experiences, that’s jsut despicable. As far as I recall, I haven’t done anything like that.

      However, I actually contacted Dr Simon about Elva’s recent messages. You others, including Elva, especially Elva, why don’t YOU contact Dr Simon, with what you think points to me being a dishonest covert aggressor, psychopath or whatever you take me as?

      Now, Dr Simon said, when he banned that one manipulator from this site, that he’d be more watchful of these comment sections.

      I’m waiting for Dr Simon’s view here. Stay tuned, folks.

    3. Okay, this convo reminds me of soooo many situations I’ve been in and yet others I’ve observed and I think I’ve stumbled upon this a few months ago, but forgot about it somehow. Not trying to say specifically what’s going on here, but this is something I wish more people understood(except a*****es, of course, those can go to hell). Could be better to say it. I may be wrong. I try to be as objective as I can, okay? I could very well add my 5 cents here, so to whom it may concern:

      Because time passes, it tends to be hard to remember what started a conflict in the first place, whatever the nature of that conflict. There’s one thing that I’ve realized is very important:


      It can be hard and I guess it’s not gonna be nearly as straightforward as ought to. I could go on about that, but perhaps not now. Can’t think of anything other than documentation. On a forum it should be easier. Why it matters is because otherwise concerns fail to get across to another party. Others can be very confused otherwise. It doesn’t help that people make false, specious or misleading accusations or other assertions all the time.Just ask the police. I wish it wasn’t so. But thanks to those kinds of instances, people can be very jaded and skeptical-ized when they hear of another conflict and have only what someone tells to go by. Proving things can be hard, but unfortunately it’s necessary, essential even.

      This is not to say that one couldn’t be branded simply by being accused. Getting twice accused makes someone even more guilty in people’s eyes.

      I can’t say I’d have easy answers. I don’t. Even documentation really isn’t an easy answer, I think. It can be quite a bother for others to not know who to believe. Unfortunately, usually someone, who’s more plausible, is believed and sometimes crucial things can get lost.

      Not wanting to dwell anymore on something is a healthy thing. The intention can be undermined, though, if it’s presented in a wrong way.

      While I’ve seen some religious references that work(on this blog) and I think religious discussions can work, most of the time they don’t. They just devolve and it gets nowhere and accomplishes nothing. Challenging someone, especially in a blunt way, doesn’t make another person want to accept what you have to say, quite the contrary, and I don’t think getting stuck in details on what belief system would work best for everyone is worth it. It can be intrusive. If not, then understood as such. As long as it doesn’t harm you nor others, what’s the fuss?

      Just because someone prefers a certain kind of belief system and states it out loud doesn’t necessarily mean they’d be trying to control the discourse or anything. Many belief systems have sound things to say. A thing I said here once: It would work if someone said what works in their belief system, then another person stated in turn what works in their belief system and so on. Maybe?

      Also, it’s important to remember, whether you’re in conflict or observing one: Some words, like “misunderstanding” and “hostility”(taken from this discussion) imply kinda different things.

      It doesn’t make sense to call anyone names, because that’s sure to take away from whatever you say. I once read something on the net like “Never call anyone a psychopath to their face. If you’re wrong, you’ve just mistreated someone. If you’re right, you’ve made a fool of yourself and thrown fuel to the fire.” Though I didn’t exactly call anyone a psychopath, been there, done that and hoo boy, do I wish I hadn’t!

      This convo reminded me of some things, though it’s otherwise quite different. But perhaps that’s to be expected here? This woke up so many thoughts. I must’ve suppressed them. Thanks.

  36. J, Elva and Puddle, I think it’s really difficult for anyone to bring up religion without being controversial. I am interested in the shadow aspects of all belief systems, be they philosophical, spiritual or political. i am interested in how they can become vehicles for the very ‘demons’ they are trying to defeat. Rigid fundamentalism is unnecessarily divisive. Reducing the many paths towards love honesty and integrity to a narrow tightrope, is constraining in the extreme. It also reduces people who have taken a different but paralleling path, to a lesser status. People who espouse this point of view may have their hearts in the right place though.

    Regardless of our beliefs on this blog, we all deserve respect, if our intent is positive.

    I, personally would like to hear your reservations about New Age philosophy as I think that most people are not aware that all of the errors Christians are prone to, are also well represented in the Eastern mysticism camp.

    1. Makes sense.


      I’m not out to claim that if you’re Christian, you’re automatically out to stone homosexuals, or if you’re a Muslim, you’re automatically a member of ISIS or if you’re a Hindu practicioner, you are like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the leader of TM -cult.

      Elva also mentioned I’ve mentioned the Church of Satan. That is correct. However, it’s not like I’ve been praising it to highest heavens continually or trying to recruit people into the Church of Satan or any other satanist, religious or other kind of organization. And it’s not like I’m trying to talk anything out of being Christian or talk into becoming satanist, atheist, nihilist etcetera.

      I have pondered about different kinds of thinking, including New Age -thinking, that you, LisaO, have also pondered.

      “So, adding these latest incidents to his other previous posts, many of which seemed to have been designed to provide him with a chance for “discussing various ideas” and to pull/divert attention away from this blog’s primary purpose, that being to educate and help people who have been victimized by CDs” Now, frankly, I am upset this has taken such an unpleasant turn. Putting aside how Elva’s comments have lately seemed not only a bit more than a bit irate, but also being with a punitive edge, I seriously wonder how my ponderings actually distract from this site’s purpose. Needed advice is given here constantly and all kinds of discussion goes on here. Sometimes my thoughts haven’t even been noticed and I’ve let the matter be, because I’ve decided it’s not worth the bother. I like how insightful discussion is here and I really hope Dr Simon has been taking notes of what’s been said here.

      Back to your thought, LisaO, having faith in God is one form of having a higher guidance. Someone has God, someone has Ganesha, someone has guardian Angels, another one has spirit guides/power animals etc.

      New Age philosophy does have many holes. Denial of evil being one. Then it can be implicitly understood that we are our own gods. If that’s not narcissism, it’s a short step to narcissism. It may be easy to slide into magical/wishful thinking, like you just need to visualize and “believe” and whatever you want falls into your lap from heavens.

  37. I agree with LisaO bring up religion is always controversial, as belief systems are so personal. Yet I think it is an important part of Character Disturbance issues. We are all vulnerable when coming through such crisis’s as we are seeking to make sense of something and many turn to one religion or another practice that helps them make sense of what’s happened in their lives. An active conversation can be enlightening to the positives and the pitfalls of religion and new age philosophies. I have had many well meaning friends point me in the direction of new age philosophy, as I have had others point me toward christian beliefs. I believe that which has a positive impact and doesn’t seek to hurt someone is fine. On a blog such as this where people come from different walks of life it is important to keep in mind that we should respect peoples differences, beliefs and values.
    I myself don’t espouse to any religious belief, I was brought up a christian and for the most part that has a huge influence on my values as a human being. I don’t think that makes me an awful person because I no longer believe. Frankly I read a lot from the Dalai Lama and find much of his words a code that I could live by but I don’t want to become a Buddhist. There’s a lot in the new age stuff that I think is positive but again I am certainly not going to spend thousands of dollars to watch someone spin their finger in the air and tell me I need to be on a higher plain and all will come to me.
    But an informed, respectful discussion I think is healthy and part of the freedoms that we all enjoy!

    1. I have admitted outright that I have mis-expressed myself on some occasion. The very first times I came here, my writing style was one of the most wooden ones I knew. If I can bother to check those out, I ask Dr Simon to remove some specific ones.

      Now, Tori, without feeling like you are on my side or Elva’s side, do YOU feel like I’m being disruptive or clouding the site’s purpose of helping those in need? Have I come across as disrespectful of anyone’s beliefs(Elva seems to think so)? I’m not Adi Da Samraj attempting entire overhaul of spiritual history.

      1. J, I certainly don’t want to take sides but to be honest, no I can’t remember any comments that were disrespectful personally but neither have I read every comment. But I do think that you have raised controversial subjects that could offend people by their very nature. I think i recall there was something about satanism, and although I just thought hmm that’s weird, it didn’t interest me so that was it! I could see that others could be offended and do question whether that was wise on a board such as this! As for the meditation issue, again it’s not something that interests me. I know some find it helpful, for me meditation comes in the form of walks in nature so I don’t need the ritualistic parts of it all. That one is difficult for me to comment on because I didn’t click on the links you provided so I don’t really know what it was that was upsetting. I think it’s prudent to think when you post something as to whether or not it could be taken in the wrong context. Not to say that that can be avoided, when dealing with emotive issues there is bound to be times when something said will offend and people will react. There does have to be an element as Elva has said of “critical thinking” when you bring up subjects that could be deemed controversial. 🙂

      2. You explained this tactfully, Tori, and I thank you for that. That does make sense.

        I was refering to so-called self-godhood that seems to be a big thing in Satanism. That was the reference.

        I’ve commented about meditation in thought of how it could help folks to recover from all these horrid encounters with all these unscrupulous people. It would be wonderful if people commented more on how meditation has or hasn’t helped them in their recovery process.

        Feel free to doubt me, but this makes sense to me.

      3. Also, when I commented: “I posted the link. It had stuck in the site’s spam filter and I contacted Dr Simon about it.

        There you are. :D” I had originally contacted Dr Simon without knowing why the link wouldn’t post and it was Dr Simon, who said the link had stuck in the spam filter(Dr Simon can verify this).

        Elva(Mar 21, 2015): “A couple of weeks or so ago I posted about meditating, that anyone considering it should do research first. In that post I asked Dr. Simon if he had any opinion on meditation. I don’t think Dr. saw the question, but J posted twice right underneath, with his comments, WHICH I NEVER ANSWERED. A week or so later, J claimed “conversation between I [sic] and Elva. NO. I never had conversation with him on meditation. He flat out lied.
        And when I posted about the conspiracy theory article, I gave directions as to how to find it; I did not then provide a direct link. So J took it upon himself to contact Dr. Simon, apparently telling the Dr. that “the link had stuck in the site’s spam filter.” NO. There was no link to get stuck. So J lied to and convinced the Dr. to add another post in addition to what I had put up, in effect changing my post. NOT appreciated. Would you like to have your posts 2d guessed and changed without your first being informed? So, with those 2 things and other incidents which have happened previously, I will no longer trust _anything_ J says. Period.”

        This feels more ridiculous moment by moment. I added to the discussion, but apparently that has gotten into sinister light.

        “Hi Puddle — No, I don’t think there is a language barrier in this instance. I contacted Dr. Simon some weeks ago, because I was (and am) deeply concerned about things J had posted. I promised the Dr. that I would not answer any more of J’s posts directly, and I have not done so. Claiming to have had a conversation with me, when there was none, is just plain wrong. And getting another person’s post changed underhandedly is just plain wrong. Added to that are all the times previously that he has apparently failed to use “critical thinking” — all the times he has posted comments without really having anything to contribute, posted links to the church of satan, and to an atheist ranting/yelling, another post answering a woman who posted with a horrific story about the many years of abuse she had suffered — his answer to her was along the lines of Oh, I know just how you feel, I was bullied in high school. If someone had answered me like that, I would have felt like I had been assaulted again, with a punch to the gut. That’s like comparing a stubbed toe to 2 broken arms, 2 broken legs, cracked ribs and a broken pelvis. How’s that for sympathy? I don’t believe she has posted again, at least I’ve not seen her name again. There are other instances, but I’ve spent enough time on this. In short, I would never invite him to my home.”

        What should I say? I first took it that Elva is simply irate, but like I said, it’s getting a punitive edge of sorts in my eyes. And Elva is deeply concerned why really?

        “Hi Lisa — I thank you for your concern, but I don’t think there is a misunderstanding here. No conversation took place because when I contacted Dr. Simon directly with my deep concerns about J’s posts, I promised Dr. Simon that I would not directly engage in any response to J. And I have not. The patterns I see over time in his replies show me a person that I, in person, would avoid.
        Making up a story about a link being caught in the site’s spam filter was totally unjustified. My first post about an article which I thought Puddle might like to see HAD NO DIRECT LINK to the article. So J took it upon himself to underhandedly get Dr. Simon to insert another post (which did not show up in the Recent Posts column, I just happened to see it (duplicated, even) when I scrolled down through the comments. Would you like to have your comments changed or amended without your being notified? So, adding these latest incidents to his other previous posts, many of which seemed to have been designed to provide him with a chance for “discussing various ideas” and to pull/divert attention away from this blog’s primary purpose, that being to educate and help people who have been victimized by CDs, no, I don’t believe I am misunderstanding here. There have been other instances of inappropriate posts from him.”

        Making up a story? Underhandedly asking Dr Simon to change Elva’s post? I haven’t even noticed any change here. What is this? I’m not kidding you here and I don’t care if you don’t agree iwth me or believe me at all here. I’m starting to feel like I’m a target of character assassination.

        “If you or anyone else wants to debate or discuss ideas with him, you are certainly free to do so.”

        At least Elva gives me THAT.

        I have contacted Dr Simon about this and I hope this issue gets closure soon.

    2. There are many spiritual viewpoints to study for anyone, who’s interested or who, like Tori says, want to make sense of their lives.

      There’s talk of enlightenment. Is it getting a clear, powerful sense of what one’s life is about? According to one text I read one cries when life purpose dawns, as if it comes from another source entirely.

  38. I hate anyone to feel bad, left out, misunderstood, marginalized or punished. I feel what they are feeling and it is really upsetting. I grew up this way and it’s no fun. A friend of mine told me, years ago, that in some tribal society, tribe members perceived as being antagonistic and difficult would be surrounded by the tribe. Then they would rhyme off all the things they loved about him. The wounded soul would be sung back into the fold.

    This may not fit the situation here perfectly but I feel moved to mention it. We are all wounded souls who need to be digitally cradled and reminded we are worthy, even if some of our ideas are weird. Rebuke backfires.

    1. I don’t know how much of a wounded soul I am, but I’m certainly not Superman. I’m interested in discussion. I’m not a PhD, but I wouldn’t call myself a dilettante.

      Sure have liked and do like to converse with you folks on different matters. Life just is inherently dangerous. We need to figure out what the unique thing it is we do. Covert aggressors deep down must be cut from the same cloth. Same for psychopaths, unbridled aggressors, sadists and so on, just from different kinds of a cloth.

      1. J, I haven’t posted in a long time. But I come here at least 1x per week and catch up on the posts from Dr. Simon and comments.
        I like your comments very much. I think you have a lot of interesting things to say and while I’m sure I miss some comments, I have never had the opinion that there was anything you have posted that was out of line. I hope you continue to contribute.
        Wish I had more time to participate in discussions! Will keep checking in once in awhile. My best, Linda

      2. Your input’s welcome, Linda, thank you very much. 🙂

        I find it great that you like my posts. Some of them are written on the spur of the moment and at times I put a bit more thought before submitting. This site has helped me refine my thinking and be more aware.

        Let us be more aware! 😀

    2. I think something is wrong here, the whole disagreement feels off to me. Like J is being painted in an undeserved bad light. But I can’t sort it out exactly. But it feels like a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation. I don’t know what transpired exactly but I hope it can be sorted out and cleared up. I also think that religion, while there is nothing wrong with personal beliefs, should be left off the site. To the best of my recollection and I may be wrong, Dr. Simon doesn’t “go there” in his articles and I don’t see the need to go there in the comments.
      J, I have often thought that maybe your interest here and questions, etc, might come from a theoretical place and sometimes I do have a problem, or don’t see the relevance to a lot of “what if” or “could it be” type questions but that is y perspective. I’m really not sure how to word this correctly.

      1. You say it well, Puddle.

        I am dumbfounded that it’s Elva, of all people, who’s started accusing me of lying. I don’t think Elva is trying to smoke me out, but that she really is convinced I’m some kind of a psychopath. Here, it’s on the table! Or perhaps some personality disordered individual, which I don’t think I am judging from how I get along with people IRL. Or maybe some kind of a cult recruiter or someone covertly preaching some kind of a belief system. All guesses and just guesses.

        I can understand that Elva would be irate over the Amazing Atheist ranting video that apparently was shouty. I was surprised over that and of course a little pissed just like I would be if it seemed to me someone was being hypercritical about an irrelevant detail. I can still understand that. I haven’t read all of the hundreds of comments on this site. Never claimed to have a superhuman memory.

        Still, Elva seems to have become punitive, petulant, callous and borderline mean-spirited in tone herself, in regards to those comments, and that’s what I find hard to digest. Did someone hack Elva’s computer? Far-fetched, but those things do happen sometimes.

        Why is my presence supposedly worrisome? I don’t buy it.

      2. To give a better answer to you, Puddle:

        It’s fair enough that I be more mindful of what I want to say and HOW I say it. I also refrain from getting too theoretical in a “what if we could develop a vigilant anti-predator consciousness” -way.

    3. LisaO and J I apologise if I’ve caused offense, certainly didn’t mean to imply J was weird in anyway. I am quite open to many differing discussions and have many friends who openly discuss many taboo subjects such as what J has raised. Maybe I myself should have thought to rephrase that point in better language. I would never want to make someone feel that they can’t express their opinions and feelings.

      1. I didn’t interpret it that way at all.

        I indeed come a bit more from the theoretical place, despite my experiences with Viper and Sinister Man. I hope to avoid meeting any truly questionable individuals in the future.

      2. Oh Tori….wasn’t referring to anything you have said or done. Your post to J was lovely and thoughtful. My story about tribal people was just to illustrate how differently problems are handled in some societies. I have always found J’s comments interesting and inoffensive…at least what I’ve read and remember. I don’t quite understand the hostility.

        1. Oh thank goodness LisaO and J, as I too like the diversity of interesting viewpoints. We don’t have to agree with each other but you never know what may be helpful at times, something new that you don’t understand now could be the very thing that makes a positive change in the future. I think too the problem with text is that at times things can be misinterpreted and I think as Puddle says this may be the problem here. Let’s hope it all gets resolved soon. I love this site too much! 🙂

        2. When I type things here, it’s mostly reasoning. I’m aware someone could take it as me being some sage sitting on a mountain and whirling a finger in the air. Again, people can form images and impressions that are influenced by their experiences and their inner landscape. Those impressions may or may not be accurate.

          When I post here, I post according to what I think and feel makes sense. It’s mostly me just reasoning and anyone’s free to confirm me, agree with me, correct me or disagree with me. It’s always been a problem that thoughts just seem to come in spades.

          I’ve also noticed how my writing style has improved by writing here(and of course a few other places). When I first came here, my writing style was wooden and stilted as all get-out. Here you have it! 😀

        3. Partly I get inspiration from your posts, too, LisaO, Tori and co., so credit where credit is due.

          The “diversity of interesting viewpoints” is enriching and I reason that the point is to form one’s own unique point of view.

          Critical thinking is a friend and that’s not so obvious as you would think. It can be too loose, when you aren’t discerning and discriminating enough. There are all kinds of cultic, fundamentalist views, thought-terminating cliches and other insidious little indoctrinations that mold the very brain structure, without realizing.

          Tori, you say: “you never know what may be helpful at times, something new that you don’t understand now could be the very thing that makes a positive change in the future”. While I agree, it does make sense that there is an abundance, perhaps jolly over-abundance of information available. Not everything is going to turn out to be the key to greater secrets, greater happiness and greater fulfillment. You don’t have all the time in the world to sink deep into everything. Sometimes you may want to just let so-and-so be.

  39. So to clear off some ambiguity about some of my comments:

    I have refered to religion in an attempt to discuss matters of faith. My approach must have been a bit too radical and more than a little too little mindful of controversy, including that atheist “yelling” video.

    Also, references to Satanism were because I refered to their self-exaltation instead of worshipping a higher power. It was a reference to exalting the self. In life we all are to forge an authentic, healthy identity with healthy strong boundaries. Also we return to the matter of self-respect, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-appreciation and self-love. So, it was not about satanism itself really.

    The meditation posts were about how they could help in recovery.

    I even once linked to a video of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Allan Anderson talking about the nature of images we hold of ourself and others and how Krishnamurti thinks that’s not what gets us hurt. No one responded to that, so I let it be.

    You know what would be a good thing to say? Something along the lines of “J, what exactly are you trying to say with this link?” and “Well, I think the way you’re saying it veers too far off.”

    I think that’s reasonable. Painting me as a threat to others(for seemingly trivial and vague reasons, to boot) doesn’t get me to stop posting my thoughts I think can lead to more psychogically enriching discussion. Giving me the feedback on how I express it IS welcome.

  40. Hello!Just want to show my appreciation for your studies and say how they are helping me understand and copy my relationship. I am nota a native speaker of English , so it feels difficult to express my relief and how specially this one has set me free from feeling guilty and misunderstood. Thank you!

    1. Hello Lucy and welcome! As you have time, keep reading here — click on “Sitemap” up at the top of the page, then you scroll down the page until you see “Archives.” Then you can click through to earlier articles and comments. Ask questions here if you want. Most people who post here have had similar circumstances in their lives. We can understand and sympathize with your situation. Peace and Hope from Elva

      1. Hi Lucy, Welcoming you just as you are, I’m am a native speaker and I have a hard time too. Please stay and share with us, as a whole we can become stronger and unanswered questions that haunt us may be answered by another that has personally experienced what you have. If you decide to stay please post in the current thread, this way we wont miss your post getting lost in the archives. Dr. Simon’s blog is growing very quickly. Blessings

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