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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Let them judge you.. Freedom

Over the last several years, since my divorce and as I got older, I have realized something about interactions with narcissistic or self centered individuals.  You have to let them win...in their mind.. and walk away being judged in order to truly be free.

These type of individuals are absolutely certain that they know best and are right.  It is one of the things that defines their whole being, in fact.  They feel that it is their place to decide what is true and right for not only themselves but everyone else.  So, you BEGIN a conversation with someone that already has their mind made up.  When this is a person that has an impact on your days, this can be a difficult thing to get over.

These users and abusers of your time and being believe that you are good or bad, based on one thing...what you give to them.  It reminds me of a scene in Morgan, a movie about an artificial intelligence program gone bad.  The psychological testing man was talking to Morgan, who said that she loved this person.  He says (paraphrasing) what if I said I could free you...would you love me?  Then, he asks what if he said that he would recommend termination of the program, what impact would THAT have on her view of him?



I immediately saw every self centered person with whom I had interacted right in that scene.  GOOD is defined by what you bring to them...give to them.  Actually caring for the wellbeing of another and being willing to sacrifice to make them happy is not even a concept they consider.  If they have to GIVE, it isn't LOVE to them...when in fact, that is the opposite of the definition of love.  Love is a verb and it is ENTIRELY made up of giving to someone else.  That is the very definition of the word.  Love is giving, and that is true even of loving someone that does not give back to you.  That love is just not healthy, and that is where I get to my point of this article.


Now, the truth is that love SHOULD be conditional...but the difference is what is the condition.  It should not be like in Morgan based on THINGS you receive or desire.  The only true condition of love should be ...LOVE.  With that, you should not be lacking any thing (and if you are ..it isn't LOVE you desire either but things).  Without love being returned, you are just an accomplice to your own abuse.  They will define your love for them by what you give to them, leaving you with nothing and depression.  When you finally decide to leave, they will be offended...not because you stopped loving them as they stopped long ago if ever.  They will be offended that you stopped LETTING THEM USE YOU.  And, that is what they will miss.  Don't forget that.  If they ever contact you, after...and they will...it is likely that they only miss having someone to use, like a bully missing a weaker child to abuse.  What they miss is having a parental figure to give you all that they want, which is probably what they wanted in you, as well.


Anyway, as you leave, they will be angry for your leaving, and they will lie about you and judge you and do all kinds of things to try to get a rise out of you, including even acting NICE to you to get what they want from you.  However, ALL of this is done for one reason..to continue to use you.  If they TRULY loved you, they would respect your choice and want YOU to be happy and would give to make that happen.


Here is where the lesson I learned comes into play.  LET THEM JUDGE YOU.  I think there is an innate desire of humans to be proven to be right, and when someone is falsely condemning you, it is a slap to our name and identity.  We feel the desire to "set the record straight" and "prove we are right"...however, just consider for a moment what you would be winning.  If you engage in this argument, you have given their idiocy validity to debate, and if you convince them, you get more of ....THEM.  Is that really what you desire?

At least in my case, I have learned the peace of blocking my ex and walking away from conflict with an abuser.  Some would call that surrender, but considering what I get out of it vs what I get by engaging with them, I fail to see how it is anything but victory for myself and my future.  I think it is a lesson the world should learn, as well.  If someone hates you...let them.  As they say, you don't have to attend every argument to which you are invited.  Personally, I would rather spend my time with those that like me for me and being happy.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Keeping Content Free - no book..donations welcome

After much thought, I have decided against creating books for each of the blogs but keeping all content from them free within the blogs.  I will create keywords for my blogs to pull past posts into search.

This site has two means of financial support for the benefits you receive.  First, I provide Amazon links to several items.  If you click on one of them (cookies off) and buy something, I will get a benefit from that sale (or any sale you make after such a click from that site).  Second, you have donations.  I JUST realized that the Paypal donation button I was providing was ONLY if you have a paypal account, so I have upgraded my account to a business under Living First Edition and will be folding ALL 3 blogs under that umbrella...as they are already under that Pinterest.

So, here is the new donation location, which I will be going back to add to prior posts and will add to future posts, as I get time.  Thank you.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Twitter Posts by Keyword


I have had an active Twitter account for much longer than my blogs.  However, it is the same account for all 3 blogs and my personal life.  So, it is harder to reference on the blog.  However, I wanr to provide a means of reference for it for use by blog readers.  So, here are some searches of my posts by Keyword for that site.  Many are shares from Instagram, but many are unique to there.  I hope you enjoy them and become a follower of me there (currently over 1,000 followers)...

Livingfirstedition.com

Romance
Romantic
Love
Be You
Be Yourself
Be Happy
Shine
Happy
Live Life

forwardtohappiness.blogspot.com

Narcissistic
Self Respect
Respect
Careless
Judge
Abuse
Divorce
Follow Your Bliss

runmyownlife.blogspot.com

Running
Fitness
Exercise
Positive Choices
Workout

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Don't fall for the Grace Trap

I referenced this in passing in another blog, but I feel it deserves a full blog of explanation and exploration.  It is a very common theme among those that harm and those who are harmed... ok other words.. pretty much all life's arenas.  It is the conflict of grace versus justice.

If you are like myself and my fiance and others I know, you are a compassionate person that a user... or many.. have sought out to use and abuse our kind nature as a means of getting things from us without much care of our needs.  I explained in the narcissism article why these two groups seek each other.  Users are looking for someone easy to use, and those with them are often those that feel a need to sacrifice themselves to "save" the worst of the world. ..and, then, feel they are victims of the very worst they chose to be with.

I don't say this to condemn but as a former member of the "holy" enablers, myself.  Then, I woke up and stood up for myself, as I hope all of you do.  However, when you do stand up for yourself, you will experience something universally common to all such users. ..and, sadly enough, much of society will back them against you.  They will ask for grace.  Some may be honestly sorry and others manipulative.  However, the pattern will be abuse, apology till they are free of guilt, and a repeat of abuse.  This forgiveness and permission was what they liked about you from the start, after all.  And, as I said, much of society and the church will back them and say....love unconditional and full of grace and expect you to forgive over and over and, most will ask you to forgive even without an apology, which God, Himself, does not do.

However, stop and consider something for a minute.   Of the two groups. ..those seeking grace and those seeking justice, which would contain all of those doing the harm or wanting to abuse?  How many rapists are out there asking for justice ...indeed...ANY criminal?  No, they would all fall neatly in the grace camp.  Ok... now, what about victims of those crimes or use?  Do you think victims are crying out for grace of their abuses or do they want justice?  With the exception of those that like pain and want to punish themselves, victims will fall in the camp of wanting justice.  So.... now...knowing this,  how much logic does it hold to say that those wanting grace are "good" and those wanting justice are "evil"... yet this is the message of many, today, that tells people to forgive and will condemn those who refuse to clear the wrong of their oppressors.  In full clarity, they are calling victims "evil" and the abusers "good" all for the word. ..grace.

So, don't fall for the grace trap of continuous abuse or guilt fir leaving it.  It is your life, and you deserve to be free, which even God understands in that He came to "proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free." Luke 4:18. So, follow the will of God and be happily free.

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Note.  This is the last of many posts that will go into my book to finish by year end.  There will still be activity on this blog but it will be smaller and spread out as this is compiled into the book.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Happy Happy Joy Joy (The Danger of Ultra Positivity)







In "Don't worry, Be Gloomy" of the September issue of Health magazine, they hit on an issue that I think is very needed to be addressed for the Forward to Happiness message.  Basically, while it is not healthy to dwell on negativity and is important to believe you can escape it and change your life, it is not GOOD to be unrealistically happy.  Indeed, it can be a sign of a mental illness, and I have experience that illness (mania) first hand in my ex.

I recall when I awoke from my sleep one night, after my youngest was born, to find my ex had written all over herself and was babbling about triangles.  As it turned out, this was the beginning of a post partum psychosis that would put her in a mental facility and make her unhelpful for the first two years of my youngest daughter's life.

However, after she "recovered" she would continue to have the SAME problems.  First, she would be overconfident about what she was able to do, believe she was invincible and completely right in all situations, see all opposition as being from "the devil" and that the world was against her, and she would do more and more activity and sleep less and less, till she would collapse into depression and another mental break...a cycle that happened again and again.  However, even before the break, this was the pattern...lots of activity and little concern for anyone but her herself and believing that ALL is well and perfect and awesome.  My decision to divorce her, due to her complete lack of empathy only fueled this, and it took me some time to fully grasp that it was not my leaving this hurtful situation that was causing this in her, but it was her cycle of self hurting and victimization, and I was only an unwilling participant.  ANYONE would have been the blame to whatever was not going as perfectly, as she desired.

While this is an extreme example, it is something you see in many people and groups in the world, today.  It is VERY common for people to live in self delusion.  The world is good, because they SAY it is good...because they NEED it to be good, in order to keep a mental control on their grasp of their purpose and place in the world and they NEED that place in the world to be a part of it.... because it must be about and from THEIR perspective.  And, so they sing the mantra...

Everything is Awesome Video

That song just comes to mind in thinking about this crowd...or the wayward pines mantra of, "work hard, be happy, and enjoy life in wayward pines."  No worry that you live in an insane world out of your control or your understanding.  No...just be happy.  Go with the flow.  Forgetaboutit as New Yorkers would say.  Just BELIEVE everything is great, and it will be...except, that is DENIAL and it is FICTION.

"Don't worry, be gloomy," says on page 124, "When we're overly cheerful, we tend to neglect important threats and dangers."  Also, it says, "When we're in 'everything is awesome!' mood, we're far more likely to jump to conclusions and resort to stereotypes...assume that the cute guy we've just met at the party is kind...or that we decide the bespectacled, middle aged man with a briefcase is more intelligent or reliable."

Indeed, this "halo effect" as the article calls it is responsible for a LOT of the problems that I have faced over time.  I have been criticized for believing the best in everyone, when not everyone has the best intentions....a habit I have sobered up from a lot.  The fact is that there is real threats out there, and you need a sober mind to see and address them..to see what is REALLY going on, not what you WANT to be true, before it is too late.

The fact is...you shouldn't have to and don't have to IMAGINE a kind person, when one presents itself to you or skew your perception to see the good in a really bad person. Just call it as it is, and address it as it stands in front of you.  You will save yourself a lot of stress in the long run and a lot of wasted time in finding the one that is TRULY worth it.  As the article says, "The paradox of happiness is that deliberately striving for it is fundamentally incompatible with the nature of happiness itself.  Real happiness comes through activities you engage in for their own sake rather than for some extrinsic reason." (page 125).

So, ditch the rose colored lenses of others and make decisions for your life on what you see acted out in front of you.  Judge others not by the intentions of your hopes but the reality of their deeds.  Further, don't fall for the "grace" and "mercy" pleads of those that want to keep you hanging on.  Think about it who asks for what in life.  The guilty and abusing seek "grace" and intent while the victims in life seek "justice" and action.  Make your decisions on what you desire to see, not what you want to hear.  Life is not always "awesome," and those that say it is are hiding from reality.  REAL emotion is necessary for a real CONNECTION, and isn't that what we are all after...a REAL and HAPPY life?



 


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Psychology Today Review of Narcissistists




 As I have said, I have, unfortunately, had a lot of experience with narcissistic people, but I found this issue of Psychology Today an interesting and useful read.  I would recommend it for anyone that is dealing with users or abusers or the careless in their lives

In fact, it has enlightened me about a few things.  For one, I think that I have been calling some people in my life narcissists, who were in fact psychopaths.  I will clarify...

There are two articles in this issue that relate to narcissism,  "The Real Narcissists" and "The anti-social network."  For the purpose of this post, I will only focus on the first, but the second is VERY good.  Indeed, I will finish with a quote from it.

In "The Real Narcissists," Rebecca Webber warns against mis-labeling this to be anyone that is withdrawn and focused on their own needs, stating correctly that in times of conflict, everyone gets defensive and focused on themselves.  It is not a passing argument or individual issue that defines a narcissist but a personality trait.  Further, there are two different kinds of narcissists, and this distinction I can verify, as I can see examples of both among those I have dealt with in the past.  Ms. Webber calls these two types "extroverted narcissists" and "vulnerable narcissists" and you have all seen examples of these types of personalities to one degree or another.  The extroverted narcissist "see themselves being in the top .1 percent in terms of talent, appearance, success, or all the above," (page 55) while the vulnerable narcissist sees themselves as the victim of all things and are negative about themselves.  They believe they are the "most helpful person" or "will be known for the good deeds I have done" or feel a "misunderstood genious in a world that refuses to accept their gifts." (page 57).  In other words, they are either exceptionally superior, or they are exceptionally a victim.  The point is that they are superior in their view..special..separate.  Also, their focus is ONLY upon themselves, and everything has to do with themselves.  

Sound familiar?  I have dealt with both kinds, and I have said that I believe that this is increasing in our society, an idea that is echoed by this article, as well, saying that "...the ris is a subject of fierce debate in the research community...NPI scores haven risen across generations." (page 60)  Further, I have said that I believed that the rise might have something to do with genetics, which is also verified.  On page 58 of the issue, Webber says, "One twin study found that narcissism was a highly heritable trait."  However, that was not always the case.  She says, "parenting styles, the influence of other relationships, and one's social and cultural environments can encourage (or deter) its development."  (page 58)  Further, as I have theorized, myself, she confirms that narcissistic people often couple up with enablers for their condition, who she calls "echoists."  She says, "They fear being a burden, so they can easily end up partnering with their opposite and getting stuck in the relationship."  (page 61)  She didn't go further than that, but I believe that narcissists would seek out this kind of person as their mate, because they are easily manipulated.

As I said, the second article was VERY informative, and I would suggest that you read that article, as well, but I will quote one paragraph that I feel is the most accurate description of 3 different destructive personality traits that the issue calls, "the Dark Triad."  On page 86, the article says, "Psychopathy is characterized by high impulsivity and low empathy; narcisissm is the personality trait of individuals with inflated sense of their own self worth; and Machiavelianism is characterized by manipulative and exploitave behavior."

As you reflect on that, I am sure that you, like myself, can see those 3 groups overlapping and some combination describing those destructive influences around you.

Well, I hope this helps to shine a light on a dark subject.  Most don't want to deal with destructive personalities, and they feel it is their "christian" duty to be their sacrificial lamb.  As the article warned, don't see the qualities where they exist, but don't ignore them, either.  Not everyone is "normal" and just "misunderstood."  Some are, actually, self centered assholes or those that see the ability to manipulate you as not the character flaw you see but a quality of their own actions of "success" in their mind.  Pay attention to your needs and your own happiness.  Those that are afflicted with these conditions will never see that they are "wrong"..it is contrary to their nature.  It is going to be up to you to step out from their control...or, you can continue being a holy doormat, who will NEVER be appreciated for the sacrifice.  It is up to you.




Friday, September 9, 2016

The "Shut Up and Take it" Crowd

This week I have been doing a lot of preparation for exiting my job and moving on to better and better for myself.  The move was initiated by an employee that is under me in the structure of this company that was dictating to me how she wanted things done and ignoring my direction (as manager) on placement of products, selling procedure, as well as my own initiative as manager to price the products and how to market them with signage.  Then, she started stealing sales and got some customer complaints, so I brought it up to upper management, only to have my complaints completely ignored.  They took no action against her for rule breakage, didn't counsel her to follow my lead as manager, and didn't even reply to my emails.  All of this only emboldened her to make smart ass remarks to me and to escalate her own way of doing things.  All of this...of course...led me to realize it was going to be HER way that things are done, while I was to be given the blame for the failure of her department.  She was going to dictate to me how I manage, so..I began my exit and told them up front that I was leaving.

I say all that to lead to this.  Over the course of the next week, rather than see them back their manager or even say...I understand, what I received was angry looks by co workers, upset tones of upper management, and a very negative reaction of the store's management structure.  Even as I began my exit, I located all the furniture in the system, did a new round of price reductions with new tags I placed,  confirmed all floor takes, priced new furniture, processed a customer refund, and did the whole next month's schedule.  So...of course...they were happy I was getting the department the most ready it had been in years, before I go, right?  Wrong.  If anything, the looks escalated, despite absolutely NOTHING being done wrong by me, except...wait for it...that I looked out for myself.

And, that is why this is the perfect illustration to the "shut up and take it" crowd.  This is not the first time that I have had to face this crowd in different areas of my life and by different groups.  It is, actually, very common, and it is one of my biggest bet peeves.  When I was first getting a divorce by my ex, who was treating me like shit and doing whatever she wanted with no concern for myself and abusing my good nature, I was told to shut up and take it, MANY times.  First, my EX wanted me to shut up and take it, till I got a divorce.  Then, she took the kids states away to her family and gave me very little time with my kids and made it very hard to afford to travel to see them with the child support she demanded in my under employment, but...she asked that I don't tell the kids that SHE was the reason I was not around them (shut up and take it).  Then, when she had mental problems and the children came to live with me, my ex, actually, filed a lawsuit to increase the child support I was paying her, even though she had NO KIDS living there, and I fought her back, legally, and got majority custody of them.  However, she wanted me to NOT TELL THE KIDS what she was doing, during the lawsuit, even when she SUED to ask to NOT pay child support (shut up and take it).  There have been many other such examples of this from my ex, but she was not the only one.  I have had my oldest daughter abuse my house, tuition money, support, driving, etc, but when I was protesting it, I was told to keep it quiet (shut up and take it).  Then, there was my sister who broke into my house and carried away all my things without calling to say anything about it, but the problem they had was that I said something about it (shut up and take it).  And, there have been many other examples.

In general, if anyone wants things to be kept quiet, it is usually a sign of a problem, and it is a sign of a place you should not be or a person you should not know.  People should want to be known for what they do, and, if people don't want it to be known, that means they ALREADY know they are in the wrong.  Also, if anyone is upset that you are looking out for yourself, wanting yourself to be happy, or are making wise decisions for your future, it is an indication that they don't WANT you to do those things, because they want to control you...self respect is a threat to abusers of any kind.

So, ignore the "shut up and take it" crowd can go fuck themselves, instead of fucking you.  They never warranted your concern for how they would feel, anyway.  They, obviously, don't have the same concern for you.  Ignore the haters, and go forward...to happiness.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Attracting Assholes - The Curse of the Caring

As I began to stand up for myself over the last several years, I was dealing with one narcissistic person after another.  First, there was my ex, who fits the definition to a T in that she was all about herself, without even the faintest hint of concern or care for my interest or the interests of anyone.  It wasn't that she was TRYING to cause me harm, it was that she was careless as to if I was uncomfortable and unconcerned what I needed to be happy...complete lack of empathy.  I am sure many of you out there can relate.  I have written blogs in the past about how society gives a pass to those that do not INTEND to harm you, while I think it only makes it worse.  Someone that wants to harm you is at least AWARE of you.  To be in a relationship with a narcissistic person is to be both alone (in your needs) and used (for theirs).  It is slavery.

In any case, as I pushed my way away from her, I would discover more and more narcissistic people in my life...first, my older daughter.  Then, there was my sister.  I am glad that I finally found my fiance, as well, because I was starting to think that everyone out there that could be dated was suffering the same personality flaw, as well.  So, I began to wonder...what was it that was causing me to be surrounded by so many such people?  There is the temptation to think I was misreading them.  However, my older daughter, as an adult, lived for two years in my house (after I paid for her college debt and her tuition), only to pay no bills, work no job, demand my driving her around, criticize me, and NEVER once text or email or even ASK how I was doing in my own life.  My sister literally broke into my house I was moving out of and took all my things out of it, without even ASKING for permission to enter it or to tell me she was doing it or that she did it.  I only found out AFTER by asking if they knew anything about it.  Then, busted, they refused to apologize and, upon my demanding an apology, broke all communication with me.  This fits, though, considering my sister had not EVER traveled to visit me or my daughters at my house or texted or messaged me to find out how I was doing, as well.

So, upon reflection, the facts bare out that yes...I was surrounded by assholes.  I believe that ALL that start to stand up for themselves, after a life of servitude to enabling their own abuse will see the same thing happen in their own life.  Here's the problem....we are nice.  I have had a LOT of people tell me I am too nice.  Many tell me that I give people too many chances and let them get away with too much stuff.  That is starting to change and THAT is the unifying fact, behind all these stories.

Here is what I think.  Consider the narcissist.  They do not care about the needs or wants of others.  They are ONLY interested in what THEY want.  So, what kind of person are they going to choose to be around...someone that stands up for themselves and says no or someone that is nice and gives them a pass.  Considering that question, I see exactly why my life became surrounded by assholes.  I was literally their bait.  When a caring person goes out into the world and says...I care and will sacrifice myself for others, ALL the narcissistic people says...aha...my kind of person.  Indeed, they don't even see this as a character flaw or even NOTICE that it is bad for the person they intend to use.  No ...to them, they are "just being myself" and found someone that "works with me"....to put it simply, the abuser seeks out someone they can most easily use.  It reminds me of when I was a security guard, and they asked...what kind of place will a robber want to steal from...a guarded car or house or one without a guard.  The very presence of a hard or security system deters criminals, and the presence of SELF RESPECT deters the narcissist.

So, yes...as you start to wake up to self respect and stand up for yourself, you will have to go through a period of house cleaning of those that call themselves your "friends" but REALLY just find you an easy target to use and care nothing for what YOU want or need in your life.  It will piss a lot of them off that "suddenly" you want them to care, and they know that is not who they ARE as a person and what they cannot provide.  However, you have to look out for you, no one else will.

However, this is not to say not to be caring.  A caring heart IS a treasure.  What it means is that you shouldn't be unequally matched in what you give with what you give.  Provide to others the same amount of care that they give to you.  Honor those that care with more time and attention and effort than those that do not give you those things.  In the end, it is simply true that not everyone deserves the treasure that you are, and only those worthy should even get to see your heart.

Forward to Happiness / Godwitch / Run My Own Life Pinterest