Thursday, March 29, 2007

On Your Feelings

I address the victims of narcissistic abusers here. But this can warn their friends about how hurtful the stock responses to their pain are. If you are the friend of an abused person, don't make it worse. If you can't say what comes naturally and honestly, it would be better to say nothing at all than to say what sounds right because it's politically correct.

'He who angers you controls you.'


That popular adage does not pass a basic nonsense check. Look, it says that good boys and girls are numb so that nobody can make them feel an emotion. It is also exactly anti-logical, blaming the victim. It pathologizes you, the victim of the narcissist, instead of the narcissist.

Stuff like this is my pet peeve. Once you start noticing how much political correctness is anti-logic, you can't help but wonder (with Mark Twain) whether anybody examines an idea before swallowing it whole.

We should be more careful what we let into our minds (The Garden) than what we let into our bodies. Rot like that adage does great added harm to the victims of abuse. First the narcissist outrages you till you want to scream. Then the do-gooders come along and tell you your outrage is a sin. Now, if that ain't the Sin of Sodom (making someone bend over for it), I don't know what is.

But don't take my word for it. Think for yourself.

The reasoning goes like this: So, the narcissist's abuse is nothing to get angry about? You are to act as though it didn't happen? In other words, you are to make nothing of it, right?

Wrong. For, if it is nothing, then you are nothing. Why? Because everybody knows that if I bash an object, that's nothing, but if I bash a human being, that's something. If I step on a bug, that's nothing, but if I step on a human being, that's something.

Yet, no matter what, the do-gooders just don't get it — till they're the one that gets bashed. Then they see the degrading value judgment in making nothing of it.

By telling you to make nothing of it, they are telling you that abusing you was nothing. That means you are nothing. Indeed, if your abuser bashed your automobile, they wouldn't tell you to make nothing of it, would they? An automobile is a thing of value, so harm done to it requires reparation. But, harm done to you is nothing, eh? What a dehumanizing value judgment.

And it lands on top of the one the narcissist dumped on you. Feel better now?

First he got on your back, and now they pile on too. The holier-than-thous should be criticizing the abuser's behavior, not the victim's. There's a name for people like that, "Job's Comforters" or "troublesome comforters." [See The Book of Job.] That's what I mean when I say that people saying stuff like this do more harm than good. Pound, pound, pound, they all pound you down with that club that says Doing that to you was nothing = You are nothing. And it's a sin for you to not cover up for him by acting like it didn't happen.

Just what you needed to hear, right? So, who's side are they really on? whether they realize it or not? Hard to take, isn't it? What a heartless thing to do to someone already down.

Why can't they just break down and say that it causes them sorrow to hear what was done to you and that it really sucked? Then all they'd have to do is act like you mean something to them. Why is that asking too much? Why do you get all that other crap instead?

Sometimes I think they just don't want your sad face to rain on their day. I think it's for their sake that they want you to take Prozac. They just want you to make it go away, to act like it didn't happen.

If it's a sin to even be angry about degrading treatment, then what can you do to contradict the value judgment in it? Nothing. If merely feeling an emotion is stepping off the straight-and-narrow, what could they give you permission to do? Nothing!

Ah, it seems to me that the one whose hands they should tie is your abuser, not you. This way they are accessories to mayhem.

The more you think about it, the more ridiculous the moralizing gets, doesn't it? Parrots who get their morality from prime-time TV thus deny you the most basic human right — the right to protect yourself. Just what kind of person would docilely accept abuse? would make nothing of it? A person who thinks he or she is entitled to better treatment? A person who thinks anything of him- or her-self? A person with any self-respect? any dignity? integrity? a backbone? If you are the victim of a narcissist, you know that your anger is your assertion of your self-worth.

Sounders like to sound good by making others sound bad for not taking an affront to their human dignity as though it were nothing. Is that not rubbing the victim's nose in it? That's what it feels like. It's no longer just the narcissist abusing you, the whole world piles on to stifle your objection. This overwhelming pressure is what breaks the victim's back, forcing him to join in the zero valuation of himself. The result of this self-betrayal is self hatred. Which is precisely what drives so many victims of narcissists to needing psychiatric help themselves.

A word for those who think this is what their God wants them to do: Run a logic check on that one too. Is docilely submitting to abuse supposed to be holy? Uneducated Joan of Arc at the age of eighteen could reason that if God made her, and God doesn't make trash, she should fight to keep others from trashing her. It would be letting others trash a gift from Him.

An analogy: If God gives you a Jaguar, you show how much you appreciate his gift by letting others take a sledge-hammer to it? And He is supposed to be pleased with you for not even getting angry about it? I don't think so. Straight thinking says that those who believe in God should be angrier than those who don't. Moreover, why should the rules be different in moral rape than physical rape? Isn't the victim supposed to be outraged? If it doesn't make her mad, we say she liked it. And what do we call her?

So, if specious pontifications like the one at the top have you on a guilt trip, get off.

Feelings are not conduct. No clear-thinking person should confuse feelings with conduct. Conduct is a matter of choice. Feelings are not a matter of choice. So, the notion that feelings can be "right" or "wrong" is absurd. They just ARE, period. Indeed, if you get burned, you should feel burnt. If you don't, something is wrong with you.

Others should not judge your feelings. I do not understand why those who believe in God are the most prone to do this, for it out-gods their God (who, according to their scriptures, judges conduct only). Judging feelings is in itself a narcissistic behavior. In doing so, do-gooders are serving as a proxy for your abuser.

You can lie about your feelings. You can go into denial about them. And you can even repress them. But you cannot change them.

Denying or repressing feelings is a lie. Now that is a matter of choice, and lying is bad for you. It's self delusion. It's a kind of self-induced hypnosis to a state of emotional numbness. Not mentally healthy. Repressed feelings are merely submerged to the level of the subconscious. But the subconscious is just subconscious: it's not gone. Things buried there are still active. They influence and motivate your behavior without your knowledge. In other words, repressed feelings rule your conduct like an unseen puppet master. Thus, ironically, it is by getting you to deny your anger that the narcissist controls you.

Accept your feelings. Own them. Know them. Experience the tremendous relief and comfort in that. Then you can temper their influence on your conduct with reason and good judgment. You are responsible for your conduct — your words and deeds — not your feelings. Just because you are angry does not mean you are out of control of yourself as that stupid saying implies. It is the narcissist who has no self-control, not his or her victim.

Your anger, like any pain, will pass. If someone punches you, he is to blame for your pain, not you. By the same token, the one to blame for your anger is your abuser, not you.

Kathleen Krajco