Sam Vaknin’s Instagram Epigrams (archive only)
Narcissism with Vaknin on Instagram (active account)
Absent the other two forms of closure, victims of egregious and prolonged mistreatment tend to repress their painful memories. In extremis, they dissociate. The Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) - formerly known as "Multiple Personality Disorder" - is thought to be such a reaction
The harrowing experiences are "sliced off", tucked away, and attributed to "another personality". Sometimes, the victim "assimilates" his or her tormentor, and even openly and consciously identifies with him. This is the narcissistic defence. In his own anguished mind, the victim becomes omnipotent and, therefore, invulnerable. He or she develops a False Self. The True Self is, thus, shielded from further harm and injury.
According to psychodynamic theories of psychopathology, repressed content rendered unconscious is the cause of all manner of mental health disorders. The victim thus pays a hefty price for avoiding and evading his or her predicament.
Read about the other two forms of closure here: https://samvak.tripod.com/abuse17.html
can be a feel good expression of libido, the energy of an exuberant, ebullient,
self-confident, and optimistic life. But it can also be a desperate attempt to
restore a self-esteem shattered by rejection and abuse
In the second case, the psychosexual etiology is completely different: sex occurs even when the libido is absent, inhibited, or suppressed by alcohol or by depression and anxiety.
When sex is a manifestation of a treasured life, well-lived and cherished, it involves both self-gratification and a mutual celebration. It signals contentment.
When sex is restorative, aimed to fulfil and reconstitute direly missing psychological functions, it is self-centered and goal-oriented, not joyful or desired. It communicates desperation.
I am a guest in my own existence, a
tourist, politely observing the scenery and the passersby. At times, I strike a
mildly intimate conversation, but never too deep and never too painful. Getting
attached is a fatal luxury which I cannot afford.
Perchance I try to invade someone else's life and appropriate it. I ingratiate myself, act helpful, single-mindedly focus on their history and needs.
But I always recoil when they reciprocate: bonding has a toxic, deadening aspect that I endeavour to elude.
And so I keep losing everyone I love, sometimes in short order, often corporeally. Not because I refuse to commit, but because I decline to be.
People find this tantalizing evasiveness frustrating and infuriating: I have so much to give and I withhold it with a fierce reflex which they experience as both hurtful and inexplicable.
And in the meantime, I am always and profoundly all alone. An involuntary solipsist. A star without planetary companions or nearby peers. In the vast and dark distances of my existence, there is no light to my years, only the silent grind of space debris, forever circling the void that's me.
cascade" is when a seemingly minor trigger results in vastly
Painful memories, replete with the attendant negative emotions, are walled behind mental barriers: combinations of dams and firewalls.
Sometimes even an innocuous mishap or a merely unpleasant event rupture these defenses and decades of hurt are released in an avalanche that, at times, can be life threatening.
Narcissists and psychopaths are dreamwreckers: they are particularly adept at provoking triggering cascades by aggressively and contemptuously frustrating both individual and social expectations, cherished and life-sustaining hopes, deeply held beliefs, and ingrained fantasies and values.
Their lack of empathy, innate, goal focused cruelty and ruthlessness, absent impulse control, and mind boggling recklessness create a whiplash of shock and disorientation coupled with agony and a pervasive feeling of being existentially negated. Intolerable angst is the inevitable outcome.
I never set boundaries in my relationships
with women, never establish rules as to right and wrong, never make
demands, or let my women know what I find unacceptable. I cannot be bothered:
it is too energy consuming and no one is worth the effort or my precious time.
When my women cheat on me, abandon our togetherness, misbehave, betray me, undermine my career, or publicly humiliate me - and they all did and do all of the above, at one time or another - I sit back and observe their misconduct. It is the most efficient and fastest way to find out the truth about their personalities, motivations, and what they truly feel.
Sometimes - when I want to get rid of a woman - I would encourage her transgressions and peccadilloes. Women are especially caught off guard when they try to triangulate with other men - make me jealous - and I egg them on, or even aid and abet their flirting and sexual dalliances with their targets. I make sure it looks as if I couldn't care less.
I don't fight losing wars. Life is too short to put my eggs in any basket. I move on, swift as the wind, attached to no one, invested in nothing, committed to my own wellbeing and nothing else.
If a woman wants in on the ride, she is welcome: I am a delightful and caring partner. But the minute she wants off, she is free to go. I distrust policing and coercion as relationship management tools. And I insist on being accepted precisely as I am: a "take it or leave it" package deal. I change for no one and on no account.
Women perceive my indifference as a lack of interest or even misogyny. In truth, though my heart is shattered time and again, I do not lift a finger to prevent my woman from eloping with another man or from otherwise opting out of our union. Hostages and prisoners and the frustrated make for poor intimate partners and companions. I uphold unbridled and unmitigated freedom as the foundation of any healthy human interaction, especially in a relationship of love and mutual respect.
Even the most militant feminist emancipated career woman
is, at heart, a medieval
princess, awaiting for the knight in shining armor (or the modern
equivalent) to awaken her from her solitary slumber.
To curry sexual favor with women - let alone gain emotional access and leverage - men have to withstand the onerous tests of courtship and mating rituals. Men have to act attentive, courteous, fawning (but not too overtly), desirous (but not too vulgar), always available, and almost singlemindedly obsessed with their quarry at all times.
This ostentatious dedication, the breathless pursuit and relentless chase serve a few evolutionary goals. Mainly, this obstacle course provides the woman with invaluable information about the qualities of the eligible male as a protector and provider, a potential husband and a father: is he persistent, reliable, resilient, a patient hunter, committed, devoted, besotted, sexual, strategizes cleverly, willing to fend off encroaching males, competitive, assertive, supportive, emotive, and so on. It is a form of “virtue signalling”.
These evolutionary imperatives and reflexes are ingrained and are at play even in one night stands or during casual sex. Women often end up bedding men they consider "wrong" or even "repulsive" the morning after precisely because millions of years of nature took over and trumped nurture, environment, and societal mores.
and psychopaths become aggressive and devaluing when their unrealistic
expectations and impossible fantasies are - inevitably! - thwarted and
Then they proceed to annihilate the unwitting and hapless sources of their frustration: the people they hold responsible for quashing their hopes and forestalling their dreams, even if manifestly through no fault of their own.
The victims of such whiplash are shocked and disoriented by the rapid cycling and transition from being cherished, cared for, or even love-bombed - to being raged at, hated, betrayed, undermined, and abused.
But narcissists and psychopaths are also callous and ruthless purveyors of dreams, hopes, fantasies, and wishes. They promise to change the usually dreary, miserable, and lonely lives of their victims for the infinitely better. They coerce their targets to collude in shared psychoses and to make irreparable sacrifices and irrevocable decisions.
With their prey or target driven to the point of no return with bridges burned and emotions evoked as well as other people impacted - the narcissist or psychopath suddenly loses interest in the chase or the conquest, becomes cold, distant, and detached or even hostile and verbally abusive. Devalue and discard soon follow.
empathy, narcissists and psychopaths scan for vulnerabilities, traumas,
pains, and weaknesses in others: frailties and chinks in the armor through
which to invade and penetrate the defenses of potential sources of supply or
These predators tend to carelessly, off-handedly, absentmindedly, and sometimes, sadistically, push all the buttons and realize the worst nightmares of their quarries, the scenarios their victims dread most. To narcissists and psychopaths, people who have outrun their usefulness are mere collateral damage with an expiry date.
Once in a blue moon, the narcissist or psychopath encounters his match: one of his kind
The narcissist or psychopath then becomes the prey, abused, betrayed, humiliated, shunned, or abandoned altogether
The worst fears of the narcissist or psychopath and the most terrifying outcomes are thus rendered surrealistic facts and the resulting narcissistic injury and traumatic shock are so extreme that some narcissists decompensate and disintegrate
In extreme cases of abuse, the narcissist or psychopath on the receiving end of the taste if his own medicine develops suicidal ideation and experiences psychotic microepisodes.
Swipe to the left to see the breakfast room at The Palace Hotel in Zagreb,
Beautiful structure. Pity about the guests.
Smack in the center of this city, not far from everywhere and everything that count (look it up online). Two days here, back home, then, next week, London, to participate in a documentary.
Only traumatic, horrible things ever happened to me on British soil, so, understandably, I am apprehensive. Thank god for Brexit!
stink? Are your body odors overpowering and nauseating?
1. Ask someone you trust to be truthful if you smell noxious and from which precincts of your body
2. Inhale the wafting aroma of hot coffee for 3 minutes and then smell all parts of your body, your clothing, and your shoes.
Coffee resets the smell buds in the nose: it "reboots" the nose.
3. Newborns react strongly to body odors. Because they cannot fully see in the first few months, they compensate with a much stronger sense of smell. If a baby does not protest strongly when held, it means the person holding the baby in her arms is possessed of a good smell.
4. Finally, women find some female body odors offensive even as men find these smells attractive and arousing. Similarly, women get turned on by male perspiration and by other scents that men find objectionable.
The Cheshire cat left only its smile behind. Online content cannot
manage even that. Thousands of articles and essays posted by hundreds of
authors were lost forever when themestream.com surprisingly shut its virtual
gates. A sizable portion of the 1960 census, recorded on UNIVAC II-A tapes, is
now inaccessible. Web hosts crash daily, erasing in the process valuable
content. Access to web sites is often suspended - or blocked altogether -
because of a real (or imagined) violation by the webmaster of the host's Terms
of Service (TOS). Millions of other web sites - the results of collective,
multi-annual, transcontinental efforts - contain unique stores of information
in the form of databases, articles, discussion threads, and links to other web
sites. Consider "Central Europe Review". Its archives comprise more
than 2500 articles and essays about every conceivable aspect of Central and
Eastern Europe and the Balkan. It is one of countless such collections.
Similar and much larger treasures have perished since the dawn of the digital age in the 1920's. Very few early radio and TV programs have survived, for instance. The current "digital dark age" can be compared only to the one which followed the torching of the Library of Alexandria. The more accessible and abundant the information available to us - the more devalued and common it becomes and the less institutional and cultural memory we seem to possess. In the battle between paper and screen, the former has won formidably. Newspaper archives, dating back to the 1700's are now being digitized - testifying to the endurance, resilience, and longevity of paper.
of a decapitated person continues to produce brain waves recordable by EEG
3-8 seconds after the head is severed. Is the person conscious?
A study (Mikeska and Klemm, 1975) reported an EGG trace in the decapitated heads of rats of up 30 seconds (on average - 14 seconds). Allred and Berntson (1986) and Vanderwolf et al. (1988) dismissed that as LVFA (low voltage fast activity), not necessarily indicative of consciousness or distress.
Holson (1992) reviewed the literature and found that decapitation triggers 2-4 seconds of slow direct current EEG trace followed by 10-13 seconds of an LVFA trace. When the rats were anesthetized the LVFA trace lasted longer - proving that it had nothing to do with consciousness.
Still, numerous anecdotes recounted by eyewitnesses support the theory that consciousness survives in the first 2-6 seconds and that some decapitated persons even realize their predicament to their utter horror.
Dissonance" is form of cognitive dissonance: simultaneously harboring
two or more conflicting pieces of information or contradictory thoughts
The volitional variant is when we act in ways which we perceive to be akratic, immoral, or antisocial, rather than phronetic. When we perceive our actions to have been the outcomes of akrasia (weak willed misbehavior contrary to our best judgment) and not of phronesis (good judgment, excellence of character, habits conducive to eudaimonia - a good life - and practical virtue)
Dissonance is intolerable. We resolve it by using a variety of, mostly alloplastic psychological defense mechanisms - like displacement or rationalization - and narrative solutions, such as reframing
We also tend to externalize the locus of control (and thus our agency, self-control, autonomy, or free will in the matter): It wasn't my fault, something or someone made me do it or inexorably and irresistibly led to what happened!
Other dissonances include:
Emotional Dissonance (aka ambivalence): experiencing two opposing emotions (such as love and hate) which are elicited by the same object;
Axiological Dissonance occurs when two dearly upheld and deeply felt values are incompatible;
Deontic Dissonance is a subspecies of this dissonance:
when one has two irreconcilable duties or obligations;
An Attitudinal Dissonance is an inner conflict between two internalized beliefs, attitudes, statements or propositions held to be true.
I never treat
women as princesses. Not even when I want them as prostitutes, or as a
fawning audience, or as providers of homemaking services (which are the only
three ways I ever want them). I treat women and communicate with them exactly
as I treat men and communicate with them: transactional, brainy, efficient,
goal-oriented, precise with words, intolerant of stupidity or errors, and not
willing to make any concessions or behave in any special way just because they
I can be emotional but even then it comes out somehow as though I am a detached, distant, and amused observer.
This is what women mean when they keep insisting that I am "not a man", or that I do not exude a "man vibe". I relate to them as I do to MEN
In my presence, women feel defeminized, desexualized, and, therefore, dehumanized and objectified (as sex toys or as passive adulators)
When a woman shows interest in a man or reciprocates his advances, the typical man is transformed.
He reacts by eagerly flirting with the woman like she was the most amazing, fascinating, irresistible, miraculous, and desired creature that ever entered his life.
The presence of a woman makes him a man.
The presence of a woman means nothing whatsoever to me if she fails to provide me with sex, admiration, or homemaking services. She is then rendered instantly useless and a waste of my resources. I could not be bothered with her. She becomes a drag and a nuisance, subject to frustration and aggressive abuse intended to get rid of her.
is such a primordial and basic need that, when deprived of it for prolonged
periods of time, people are driven to despondence and seek substitutes, even in
Instant intimacy, fake intimacy, simulated intimacy, and transient intimacy are all widely preferred to no intimacy at all. Hence the skyrocketing incidence of casual sex and the pervasiveness of dating and cheating apps. Intimacy with anyone whosoever is vastly better than no intimacy whatsoever.
When starved for intimacy, people con themselves into shared psychoses with others, abuse substances to dull their senses and remove inhibitions, somatize intimacy (use sex to feel intimate), or reframe intimacy (for example: by joining cults or reference groups). In extreme cases of recurrent failures to generate intimacy, people resort to self-intimacy: a solipsistic and schizoid attempt to become their own best friends and companions in lieu of the frustrating objects out there.
The self-intimate glorify aloneness within an ideology of personal autonomy, agency, and self-sufficiency. They interpret feeling lonely and the need for significant others as weaknesses of character and zealously castigate both as forms of social control, chauvinism, patriarchy, feminism, or pathological self-delusion. Narcissistic self-intimates conflate separateness with uniqueness and accomplishment.
According to my new theory of addiction,
addictive behaviors are the normal state, underpinned by vast dedicated
structures in the brain. Addictions are positive, advantageous, and
self-efficacious evolutionary adaptations whose role is to resolve several
types of dissonances.
Like every other healthy mental process, things can go awry, though. When carried to extreme, addictive routines become self-destructive and self-defeating. They coalesce and interact with other maladaptive traits and behaviors, such as grandiosity, defiance, rage, depression, delusions, and anxiety.
The way we treat addiction is all wrong. No wonder that the rates of relapse and recidivism are sky high and that recovery is thus rendered a lifelong endeavor. One addiction often replaces another.
The correct way to treat addiction is to encourage the addict to adopt a healthy, disciplined, goal-focused, self-nurturing variant of his or her addiction. There is no point in trying to eradicate the addiction: it fulfils too many important psychodynamic roles too well. Instead, the addict should learn how to control, manage, and regulate his behavioral patterns and his dependency.
An alcoholic, for example. should be taught and trained how to drink responsibly - not how to abstain and go sober altogether. A narcissist should be coached to extract narcissistic supply from his sources without harming and traumatizing them. Shopaholics and gamblers should institute reinforcements and reward themselves for perspicacious money management. Workaholics should merge life and work seamlessly.
There is no shred of evidence that any addiction is a chronic disease. Natural selection would have long eliminated addictions if they did not play a positive role in the survival of the species. Time to begin to accept addictions as powerful therapeutic tools - not as demonic entities to be vitiated.
Both men and women are devastated when their intimate
partner, significant other, or spouse cheats. Men react badly as
they keep replaying the lurid visuals of the sex act. Women are heartbroken by
the intimacy that is involved even in casual sex.
But both men and women mourn the trust lost as a result, the friendship abandoned, the betrayal, the callous indifference to the partner's hurt, the inevitable deception and the egregious lies.
Somehow, somewhere along the line, the other man or woman, the long-term lover or even the one night stand became the locus and focus of affection, attention, and loyalty, a co-conspirator against the ostensibly loved one and the provider of both intimacy and sex: hitherto exclusive domains of the couple.
Sexual and emotional exclusivity constitute a statement regarding the uniqueness and importance of the relationship and one's mate. To share oneself with another is to inform your partner in no uncertain terms that she or he had lost their privileged position in one's life and are interchangeable and replaceable.
Add to this the sense of failure and inadequacy and the impotent fury at having so badly misjudged one's partner, having so thoroughly deceived oneself and been led astray, granting her or him unfettered access to the most vulnerable parts of one's life and the power to reduce one's heart to smithereens.
There is never a real and full recovery from such perfidy. Some codependent couples survive, hobbled by the terrible memories. But the majority of unions disintegrate under the relentless pressure of the revelations about the true nature of one's partner and his or her specious misconduct. When it comes to relationships, cheating is the equivalent of first degree murder: there is no statute of limitations and no way to undo the ubiquitous ruination.
The Library at the Hazlitt's in Soho, London. I am staying here for 2 nights: an interview, participating in yet another documentary, a Funzing lecture, and dinner with a former client. Hectic neckbreaking schedule.
broken women develop low self-esteem. They are afraid to be judged by
potential mates as wanting, dysfunctional, and defective. They are sure that
they are bound to disappoint and frustrate otherwise eligible partners. The
"nice guy" is a constant hurtful and infuriating reminder of their
inadequacies and broken dreams.
It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course. The woman's anxiety, emotional dysregulation, and catastrophizing translate into despair, aggression, and acting out.
She may preemptively abandon her loving, kind, and generous partner and elope with a "bad guy" that she both deserves and knows how to handle. She may trash herself and engage in reckless behaviors. Or she may act passive-aggressively and undermine any incipient intimacy and budding relationship, precipitating the very rejection that she so dreads (approach-avoidance repetition compulsion)
I thought if I have a good and beautiful wife and nice kids and a comfortable house, I will be at peace ... But I've got too much damage, and too many needs. Putting a picket fence around me won't make me into a whole person." ("Magic Hour" by Susan Isaacs)
The Madonna-Whore Complex is more aptly renamed: The Mother-Slut Complex. It is well documented: some men relate to some women as saintly, immaculate, dignified, and supremely moral homemakers and childbearers. In short: mothers who should never be subjected to sex, defiling and incestuous as it is. They crave the constant presence of these women, but not their bodies. They feel repelled and threatened when these women demand their due. While they often abuse these women, both verbally and otherwise, they are committed to them financially and emotionally in the long run and form stable, albeit sexless dyads and families with them.
The same men view all other women as sluts and whores, worthy of the degradation inherent in sex. They fantasize about them and lust after them. They coerce them into sex if they cannot get their way with these females otherwise. But they would rather just dispense with the intercourse and be gone. The post-coital presence of these women is an embarrassing reminder of the human frailties of these men and of their "corruption" and "fall from grace". They invest only the minimum necessary in these women, both financially and emotionally ("maintenance level") and are not committed to the resultant relationships. Still, they are rarely abusive to them gratuitously.
reactance characterizes Psychopaths, Borderlines, trauma victims (PTSD and
CPTSD), and people with mood disorders and impulse control issues. They
escalate every conflict, however minor or imaginary, to the level of nuclear,
apocalyptic, all-annihilating warfare and make disproportionate use of every
weapon in their arsenal simultaneously. Defiance, posturing, hostility,
aggression, recklessness, and abuse are part and parcel of these recurrent
pitched battles with one and sundry: all bridges are burnt and relationships
are shattered hurtfully and irrevocably.
In contrast, the reactions of healthy people are differential, in kind, and proportional, weighing the consequences and correcting course every step of the confrontation.
If your psychotherapy is painLESS - change your therapist. Professionally administered and efficacious psychotherapy is not about getting advice. The therapist is not your best friend, avuncular guru, or bespectacled and loving granny. Therapy is about dismantling and forgoing: defendes, narratives, habits, cognitions, deepset behaviors, & emotions. It is about unearthing long buried & traumatic content. And, most important, it is about wrenching & agonizing change.
Victims of abuse are saddled with emotional baggage which often provokes even in the most experienced therapists reactions of helplessness, rage, fear and guilt. Countertransference is common: therapists of both genders identify with the victim and resent her for making them feel impotent and inadequate (for instance, in their role as "social protectors"). Reportedly, to fend off anxiety and a sense of vulnerability ("it could have been me, sitting there!"), female therapists involuntarily blame the "spineless" victim and her poor judgement for causing the abuse. Some female therapists concentrate on the victim's childhood (rather than her harrowing present) or accuse her of overreacting.
Male therapists may assume the mantle of the "chivalrous rescuer", the "knight in the shining armour" – thus, inadvertently upholding the victim's view of herself as immature, helpless, in need of protection, vulnerable, weak, and ignorant. The male therapist may be driven to prove to the victim that not all men are "beasts", that there are "good" specimen (like himself). If his (conscious or unconscious) overtures are rejected, the therapist may identify with the abuser and re-victimise or pathologise his patient.
Women think that they own me, have power over me, can manipulate me.
They offer me sex.
They offer me "love"
When this fails ... They triangulate with other men, cheat.
And to their utter shock they find out that ... Nothing works with me.
No strategy or stratagem.
No plan or subterfuge.
Nothing women do to me or withhold from me has even a minimal effect on me.
I win all power plays with women.
Simple: I refuse to play them, I decline to participate.
I do not care
I give my women so much freedom that I am absent.
And enough rope to hang themselves if this is what they wish.
Unlike all other men - I have ZERO NEED for any SPECIFIC woman
I only need A WOMAN, ANY woman, a female presence.
Anyone who looks good, has the requisite genitals, and also gives me access to her body, serves me, and adulates me - fits the job description.
And I give back generously: I am supportive and caring and provide well and show interest and promote and help.
That is the deal I strike, the transaction.
When women discover that they have ZERO power over me, that I do not care what they do and with whom, that I give up on their sex and love as easily as I change socks - they go apeshit, they hate my guts, they want to destroy me.
I do not allow anyone - man or woman - to have any hold over me.
I do not allow any place, language, memory, affiliation, ANYTHING of any kind to have any power over me.
I have't seen my parents, been back to Israel, or spoken my mother tongue, Hebrew, since 1996.
And I couldn't care less.
I say only what I mean and intend.
I intend and mean every single thing I say.
Take it - or leave
I am heartbroken only when women betray my friendship.
But I react in an identical manner when I am betrayed by male friends.
Body Dysmorphia or Labile Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a phenomenon I come
across in my practice more and more often. Women (and, far less often, men)
misjudge the shape of their bodies or parts of their anatomy and see them
sometimes as flawed or defective and at other times as irresistibly perfect.
A client with Labile Body Dysmorphia will point at herself and say: "I could get any man I want". Minutes later she would complain bitterly about how repulsive and deformed her body is or had become.
This fluctuation between ego-dystonic self-loathing and ego-syntonic histrionic grandiosity are both facets of a severely impaired reality test.
The problem is that such delusionality often yields reckless and self-destructive behavior, disinhibition, substance abuse, eating disorders, and severe impairment of impulse control. The person afflicted with Labile Body Dysmorphic Disorder seeks to affirm her fantastically grandiose view of her body via unbridled promiscuity.
These risky choices often land her in hot water, endanger her, and profoundly affect her relationships with nearest, dearest, and loved ones.
and simplicity are often, and intuitively, regarded as two extremes of the
same continuum, or spectrum. Yet, this may be a simplistic view, indeed.
Simple procedures (codes, programs), in nature as well as in computing, often yield the most complex results. Where does the complexity reside, if not in the simple program that created it? A minimal number of primitive interactions occur in a primordial soup and, presto, life. Was life somehow embedded in the primordial soup all along? Or in the interactions? Or in the combination of substrate and interactions?
Complex processes yield simple products (think about products of thinking such as a newspaper article, or a poem, or manufactured goods such as a sewing thread). What happened to the complexity? Was it somehow reduced, "absorbed, digested, or assimilated"? Is it a general rule that, given sufficient time and resources, the simple can become complex and the complex reduced to the simple? Is it only a matter of computation?
Continued here: https://samvak.tripod.com/complex.html
Exactly like one's personality, mental illness is
all-pervasive and an integral part of one's identity. Over the years, the
disorder becomes an organizing and explanatory principle, which imbues life
with meaning and goal-focused direction. Mental illness is addictive and
encourages cathexis (emotional investment). It also absolves the patient of
responsibility for hurtful misbehavior and allows him to manipulate and extort
loved ones and others into compliance and abetting misconduct. Mental illness
is, therefore, a useful tool for ascertaining desirable outcomes in his or her
human and institutional environment.
One oft-overlooked aspect of derangement is that mental illness constitutes a comfort zone: familiar, safe, and anxiolytic. Healing, therefore, is perceived as a threat. Hence therapeutic phenomena such as resistances, abreaction, and transference.
The healed mental patient has lost his or her crutches: s/he feels disoriented, helpless, inefficacious, and confused ("brain fog"). Many treated patients panic, decompensate, and act out recklessly and dysempathically.
In a way curing mental illness requires the patient to endure multiple traumas and to develop narcissistic and psychopathic defenses.
The Myth of Mental Illness https://samvak.tripod.com/mentalillness.html
We do not get attached to people because
of who they are. We fall in love and bond with others only when they cater to
our emotional and physical needs and because they do. When they no longer
fulfil this role efficaciously, we move on. Discarding the old and ushering in
its substitute involves heartbreak, anger, and grief, true. But, still: we are
all totally interchangeable and replaceable. "Mr. Right", the perfect
match is a mere dating app matchmakers' myth
Being relegated to the trash heap of a relationship and witnessing how seamlessly your loved one has transitioned to the next provider is possibly the worst narcissistic injury imaginable: it profoundly challenges one's sense of uniqueness and, therefore, lovability. It is an existential threat mediated via the deepest loss. It provokes a host of infantile defenses such as splitting, immature behaviors such as clinging, raw and dysregulated emotions, such as jealousy and rage, and even paranoid and suicidal ideation. In extreme cases it can lead to clinical (major) depression, decompensation, reckless acting out, and reactive psychosis.
is founded on personal narratives that in actual romantic interactions and
especially in sex, translate into role plays.
As the name implies, role plays involve archetypal roles which conform to one's self-story: the princess in distress, the knight savior, the nurturing mother, the hapless victim in grave danger, the obedient violated daughter, the avuncular father figure, and so on.
We are turned on sexually only with a partner who fits the script in appearance and mentally and who collaborates by acting his role. The greater his thespian skills, verbal agility, imagination, and creativity - the more heightened and addictive the sexual gratification
In rare cases, some people harbor two equipotent and mutually exclusive narratives (for example: whore and mother, victim and in control). This generates extreme dissonance every time the individual falls in love or gets infatuated or sexually attracted.
The aim in therapy is to integrate the two narratives and fuse them seamlessly. This is done by creating, with the patient's active participation, an overarching meta narrative that comprises crucial but non-contradictory elements of both erstwhile opposing tales.
imprints everything and everyone involved or present in the stressful
event, however tangentially. Places, people, smells, sounds, circumstances,
objects, dates, and categories of the above, all get "stamped" with
the traumatic experience.
Trauma imprinting is at the core of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), CPTSD (Complex PTSD), and triggering. Triggers are places, people, smells, sounds, circumstances, dates, or objects that are reminiscent of the same classes of stressors involved in the original trauma and evoke them.
Many exposure and retraumatization therapies (including, most recently, the treatment modality that I developed, Cold Therapy) make use of trauma imprinting to generate new, less stressful and less panic- or anxiety-inducing associations between extant triggers and thus to induce integration of the haywire emotions involved in the primary situation.
Arguably, some moral or altruistic conduct
is, indeed, motivated by one’s egotistical (self-interested, but not
necessarily selfish) desire to feel good and kind, or to do good, or to be
rewarded, or to avoid punishment and opprobrium. But, most acts of altruism are
driven by the wish or need to satisfy one’s desire to bring benefits to others
and to enhance their well-being. Altruistic and empathic behaviours (or even
mere sentiments), therefore, render dubious the claim that all
desire-satisfaction is self-interested, or selfish (though it may well be
pleasurable as a by-product.) Morality is irrational. It requires us to suspend
reflexes, emotions, and self-interest. It is not an appeal to our "higher
nature" - it is simply not natural.
Consider one's behavioral options in a sexless and loveless marriage: to divorce the withholding partner (the ethical and right thing to do) - or to engage in serial adultery and cheat on him repeatedly (the rational thing to do). Divorce carries enormous personal costs: financial, social, in reduced access to one's children, in terms of the lost companionship and friendship of the partner. Important psychological functions are disrupted: one's intimate partner often fulfills the roles of parent, child, guru, rock, and the object of one's pity. The fabric of togetherness woven out of calendared rituals and rites is torn asunder.
It is much easier and cost effective to stray and promiscuously seek love, intimacy, sex, and adrenaline pumping excitement, lust, and adventures with others while preserving the emotionally dead bond for practical reasons.
That so many people choose honesty, openness, and morality over deception and elect to divorce their spouses is notable and amazing. Counterintuitive, really - if not outright miraculous. It is a testament to how far we have come as a species that we adhere to abstract principles - good and bad - never mind how steep the price we have to pay.
Ukraine Hotel (Radisson) in the center of Moscow. Soviet grandeur copulates with capitalist kitsch.
On loan from generous souls: old-new Gucci sunglasses.
Like every veritable vampire, I am even more sensitive to daylight after an eye operation (laser photocoagulation of retinal horseshoe flap owing to PVD in the right eye - ain't that a mouthful?) Ingenious: they burn the retina in specific points, generating scar tissue that prevents the tear from expanding, blood vessels from proliferating, and a divorce between the retina and the vitreous.
Two more operations to go.
The alternative? Retinal detachment and blindness.
Hence the Guccis.
Lecture about my new theory of addiction
in Southern Federal University in Rostov on Don in Russia.
Addictions are ways to regulate emotions and modulate interpersonal relationships and communication. Addictions are the exoskeleton and scaffolding of life itself: our brain in programmed to constantly get addicted. A high is the desired permanent outcome. Addictive states must serve some evolutionary purpose and are therefore beneficial adaptations, not maladaptations.
which does not exist - cannot be criticized. We can pass muster only on
that which exists
When we say "this is missing" - we really mean to say: "there is something that IS NOT in this, which IS." Absence is discernible only against the background of existence
Criticism is aimed at changing. In other words, it relates to what is missing. But it is no mere sentence, or proposition. It is an assertion. It is goal-oriented. It strives to alter that which exists with regards to its quantity, its quality, its functions, or its program / vision
All these parameters of change cannot relate to absolute absence. They emanate from the existence of an entity. Something must exist as a precondition. Only then can criticism be aired: "(In that which exists), the quantity, quality, or functions are wrong, lacking, altogether missing"
The common error - that we criticize the absent - is the outcome of the use made of an ideal. We compare that which exists with a Platonic Idea or Form (which, according to modern thinking, does not REALLY exist). We feel that the criticism is the product not of the process of comparison - but of these ideal Ideas or Forms. Since they do not exist - the thing criticized is felt not to exist, either.
But why do we assign the critical act and its outcomes not to the real - but to the ideal? Because the ideal is judged to be preferable, superior, a criterion of measurement, a yardstick of perfection
Naturally, we are inclined to regard it as the source, rather than as the by-product, or as the finished product (let alone as the raw material) of the critical process. To refute this intuitive assignment is easy: https://samvak.tripod.com/fragments2.html
I am putting the finishing touches on Level 3 of Cold Therapy. It
is a philosophical (really, metaphysical) framework.
I suggest that the client should regard his or her life as a movie. The main goal in life, the core task, and the engine of meaning is to direct the film so as to render it an accomplished hit, a work of art and a masterpiece of narrative.
At every inflection point and faced with any critical decision, the client should truthfully answer the question: would I have paid money to watch this yarn I am weaving, the flick that is my life? If the answer is NO, a transformative change of course is called for.
Directing the film should be the client's overriding priority. Every other thing should be subservient and secondary to it, everyone in the client's life should feature in it.
Yet, the client should navigate this leitmotif and channel his or her creativity without a script, as an exercise in extemporizing. The twists and turns of the plot should come as a surprise first and foremost to the client itself.
People who fear intimacy are mirror
images of those with healthy attachment styles: they react with rage and defiance
to any attempt to love them, care for them, or get to know them by inching
closer to them or by becoming an integral part of their lives.
They dread commitment, stability, predictability, sharing, planning, collaboration, support, and help.
They prefer casual sex to any longer-term arrangement. They avoid deep emotions and involvement. They undermine any budding intimacy by distancing or absenting themselves emotionally and/or physically; by lying and confabulating; and by engaging in passive-aggressive, outright aggressive, reckless, and self-destructive behaviors which are also devastatingly hurtful to would be significant others.
Everyone needs to be loved. But some people convince
themselves that they are not
lovable, that they can never be truly loved and accepted once they are
better known within a growing intimacy. They tell themselves that they are
vile, or somehow deformed, or inferior.
To make up for this inherent deficiency, to render themselves desirable and tolerated, if not loved, such people flaunt their accomplishments, colorful history, possessions, wealth, power, sexuality, prospects, or connections. It is a form of displacement: if you cannot love me for who I am - at least adore and admire me for what I have, what I do, what I did, who I know ("namedropping"), and where I am.
Death and No Self are desired goals in many mystical traditions and the
experienced outcomes of psychedelics and practices such as meditation. They are
supposed to be the precursors to enlightenment.
As usual, Western "luminaries", from Jung to Tolle, messed up pure concepts, erroneously and egregiously conflating "ego", "self", "identity", and "proprioception". The field is so hopelessly muddled that it had become comically meaningless and useless and haunted by New Age logorrhea.
Even when one peels all the layers of an onion, the smell of the onion lingers.
Some ONE is being enlightened, experiences annulment, endures oceanic feelings, merges with the universe, and is guided and instructed by sages.
There is no escaping BEING. What we can avoid - with lots of hard and unrelenting work and tedious practice - are the categories of existence, the ways in which we had perceived and organized the world hitherto, the boundaries, restrictions, and inhibitions imposed on us by our sensa, by our minds, and by the baggage of social mores and cultural edicts that attend to all the above.
We can get in direct touch with reality in a manner not mediated, obstructed, or obfuscated by narratives (including our personal ones) or language. But it would still be US who would be accomplishing all this: Cartesian kernels of consciousness, however minimized and transformed. One ought to read the brilliant works of Moshe Kroy to realize how badly we have strayed in the West from the true messages of traditions such as Sufism, Kabbalah, Buddhism (and Zen), and other venerable schools of thought about non-thought.
When rejected or abused, women overeat or abuse
substances. But a minority of them self-medicate with men:
they hookup with friends, former flames, or even strangers for some good time
and sex. It helps them to restore their self-esteem, regulate or dull their
negative emotions, buttress their femininity, and stabilize their labile sense
of self-worth. Intimacy, however transient and limited, even if merely physical,
does wonders to their assertiveness and resilience. In some cases, such conduct
involves defiant, "in your face", rage infused cheating on the
But such misconduct has three other goals:
1. To hurt, cause excruciating pain, and grievously and often publicly offend and humiliate the rejecting or abusive counterparty;
2. To elicit a reaction - any reaction! - from the indifferent and dismissive spouse or mate (via triangulation); 3. To win points in a neverending power play of oneupmanship and brinkmanship between the misbehaving woman and her husband, date, or boyfriend.
The women who default to this kind of choice are able to engage in emotionless and casual sex and are often histrionic (the female variant of psychopathy, according to the latest thinking in the field). They lack impulse control and suffer from emotional dysregulation (common among Borderlines and trauma victims with PTSD or extreme CPTSD).
Some narcissists focus on, cultivate, and groom much younger women with daddy issues
that define both their personality and their emotional needs. These narcissists
act avuncular, strict, and disciplinarian, but also caring and supportive, a
fount of sagacity and perspicacity, always available with wide-ranging
knowledge and life-altering advice. At once guru, intimate partner, and parent,
they insinuate themselves into the minds and lives of their quarries, rendering
their presence addictive and themselves indispensable.
But, as time passes, this very mentoring transforms the young woman: she becomes more self-aware, mature, experienced, and driven by a long-term healthy impulse for self-actualization. She is likely to abandon the narcissist and seek a healthier relationship. In extreme cases, she resorts to blatantly cheating on the narcissist and ostentatiously betraying him in order to break the surrealistic spell of the shared psychosis, burn all the bridges, and set herself free.
Having lost yet another mate, the narcissist then embarks on a frantic effort to find his next Galatea: a malleable female he could mould into a sex slave, source of secondary narcissistic supply, and service provider. He knows full well that it will not last and will result in a catastrophic heartbreak all around. Shattering loss is guaranteed. But what choice does he have?
To some people, intimacy is like Kryptonite, both sought
after and feared. The result in an intricate and crazymaking dance dubbed
"approach-avoidance repetition compulsion". Another aspect of this
ambivalence in what I call the "menu-scraps dichotomy".
Those who truly seek intimacy want the entire menu of interpersonal
togetherness: from intensive talking to romanticized sex. The
intimacy-challenged make do and are fully satisfied with scraps: they feel
threatened and overwhelmed by the totality of the intimacy menu. They get by on
occasional snippets of talk, rare sex, and swathes of personal space and time
The two types are utterly incompatible and make each other profoundly unhappy. Yet, oddly, they are inexorably attracted to each other. The menu types are parental fixers by nature and the scraps persons crave the unbridled and unconditional intimacy proffered by their antitheses - dread it as they do.
Mixed couple invariably end up in a mushroom cloud of agonizing mayhem and unmitigated catastrophe. They may drive each other to insanity and suicide and, at the very least, subject one another to excruciating pain as the menu tries to alter and modify the scraps and the scraps withdraws further and farther and resorts to desperate measures such as cheating or reckless behaviors in order to undo the bond and revert to pristine loneliness.
Remember: giving 100% of yourself to your partner is NOT an act of love: it guarantees your partner's failure to reciprocate.
Everyone has an attachment style. But some people have
they are incapable of any kind of bonding or relatedness at all.
Flat attachers regard other people as utterly interchangeable, replaceable, and dispensable objects or functions.
When a relationship is over, people go through a period of "latency": mourning the defunct bond and processing the grief and withdrawal symptoms associated with a breakup. Flat attachers react to the disintegration of even the most meaningful or primary relationships by becoming defiant and mad rather than heartbroken and sad.
Not so the flat attacher: he or she transition instantaneously, smoothly, abruptly, and seamlessly from one (in)significant other to the next "target" and fully substitutes a newly found beau, lover, mate, or "intimate" partner for the discarded one whose usefulness has expired for whatever reason.
Many narcissists and almost all psychopaths are flat attachers. In 1995 I coined the phrase "idealize, devalue, and discard". I should have rather said: "idealize, devalue, discard - and replace"
Flat attachment is often confused and conflated with commitmentphobia (fear of committing to a joint future). But while flat attachers are constitutionally incapable of bonding with others, commitmentphobes anticipate with anxiety the expectations that their attachments to others engender and the emotional and pragmatic outcomes of such liaisons. They are merely avoidant, not wholly emotionally vacuous.
represent a major revolution whose full implications are yet to be grasped.
They challenge the paradigms underlying both the central banks’ money monopoly
and public digital goods.
Unlike all previous legal tenders, they constitute stores of expectations regarding future value - not stores of value per se.
Cryptoassets are digital goods, but they are scarce: they require “mining” and the total number of units in limited. Consequently, cryptoassets such as cryptocurrencies are rivlarous (there is a marginal cost associated with producing additional units) and excludable (access to and ownership of the cryptoasset is restricted)
Blockchain technologies — distributed, redundant, and autonomous self-updating, propagated electronic ledgers — present the first feasible solutions to counterfeiting, real-time transacting, scarcity management, monetizing intangibles, crowdsourcing, and a host of other hitherto intractable bottlenecks in business and finance. They provide almost fail-proof identity verification across platforms, objects, and transactions.
traumas can lead to either of two opposing outcomes: regression into
infantile behaviors and defenses - or a spurt of personal growth and
maturation. It all depends on how the trauma is processed.
Faced with devastatingly hurtful, overwhelming, and dysregulated emotions, personalities with a low level of organization react to trauma with decompensation, reckless acting out, and even psychotic microepisodes. Major depression and suicidal ideation are common.
In an attempt to restore a sense of safety, the individual regresses to an earlier - familiar and predictable - phase of life and evokes parental imagoes and introjects to protect, comfort, soothe, and take over responsibilities.
In a way, the trauma victim parents herself by splitting her mind into a benevolent, forgiving, unconditionally loving inner object (mother or father) and a wayward, defiant, independent, and rebellious child or teen who is largely oblivious to the consequences of her actions.
More balanced, emotionally regulated, and mature persons reframe the trauma by accommodating it in a rational, evidence-based (not fictitious or counterfactual) narrative. They modify their theories about the world and the way it operates. They set new boundaries and generate new values, beliefs, and rules of conduct (new schemas). They process their emotions fully and are thereby rendered more self-efficacious. In other words: they grow up, having leveraged their painful losses as an engine of positive development geared towards the attainment of favorable ling-term results.
Investment (Cathexis) and Emotional Reversal in Narcissism
The narcissist converts negative emotions – such as envy – into enjoyable experiences by cathexing them with a conviction of his superiority. In other words: he gets used and attached to his negative emotions and renders them pleasurably habit-forming
Within this comfort zone, the narcissist actually enjoys being envious of others, for instance. He derives masochistic solace from being the butt of injustice, being discriminated against, and from underachieving – all good reasons to be envious and to maintain the high moral ground
The narcissists’ inner dialog goes something like this: “I am superior to everyone, but this is exactly why I am left behind. Society rewards mediocrity and fears true genius and integrity.” This “martyr complex” is especially pronounced in conditions of deficient narcissistic supply.
A slim minority of heterosexual psychopathic
narcissists shun casual sex and one night stands because they feel
objectified by the women counterparts and abhor the equipotence (power
symmetry) inherent in such liaisons.
These psychopathic narcissists are mildly sadistic. They need to dominate the female, reduce her to unthinking submission brought on by unrequited and tantalizing craving, and then make her act in ways that she would find shameful, hurtful, denigrating, and guilt-inducing.
Obviously, none of these can be accomplished in a brief, almost anonymous encounter. Grooming requires time, effort, careful planning and preparations, and repeated exposure.
Intimacy increases with time spent together. But the more
time you while away with a narcissist, the less intimate you get!
This effect - reversed intimacy - is an outcome of the fact that one is interacting with the narcissist's False Self: a piece of grandiose fiction, a placeholder where an entire person should have been.
Traumatized victims of narcissistic abuse have therefore learned to emulate the narcissist (himself in a post-traumatic state). Like him, they slap a label on their tormentor and then ignore him and relate only to the label ("total labelling"). Where no intimacy is possible, stereotypes take over.
There is a lot more to every narcissist than his disorder. Yet, following my pioneering work 25 years ago, people reduce the narcissist to a figment, to merely his pathology. They ignore the person behind the persona, the core in the narcissistic nuclear meltdown. This renders any type of meaningful communication with the narcissist all but impossible and inefficacious.
A typical replica in 1973-1981 (my teenage years): You
really think that the fact that we have had a chat or a drink gives you the
right to have sex with me? Seriously?
Fast forward 20 years. The new normal is: You honestly think that the fact that we have had sex gives you the right to chat or to have drinks with me? Seriously?
Sex: once the breathtaking magical apex of intimacy and now a meaningless perfunctory body function. A sleazy perspirative afterthought.
What a sad, sick world we have created. And make no mistake about it: the emotional wasteland that we had wrought and inflicted on the young is irreversible.
Two lectures to teenagers in Gymnasium 36 in Krasnodar:
1. The Mysterious Brain and
2. The Perils of Social Media.
On the whiteboard: people satisfy their information needs via YouTube, not via Google (with images rather than text) and the brain storage capacity vs. smartphone storage capacity.
Russian students are a delight compared to their Western counterparts, but they are very timid and afraid to ask questions or to challenge authority.
too meaningless to feature in our meaningful relationship. We prefer to do
other things: talk, travel, watch movies, or create together
We reserve sex for one night stands and hookups, when we are in between significant others and intimate partners.
This is fast becoming the new normal: sex is what you do when you are out of a committed couple. Sex is emotionless, mechanical, masturbatory, often hurried and consummated when under the influence. The sex partners are nearly anonymous and discarded after one or a few encounters.
Sexlessness is surging uncontrollably even as the rates of casual sex soar. There is a disconnect, a yawning abyss between intimacy and recreative (though not procreative) sex, once thought to be inseparable, flip sides of the coin of togetherness.
The vile, nauseating generations born after 1995:
graceless collapsed narcissists, devoid of accomplishments and knowledge and
yet, retarded as they are, convinced of their intellectual genius superiority.
Precisely because they are intellectually nonexistent, they are steeped in conspiratorial paranoia and contumaciously attack every authority, text, information, knowledge, and expert.
They always know best because they formed opinions on everything under the sun. And these flights of ill-informed fancy they consider way more authoritative than any study or book or scholar or fact. Their opinions are unassailable merely by virtue of being theirs.
What immodesty and hubris, what absence of humility, perspicacity, and sagacity! The only smart things about their person are their phones. Fatuous sad clowns, all wannabe Jokers.
What a searing disappointment to behold them, strutting their decrepit grandiosity! How did we devolve into THESE subhuman mutants? What hope is there for our species when these malformed, eternally puerile, emotionally dead, psychosexually stunted, defiant, dysregulated, and nescient creatures take over?
A convo with Richard Grannon about this very looming cataclysm:
Centuries ago, October 31 was called in England "All Hallows' Eve". People prayed to prepare the souls of the departed for the Catholic All Saints' Day on November 1
October 31 was also the Celtic New Years' Eve - the "Samhain". On that night, the spirits of the deceased were supposed to possess living bodies before departing to the afterlife
Pumpkins were not part of Halloween celebrations until late in the 19th century. The Irish and other Europeans actually carved up turnips. Poor immigrants to the USA could not afford turnips and turned to pumpkins instead.
and dominance are very misleading terms. Numerous studies, summarized in
the book "A Billion Wicked Thoughts", have demonstrated that most
heterosexual women are sexually submissive and most heterosexual men are
sexually dominant. Among gays, there are tops and bottoms but they sometimes
switch roles: type constancy is less entrenched among homosexuals.
Submissiveness is a fiction: the dom has only as much power over the sub as she allows. She can opt out at any moment ("safe word") and often dictates what can and cannot be done to her. In the scene, sub shares control with the dom.
The sub surrenders her will temporarily and conditionally because she wants to experience the freedom and lack of responsibility of powerlessness. Submission, therefore, empowers and dominance enslaves: the dom is the sub's servant, in many cases addicted to her helplessness.
Excerpt from Mistreating Celebrities:
Interview Granted to Superinteressante Magazine in Brazil
Q. In your country, who are the celebrities people love to hate?
A. Israelis like to watch politicians & wealthy businessmen reduced, demeaned, & slighted. In Macedonia, where I live, all famous people, regardless of their vocation, are subject to intense, proactive, & destructive envy. This love-hate relationship with their idols, this ambivalence, is attributed by psychodynamic theories of personal development to the child's emotions towards his parents. Indeed, we transfer & displace many negative emotions we harbor onto celebrities.
Q. I would never dare asking some questions the reporters from Panico ask the celebrities. What are the characteristics of people like these reporters?
A. Sadistic, ambitious, narcissistic, lacking empathy, self-righteous, pathologically and destructively envious, with a fluctuating sense of self-worth (possibly an inferiority complex)
Q. Do you believe the actors and reporters want themselves to be as famous as the celebrities they tease? Because I think this is almost happening.. A. The line is very thin. Newsmakers and newsmen and women are celebrities merely because they are public figures and regardless of their true accomplishments. A celebrity is famous for being famous. Of course, such journalists will likely to fall prey to up and coming colleagues in an endless and self-perpetuating food chain.. Q. I think that the fan-celebrity relationship gratifies both sides. What are the advantages the fans get and what are the advantages the celebrities get?
A. There is an implicit contract between a celebrity and his fans. The celebrity is obliged to "act the part", to fulfil the expectations of his admirers, not to deviate from the roles that they impose and he or she accepts. In return the fans shower the celebrity with adulation. They idolize him or her and make him or her feel omnipotent, immortal, "larger than life", omniscient, superior, and sui generis (unique). What are the fans getting for their trouble?
in the Faculty of Psychology of South Federal University in Rostov on Don,
1. The Psychology and Psychopathology of Social Media
2. Collapsed States in Narcissistic and Histrionic Personality Disorders
I must catch the city-bound bus. I have to
change at the Central Station and travel a short distance, just a few more
minutes, to jail. The prison walls, to the left, will shimmer muddy yellow, barbwire
fence enclosing empty watchtowers, the drizzle-induced swamp a collage of
virile footsteps. I am afraid to cross its ambiguous solidity, the
shallow-looking depths. After that I have to purge my tattered sneakers with
branches and stones wrenched out of the mucky soil around our barracks. But
there is still way to go.
I mount the bus and sit near a disheveled, unshaven man. His abraded pair of horn-rimmed glasses is adjoined to his prominent nose with a brown adhesive. He reeks of stale sweat and keeps pondering the clouded surface of his crumbling watch. His pinkie sports a rectangular, engraved ring of golden imitation.
The bus exudes the steamy vapors of a mobile rain forest. People cram into the passages, dragging nylon-roped shopping bags, shrieking children, and their own perspiring carcasses, their armpits and groins stark dark discolorations.
All spots are taken. Their occupants press claret noses onto the grimy windows and rhythmically wipe the condensation. They explicitly ignore the crowd and the censuring, expectant stares of older passengers. As the interminable road unwinds, they restlessly realign their bodies, attuned to seats and neighbors.
Our driver deftly skirts the terminal's piers and ramps. Between two rows of houses shrouded in grimy washing, he hastens towards the freeway. He turns the radio volume up and speakers inundate us with tunes from the Levant. Some travelers squirm but no one asks to turn it down. It is the hourly news edition soon. Thoughts wander, gaze introspectively inverted, necks stretch to glimpse the passing views.
Catherine de Médicis, wife of King Henri II of France,
hated the thick waists of women attending court receptions.
So, in the 1550s, she introduced the corset (sleeveless "payre of bodies") - an undergarment designed to artificially narrow a woman's waist by up to 30 centimeters and to yield a cylindrical shape with a flat, breastless, torso.
The Elizabethan corset - as opposed to the Victorian one - was comfortable and supported the back. It evolved in Tudor times from the kirtle, stiffened by glue and worn under the gown. Mary Tudor's wardrobe contained these: "Item for making of one peire of bodies of crymsen satin, Item for making two pairs of bodies for petticoats of crymsen satin, Item for making a pair of bodies for a Verthingall of crymsen Grosgrain." Queen Elizabeth had these listed in her garderobe: "A payre of bodies of black cloth of silver with little skirts (1571), a pair of bodies of sweete lether (1579), a pair of bodies of black velvet lined with canvas stiffened with buckeram (1583), for altering a pair of bodies...the bodies lined with sackecloth and buckram about the skirts with bents covered with fustian, a pair of french bodies of damaske lined with sackcloth, with whales bone to them (1597)" Victorian women were described by contemporaries as maintaining a 43 centimeters waistline with the aid of whalebone corsets. But period advertisements for corsets cater to waistlines of up to 107 centimeters with an average of 76 centimeters. Wearing a tight corset did constrain blood flow and cause fainting - but there was no shortage of corsets of all sizes.
Corsets dominated fashion between 1555 and 1908 when the first flowing gowns to be worn without a the constraining undergarment were designed. Another twenty years passed before the corset was relegated to history.
to rejection in intimate relationships with frustration and, as Dollard
taught us, frustration provoked aggression.
But aggression has two major forms: internalized and externalized. When aggression is internalized, directed inward, at the the rejected individual, in an orgy of self-loathing and self-hate, the outcomes are: impotent and diffuse anger, depression, delusions, suicidal ideation, reckless and self-destructive behaviors, loss of impulse control, and, in extremis, psychosis.
When aggression is externalized, it targets the cause of the frustration - the rejecting party. Such aggression involves rage (fury), defiance, and acts intended to deeply and irrevocably hurt and traumatize the "offender". Though it is also brought about by impulsivity, externalized aggression is more premeditated and planned and accommodates delayed gratification.
- Laurent Simons of Belgium and Kelton Kostis of the USA - captured the
headlines lately. Eerily, they are following the same deleterious trajectory
like me: university at age 9, physics, a medical degree. Deja vu all over
I thought the worlds of education and child psychology have learned a lesson from cases like mine: removing the child from his peer group is an emotional cataclysm with apocalyptic personal outcomes.
But educators, psychologists, and university admins seem to still pursue this discredited practice: university at the tender and unformed age of 9.
These kids will end up like me: disabled freaks.
Gifted children should continue their normal schooling in their natural environment. No doubt they should receive augmented, enriching, additional academic training on top or even in lieu of their regular studies. But they should never be excised from their ecosystem: the habitat of family and peers that induces growth and guarantees emotional maturity. IQ without EQ is like a luxury car without an engine and running on fumes. It is a recipe for a disastrous, wasted life. I should know.
I once asked one of the many women who cheated on me
with an irredeemably repulsive stranger why she did it, why she chose another
man over me, especially this kind of roadkill of a non-man in every conceivable
She answered: "I did not choose him over YOU. I chose him over your ABSENCE." I withhold much craved intimacy from my besotted insignificant other and instead offer her virulent, overwhelming, emotionally dysregulating rejection and identity-shattering abuse.
And then I end up being hurt to the quick - life-threateningly devastated - and wondering why my women prefer to do anything with anyone anywhere - the most shocking and unimaginable acts and choices - to spending even another minute in my "company"
So, here is to the Newest Me compared to two versions of a slightly earlier time. Swipe to the left. I cannot accept the fact that I am evil, that I am still nightmarishly cruel to my women to the point of driving them into doing the out-of- character unthinkable. I cannot help it, no matter how hard I try. And I do try with everything I've got. But I never get it right.
I am ashamed and guilt-ridden and besieged by the insomnia of the wicked. I work hard to make amends and remedy and rectify or just make up and compensate for my character deficiencies and my misdeeds. I am a good- and big-hearted healer and feel helpless against the Mr. Hyde within my hide
I guess I want all my women to perform a miracle: to save me from myself and love me unconditionally at age 59 as I had never been loved as a child. Warts and all. Especially the warts. To stop these ritual mating dances of betrayal before it is too late and I run out of years.
This is the "Era of the Stranger":
we confide in and sleep with total unknowns, often preferring ersatz passing
intimacy to the real, deeper thing
Modern, cheap means of transportation and communication coupled with technologies such as dating apps and social media conspired to erode meaningful, long-term relationships and favor liaisons, flings, and dalliances. Casual sex was made feasible with contraception and women's lib empowerment, especially in higher education and the workplace
Institutions predicated on profound and growing intimacy are doomed. The angst, ennui, and atomized loneliness of modern existence in cahoots with multiple triggers of anxiety and depression undermine any attempt to forge enduring bonds with significant others
Attachments are perceived as threatening: they invariably resolve into hurt. Pain aversion keeps people apart and renders interactions superficial and minimal. Society, community, and family are things of the past. Solidarity is dead. We are left to fend off for ourselves, each to and on his or her own.
There is no difference between prostitutes, laborers, and, say, professors: all three are selling time-limited rights to access portions of their anatomies (vaginas, muscles, or brains)
The leasing of body parts ("labor") to third parties ("employers") accelerated after the agricultural and industrial revolutions, both of which engendered great needs for hired hands
Nowadays, the branding, packaging, sale, and distribution of such corporeal and intellectual rights are vastly different: technology has elevated personal autonomy and has empowered individual, self-employed service providers. But the principle is still the same: we all peddle bits and pieces of our lives and bodies in return for food, shelter, and entertainment.
Psychotherapy is most effective
when it helps the patient to construct alternative narratives about his or her
life. At its best and most efficacious, it amounts to scriptwriting or to the
ancient art of storytelling. It is all about providing a fresh perspective on
familiar events, reframing them, thereby reducing anxiety and ameliorating hurt
Peace of mind is an essential need, which was neglected by Maslow in his famous hierarchy of needs. People sacrifice material wealth, resist temptation, ignore opportunities, and sometimes risk themselves and others just to attain this bliss.
People prefer inner equilibrium to outer homeostasis. It is the fulfillment of this overriding need that psychological theories and treatment modalities cater to. In this, they are no different than other collective narratives (myths, for instance)
Here is an article I wrote 20 years ago:
Freedoms of speech and press
are as curtailed and threatened in the ostensibly liberal West as they are in
the authoritarian East - but in different ways.
Outright censorship exists even in countries like Israel. My sister acted as the army's Chief Censor for many years. Some countries firewall and filter the Web ("sovereign Internets"). But there are other, equally potent ways, to stifle free expression. There are laws on the books of countries such as the United Kingdom that prohibit "malicious communication": any text or visual that "distress" or "offend" someone! Privacy laws prohibit intrusive prurient snooping but also legitimate investigative journalism. Whistleblowers pay a dear price if they dare: ask Assange. These all have chilling effects on the unbridled exchange of information.
But possibly the greatest threat is political correctness: the strictures against any speech that is sexist, racist, ageist, antisemitic, or targets any minority group - as well as the suppression of any frank discussion of sexual practices. A lot of totally legitimate research is outlawed this way.
Before capitalism, in the pre-industrial world, one's survival
depended on the extended family, clan, friends, and community. Social skills -
team work, communication, empathy, reciprocity, altruism, and integrative
networking - determined one's outcomes in life and one's happiness.
By shifting the emphasis to one's job and money, we made survival contingent on the technologically-empowered individual in an atomized, lonely world. Relative positioning became the goal of life and its meaning. Social media reify this shift in emphases.
This breakdown in collaborative coexistence bodes ill as far as our species goes: everything - from procreation to recreation and from production to reproduction - depends on reverting to communal modes of interaction. Yet we seem incapable of reversing the deleterious trends that are tearing us apart and pitting us against each other.
It is impossible today to not break the law or to not
have a mental health disorder. Governments and regulatory authorities triple
the number of legal strictures and transgressions roughly every century. The
IRS (tax) code alone mushroomed in 100 years to 2600 pages of law plus 72,000
pages of regulations. Similarly, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
published by the American Psychiatric Association went from 100 pages to 1000 pages
between 1952 and 2013.
Criminalizing and pathologizing behaviors en masse is intended to strengthen the levers of social control and micromanagement of daily life. It reflects the growing panic and siege mentality of the various elites (intellectual, political, financial, scientific, and business). Faced with an unprecedented revolt of the technologically-empowered masses, the centres of power lash out by outlawing activities, choices, decisions, content, lifestyles, and freedoms.
Is God an
external object - or an internal one? Is He a mere voice in our heads - or is
He out there? Psychosis occurs when we confuse and conflate our inner world
with outer reality. In this sense, all religious prophecy is psychotic and all
religious faiths are manifestations of psychosis.
Julian Jaynes (1976) was the most forceful advocate of the idea of bicameralism and the bicameral mind: that supernatural revelation was merely how some people experienced a channel of communication between their cerebral hemispheres. Modern day ambient noise, information pollution, stress, and abnormal living conditions in cities served to suppress and extinguish this intracranial exchange, except in cases of schizophrenia. Instead, we developed compensatory introspection, self-awareness, and consciousness
There is, of course, the added problem of false prophecy: how to tell the ersatz from the echt. Most false prophets are not crooks: they sincerely believe in the authenticity of the provenance of their message and mission.
But does all this really matter? Whether these voices are mere hallucinatory neurological artifacts or the true Word of a god is immaterial as long as they affect the lives of millions, as they all too often do.
In the Organizing Committee of The Talks on Psychiatry and
Mental Health, San Antonio, Texas, USA in August 2020. CPD Accreditation
Certification. Supported by the Happiness Center.
Additional international conferences on psychology, psychiatry, mental health, and neuroscience: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/mediakit.html (active link in my Instagram profile)
To start with, Russia's
new middle class is a distinct minority.
Prism, a publication of the Jamestown Foundation, quoted, in its August 2001 issue, the Serbian author Milorad Pavic as saying that "the Russian middle class is like a young generation whose fathers suffered a severe defeat in a war: with no feeling of guilt and no victorious fathers to boss them around, the children of defeat see no obstacles before them"
But this metaphor is misleading. The Russian middle class is a nascent exception - not an overarching rule. As Akos Rona-Tas, Associate Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of California, San Diego, notes correctly in his paper "Post Communist Transition and the Absent Middle Class in Central East Europe", a middle class that is in the minority is an oxymoron: "In democracies the middle class is the nation proper. The typical member of a national community is a member of the middle class. When democratic governments need a social group they can address, a universal class that carries the overarching, common interest of the country, they appeal to the middle class. This appeal, while it calls on a common interest, also acknowledges that there are conflicting interests within society. The middle class is not everyone, but it is the majority and it represents what everyone else can become"
Russia has a long way to go to achieve this ubiquity. Its middle class, far from representing the consensus, reifies the growing abyss between haves and haves not. Its members' conspicuous consumption, mostly of imports, does little to support the local economy. Its political might is self-serving. It has no ethos, or distinct morality, no narrative, or ideology. The Russian middle class is at a Hobbesian and primordial stage.
provides closure: the trauma remains unsalved let alone healed even as the
culprit gets punished. Similarly, restitution, while it ameliorates and
mitigates emotions such as helplessness and rage is no substitute to closure.
Closure requires the active and voluntary collaboration of the perpetrator and applying the "Three Rs”: Remorse, Remediation, and Restoration.
To qualify, remorse has to be expressed repeatedly and must be heartfelt. It should entail a modicum of sacrifice, embarrassment, and inconvenience. Regretting one’s misdeeds in public is more convincing than sending a private missive or whispering “sorry” anonymously.
Remediation requires making amends and offering reparations, which are commensurate with the offending acts and bear some symbolic relation to them. Thus, financial abuse can be absolved only with the aid of a monetary compensation that corresponds to the damage done and suffered.
Finally, restoration involves affording one’s victims the opportunity for closure, if not forgiveness, so that they can move on with their lives.
True narcissists and psychopaths fail the Three Rs test at every turn: their remorse is feigned and ostentatious; they provide little or no recompense; and they never put themselves at the victim’s disposal to allow her to achieve that she needs most: closure.
Is there life
after the narcissist, a second restorative and recuperative act? The
narcissist finds it impossible to believe and begrudges his victims their
recovery. The narcissist considers himself both irreplaceable and indispensable
and his absence from his prey's life nothing short of a fatal injury. To imply
that anyone who had experienced the narcissist can be happier without him is to
undermine the narcissist's grandiose perception of himself as a Magic Unicorn.
This delusional mindset is further exacerbated by the narcissist's inability to interact with real, 3-D people owing to his lack of empathy and all-pervasive object impermanence (inconstancy). Instead, the narcissist relates exclusively to avatars, imagoes, and introjects: internalized, largely immutable and idealized avatars, renditions and representations of others. When real life intervenes and people change, the narcissist is disconcerted, dismayed, and shocked.
In our Thanatic
and anomic civilization, we prefer the inanimate to the living, material
goods to people, controlled indolence and restricted existence to the fully
actualized and thoroughly socialized alternatives
We regress and recede to existential loneliness which in turn gives rise to heightened angst, anxiety, ennui, and depression. We self-medicate and assuage our acute discomfort with the fetishized pornography of objects via ritualized consumption and the pornography of bodies via casual sex
Death is our final yet unacknowledged destination and we are drawn to it and explore it in our art, culture, imaginaries, and praxis with inexorable fascination. But we equally try to manage the terror of our finality by feigning immortality through objectifying people and anthropomorphizing objects.
Gradually, we end up treating ourselves as specimen and our lives as lab experiments. Mortified by our ubiquitous isolation, to self-soothe we retreat deeper into our tormented minds until we disintegrate and act out our worst nightmares. Until we become our very instruments of self-torture and self-destruction. Until we dissipate and there is no escape, nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide. Confronted with ourselves, we are no more.
You can abuse a substance rarely and still be an addict.
You can control your intake of whatever it is that you consume and still be ruled by it.
Your behavior can be very common and identical to the way most people comport themselves and it would still be pathological if you use it to affect psychodynamic changes in yourself and to regulate inner processes.
Addiction is when external objects, other people, or actions are used exclusively in order to finetune or alter one's internal environment (emotions, moods, beliefs, cognitions)
Some people - especially women - are far more likely to try to
attempt to realize their sexual
fantasies with a stranger in casual sex than with a long-term partner or a
You can afford to be sexually daring, adventurous, experimental, and sluttish with someone you are unlikely to ever meet again and whose opinion and judgment are of no importance or consequence to you.
Ironically, partners in a one night stand may end up having more memorable sex or even lovemaking than anything their conjugal bed can ever offer.
Surprised? It is because 90% of what we know about the world is dead wrong - and we are ignorant of the rest.
Most people lie most of the time, according to studies by Dan Ariely, Timothy Levine and others. And yet, an overwhelming majority of people believe almost everything they are told literally all the time (this is known as "truth bias" in the truth default theory). Serial killers murder their victims the same way bees alight on flowers to gather nectar. In fact, law enforcement use apian trajectories to predict the moves of these human predators.
Cancer may be evolution's own lab where Nature tries out various mutations. In fact, exactly like microorganisms, cancer cells are subject to natural selection. There is even speculation that transmissible cancer gave rise to new species of intracellular parasites.
The narcissist's impulse control is compromised by his negative emotions
(especially his rage-aggression and envy). He feels ruled by them and driven
inexorably to act (an external locus of control)
Narcissists are used to being controlled from the outside, starting with their abusive parents, the overbearing and all-pervasive and infinitely demanding False Self and the addiction to Narcissistic Supply and its sources (i.e., other people). No wonder that the narcissist feels more at home with negative emotions and finds them way more accessible to him than positive ones.
Ironically, the narcissist who considers himself godlike and omnipotent is actually a slave to external circumstances and feedback from his human environment. He derives his very sense of being from his impotence.
If you are a woman and reading this, please post a comment with your
If my girlfriend, lover, or wife triangulates or flirts with another man or hits on him, especially if I am present, I push her to go all the way: spend time and have sex with her new infatuation. I never protest or fight back or confront the men who pick up my women and are openly contemptuous of what they perceive to be my cowardice and weakness.
I set boundaries but never enforce them: my only reaction is to abandon the relationship altogether, either mentally or physically.
I then absent myself emotionally, never to return.
My women told me that I am the only guy who ever behaves this way and that they proceeded to cheat on me because they were shocked by my indifference and the license I gave them to do as they wish with whomever they choose. They took this permissiveness as a sign that I do not care about them or mind their exploits. They felt unmoored and dazed.
I act the way I do for several reasons:
1. I am infuriated and humiliated by my partner's overt disrespect and brazen and egregious misconduct. I want her decisively gone from my life.
2. Preferring any other man over a handsome genius like me is certain proof of dimwittedness and bad judgment. Why would I team up with such a retard?
3. The woman's transgression portends the end of a doomed relationship and is bound to result in her cheating on me. Better I dump her first (preemptive abandonment) and avert the ineluctable agony of her betrayal. This way I retain control of the relationship and its demise.
4. If I try to stop her from sinning, she may rebuff me and compound my disgraceful humiliation.
5. I am not much of a man and do not fulfil the most basic needs of my women. They have an inalienable right to outsource sex, emotional support, and a good time. I feel I owe them at least an open relationship with access to real men.
A 5 hours long interview
with journalist Csilla Timesvari to RTL Television in Hungary. They are
also planning to shoot my lecture on Friday in Budapest.
Very wide ranging exchange with an intelligent interlocutor: narcissism in interpersonal life, politics, social media, religion. My attempt to reframe narcissism as a post-traumatic condition coupled with arrested development. And, of course, Cold Therapy: the new treatment modality I have developed for narcissism and for major (clinical) depression.
Another 5 hours interview
with Barbara, a narcissistic abuse life coach in Hungary. The results will
be uploaded to our YouTube channels next month.
Tomorrow I am giving a lecture in Budapest about narcissism and narcissistic abuse.
More about the event and tickets: https://facebook.com/events/883418492105919/
Lecture on new
directions in the study of pathological narcissism and narcissistic abuse:
conceptualizing narcissism as a post-traumatic condition, a case of arrested
development or even role play.
The lecture was organized by Barbara Gyura, Hungary's foremost narcissistic abuse coach (be sure to watch her excellent vids in Hungarian)
Nothing more gratifying than to find my book even in the most
unlikely of places: the library in the smoking lounge of the Marriott Executive
Apartments in Budapest
My books: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
Was Jesus born
2019 years ago? Was he born in year zero?
The first year AD was 1 - so, Jesus could not have been born in year zero. The very concept of zero was invented much later
Numerous historical minutia in the gospels indicate that Jesus must have been born before 4 BC.
For example, He was said to have been born during the reign of King Herod, who died in 4 BC.
The genesis of the Emotive
Cycle lies in the acquisition of Emotional Data. In most cases, these are
made up of Sense Data mixed with data related to spontaneous internal events.
Even when no access to sensa is available, the stream of internally generated
data is never interrupted
This is easily demonstrated in experiments involving sensory deprivation or with people who are naturally sensorily deprived (blind, deaf and dumb, for instance)
The spontaneous generation of internal data and the emotional reactions to them are always there even in these extreme conditions
It is true that, even under severe sensory deprivation, the emoting person reconstructs or evokes past sensory data. A case of pure, total, and permanent sensory deprivation is nigh impossible
But there are important philosophical and psychological differences between real life sense data and their representations in the mind
Only in grave pathologies is this distinction blurred: in psychotic states, when experiencing phantom pains following the amputation of a limb or in the case of drug induced images and after images
Auditory, visual, olfactory and other hallucinations are breakdowns of normal functioning. Normally, people are well aware of and strongly maintain the difference between objective, external, sense data and the internally generated representations of past sense data.
machine-like, a form of artificial intelligence. The narcissist's pursuit
of narcissistic supply is one track minded, relentless, and compulsive.
We are all becoming more narcissistic and therefore less human: androids, humanoids, rigid robots. We all feel a growing discomfort in each other's company ("uncanny valley"). Capitalism, materialism, and individualism are all mechanical and they have coalesced into the prevailing ethos and organizational principle of our lives and times.
Modern treatment modalities (psychotherapies) emphasize the present over the past and future (mindfulness).
There is a clinical diagnosis for the kind of people who are focuses
on the moment, care little about the past and others in it, and cannot foresee
or take into reckoning the consequences of their actions in the future:
Mindfulness fosters entitlement, grandiosity, dysempathy, and recklessness. It creates narcissists and psychopaths.
Can there be a consciousness without
self-awareness or even without a self (as in Artificial sentient Intelligence -
AI)? We know that introspection (possibly also proprioception) is a
precondition for the emergence of human consciousness - the only kind we have
But does introspection require an introspecting self, replete with qualia (a weak condition) and, moreover, does it require an awareness of that introspecting self (a strong condition)? Furthermore: introspection coupled with self-awareness - are these synonymous with consciousness?
And can we conceive of a consciousness devoid of cognitions and of emotions? A nonhuman consciousness in the most profound sense? Can it be grasped solely with analytical tools?
The problem, of course is that we need to be conscious in order to discuss consciousness (recursivity). Therefore, we find it impossible to conceive of a conscious mind without content, subject, predicate, awareness, and qualia.
Additionally, introspection is the only procedure and technique we have to determine the existence, character, and composition of any conscious content.
Intelligence or sentience, of course, are never a preconditions for the existence of a consciousness. Intelligence is gradable, differential, analytic, and quantifiable. Consciousness is en bloc and largely synthetic.
We can reconceptualize grandiosity as a cognitive
deficit and intelligence as a psychological defense mechanism.
Like every cognitive deficit or bias, grandiosity impairs the reality test: it hampers our ability to grasp and assess facts as well as properly interpret cues, both social and environmental.
Many people deploy their intelligence as a formidable bulwark against ego-discrepant or objectionable content: information that challenges their self-perception, theories of the mind and the world, beliefs, values, emotions, and cognitions. In other words: they reframe their narratives and firewall them by misusing their intellect.
Every "bad" thing that had ever happened to me
has led to the most awesomely beneficial outcomes.
Externalities. Unintended consequences.
We cannot predict the future.
We never see the full picture.
We are not gods. Some of us are barely human. "Bad" and "good" are momentary judgments biased by passing constraints and ephemeral preferences.
Count the only blessings you could always be sure of: you are alive, your loved ones are alive. This is more than most people can say.
The Happiest of New Year to you and yours!
When I first met Miriam, she was dressed like a mid-18th
century noblewoman from Central Europe. Her face was a veritable kabuki mask.
Pazit looked like a younger, taller, more imposing clone what with intellectual
wire-rimmed glasses poised on a sculpted Roman nose. They both greeted me at
the door of the small, provincial institution. I was a bit of a celebrity back
Miriam fell for my polished routines and verbal pyrotechnics, or pretended to have fallen for them, I am not sure which. Pazit left early, so we made love among the exhibits on the thinly-carpeted and foul-smelling floor and then inside one of the larger, room-size mobiles. Miriam was sensuous and insatiable and she kept talking throughout our peregrinations and exertions reminding me of a well-rehearsed museum guide. In between thrusts and grunts she told me about her estranged husband, family, work, and newfound fascination with the aesthetics of vampire Goth. And so it went for weeks, mainly at the museum.
person is often described as suffering from dysfunctional communication
skills. Unable to communicate his thoughts (cognition) and his emotions
(affect) normally, he resorts to the circumspect, highly convoluted and
idiosyncratic form of communication known as Art (or Science, depending on his
inclination and predilections)
But this cold, functional, phenomenological analysis fails to capture the spirit of the creative act. Nor does it amply account for our responses to acts of creation (ranging from enthusiasm to awe and from criticism to censorship). True, this range of responses characterizes everyday communications as well – but then it is imbued with much less energy, commitment, passion, and conviction. This is a classical case of quantity turned into quality.
The creative person provokes and evokes the Child in us by himself behaving as one. This rude violation of our social conventions and norms (the artist is, chronologically, an adult) shocks us into an utter loss of psychological defenses. This results in enlightenment: a sudden flood of insights, the release of hitherto suppressed emotions, memories and embryonic forms of cognition and affect. The artist probes our subconscious, both private and collective.
A second type of intuition is the "emergent intuition". Subjectively, the intuiting person has the impression of a "shortcut" or even a "short circuiting" of his usually linear thought processes often based on trial and error. This type of intuition feels "magical", a quantum leap from premise to conclusion, the parsimonious selection of the useful and the workable from a myriad possibilities. Intuition, in other words, is rather like a dreamlike truncated thought process, the subjective equivalent of a wormhole in Cosmology. It is often preceded by periods of frustration, dead ends, failures, and blind alleys in one's work.
Artists - especially performing artists (like musicians) - often describe their interpretation of an artwork (e.g., a musical piece) in terms of this type of intuition. Many mathematicians and physicists (following a kind of Pythagorean tradition) use emergent intuitions in solving general nonlinear equations (by guessing the approximants) or partial differential equations.
Subjectively, emergent intuitions are indistinguishable from insights. Yet insight is more "cognitive" and structured and concerned with objective learning and knowledge. It is a novel reaction or solution, based on already acquired responses and skills, to new stimuli and challenges. Still, a strong emotional (e.g., aesthetic) correlate usually exists in both insight and emergent intuition.
Intuition and insight are strong elements in creativity, the human response to an ever changing environment. They are shock inducers and destabilizers. Their aim is to move the organism from one established equilibrium to the next and thus better prepare it to cope with new possibilities, challenges, and experiences. Both insight and intuition are in the realm of the unconscious, the simple, and the mentally disordered. Hence the great importance of obtaining insights and integrating them in psychoanalysis - an equilibrium altering therapy.
Achievement Award? Gratifying, but I ain't dead yet!
Learn more about my work by clicking on the active link in my Instagram profile page.
Self-declared "empaths" are narcissistic individuals who
trumpet their alleged hypersensitivity as a grandiose claim to uniqueness and
victimhood. Empath is a
nonsense label hyped online but with zero clinical significance. Everyone is
possessed of empathy - even narcissists and psychopaths ("cold
empathy"). Everyone is, therefore, an "empath".
Admittedly, there are Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) around: their empathy is so extreme that it renders them "skinless": they cannot firewall others emotions and pain and gets flooded and dystegulated. But HSPs are extremely few and far between - not a dime a dozen. They are also utterly unlikely to expose themselves online: they tend to be inordinately introverted, schizoid, and avoidant.
HSP is not to be confused with the neurological condition Sensory Processing Sensitivity.
The online forums where self-styled "empaths" congregate are cesspools of malice and dysempathy, oneupmanship and spite, delusional fantasies and competitive, professional victimhood. Based on anecdotal observations only, most "empaths" strike me as collapsed or covert narcissists who had been out-narcissized and abused by overt narcissists. Their self-imputed "sensitivity" is merely a manifestation of narcissistic rage following a series of narcissistic injuries.
is often confused and conflated with dissociation, confabulation, and
dissonances. I should have foreseen that when I borrowed the term and
introduced it into wider discourse in the 1990s.
Gaslighting: a deliberate strategy of impairing the reality test of another person and rendering them dependent on the gaslighter for critical cognitive functions, usually to assert control for personal gain
Dissociation: persistent amnesiac gaps in memory which result in an incoherent and discontinuous sense of self and inconsistent or contradictory thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of the same individual.
Confabulation: ego-congruent attempts to create plausible - though often untrue - narratives to bridge over dissociative memory gaps.
Dissonance: holding two mutually exclusive and contradictory thoughts, emotions, and beliefs at the same time (example: love-hate ambivalence)
"Disappearing" into the intimate partner one
loves is very common among codependents
and borderlines. The clinical term is "merger" or
"fusion" and it is accomplished via sex or emotionally or, more
commonly, in both ways.
The beloved mate then fulfils psychological functions that non-codependents and healthy people perform on their own, internally.
Codependents and Borderlines outsource their psychological functioning to a partner and therefore "vanish" as an autonomous, self-efficacious agent.
Hence their clinging and extreme separation or abandonment anxiety: a breakup with the partner is tantamount to psychodynamic amputation.
is kaleidoscopic, adaptive, self-efficacious, and multi-faceted fantasy
combined with a set of cognitive deficits and delusions. When challenged on one
front (say, as a genius), the narcissist shapeshifts his claim to fame and
uniqueness (now posing, say, as self-righteous or a victim)
Grandiosity has a role in healthy personal growth: separation-individuation, the formation of self and identity, and boundary setting. In its malignant form, it is a phase in the onset of Borderline Personality Disorder ("failed narcissism") and is also manifest in psychopathy, the manic phase of Bipolar Disorder, and other derangements.
Narcissistic grandiose defenses can be triggered by locus and circumstances even in otherwise normal people. Some people are narcissistic in only a specific environment ("pathological narcissistic space"), forming a "grandiosity bubble".
Louise Reay and Marina Parker interview me for their new documentary on domestic violence and abuse. 4 tense, intensive hours, unease on both sides, tough on all parties: interviewer (a survivor of narcissistic abuse herself) and interviewee alike. Seeing the light, finally: me and my old, trusted laptop, toil away at my work station. To my left: my singing Christmas tree.
I attribute the rise of narcissism to urban overcrowding, the
population bomb (overpopulation), and our innate desire to be noticed by others
(to be seen) at any cost to us and even at the expense of others. Narcissism
is, therefore, the human equivalent of the behavioral sink in rats and
The ethologist John B. Calhoun conducted experiments in the 1960s and 1970s on rats in "rat utopias": pens with optimal conditions for unfettered reproduction. He reproduced his alarming results with mice later in his career.
As the numbers of rodents rose in their enclosures, he observed an explosion of "social pathologies": promiscuity, miscarriages, cannibalism, maternal dysfunctions, schizoid withdrawal or its opposite, compulsive and frenetic fraternizing. The very fabric of social organization was frayed. The rodents developed what today would be called "personality disorders".
Rules of Attraction and Rejection by Somatic Narcissists
Somatic narcissists use sexual conquests and certain types of sex (kink, BDSM) to engender and garner narcissistic supply.
Contrary to misinformation online:
1. Somatic narcissists can and do maintain sexually exclusive relationships; and
2. Cerebral narcissists do go through somatic phases (type inconstancy)
Somatic narcissists and cerebrals in a somatic phase settle ONLY for two types of relationships
1. Fuck and Fun (sex and constant conquest, even with the same woman, if she is labile and promiscuous); or
2. Fuck, no Fun (sex only)
Both Somatics and Cerebrals in a somatic period of their lives are NOT interested in:
3. Fun only (endless courting or friendship without sex). If the somatic finds the partner sexually unattractive or unavailable, he absents himself or dumps her outright.
In a Fuck and Fun relationship (type 1), if the Fun is compromised (the partner becomes demanding, critical, dismissive, bored, or aggressive) - the sex stops as well and the somatic narcissist loses all interest in the relationship.
While in a somatic phase, cerebral narcissists maintain a primary relationship with a "service provider" (homemaker, adulator, business partner, or personal assistant) and other liaisons with Fun and Fuck or only Fuck buddies and partners. In other words, they are likely to cheat on all their intimate partners simultaneously.
Thus, double - or triple or quadruple - parallel lives are typical of cerebral narcissists in the throes of a somatic state, not of somatic ones who typically recoil from long-term commitment and permanence (constancy).
Cerebrals in a somatic stage are also insistent on pledges of one-sided sexual exclusivity from all their concurrent partners and regard any triangulation or sexual misbehavior with another man as immediate and irrevocable dealbreakers.
Cognitive reframing is not a technique in any treatment modality. It
refers to a mental process of shifting thinking: the inner conversion of
positive thoughts regarding oneself, one's life, and others into negative
cognitions - or vice versa. Cognitive reframing can be induced in therapy or by
the shifting circumstances of one's life as well as by new information.
Reframing is a shift from one narrative of one's life and of others' place and roles in one's life into another narrative with an explanatory power: an organizing principle which imbues one's personal history with meaning and direction.
The technique used in various psychotherapies is known as cognitive restructuring of cognitive distortions ("automatic negative thoughts" or ANTs). Cognitive restructuring is the main technique used in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). Some elements of cognitive restructuring (like guided imagery) are incorporated in Cold Therapy as well.
We tend to think of the mores and conventions of our times as
eternal. Nothing is further from the truth. Even extreme practices such as
incest were once condoned and codified (for example: in Ancient Egypt).
Homosexuality was an integral part of the education of young men in the Greek
Similarly, adultery was the bon ton in the high Middle Ages, especially in southern France and Sicily. It was called "amour courtois" (courtly love): knight errants (troubadours) would court married noblewomen and dedicate to them acts of chivalry and reams of romantic and explicitly erotic poetry. The affairs did not remain Platonic but were always public.
Between the 17th and the 19th centuries in places like France and Russia, having a lover was as natural as having a husband or a wife.
Plus ca change.
(or statements or strings) can be agreed on by all non-psychotic observers. Of
course, future non-psychotic observers, yet to be born, may disagree and thus
invalidate some primary statements. So, the nature of primary statements is
statistical, consensual (has never been falsified), non-contingent, and
inductive. We call such sentences "facts"
Secondary sentences (or statements or strings) try to "make sense" of primary sentences by incorporating them in theories, both scientific and non-scientific. So, the nature of secondary sentences is asymptotic to the "truth", contingent, adversarial (is falsifiable), and deductive. These are possible sentences.
Thus: large bones are primary sentences. Dinosaurs are secondary sentences. Atoms are primary, quarks secondary. The brain is primary, the mind secondary. Our consciousness and all observables are primary, reality, physics, and God are secondary. The battle of Hastings is primary, its history is secondary
There are two
types of abuser: reactive and gratuitous.
The reactive abuser responds in kind to what he perceives to be provocations and slights. He is hypervigilant but maintains an unimpaired reality test (is not delusional). Put simply: the reactive abuser frequently is indeed being taunted and baited by the target of his ire, verbal abuse, and explosive rage. Victimhood is an integral part of some people's identity and abuse is their comfort zone and so, using projective identification, they solicit and elicit maltreatment. When the reactive abuser externalizes his aggression he means to communicate anger and thus modify the behavior of his counterpart, intimate partner, or interlocutor.
Not so the gratuitous abuser: he or she reacts mostly to internal processes. The abuse meted out is intended to restore an inner equilibrium and establish an homeostatic environment in which urges, dysregulated emotions, anxieties, and jumbled thoughts are somehow kept in check. Externalizing the pent-up aggression is merely letting off cumulated steam. The target is incidental
It is easy to confuse and conflate the two types of abusers because reactive abusers sometimes erupt hours or days after the initial irritation, having reached a critical threshold. Thus temporally divorced from the stimulus, the abusive conduct erroneously appears to be utterly uncalled for and gratuitous.
- using a third party to provoke jealousy in, garner attention from, or punish
one's intimate partner - sometimes goes awry and ends badly. The third party
can sexually assault the triangulator or the targeted intimate partner can
simply walk away from the whole manipulative scene.
Most triangulators are impulsive and defiant. They externalize their own dysregulated negative emotions which often overwhelm them. Their thinking is short-term, their empathy gone and so they are often shocked by the consequences of their own misbehavior: being raped by the "nice guy" or a breakup with the spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend
Things especially cascade and escalate out of control if all the parties involved are immature and narcissistic and therefore callous and exploitative. What starts as a mere flirtation ends up being a deleterious power play to the point of no return for everyone involved.
There are three types of pathological mindsets of
victims of abuse:
1. "Professional" victims whose victimhood is an integral and crucial part of their identity and sense of self-worth. Abuse is their comfort zone and they provoke, elicit, and solicit it. Their self-imputed superiority, both moral and personal, helps them to regulate their sense of self-worth.
2. Defiant: these victims are engaged in a sempiternal power play with their abusers and react with abuse of their own to any maltreatment. The spiral of mutual torment is hard to break because drama antics and trauma bonding intermingle. The victim's conduct gradually becomes increasingly more psychopathic or narcissistic.
3. Submissive: the majority of victims feel bad in the abusive environment and seek to extricate themselves emotionally or physically. But a minority of victims succumb to their fate and accept it unquestioningly, as a force majeure. They reframe the abuse and engage in "malignant optimism". "It is not all bad", they exclaim: "It is not what it seems."
Giving generously to others makes them hate you: charity makes them
feel like inferior, needy failures and they resent your ostentatious largesse
at their expense. Being on the receiving end of advice, help, money, or
anything else results in a narcissistic injury.
If you want people to like you, TAKE from them in a way that flatters their grandiosity! Ask them for a crucial favor! Compliment their knowledge, sagacity, talents, skills, or perspicacity. Thank them profusely and prostrately. Make them feel bigger and better than you in every which way.
The Benjamin Franklin Effect teaches us that so as to resolve the cognitive dissonance, even people who hate you but have helped you out will start to regard you in a more positive light in order to explain to themselves why they had assisted you in the first place.
Some women who are rejected and abused by their primary intimate
partners trash themselves: get inebriated, high, and end up having dingy
promiscuous sex often with lowlife scum - or otherwise recklessly
This egregious misbehavior is intended to secure three concurrent goals:
1. To punish and hurt the partner by debasing his "property"
2. To self-flagellate for the perceived infuriating, incapacitating, and self-defeating dependence on the indifferent or abusive partner (thus confirming his view of her as unattractive, worthless, bad, ineffectual, damaged goods, and broken sluttish "whore"); and
3. To humiliate the partner and guilt trip him for having hurt the woman and for having failed to save her from herself or to triangulate with the aim of getting to the partner and eliciting an emotional reaction from him (jealousy, anger, anything).
Fully 91% of both men and women equate sexual exclusivity in a committed
relationship with dating exclusivity: no dating others, no sex acts with
As usual, narcissists and psychopaths enforce a one-sided deal: they provide no commitment or exclusivity and expect both in return. They lead double and triple lives and, within the couple, absent themselves and withhold affection and sex.
As Lidija Rangelovska (@reframingtheself) observed: the rise of narcissism among men led to a corresponding surge of similar traits and misbehaviors among women in their attempt to adapt to the new environment and cope with it.
Misconduct typical of Borderline (indistinguishable from CPTSD), Histrionic, and Narcissistic personality disorders has exploded among women. Witness, for example, the tripling of adultery rates and quadrupling of casual sex encounters among women of all age groups since the 1970s as well as the tidal wave of female defiant and antisocial (psychopathic) incidents.
Women are adopting hitherto exclusive narcissistic and psychopathic male mores and behaviors. They are emulating "bad guys" rather than "nice guys" because they feel imminently threatened and heartbroken. It is a narcissistic-psychopathic jungle out there, so better be predator than prey.
We - of both sexes and all genders - have completed the transition from a world of praying to a reality of preying.
Your life is a failure only if you have never made anyone durably happy and it is a success only if you have never made anyone irreversibly miserable.
Modern works of
art contain copious amounts of coded information (provenance) about the
artist, his life, his milieu, and his period; influences on his art; the tools
of his art (colors, shapes, brushes, light, and so on); his techniques; and,
above all, his philosophy of art and his message
Like paper money, cryptocurrencues, collectibles, or tulips during the era of tulipmania in Amsterdam, works of art are a store of value: conduits of wealth transfer and vehicles of speculation. They are worth millions because a sufficient number of people agree that they are worth millions and are willing to dole out these egregious dollops of dough in order to temporarily own them.
In their desperate attempts to put narcissists and narcissistic
abuse firmly in the rebound rearview mirror, many victims select new
intimate partners who appear to be antithetical to their erstwhile bad guy
abusers: self-effacing, easygoing, good-hearted, kind, supportive, laid back,
and empathic beta male Big Lebowskis.
Regrettably, such mate selection entails a blind and unthinking preference for the ostentatious non- or anti- narcissist. It renders the survivors of abuse gullible. They become vulnerable and amenable to the dubious charms of covert narcissists and passive-aggressives who masquerade as "nice guys." Appearances are frequently deceiving and most of these newfound paramours are anything but nice and good: they are psychopathic predators, wolves, not sheep.
On a first date or encounter, we present our gender personas to each other and weigh mostly sex-related factors such as physical attractiveness, a "feel good" emanation, or even a sense of humor.
As the relationship deepens, we begin to factor in dimensions of the partner's personality not merely as a man or a woman, but as a person. This is where attachment or repulsion set in. And this is when faux "good guys" are exposed as what they truly are: thespian love-bombers, sexual assaulters, pernicious and stealthy abusers, worse even than the overt and grandiose former narcissistic partners.
The Cathexis Lens
The narcissist or psychopath cathect (invest with emotional and mental energy) only service providers of both genders and only for as long as they provide him with services and are optimally functional. Their cathexis is like a lens that focuses their energy where it affords the highest and richest yield.
Devoid of access to positive emotions and possessed only of cold empathy, both the narcissist and the psychopath are incapable of any form of attachment and intimacy, let alone love. Instead, they are transactional: they trade. They offer limited attention, adventures, sex, and money in return for sex, narcissistic supply, homemaking, personal assistance, fun, and sundry other companionable roles.
Consequently, the people in the narcissist's or psychopath's life are commodified: they become interchangeable, indistinguishable, and objectified as mere service providers. Narcissists and psychopaths have flat attachment.
Narcissists and psychopaths also exhibit short latency (grieving over breakups), despite overpowering object impermanence (inconstancy) and separation-abandonment anxiety. The only thing that survives a defunct relationship and a discarded and decathected partner are the vindictive grudges nurtured by narcissistic injuries (humiliation) and frustrations wrought by the now otherwise long-forgotten mate.
Women get drunk or high and place themselves in reckless,
compromising and dangerous situations with men they hardly know - or with men
they know only too well. Some women flirt aggressively or make out egregiously,
seductively, and invitingly with no intention to follow through to full-fledged
sex. Ineluctably, many of these women end up being sexually assaulted or even
raped by unscrupulous, predatory men.
Nonconsensual sex is a crime and should always be punished harshly.
But falsely promising sex by word or by abundance of unequivocal actions should be equally criminalized as a form of fraudulent misconduct.
Men should be able to recover costs and damages from these "playful" counterparties, including for distress and hurt feelings.
Promises - made verbally or behaviorally - are binding and should be kept: look up promissory estoppel and breach of promise (mainly in marriage). Leading on and misrepresentation should be a crime not only in business and should have adverse actionable and tort or public reputation consequences and not only in politics.
If there were ONLY two types of men in the world - NO OTHERS! - which would you prefer:
1. A good financial provider but ignores you, criticizes you, and devalues you, especially when you are down. Shows no interest in you as long as you service him to his satisfaction. Lets you be and is totally indifferent and bored with you except when he needs something from you. Demands rare or no sex at all - may even be asexual.
2. Though not your intimate partner, just an acquaintance, he provides attention and empathy, friendship, compassion and support - but then assaults you sexually or insists on having sex with you regardless of your lack of attraction to him, lack of consent, resistance, and objections. Having sex is his condition to spending time with you.
Remember: you MUST choose only ONE of these TWO types of men
Which type of man would you prefer? 1 or 2?
"I will never meet him again!" Every rape
counsillor can confirm that this is the standard "punishment" meted
out to the perpetrators by female victims of rape, sexual assault, or other
forms of coercive, non-consensual sex. "That's it! He will never see
me again!" But how is this "threat" a punishment? It is
laughable! It implies that the culprit WANTS to reunite with his prey. Nothing,
of course, could be further from the truth.
As @reframingtheself observes, it is a grandiose attempt by the victim to restore her shattered self-esteem and sense of control. Victims react to all manner of trauma with narcissistic and psychopathic behaviors and traits ("overlay").
The perpetrator got everything that he wanted - sex!!! The victim has nothing more to offer him that he wants. In the wake of the crime, his only fervent desire is to never again lay eyes on the woman! "We will never be together again" is, therefore, not a penalty - but a granted wish, a reward. The molester is counting on the victim's avoidance and silence to evade all accountability and the consequences of his misdeeds.
The wet, grandiose, dream of psychologists is to be considered
scientists. Freud's psychoANALYSIS implies that psychology is akin to physics
or mathematics: an exact and accurate science.
The disheartening truth is that it is a pipe-dream. The field ineluctably fails the critical tests of a scientific theory: testability, verifiability, refutability, falsifiability, and repeatability (reproducibility).
There are four reasons to account for this shortcoming:
1. Ethical – To substantiate a theory experiments would have to be conducted on the patient and others. To achieve the necessary result, the subjects must be ignorant of the fact that they are being experimented upon (in double blind experiments) or remain in the dark regarding what the experimenters want to achieve. Some experiments may involve unpleasant or even traumatic experiences. This is ethically unacceptable.
2. The Psychological Uncertainty Principle – The current position of a human subject can be fully known. But both treatment and experimentation influence the subject and void this knowledge. The very processes of measurement and observation influence the subject and change him or her.
3. Uniqueness – Psychological experiments are, therefore, bound to be unique. They cannot be repeated elsewhere and at other times even if they involve the SAME subjects. This is because the subjects are never really the same due to the above-mentioned psychological uncertainty principle. Repeating the experiments with other subjects adversely affects the scientific value of the results.
4. The undergeneration of testable hypotheses – Psychology does not generate a sufficient number of hypotheses, which can be subjected to scientific testing. This has to do with the fabulous (=storytelling) nature of psychology. In a way, psychology has affinity with some private languages. It is a form of art and, as such, is self-sufficient. If structural, internal constraints and requirements are met – a statement is deemed true even if it does not satisfy external scientific requirements.
Men and women born after 1995 maintain an "intimacy
cloud": their marriage or committed relationship is only one liaison among
a few and, sometimes, not even a privileged or unique one.
In these post-modern arrangements within the hookup culture, the intimate partners compete for the time, resources, and access to sex of their mates with work colleagues, same-sex friends, friends with benefits, opposite-sex friends, former old flames, schoolmates, have been and wannabe lovers, and other denizens of the intimacy cloud with whom close and recurrent meaningful contact is maintained throughout the life of the primary couple.
Increasingly, even sexual and dating exclusivity are challenged by the members of these young generations. A full 3% now openly profess to regarding their boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse as just another intimate or sex partner among many. They date others frequently and see nothing wrong with it. Another 10-15% are in consensual open relationships and 21% are in sexless dyads.
Consequently, among young men and women in committed primary relationships, behaviors hitherto considered egregious misconduct have exploded, even quadrupled in incidence: adultery, casual sex (one night stands), getting drunk or high with a friend and then sleeping over ("he is like a brother to me, not a man!"), all-nighter solitary bar-hopping, travelling on holidays with someone other than the ostensibly main intimate partner, chatting or picking up total strangers in restaurants and pubs, sharing drinks or hotel room ("crashing") with unknowns, and similar non-monogamous manifestations.
Narcissism in Politics (RTL TV in Hungary)
My segments in English
Can Meghan Markle be a toxic narcissistic personality?
https://bit.ly/2G3336b (short URL)
What does narcissism mean and why is it dangerous?
https://bit.ly/2tA6Yo6 (short URL)
The program Fókusz Plusz with Csilla Temesvari
There are four
categories of cheating on an intimate partner:
1. Deceitful: run of the mill surreptitious unfaithfulness intended to compensate for lacks in the adulterer's primary relationship or life and expressive of deficient coping strategies, self-inefficacy, and deepset character flaws;
2. Ostentatious: intended to triangulate with a third party, elicit jealousy, and, ironically, provoke the complacent and indifferent partner into resuscitating the relationship;
3. Projective: intended to end the relationship by forcing the wronged intimate partner into the villain's role, rendering him or her paranoid, aggressive, and controlling. Dumping the partner then becomes both easier and justified. Such affairs or one night stands usually involve the shocking, out of the blue, and scorchingly humiliating public misconduct of the perpetrator;
4. Bridge: intended to sever the emotional bonds, burn all the bridges back to the dysfunctional relationship, breach all the verbal and unspoken understandings underlying the dyad, and propel the disloyal traitorous partner to move on to greener pastures.
Is it possible to cheat on a cuckold (a man who gets off on watching his woman make out or copulate with other men)?
Of course it is.
When the cuckold is not informed of his partner's dalliance with
another man, or when, having been informed, he withholds his consent - anything
his partner does amounts to cheating.
Many cuckolds insist on being present during the sex, actively participating in it, "directing" the scene, placing strict boundaries on permissible behaviors, and controlling a lot of what goes on.
There is no cheating only if the partner's sex with others elicits positive emotions all around and overall (a little jealousy is inevitable), when the act is negotiated and agreed to well in advance, is voluntary on both sides, and not presented as a shocking and humiliating fait accompli.
Cheating involves the heartbreaking and disorientating loss of trust owing to deception and betrayal. The cheated party also mourns the intimacy his partner seemed to have found with another. None of these happen in a well-regulated lifestyle of swinging and cuckoldry.
Often we assign to ourselves roles that fly in the face
of who we really are: our predilections, predisposition, qualities, traits,
talents, skills, personality, and upbringing.
This conflict between reality and wishful thinking ineluctably leads to frustration, self-defeat, aggression, and, in extremis, self-loathing and self-destruction. Not everyone is built and destined to be a husband, a wife, a parent, a lover, a healer, a fixer, a businessman, a success, a friend, or a leader.
Roles give rise to boundaries. But when there is a discrepancy between the world and one's self-perception, enforced boundaries translate badly into rabid reclusiveness and the outright and rude rejection of others.
Abuse frustrates its victims and, as Dollard and Miller observed
back in 1939, frustration
But aggression is multifarious and protean.
Some victims verbalize and externalize their helpless rage and convert it into premeditated actions that are intended to be both punitive and restorative: hurt the abuser, eliminate the asymmetry of power, and restore the relationship on healthier foundations. Many extramarital love affairs attempt to accomplish precisely these goals.
Other victims sublimate their impotent anger into negativistic passive-aggression. When they finally do act, their explosive, impulsive, reckless, and destructive actions ("acting out") are intended to undermine the relationship irrevocably and extricate them from what had become an intolerable torture chamber.
A woman's kiss can turn any man from toad to prince.
The narcissist is the sole exception: he turns from prince to toad.
Make up is
the only case of false advertising that is not criminalized.
And when the news is revealed as fake, the election is over and you are stuck with four years or longer of orange hair in bed and a burgeoning budget deficit.
When should you forgive
your cheating partner and give the relationship, such as it is, a second
chance? It depends on the answers to three questions. This is the male
perspective, but it applies to the other side as well: just change the personal
1. Why did she cheat? Was it NOT in order to satisfy unmet emotional needs but merely because of a penchant for novelty and risk taking? Did she feel compelled to have sex with the other party (out of fear, or gratitude, or pity, or pressure, or building expectations)? Did she lead him on, did all the flirting? Was she drunk or high? Did she initiate the sex? Did she place herself squarely in compromising circumstances bound to lead to sexual assault or voluntary lovemaking? Did she mean to hurt you, take revenge, or provoke your jealousy (triangulate)? Was there malice involved: rage, defiance, and disappointment? If the answer is "yes" to ANY of these questions, walk away, the relationship is hopelessly doomed: the betrayal will happen again.
2. Was sex the ineluctable outcome of her choices, decisions, and behaviors? Could she reasonably have expected the situation to deteriorate or become risky and end in copulation? Accepting the possibility of eventual sex is the same like choosing to have sex. Say goodbye to such a partner.
3. Most importantly: did she replace you with him even for one night? Were they emotionally intimate, hugged, kissed, touched, danced, socialized, spent quality time together, had fun, talked endlessly, laughed at each other's jokes ... In short: was he her new full-fledged intimate partner, no matter how transiently? If so, quit. It is one thing to merely have sex - it is another issue altogether to find a "rescuer", dump you emotionally, transfer her allegiance and commitment to him, badmouth you, betray your secrets, and find in the new Man the comfort, affection, friendship, warmth, and intimacy that she feels that she lacks with you.
There are two
developmental paths to pathological (secondary) narcissism, replete with a
parasitic False Self:
1. Obviating the child's separation and individuation by constantly breaching boundaries and undermining the child's reality test. The parent treats the child as an extension or instrument of gratification and raises the child in a bubble of grandiosity and entitlement.
This has the effect of rewarding a false, inauthentic, thespian self-construct over the True Self. Positive reinforcement and operant conditioning conspire to elevate the former and inactivate the latter.
2. Invading the child's body and mind disruptively and repeatedly via classical forms of abuse (sexual, verbal, physical, psychological). The child concocts a godlike figurehead defense (the False Self) and learns to rely on it for protection and shielding from hurt. Gradually, as a consequence of use it or lose it, the hapless True Self atrophies and is rendered non-functional.
I create only when I am in excruciating pain, ubiquitous strife, and
a state of hypervigilant conflict over real or imagined slights and abuse.
I equate creating with living: innovation is life itself. When I don't create, I feel inert, dead.
So, I make sure to engineer situations which cause me intolerable agony (shoehorn my women into cheating on me, for example). I provoke backlash, contumaciously challenge authority, skirt the Law, bait fate, assume risks, invite maltreatment and universal loathing.
And then I sit down to distil my blood, sweat, and copious tears, the headstone memories of itinerant men and women, the echoes of loves and hatreds and fights, objects that are alive with reminisced hurt. I plunge straight into this abyss and like a pearl diver emerge with one gem after another: the very molecules I am made of as I exsanguinate.
Then, one day, a mere pale emanation, I will be no more. At peace at last. Nothing left to say or write or do. The silence of one lamb.
Cerebral narcissists go through somatic phases in order to acquire or hoover new life partners. It is akin to the dynamic of rape: not about sex, but about domination, power, and control in a dyad. The cerebral seeks to leverage spectacular accomplished sex to engender submission, dependence, and addiction in the prospective and actual partner. Like the somatic, the aim is conquest – but, unlike the somatic, the cerebral settles for long-term liaisons.
Once the target is acquired (or if the potential target is deemed unsuitable for the “job”: inadequate, frustrating, demanding, or unavailable), the cerebral reverts to his habitual asexuality or hyposexuality, his libido spent and now sublimated into intellectual pursuits.
This curious motivational pattern also accounts for the cerebral’s reaction to being cheated on: not jealousy, but rage at the narcissistic injury, at the loss of control and disempowerment, and at the depleting waste of scarce resources (like time and money) invested in the cheating partner.
The cerebral remains sexually exclusive as long as he keeps getting fed the 3 Ss: Supply (adulating companionship), Services (homemaking, secretarial, business), and (rarely) Sex. A potential target and an actual partner should satisfy any 2 out of 3 Ss unobtrusively and uncritically. Cerebrals sometimes resort to maintaining two or more concurrent intimate relationships to meet all 3 Ss.
Cerebrals are transactional (“what’s in it for me”). They find sex boring, repetitive, limited, and medically perilous. Sex requires tedious and grating reciprocity coupled with inordinate amounts of investment - but offers only marginal variability and little ROI.
At best, the cerebral masters some passing arousal while he interacts with an objectified female body, often in kinky or humiliating ways, her submission as confirmatory of his conquest. Typically, deficient in both emotions and empathy, the cerebral is utterly turned off by his profound disinterest in his partner’s humdrum personality and life.
The cerebral perceives sex as a lamentable and repetitive maintenance chore which consumes precious hours better dedicated to truly pleasurable pursuits, like reading or writing, or watching documentaries, or doing research.
Contrary to misinformation online, cerebrals abhor casual sex for several psychodynamic reasons: 1. It is perceived as aimless (no acquisition, only momentary copulation); 2. The fact that the female wants no further contact after the sexual encounter is a severe narcissistic injury, challenging the cerebral’s grandiose sense of uniqueness and addictive irresistibility. Ironically, the cerebral is as faithful as they come owing to this confluence of aforementioned factors.
But the cerebral is not devoid of deceit. He is the epitome of false advertising: In the initial phases of courting, he is invariably hypersexed: pyrotechnic fireworks ensue in bed. But this is merely a show off of yet another superior skill, like the cerebral’s intellect, or his sense of humor. Unfurled, this peacock’s train is merely intended to attract, addict, and dominate before it is retracted. It is not on permanent display.
Cerebrals reject, abuse, and withhold as their three main modes of communication. They absent themselves both emotionally and sexually. No wonder their intimate partners end up with other men, any men: even fractions of affection, comfort, emotions, attention, and sex are vastly preferable to the inanimate wasteland of the faux and servile togetherness with a cerebral.
To qualify as a true dilemma, a conundrum that
confounds decision making, three elements must exist: choice, valence, and
Often it seems like we have a choice, but actually we do not. What we will end up doing is a foregone conclusion, predetermined, not to say predestined.
Valence means good or bad, desirable or unwanted, right or wrong. For a dilemma to manifest, each of its horns must have the same valence and be unambiguous, monovalent. A dilemma is between two good or bad alternatives, not between a good one and a bad one.
The potency of the different options must be the same: they must be equally bad or equally good.
One way to resolve a dilemma (to opt for one of the two horns) is to imagine one's life without each of the two outcomes and then see where happiness is maximized.
narcissists fail repeatedly to secure narcissistic supply (attention). Some
of them withdraw from an injurious world & try to extract supply solely from
their intimate partner. They insist to become the only focus of their mate's
endless curiosity, wonder, awe, devotion, passionate desire, jealousy,
possessiveness, cognitions, & feelings. They use this constant state of
reassurance, akin to "love bombing", to regulate their moods &
emotions, self-worth, & even sense of being.
The uninterrupted flow of the partner's ministrations to them is critical: even the tiniest break, however justified, is perceived as malicious abandonment, frustrating rejection, and excoriating abuse. In the absence of this permanent and obsessive love bombing, all other aspects of the relationship - for example: sex with the "delinquent" partner - are recast as coercive, fake, & exploitative. There are entries in this collapsed narcissist's conditional mental ledger: she gives (e.g. sex or love) only if and when she had received her fix: her dose of unmitigated, rapt, unceasing, and breathless attention.
Behaviorally, this variant of collapsed narcissist is indistinguishable from the Borderline patient or certain types of codependents: they all seek merger and fusion with their significant others, cling needily to them, and display extreme separation and abandonment anxiety. They all triangulate egregiously when they feel ignored and their needs overlooked, they decompensate, act out, and engage in reckless behaviors of all kinds, which often are deeply hurtful to the partner (drinking, unprotected sex, compulsive cheating, drug use, gambling, crime, and so on).
When a woman
cheats on an intimate partner, it is typically because she feels
unfathomably lonely & miserable owing to egregiously unmet emotional &
sexual needs. She is unseen, transparent to her mate. Frequently, she also
abused routinely, at least verbally.
The cheating act - especially if it is a one night affair - provides distraction, but, more importantly, a restorative male gaze: the other man proffers the attention, empathy, support, a modicum of intimacy, & lust so sorely lacking in the primary connection. Less commonly it is an act of triangulation intended to hurt the primary partner or elicit a reaction from him (being noticed by him, jealousy)
Women who end up having sex outside the couple sometimes do so because they feel grateful to the new entrant: they may believe that giving their sex is part of the implicit deal struck when they have agreed to date him, that they had led the man on. They may also fear rape if they are perceived as mere teases. There is also a sense of liberating adventure, novelty, & the allure of the forbidden. And having sex helps to revive the woman's flagging self-esteem & awaken her battered femininity.
Having sex with another man usually makes it easier to break up with an abuser or an incompatible partner: it severs the powerful bonds of consensual exclusive attachment.
Some women prepare themselves rather reluctantly for the ineluctable sexual denouement by drinking or getting high. Psychoactive substances reduce inhibitions ("I don't care anymore"), render an even unattractive man irresistible (beer goggles), provide an excuse for misbehavior between the sheets, & engender growing closeness between the drinking or smoking buddies as time passes.
Still, in the majority of cases of straying, women seek only companionship. That many of these events end in actual copulation has little to do with female choice: it demonstrates the ubiquity of sexual assault in the compromising circumstances & situations that many women create with their unwise - desperate, defiant, or impulsive - decisions.
Polonius gives this advice to Laertes in "Hamlet": "To thine own self be true. Thou canst not then be false to any man."
the delusional belief that another person - who is usually unattainable or
unavailable - is infatuated or in love with the erotomaniac. It involves
referential ideation (ideas of reference): the conviction that actions and
utterances by the target are coded messages intended for the erotomaniac. It
usually results in extreme stalking behaviors, like home invasion or even
Milder, functional versions of erotomania abound. One of the diagnostic criteria of Histrionic Personality Disorder is: "considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are." Similarly, men suffer from sexual overperception bias: the erroneous belief that women who are being nice to them or laugh at their jokes are also sexually attracted.
When erotomaniacs are frustrated, having dramatically misjudged the extent, depth, or type of the commitment in the relationship - they frequently become enraged, vindictive, and defiant. They decompensate and act out recklessly and hurtfully.
More about the erotomaniac stalker here: https://samvak.tripod.com/abusefamily18.html
Nothing is more infuriating than the passive-aggressive evasiveness
or gaslighting of the narcissist and psychopath.
He denies that anything at all had happened, then he parades a kaleidoscopic array of protean contradictory versions of what may actually have occurred, then he minimizes the meaning of what finally he grudgingly acknowledges had transpired. Throughout this teeth extracting process, he implies that to dispute his claims or doubt him is a sure sign of derangement and proof positive of an impaired reality test.
Having admitted wrongdoing, he axiologically reframes the transgression: he did nothing wrong in his book, the values of the injured party are old-fashioned or plain irrational, his misconduct is common or accepted where he comes from, he could not have acted differently under the circumstances and constraints of the moment, he had no premeditated intention to act the way he did, it just happened, he was drunk or high or stressed or angry or sad or disappointed, lonely and miserable.
Finally he shifts blame (alloplastic defense with an external locus of control): the narcissist or psychopath was drunk or high, he was forced or coopted, got taken by surprise or gullibly taken advantage of and abused.
Or the perennial: it is all the victim's or hurt party's fault, she made him do it, she misbehaved, abused, pushed him to misdeeds, to the brink of insanity, to the point of no return where he could no longer recognize himself. Usurping the victim role is a surefire sign that the narcissist or psychopath has done something truly rotten or dangerous.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica provides this definition of a crime: "The
intentional commission of an act usually deemed socially harmful or dangerous
and specifically defined, prohibited, and punishable under the criminal
But who decides what is socially harmful? What about acts committed unintentionally (known as "strict liability offences" in the parlance)? How can we establish intention - "mens rea", or the "guilty mind" - beyond a reasonable doubt?
A much tighter definition would be: "The commission of an act punishable under the criminal law." A crime is what the law - state law, kinship law, religious law, or any other widely accepted law - says is a crime. Legal systems and texts often conflict.
Murderous blood feuds are legitimate according to the 15th century "Qanoon", still applicable in large parts of Albania. Killing one's infant daughters and old relatives is socially condoned - though illegal - in India, China, Alaska, and parts of Africa. Genocide may have been legally sanctioned in Germany and Rwanda - but is strictly forbidden under international law.
Laws being the outcomes of compromises and power plays, there is only a tenuous connection between justice and morality. Some "crimes" are categorical imperatives. Helping the Jews in Nazi Germany was a criminal act - yet a highly moral one.
The ethical nature of some crimes depends on circumstances, timing, and cultural context. Murder is a vile deed - but assassinating Saddam Hussein may be morally commendable. Killing an embryo is a crime in some countries - but not so killing a fetus. A "status offence" is not a criminal act if committed by an adult. Mutilating the body of a live baby is heinous - but this is the essence of Jewish circumcision. In some societies, criminal guilt is collective. All Americans are held blameworthy by the Arab street for the choices and actions of their leaders. All Jews are accomplices in the "crimes" of the "Zionists"
misogynists. They hold women in contempt, they loathe and fear them. They
seek to torment and frustrate them (either by debasing them sexually - or by
withholding sex from them). They harbor ambiguous feelings towards the sexual
The somatic narcissist uses sex to "conquer" and "secure" new sources of narcissistic supply. Consequently, the somatic rarely gets emotionally-involved with his "targets". His is a mechanical act, devoid of intimacy and commitment. The cerebral narcissist feels that sex is demeaning and degrading. Acting on one's sex drive is a primitive, basic, and common impulse. The cerebral narcissist convinces himself that he is above all that, endowed as he is with superior intelligence and superhuman self-control.
Still, sex for both types of narcissists is an instrument designed to increase the number of Sources of Narcissistic Supply. If it happens to be the most efficient weapon in the narcissist's arsenal, he makes profligate use of it. In other words: if the narcissist cannot obtain adoration, admiration, approval, applause, or any other kind of attention by other means (e.g., intellectually) – he resorts to sex.
He then becomes a satyr (or a nymphomaniac): indiscriminately engages in sex with multiple partners. His sex partners are considered by him to be objects - sources of Narcissistic Supply. It is through the processes of successful seduction and sexual conquest that the narcissist derives his badly needed narcissistic "fix".