Tuesday, November 27, 2018

You Can Only Change Yourself

A Narcissistic Family Can Spread the Smoke of Disrespect Until A Scapegoat Walks

I had a commenter post on one of the Tiffany Sedaris posts.

Someone who Agrees About Tiffany Sedaris

Here is what they said to me:

AnonymousNovember 26, 2018 at 10:50 PM
I personally knew and loved Tiffany. Met her when I was 21 in Raleigh, she was living at home and had a fun sarcastic relationship with her brother Paul and her parents. At the time Amy still lived at home and was waiting tables. 
Tiffany was hilarious but she was also very difficult. She would turn on a dime. Love you and feed you, compliment you and bend over backwards for you, and then you were dead to her because she misinterpreted something.
Years later I ended up in Boston and tracked her down. I was excited at the thought of catching up. We hung [sic] out a couple if times and then she called me accusing me of something I still don't quite understand. I was seated next to an old boyfriend of hers at a Christmas party, I didn't know,I didn't know he was her old boyfriend, she had been the one who did the breaking up so I was a little thrown by the accusation. I tried to talk to her, but she never spoke to me again. Year's later when I was in Raleigh I heard she was in town and called her dad Lou. He was very nice and wanted she and I to see one another but she wouldn't consider talking to me.
I loved Tiffany and only wished her well but she lived a life of distrust and clung to past grievances I know her stint at Elan left scars but if you are unwilling to move forward and let go that cant be blamed on her family.
Nobody knows you like family, and yes there's another side of us all that differentiates us from our family but invalidate what they ecperienced. Tiffany had some genuine problems, she would walk into burger king and talk to everyone, not individually but like she was in stage as an entertainer, and the she could just as easily start a fight. 
Maybe you should just consider that Lisa, David, Gretchen ,Amy and Paul all knew Tiffany in a way we never did. They loved her but when she was reckless it affected them, her death has left a mark on them that you clearly don't understand.
Btw, I appreciated David's New Yorker story. I'm from a family of 7, actually I'm one of those family's David refers to as 'every other' house. I grew up down the street. We went to a beach cottage one week a summer and I gave a sister who is a disrupter. She's beautiful and loving but she's exhausting and I think I understand. Maybe you should all try to also understand.

 Here was my response:

Imagine being scapegoated all the time, which includes smear campaigns, trust and spontaneity end at that door. I've had a few people [cousins and others] in the family tell me, "you gave us false accusations" but when I got down to the core of things, there was real disrespect I was reacting against.

Here is where the smoke and fog and mirrors labels the scapegoat as "difficult" where if a person was to bring up a person's ex among a normal person, they could say "Don't go there." and that would be respected, but a scapegoat, they are "paranoid", "over-reacting" and always WRONG no matter what they do or say. Maybe she erred truly and she came too quick to judgment in your case, but understand this is the back story. A scapegoat is always put in the place of having to defend themselves. 

I had to cut everyone off who chose my family and saw me as only they did. Notice here in this article how my cousin calls me "paranoid", that is the whirlwind the scapegoat gets caught in, and honestly the only way to fix it is to walk. 


So did she misinterpret things? Maybe, Maybe not, but the overall abuse and disrespect that forms a scapegoat's existence is horrible. There's a few on the outer ring who may not have malicious intent. I don't think my cousin had malicious intentions, but you see he had been programmed to see me a certain way as paranoid and difficult.

This is one way a scapegoat's life can be destroyed even in subtle ways by the narcissistic smear campaigns. My rule never to live in a town as an adult that any relatives lived in I believe saved me from a lot more grief.  I couldn't trust anyone who was friendly with my mother and family for you see they infused that poison. I wasn't imagining it. I had no other choice.

Some may consider that draconian, but what else could be done? You see for I was WRONG, no matter what I said or did or in any attempts to fix the situation.
The fact you knew the rest of her family and gained a negative picture of her via them does not surprise me. You remind me of my cousin, you aren't a malicious guy or gal, you seemed to have real fond feelings for Tiffany--I believe my cousin had some for me, but the overall picture is there. You were programmed to see her as "the problem", just like what happened to me.

I do not agree with your statement, "No one knows you like family". My family does not know me and I am a stranger to them and vice versa. Did Tiffany have genuine problems? Most likely. I have problems, but those don't arise in a vacuum. It's interesting to me how the problems of others are deemed acceptable in these family systems while for others it is used as an excuse for how they are disrespected.

Her entire family were all entertainers, so she copied that example. It looked like a free-for all from what David writes with everyone competing with who can be SEEN. As for love, since I don't personally know these people, who knows, I had David's words to go on and other pieces of the puzzle, but I don't believe many scapegoats are loved. Love means respect you see, and I can tell that was lacking very much so. My family does not love me and it was something I had to face.

I was considered "exhausting" even being a quiet bookworm Aspie. Some people on first glance consider me dull and boring until they find out I have a mind. I'm no drama queen, I'm a retreater to the background if anything and an extreme introvert. But the scapegoaters labeled me a certain way. Same with Tiffany.

While the world applauds the extroversion of her siblings, her own extroversion is seen as "difficulty". No one that ever knew my family or mother ever saw me in any decent way.

 I dare say the same happened to Tiffany. Even normal human personality traits when one is scapegoated are seen as "bad" and dysfunctional. Even if she had mental illness, I can tell she was seen "at fault". Even in my own anxiety disorders and depression, I was a "bad" person even though they instigated all that to begin with. One giant cost of being a scapegoat is how disrespect becomes the smoke they walk in sometimes for life until they manage to get out. This is why so many of us end up going no contact with the entire family and even all those who knew them.

I cleaned out my own life from everyone who disrespected me because of my narcissistic family. This as many of you who are long time readers of this blog knows this included dozens of people including family friends and even two college friends. I live in a far different space now in my head and in my life, because there's no one left whose disrespecting me. I don't put up with people who put me down anymore. It has made my life far happier. There's times on this blog however when I do want to discuss some deep issues from my past. This is one where even my own horror at how badly my own reputation had been damaged from my family was a great part of my own pain years ago. This is one of the worse aspects of being scapegoated. Your name is MALIGNED and there's no fixing it no matter what you try to do. The only decision is to walk. I have warned people don't stay attached to the system thinking you can change things. Save yourself and get out.

Part of the being maligned is being told that "you won't let go" or are distrustful. How could anyone have an open and trusting nature after being abused as a scapegoat? If someone was talking to an ex, wouldn't most people be wary? Maybe a few innocents do get caught up in the walls a scapegoat has to raise to protect themselves, but then the over-all negative views of a scapegoat are poison to begin with.

 The decision that I would rather be alone, then take abuse or disrespect was a decision that changed my life. Some good friendships did survive and I have my husband, but honestly as I have written before it was shocking how far the poison had infused and how long it took me to clean it all out. This is something I think people need to be warned of in this process.

What is scary is how narcissists can program people even on outer rings to see the scapegoat in a negative fashion. This happened to me. Narcissists have a talent for programming people to always see the scapegoat as the problem. Well that's what the definition of the scapegoat, the carrier of all the family dysfunction. Many an ACON blog talks about the harm done within a family to a scapegoat's life but it often goes far further to all the family friends and even to the view of a person within a community. The smoke of disrespect leaves the narcissistic household and literally blows down the street.

This commenter claims to be a family friend of the Sedaris family and if they are being truthful on this, the fact that a family friend sees Tiffany as the "problem" too, does not surprise me. I saw this happen with many others. It is a part of the soul murder that is inconceivable  to others, but also ensures there will be no allies even in a community. I tell other ACONs avoid living in any same towns as your relatives. I believe I was saved a lot of grief by living long distance on that one alone.

I had many others tell me, your mother loves you, your family loves you, etc, but if there is no respect there is no love. That applies to all relationships.

My Mother's Second Daughter

Family Friends

Monday, November 26, 2018

Peep's Rules of Happiness for Ex-Scapegoats

1. Stay away from assholes. That one is self explanatory. If someone makes you feel bad run. I know now if I get that creepy feeling inside of feeling like I am treated like I am "nothing" or being pushed aside, it's time to wake up. Avoid criticizers, mean people, and one's who try to nit pick you or put you down.

2. Find the nice people. Contrary to your narcissist's opinions, they are out there. There are people who will care, who will help you, who will treat you like a human being and who will love you. With Aspies, this may be harder due to social challenges, but there's people out there who have renounced ableism and do not see differences as something to reject people over. "Look for the helpers"--a la Fred Rogers, and look for the kind people.

3. Realize that you aren't at fault for everything that happened. In American culture we are told that we have chosen everything that has happened to us and control [often even via our own thoughts] the outcomes of our life. Some things we did or did not choose but many things we did not. Stop taking responsibility for things that aren't your fault.

4. Give up trying to impress or win people's favors. Once you feel like you need to PROVE to someone that you are "good enough". The game is already lost. You never will be. You could have an amazing art show, lost tons of weight, get advanced degrees, it's not going to happen. This is a trap. You want people in your life who assume a dignity and worth for all human beings, not ones who beat you over the head with their measuring sticks.

5. Learn to just "be", not do. Native and other cultures, were connected to the spirit of life, and didn't have to prove themselves via constant competition like American culture. Busyness is a curse in this society. Take time out to think, or even to just rest and meditate. Live in the "present" as much as is possible. This is where reading about mindfulness and such things can happen.

6. "Enough is a feast"--Buddhist proverb. In American society they have us run around, always trying to do and acquire more. I understand poverty can be horrible, but here, sometimes being able to be content with "enough" can help a life. It helps one focus too on more of what is important.

7. Develop your self esteem and kindness to yourself. This was one of my greatest challenges. Scapegoats can infuse the darkness of the soul murder, even if they escape. The scapegoaters taught self hatred and loathing, and a happy life cannot be found stuck in that pit. When people aren't loved and told they aren't good enough by their brainwashed families, undoing this, I know can be hard. It is possible to love yourself too. Don't give up even if you have a bad day.

8. Acceptance. I had my own battles of banging my head on the proverbial brick wall. What if I did this, Why did things turn out to be this way? One can ruminate until the cows come home but unless we all get "time-turners" like Hermione had in the Harry Potter movies, we are stuck. There's no changing what already happened. Follow the rule of changing what you can and knowing there are things we cannot change. So you are a scapegoat that lost the entire family? You didn't chose it. They did. The day I thought, "I don't have to run anymore like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to change everything" is a day I found more peace.

9. Do what you choose to do.  Obey the law, treat others decently, etc, but this is your life, you can decide what to do with it. Going no contact, you have escaped the demands and expectations of others, who have tried to shove you into a narrow box. You don't have to worry about having your hobbies, interests or causes made fun of.  You don't have to worry anymore about becoming someone else to be loved. This is a gift no contact gave me in spades. I could be my weird self and ENJOY it. I could enjoy the mind that my narcissists hated so much and I have. Ex-scapegoats can find freedom in this that expands their lives. Here one can ask themselves what do they really want in life. Ask yourself questions like "What do I want to do?"

10. Try to avoid mean Gods. Here while I had my deconversion and desconstruction, if you are a Christian, look to a loving God not one of cruelty, who replicates the cruel deeds of your narcissists. Try and analyze your religion, is it bringing happiness or is it bringing fear? How is it leading you to treat others? If you are an atheist, or agnostic, seek after the good in life that can be had.

11. Realize that you can become an ex-scapegoat if you are new to the process of no contact and learning about narcissism.  One can get a life where all narcissistic abusers are removed. I got to the point while I still have some annoyances with paperwork and daily life, no one's abusing me. I don't have anyone nit picking me, or putting me down. I was able to stop the abuse that was the core of my life. You can too.

12. Explore the arts. Art kept me alive. It was a lifeline. It is still a major part of my life.

Do you have rules you want to add?

Create Your Own Culture

----Terence McKenna

Radical Leftist Ideology?

Another Diagnosis?

Yeah believe it or not...

Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease

Yes, I know things are to the point where it would be easier to list what is not wrong. What is scary is my body started attacking it's own skin beyond the psorasis. Sores on my forehead and hair line have been bothering me for a couple years. I blamed it on my CPAP mask, but I switched to a new one three months ago that doesn't even touch my forehead and the forehead sores won't go away. It's a giant red splotch and yes people ask about it. Wearing makeup would just make it itch and weep more.

There's other skin problems on my arms different from the psorasis and dark velvet patches on my body. I learned I got diagnosed with Dermatomyositis some time ago. That one, I probably saw on my medical records and thought it was like dermatitis and blew it off. The house call doctors also had added chronic fatigue.

It seems autoimmune related too. I think there is some muscle weakness but not sure given the other health problems. I wondered for years why I was getting giant dusky patches on my skin where it looked like the first layer of skin had been removed, and remember saying to one doctor: "My arm looks like it is getting cancer".

It seems I am right about the vasculitis, I wrote about that YEARS ago here. I have to tell the rheum, I had a skin condition for years no doctor could diagnose and I went online to see what matched it, myself. Bloody pin pricks would bust out all over my entire body and once even put me in the hospital 25 years ago. They blamed the skin sores on my weight and diagnosed me with "statis ulcers". This would keep going on for years in smaller batches. I even had a small patch break out the other day though overall it lessened. I saw dermatologists constantly in Chicago with no help or answers. Sometimes I wonder how long have I faced these things? UCTD or Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease used to be called "latent lupus".

The ANA and other tests were positive.

At least now the doctors know I am not faking it or malingering when complaining about fatigue and pain. I did make the decision NOT to go on Plaquenil which is kind of medically controversial, as it can cause retinal damage. See the comments at the link. I have a relative who took this drug and had vision problems. I wrote the doctor an email saying, "I am already almost deaf, this is too much." Things were scary, I may have to change this decision if things worsen. Yes, I am worried about dealing with the skin, pain and fatigue, but my terror of blindness outdistances this all. Being nearly deaf, I depend on my vision to live and function. Yes I know the diabetes is a danger to it too.

With severe Lipedema, there can be massive autoimmune involvement. Many women with higher stage Lipedema are diagnosed with a vast array of autoimmune disorders, oddly scary ones involving the skin seem to pop up a lot. Elhers Danlos Syndrome is one major disorder that accompanies Lipedema. I am trying to research if there is overlap with Dercums with the UCTD. Some people online wrote they had been diagnosed with UCTD first.

Pain and Falling Apart Bodies Suck

"Adult Siblings Who Turn A Blind Eye to the Scapegoat's Abuse"

"Adult Siblings Who Turn A Blind Eye to the Scapegoat's Abuse"

"Why? Because they can. The scapegoated child has been earmarked for abuse by the narcissist. In the mind of the narcissist, the scapegoat is a fundamentally flawed individual, and a faulty appliance. They just do not understand why the scapegoat continues to challenge their authority, and won’t allow themselves to be controlled.

The scapegoated child’s siblings have been brainwashed into believing the narcissist’s faulty perception of this child. These siblings are trained by the narcissistic parent to peck peck peck at the scapegoated child, to pick them to bits, and to hold their sins under a microscope.

In all of this chaos, nobody nurtures the scapegoat. Scapegoats’ endure a horrendous amount of abuse. So much so, they often come out of the narcissistic family with a crushed spirit, and internal wounds so horrendous that they often struggle terribly in their adult life. Once all is said and done, scapegoated children almost always end up playing out the same relationship dynamic they did with their abusive parent, with narcissistic friends and narcissistic partners.

It doesn’t stop there. Once adulthood arrives, scapegoat victims almost always continue to be victimised and blamed for all of the chaos in the narcissistic family unit. More often than not, they end up being victim’s of family mobbing, are forced out of the family, and decide to go ‘No Contact’.

The narcissistic parent teaches the children early on that everything about the scapegoat is wrong, and that they are crazy. The scapegoat’s siblings subconsciously take on this false perception, and look down upon the scapegoat for the same sins they themselves engage in daily. These sins are picked to bits, and are often the presenting reason as to why a narcissistic parent, and a narcissistic golden child often will turn the entire family against the scapegoat in adulthood."

Parenting Exposed has a lot of good articles, and this is one. Allies are very rare for a scapegoat that crawls out wounded from a narcissistic family. I lived this one too. My siblings are so controlled by my mother where her good will and approval comes first above anything else in life. When my brother cussed me out, he was angry because first and foremost, he was angry he had failed in carrying out Mommy's orders. He had never tried to contact me in two and half years.

 It can be scary for a scapegoat who disengages from the parental narcissists, to then turn and face the betrayal of the siblings. I had some memories return about my siblings too. With my brother, my mother used him as a secondary enforcer. My father would hit me but then my brother would threaten it too, and often get away with it. There were times I had to fight back hard, and sometimes I wonder what would have become of me if I had been a person of smaller stature and weaker will.

His threat to come "slap" me was something that happened all the time when I was young. It creeps me out how as a teen I had to fight like a man just to stay alive in my family and was treated like one. The forced masculinization of Meg on Family Guy doesn't surprise me either. That may be one aspect of scapegoating for females, where our femininity is denied.

 My mother's abuse was always backed up by my sister's. They are same. One close friend of mine hearing about my brother's threats said to me, "Your siblings are nuts!" and he is right.

 For a scapegoat being thrown under the bus is the norm. When we go no contact, this is one reason it often ends up being with the entire family. Here too, no one is interested in listening, talking things out or ever daring to see things from the perspective of the scapegoat. Get away from anyone who treats you like this even if you feel like no one will be left. These siblings have been brainwashed and it's impossible for you to bring them out of it. Even after the head narcissist dies, they will be incapable of change.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

New Ways of Living

Freedom opened up for me when I realized I didn't have to "try" so hard anymore and no longer had to try to fit and mold myself into their box. I'm more fully entering the peace stage of no contact where you feel relief and are just living your life the best you can. The happier days grew in number. I am a far happier and more mellow person. Even not so long ago I would have thought this was impossible. Can I still deal with problems like power outages and and health problems sure. but I do try and focus on the aspects of life I enjoy and spend time with people who are kind, and nice, and all these wonderful things. No more scrambling and banging my head on a brick wall of narcissists and mean people. If you get very late into no contact, you do ask yourself, "Why'd I put up with it?" but I don't even blame myself for that, I was trained to live and be a certain way, and the path of freedom can be in realizing life can be different. You have the right and place to say "This ends now" and to step off the "crazy making" carousel. It is time to do what one desires and chooses and make a life of their own choosing. Going no contact can begin a process of foundational changes in one's life and belief system. You are allowed to consider what is possible.

Questioning the Concept of Family

I posted this on a message board, some people thought it was an interesting question.

Is it weird that I hate the concepts of families now and consider the "family" to be a primitive biological prison, that I hope humans evolve beyond? My husband to play devil's advocate talks about "brave new world" and Utopian commune solutions that failed when I bring this subject up. I think the tribes probably had the best system where one was not limited to nuclear families but had others, but many tribes and native cultures did not develop the numbers of psychopaths like we have in this one, or had ways to deal with them.

 Also one thing I have noticed is the family seems to be the crucible of so much pain in our society ranging from child abuse to other violence, alcoholism, cut-throat competition, extreme authoritarianism coupled with religious programming and just plain misery. For most people who are related to their families, does DNA determine any true camaraderie? Imagine a world where a child could leave a family perhaps knowing there may be another they 'fit into" better. I know these are just some strange thoughts off the top of my head.

What's On Your Refrigerator?

 "On a very local scale, a refrigerator is the center of the universe. On the inside is food essential to life, and on the outside of the door is a summary of the life events of the household." Robert Fulghum 

Have you ever seen one of those refrigerators plastered in magnets? I have. I had a grandmother who had a "magnet" collection on her refrigerator, the entire refrigerator was covered. The magnets were of roosters, places she's been, Disney characters, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, plastic fruit ones, alphabet letters and even magnets that could hold photos. When I was a kid, I would go and rearrange all those magnets. She didn't like that always but sometimes when she was in a good mood, she would let me "re-arrange" the fridge magnets.

 I've seen other refrigerators that were much different. Some were covered in papers, mostly events and things that were happening while others served as their children's art gallery. The drawings plastering the whole fridge were of young hands making turkeys and crayon stick figures of Mom and Dad. One friend's refrigerator years ago was plastered in cut out comic-strips, they liked Calvin and Hobbes and Far Side, oddly they had plastered the downstairs bathroom with comics too, taped to the wall almost like an extension of the fridge. Still another friend, had a giant wall calendar stuck to the front of the fridge they were an organized person. She also kept an organized list of what foods she had run out of. I've also known people with blank refrigerators, with nothing on them.

 Years ago I read a book called Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About Your Life by Sam Gosling a psychologist from the University of Texas. This book was very interesting to me. He wrote that that people who were more open, had more books, CDs and DVDS and more eclectic collections then less open people. Artists were more adventurous by far in their surroundings and were taste definers while others stayed with the mainstream.

 Years ago I got in a discussion with a friend, and said, you know you can tell a lot about a person from what their house or apartments looks like, do they have books, is it messy, is it clean? Is the place decorated or do you have white walls staring you down with nothing to look at? Just like one can read handwriting, where bubbly letters point to extroversion and slanted left writing can speak of anger, one can read surroundings to figure people out. One can read everything from social class to hobbies to personality. The same also goes for the refrigerator, it is a micro-cosm of looking at the entire home.

 A short-hand way to get a quick look at what someone is all about. It's interesting to see everyone's refrigerator door, you can learn a lot about a person about what's on their fridge, are they a sports nut? Do they keep shopping lists? Do they have a busy schedule or a more laid back one? Are they politically active? Refrigerators are to adults like folders are to kids in school. We drew all over our folders and put stickers on them. It was a personal statement.

 The refrigerator being where the food and cold drinks are held, is the center of many homes. It is the first stage bulletin board. Before smart phones, it sometimes served as a message center for various families and a place to leave notes. Years ago I even had a marker board attached to the fridge, but it wore out and broke. I wouldn't mind another. I could write myself reminders on there. I'm a list maker and lists often cover my refrigerator. "Get the car oiled changed" is on a list I left on there.

Here is a poster I made, all this stuff has hung on my fridge at one time and most of it I took it off the other day. Included are a cartoon I drew--I kept journals for years in comic form and this is my character sitting on the beach and here's another one I drew. I have a lot of medical junk on my fridge, I threw up acouple of those on here, but the phone numbers and other things I have to remember is a lot. There's a few magnets, political and otherwise. This brochure is of a new store they opened, they were suppose to sell antiques, I haven't gotten over there yet. This one is of a local comic con, I went to. So my refrigerator shows a lot of my interests. Sometimes we clear off our fridge completely. I wonder what that represents where I just decide to wipe it clean, but then I am usually shoving all the needed pictures, information and paper left overs into folders, or other boxes. Maybe that's a period of transition, wipe the refrigerator clean and then start over.

 Did you know there's a website called Check Their Fridge? Look up checktheirfridge.com Pictures of people's refrigerators are shown and analyzed to see if they would make good dates. Is the new wannabe boyfriend a nice guy? They look inside the fridges at what food they have and how messy they are. Sometimes they do look at the pictures and magnets on the fridge. It's interesting to see what they say about people's refrigerators both inside and out. I find myself thinking some of their predictions are accurate.

[this was done as a reading at my local UU church, it did make me think a lot about what I saw on the front of my own refrigerator and that of others]

Nancy Grows Up

I've gotten into Nancy comics from the 1940s, some of them are pretty insightful. Of course Nancy didn't know of :"Big is Beautiful" back then!

Nancy is Happy Tumblr

Squash Watercolor