June 03, 2009

An Odd Blog

George Gershwin by David Alfaro Siqueiros

A cyber friend recently told me she likes my blog more each time she visits which is about once every other month. Not wanting to sound defensive or insecure or anything, I never even winced though her comment insinuated she had initially given me a not-so-good review and for the sake of our friendship, didn’t want to kill my passion for writing about narcissism. If there had been an audition for narcissism bloggers, she’d have been forced to deliver the bad news and vote me off the cyber stage. But she’d do it kindly. Like American Idol's Paula Abdul, of that you can be certain. She’d smile gently, lower her lashes and let me down gently without letting me off the hook because lying isn’t kind to anyone but the liar.

As Paula says, if you can’t sing, don’t waste your life singing. Find something you can do and pour your heart into that. Does the advice also apply: if you can’t write you ought not spend your time writing and instead, do something you’re good at? At least stop annoying people or making them uncomfortable! Pick a more appropriate hobby for your peculiar disposition--like weaving baskets or making yarn octopuses in rainbow colors and lining them up on your fireplace mantle for all the people who will never come visit your home because they heard through the grapevine that you’re too odd for blogging.

I should have told my friend not to worry about hurting my feelings because it takes more than an occasional insult or criticism to threaten my loyalty to a friend. Just ask my X. It took him thirty-plus years to convince me we were incompatible. “Honey, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but despite my hope, faith and charity, there is simply nothing even slightly redeemable about your personality.”

That worked. Clever, clever man.

I told my friend that in contrast to my authoritative demeanor and confident writing style, I was fully aware that the Narcissistic Continuum was an odd blog. I admitted it unabashedly without mincing words or apologizing profusely or any of the placating things we pleasing-types do when someone suggests they are NOT pleased.

I hope my friend can slowly work herself up to liking what she reads here ‘though I must confess: I don’t always like what I read here and I’m writing it.

My new goal is that by at least 2025, my writing will have improved, my knowledge about pathological narcissism will be so accurate and reliable that Kohut and Kernberg will call me for consultations, and my friend will REALLY like my blog. She might even dare post a comment, though far be it for me to question her grammatical presentation or the incompleteness of her disconnected and slightly neurotic thoughts.

I will be nice. Paula Abdul nice.



  1. If you were close enough for me to give you "noogies", I'd have you in a neckhold right now!!! (chuckling)

    Considering I dont read anyone's blog unless I stumble across one in an internet search, reading yours (laughing) the 6 times a year that I do, is THE stamp of approval. I can imagine you quite easily being one of my favourite neighbours on "N Survivor Street", everytime I see you, I like you more than I liked you before.

    I only just this week gave up the last of the N survivor forums I have been on in the last 3 years since my breakup. Its a bit lonely waking up every morning, having no voices chattering up my email inbox. But theres also something soothing about the quiet. Not just of those other voices, but of the one in my head.

    But yours has always been a welcome voice.

    What CZBZ didnt say, is I refered to her blog as BEAUTIFULLY odd, and that sweetheart is what this artist has always respected about every contribution you've made to all of our recovery paths. The beauty (and humour) you bring to the discussions that continually remind us of our own.

  2. Well I guess different strokes for different strokes. When I found your blog, I read the entire thing, and it felt like home. It is my base blog that I can go to first, and then find my way through the other blogs because of the awesome way it is set up. I was able to finally stay No Contact with my second ex-husband. You saved my life and my sanity. If I was rating hotesl, yours would be a five star. I also love the pictures that you put with your writings. I could go on and on. I'm sure there are many out there who agree with me. Keep writing, cuz I REALLY like (love) your blog!

  3. Phoenixxx,

    Does this mean you are the Paula Abdul wannabe?

    Out of curiosity, why did you stop going to the forums?

  4. I'm the friend CZBZ is referring to, but I attempted to point out she mistook my admittedly lame compliment as something far less than it actually was. I have always loved her writing (and she knows that too, hence the noogies she deserves!!!)

    To answer your question, I left the forums because I'm empty I think of everything I wanted and needed to say, I no longer have any questions or confusion, am comfortable now with yesterdays experiences and fully immersed in todays.

    My interest has been leading me elsewhere.

    Why do you ask?

  5. Just wondered about the forums because I used to run one for spiritual abuse survivors, and it all went horribly wrong, and also I know how easy it is to become obsessed with forums and think you can't have a life without visiting multiple times per day.

    Good to see somebody moving on with their lives!

  6. I’m so glad you’ve got a healthy sense of humor, Phoenixxx. Especially since I’m a bit of a tease…your comment made me chuckle all day and the next morning, Voila! A blog entry appeared. Thanks for laughing with me. I’d like to pick up on your comments about N-forums here, rather than discussing the problems inherent to managing an internet community: "Groups Versus Community" ( http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2008/04/group-versus-community.html )

    The best thing coming out of my entry though is the validation Anonymous gave me. Bless your heart and Thank You for all the lovely things you’ve written about my Odd Blog.

    I do wonder if my humor diminishes the seriousness of the topics I’m writing about. But you see humor is one of my defense mechanisms…trauma brings out my Inner Comic who engages in a boxing match with my Inner Critic. Thank goodness the Comic gets back up on her feet before the umpire counts to ten.

    I’m also pleased to know my blog is easy to navigate. There’s a search engine at the top of the blog, but I thought it would be useful to list entries by title. And what can I say about pictures other than I’m a very visual woman?? When choosing a topic to write about, all I have to do is browse images for inspiration.

    Thank you everyone, for supporting my attempts to write about mental illnesses and narcissistic disorders. I hope everyone knows how much I appreciate your willingness to read my blog even though I’m unable to post more frequently.

    Hugs all,

  7. I truly wouldn't be as far as I am without you. I can't say enough about this site. I simply love it, and I also have a sense of humor. When I was in marriage counseling with my first verbally/emotionally husband, the counselor asked me how I could find humor in some things. I told her it was one of my defense mechanisms that had brought me throug life. She looked down on it. I have shed many tears in and after 2 abusive marriage, but I have also had my laughs along the way. I think a sense of humor is an excellent quality. Some people go through life as a sour puss. Makes me cringe!

  8. Love your blog too, as you'll know when you check your sitemeter, lol. Wish I was as good with words as you! Thanks for being there and validating what we go through.

  9. Echo,

    I'm also not good with words, and from both of my husband's making me feel like I'm stupid much of the time, when I read what I write sometimes, I used to wonder. Now that I'm further along in my journey, I know that it was just hogwash. We all have special talents, and one of mine isn't writing. CZBZ, you were born with that gift.

    I also am a frequent reader to Web of Narcissism, but don't ever post, as I still live in fear somewhat of my 2nd ex-husband. He was more than excellent on the computer, and it is why I remain Anon.

    Thanks for listening!

  10. Phoenixxx, I agree that CZBZ writing Is beautifully but for me without the odd.

    I have witness CZBZ writing with a style all her own. Adding class with wit. Tears with a sense of humor. In fact one can get hook on her writing style. I know I have.

    One thing after blogging for years is that whenever we blog (post) something on the web or a forum we also tell others a little about ourselves. Just reading someone view let us know a little about the person and the world they live in. In fact sometimes it will tell us more then we might want to know. Like after awhile one gets to know if the writer is being honest or just trying to “act” (write) honesty into it. This is a little hard to explain (type) so please bear with me.

    Anyway, after viewing blogs and posting we begin to see a picture (mental) of that person. We begin to understand how this person view issues and then relates to them. Of course based on one’s skill to “read between the lines” this come be done quickly or over a short amount of time. But writers just like poets give a little of themselves to us through their writing. Guess this is why I fell in love with posting and blogging myself.

    One another thing I have learned after years of blogging and posting is just how easy it can be to misunderstand someone’s comments and/or post. How we might misunderstand someone’s blog. I know I had my blunders on forums and found myself replying with regret and saying “sorry I misunderstood U”. Well, isn’t that just the way life is to live and learn? To wrong and too forgive? To misunderstand and then to acknowledge understanding? I think so....

    Well, it’s great to read that you and CZBZ are still friends and seems like you will be for years to come! That both can misunderstand but still walk away with an understanding...

  11. Phoenixxx and I have a trauma bond. Ha! We met on a forum that was being ripped apart by troublemakers and even with years of experience dealing with flamers, blamers and shamers, there wasn’t much either of us could do to squelch the fires. At some point, you put down your bucket of water and cry.

    She knows I’m kiddin’ her about my blog because this woman has been nothing but supportive of my efforts to write about narcissism. I’m not an author and don’t know much about writing and even less about good writing; but I do know what it’s like to live with and love narcissists. Not ‘A’ narcissist---but narcissists. Please note the distinction here because my knowledge and experience extends beyond the man I married.

    My hope is that I’ll be able to help those who can identify with my experience---my hope is NOT to tell anyone what to do, how to do it, or when. Each of us works through our problems according to our inner timetable.

    When I thought about blogging, it wasn’t to be anybody’s expert or compete with psychologists researching narcissism on both extremes of the N-continuum and everywhere in-between. My intention was to discipline myself to expressing what my Inner Knower knows about suffering and healing and raising kids and facing unpredictable problems, even traumas.

    I was astonished when people began telling me they felt ‘seen and heard’ after reading my messages. That was back in 2002 when I was so hungry for validation that I worked my l’il heart out writing and writing and writing in the belief that one day, I’d know what I was doing. Well, that didn’t quite pan out but what has happened is that by reading other people’s messages and empathizing with them, I kept growing beyond the person I ever was----instead of contracting and withdrawing which is all too easy to do after we’ve been hurt by someone we trusted.

    If what I say resonates with readers, then I am grateful to be a literary witness to the extraordinary resilience of ordinary people.

    Hugs to all,

  12. Haha James, lovely! I value oddness (read unique, and to the beat of a different drummer) and beauty. Ya cant get any better than beautifully odd in my little slice of the universe!

    Yes we did trauma bond, didnt we? Even back then you showed exceptional humour under pressure CZ! Its a gift I tell ya! Me, I just put up the sword and shield.

    What made me admire you in those moments was not just your ability to find the comedy amid all the errors, but your focus on empathy for su survivors...where mine has been on supporting the cleansing-by-fire.

    You mentioned justice in a recent post, and I have no idea how to get that, when my soul longs for it, without that fire. I somehow have a sense your much more empathetic heart might have a clue I dont have.

  13. Phoenixxx,

    Ha ha right back at you Phoenixxx,

    I love odd, it’s original and unusual all at the same time...

    It’s like one dear friend of mine, Don. He is the smartest person I would ever know but who acts stupid at times. Many people close to him would ask him why and he explain that whenever doing so people would relax more around him allowing him to get to know them better. His job was one where this was an important skill as a director for the state of Illinois.

    Plus Phoenixxx, I have this saying about myself, which is odd is good but crazy is better. Would love to explain that someday to you!

    Have a good one!

  14. Dearest CZ,

    Now, if I were Tarzanette of the Cyberland Zoo I'd leap into my monitor, tap into an ether net vine and swing into your screen pounding sense into you!

    I get angry on those days when I come to your blog, again, and then again, and find you haven't written in awhile. Like what's with that?

    I love your writing. You make me smile and remember the No. 1 rule I generally forget which is...

    Don't take myself so seriously!

    Keep on writing my friend. You inspire me to grow wordtrees rooted in the not so poetic soils of the frozen north.

    and just in case you haven't checked out my blog in awhile -- tee hee I write every day except I just missed five whole days in a row! -- anyway, we put together a video which I want to share 'cause I'm just so danged proud of it!





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