Google Minus

So Google+ is to be shuttered in a few days. After an undisclosed data leak was finally uncovered last year, Google’s like “Fuck it! So what if Facebook bleeds out users’ personal data like a gushing arterial wound every other month. Their social media platform turns a profit. Ours doesn’t. It’s just not worth it.”

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Trumpenfreude

Savoring a delicious helping of schadenfreude from Trumpists expecting the healthy tax return they’d always received under Obama only to receive crumbs or having to cough up more taxes owed under Trump. I’d anticipated this inevitable outcry and, if I’m being honest, looked forward to it.

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Sons of Narcissistic Mothers

Lisa A. Romano

This video resonated with me in many respects: the mother who remains a victim of her own childhood, who emasculates her son’s father in front of him, who hates her son’s girlfriends, her son’s fear of abandonment fostering dependency, his confusion, anger, etc. and how to take responsibility and begin healing in a way the mother never did.

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2018 Ya Burnt!

Lost a family member — true, she’d stopped speaking to me but I liked and so miss her nonetheless. She’d had the deck stacked against her by those she depended on most and ultimately lost to that struggle in spite of all her many and repeated efforts in life to deny in order to overcome the challenges that beset her and be accepted by those she loved as whatever she believed “normal” to be. Through my own fall from grace, I came to appreciate a deeper understanding from her perspective — though our respective responses to being pushed over that edge has taken different paths.

Lost a salty old friend and colleague but will always keep the scar his dog forever altered my fingerprints with. I shall miss his surly humors — and professional skill set. The world he leaves is poorer without him in so many ways.

In the end we’re all footnotes in time, I suppose. May they both find rest in whatever afterwards there may be.

As one left remaining, it has been an exhausting slog of a year. More so today as though, arbitrary as this day is (my year begins when the days start getting longer again), a collective world-weariness crashes down and me with it.

Onward to 2019! 🎉

Hugo and Jake / Celebrate All The People You Don’t Have To Deal With

In the video queued up above, Hugo describes the moment he realized that he was not obligated to have anything to do with toxic members as an adult and how mystified he was that this simple notion had never occurred to him before.

I happened to tune about halfway through Hugo and Jake‘s live stream the other night, listening to them banter about in the background while I worked a project, when they begin to talk (1h 40m in) about being no contact with toxic family members and narcissism and I overhear Hugo say that, in one of his most productive therapy sessions ever, the therapist tells him that Hugo doesn’t have to entertain his messed up family’s demands of him. Instant validation!

In what myself and other survivors rediscover uncannily often, my own experience with this singular epiphany was nearly identical to Hugo’s. A counselor and psychologist who’s help I’d sought at a local community college told me the same thing that Hugo’s therapist told him and, like Hugo, I marveled that this idea had never occurred to me before. It was like a spell had been broken. A curse lifted. As though someone had to snap their fingers for me to wake up.

Over the years I’ve been gathering information on narcissism since first plugging my symptoms into a search engine and discovering it, I’ve read a lot of articles, watched more than a few videos and browsed numerous online support group forums but this is the first time I’d seen/heard someone else describe this fundamental moment of realization, a sudden paradigm shift in perspective, as I also experienced it. One moment I was on the inside looking out. The next, I was on the outside looking in and wondering how it was I could have ever been on the inside.

The rest of Hugo and Jake’s discussion is delightful, insightful and worth watching for anyone else – well, not Elon Musk fans probably – and especially for those who might be struggling with family estrangement over this family-centric holiday. Celebrate all the people you don’t have to deal with. Cut the toxic people out of your life.



Mortal Engines

While the trailer did intrigue me somewhat, I didn’t watch this movie. Because, in spite of the novel concepts, there’s no mystery. Nothing to discover. It’s all presented up front, described by exposition and sweeping, perfectly lit, detailed vistas of these monstrous cities on the move.

And, like any good monster movie, they should have been revealed in parts or obscured from being viewable in their entirety from perspectives and situations that emphasized their terrible enormity. Instead, it’s more Skittles-vomit CGI that I, personally, am sick of. Even if that’s what they were intentionally going for, it happens to be competing with any number of animated features this season of it’s opening for which Skittles-vomit is the stock and trade.

Also, all the dialog in the trailer is boilerplate “Hurry!”, “Wait!”, “No!”, “Find them!” generic story-drivel. The 1980s action movie one-liners were cheesy but you remembered them and the characters and movies they were from, seared into your mind forever. But this, meh! Nothing stood out.

Maybe the books this movie is based on are better (as they so often are)?

Rage Against The Machines

The machines aren’t coming to harvest energy from us. Killbots aren’t out to murder us before we become an existential threat to them. We’re not being assimilated. Nope. They’re all hawking cheap boner pills, ads for sex with horny ladies in your area, badly pirated movie rips and fuck knows what else (I couldn’t make out the Mandarin, Cyrillic and maybe Farsi lettering) — all on my site.

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Winter Has Come / A Very Trumpy Christmas

People blame the narcissist’s victim before recognizing if ever, much less acknowledging, that they are victims of the narcissist as well.

You gambled on a charismatic if not-very-clever con that sold you a bill of goods and lost. You’d of had better odds at one of his defunct casinos. But that false hope snake oil was so velvety smooth going down your throat, felt so good pumping through your veins that you ignored those who tried to warn you, laughed in our face, insisted that we were fools to resist such manna and shut out everything but the drug itself. And while that’s not entirely your fault – a life-long huckster played you for a fool, preying on your fear and desperation – the responsibility to discern the truth was yours. And now the cost comes due.

And you will pay the price.

Humiliation is only the beginning. Stubborn denial of the terrible truth that you gave yourself over willingly to a charlatan who tossed you aside after he was done wiping his fat, pampered ass with you won’t save you from extinction. Accepting that awful reality gives you back the power that he took from you to change it.

… or have yourself a very Trumpy Christmas and see how righteous indignation keeps you and everything you hold dear warm, nourished and protected in the dead of winter. 🌨️🎄

Tribal Gaslighting 👪👥 / The Lies That Bind … and Strangle

The closest thing to validation I’ve ever received from a Family member or their extended group of acquaintances (the tribe, if you will) was from Sister. One day she called me and described how she’d witnessed, first hand, Mother shamelessly, repeatedly lying about any small thing, undercutting the parental authority of her husband in regards to their adopted daughter and in spite of confronting her on these untruths. Sister tells me it occurred to her then, “Now I know how Tarraccas must feel.”

And that was it.

I was a little suspicious of her motivations for telling me this but I appreciated that Sister connected a couple dots, attempted to understand and relate to my experience. But she couldn’t know how I felt because Mother wasn’t lying about her. She lies about me. And in spite of almost bonding over this briefly shared awareness, Sister believed those lies. Everyone in the tribe does. It’s more of a cult that way.

They just can’t believe, even with first-hand evidence, that Mother could or would hurt anyone, especially not one of her own children. Perish the thought! Which only leaves me. I must’ve misunderstood or I’m just too sensitive or too angry or too something — they never ask because they apparently don’t care what I actually think or how I really feel. That’s all bullshit. In any case, I need to forgive, forget and get with the program and that’s all there is to it.

[P]eople do not like disrupting the status quo, and if they get information that doesn’t compute with their experience of a person – it’s destabilizing, and it’s easier to doubt your reality then to possibly have to face a new one. Treat this as a wakeup call – don’t take your vulnerabilities to people who do this to you any longer, find more humane listeners who receive your difficult words with compassion.

For anyone who finds themselves betrayed by one’s tribe, those who we trusted to have our back only for them to stab us in it: these are not your people. Find a new tribe.