thinking ’bout narcissism

April 6th, 2015

Lately, I’ve been thinkin’ about narcissism.

I’ve been thinking that my x-husband is a narcissist, my brother is a narcissist, my nephew is a narcissist, my brother-in-law is a narcissist, my boyfriend is a narcissist, my dad was a narcissist, my mom was a narcissist, my son was becoming a narcissist, and I am a reformed narcissist.  Or maybe I’m still a narcissist, but I’m self-delusional, as narcissists tend to be, and think that I’ve evolved out of it, when in fact I haven’t.

My youngest child was veering off in a frightening and dangerous direction at a tender age.  Because he was 4th of 4, I had had experience navigating the vulnerable and tumultuous transition of children from child to teenager, the span of which is puberty and adolescence.  It hadn’t been easy with any of the kids.  It’s a strange time in their lives and it’s a difficult time for parents,  since up until the child is 10, 11, or 12, the child is virtually an extension of the parent.  The parent is used to enjoying being commander-in-chief.  Whereas formerly, the young child holds your hand on the walk to school, now the child might be embarrassed to be seen with you, as was the case with my daughter, when she was in fifth grade.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time we passed some of her classmates, I cheerfully greeted them and I watched Renee grow crimson with embarrassment and humiliation.  Finally, getting her to tell me what had transpired, she blurted out, “You’re dressed monochromatically !”

My first child, Ella, began breaking away when she tearfully confessed to me one day, at about age 9, “I just want to be like everyone else!”  Up until that time, I had homeschooled her.  I hadn’t wanted her to be like everyone else.  Ella had displayed her self-composed intelligence from practically birth and I didn’t want her to be the product of public school processing.  I had heard about homeschooling; I had met and been impressed by homeschooling children and their families, her dad was completely gung-ho, and after a couple years at various preschools and public school kindergarten, I kept her home.  Her ingenuity in play, her brains, her self-composure, her endless educational creativity, never ceased to be a source of amazement and learning for me.  I read and read to her and she started reading at 7 without ever having been taught.  The fact that children learn to walk, to talk and also to read without ever being taught, was just one of the many many discoveries I made as a homeschool mom.  My second child, Logan, didn’t begin to read at 7 and I worried over it a little and spent a couple years attempting to teach him phonics.  He never showed any interest or even attempted to make sounds and would look at me disinterestedly as I tried in many different ways to present letters and the sounds they make.  One day, age 9, he picked up the first Harry Potter book and read it.  Then he read his way through the rest of the series.

Once again, I digress.  The word digress is interesting.  Looks like it comes from Latin originally. meaning  ”to step aside”.  I have noticed I do that frequently, when writing for myself, because I like to be free to free associate.  Bear with me, if willing you be.

So where was I?  Ah yes, the budding narcissist.  Well, as with everything else, I think about things, trying to understand and make sense.  I realized that my child was tending in the direction of becoming a narcissist and I determined to intervene and redirect which is what I’ve been committed to as of late.



beauty and the beast

January 22nd, 2014

“Beloved I need to love you – every aspect, every pore.”

And this time God said,

“There is a hideous blemish on my body,
though it is such an infinitesimal part of my Being-
could you kiss that if it were revealed?”

“I will try, Lord, I will try.”

And then God said,
“That blemish is all the hatred and
cruelty in this

– fr. “Could You Embrace That”, Thomas Aquinas, c. 1245

I love literature, I love the written expression of thought!  I have loved innumerable books with  a quiet, tremendous passion which in many cases has eventually extended to the individual responsible for expressing his/herself so formidably in words!  I have loved stories!  I have loved the sustained expression of original idea.  I’ve loved and adored many writers and thinkers — and beyond that — Life itself, the mysterious ‘without which’, neither thinker nor thought would arise!  I love and have always loved just wondering and thinking about Life —  the Great Mystery that even Nikola Tesla (well, maybe Nikola Tesla) and even Dennis McKenna (well, maybe Dennis McKenna) haven’t, with all their original human brilliance, yet been able to solve.

When my kids were younger, I homeschooled them.  I had heard about homeschooling and had met and talked to a few homeschooling families.  The remarkable self-composure of homeschooled children made an immediate impression on me.  I reflected upon my own public school education for a few seconds and contrasted my own teenage insecurity and immaturity with what I saw in teenage homeschooled children, and decided to give homeschooling a try.  I didn’t have the wealth to pay for the kind of schools I wanted for my kids and I believed they’d be better off without the tutelage of semi-intelligent minds.  It isn’t that I believed myself to be a brilliant individual capable of educating my kids all by myself–no– in fact the enormity of the (unpaid, 24/7) job was daunting. When I looked back upon my own education in public school, all I saw was excruciating boredom, marked and defined by the interminable length of time one minute took to tick by on the ever-present black and white classroom clock.

My husband (now X) was agreeable.  So without further ado, I launched into home-education.

For the next ten years, I traveled a long and winding road of discovery.  In the process of home-educating my children, I became educated, for the first time.  I realized, little by little, how completely worthless my 13 childhood years from kindergarten through high school, spent locked in the confines of the school institution, had been for me and no doubt were for very many others, I believe the vast majority.  Not only did my 13 years at school produce an uneducated person, they produced a confused person; confused and ignorant about world history, American history, and science; essentially the world around me and the story of human beings through time.

Although I was always an “A” math student, I came to realize that all of the wonder, all of the beauty of discovery, all of the evolution and story of the development of math, from Pythagoras until Einstein were omitted from school math, which was introduced to children as a body of pre-fab, formulaic, increasingly complex knowledge to be memorized.

When I, a college graduate BA English Literature, began, at the age of 34, to teach my children science, I was confused about what “Science” is.  If somebody had said to me, “Define “Science”, I would have been confused, and probably would have mumbled an unintelligible guess.  I don’t know what my answer would have been, but surely I wouldn’t have known enough to say, “Science is looking at the mystery of everything around us, including ourselves, with curiosity, and trying to make sense of it.”

Science was presented, like math, as a pre-determined, given body of information to be memorized.  From the very beginning, in kindergarten or first grade, we were given textbooks with chapters about planets or plants or rocks or dinosaurs, with vocabulary words to be memorized and remembered, and fractured information to be tested upon, which then proceeded to determine where one registered on the omnipresent scale from very smart to incredibly dumb.



good luck with dat y’all

June 7th, 2013

the recent events, legislation and global government activity which, all taken and strung together make up the contemporary short history “Policing of the Internet”, make for a truly thought-provoking and new realm of philosophical speculation.

In our lifetime, just a hop, skip and a hip-hop step ago, we witnessed the dawning of a new age. There should be no question left in anybody’s mind, but that the rise of the World-Wide-Web marked the end of one long, tedious and material era of human history and the beginning of a brand new otherworldly, ultra-dimensional one.

The New Human History is a story that takes place in “Cyberspace”.  Cyberspace is a realm that didn’t even exist in pre-network computing human history.  We can think of the short history of cyberspace as the birth, growth and limitless expansion of a new dimension of space, like the space that humans have inhabited and thoroughly polluted on the globe, with their feet on the ground and their swords and guns and bombs in their hands or falling down from their airplanes.  Palaces, prisons, ships, airplanes, factories, cathedrals, kings, princesses, knights…animals, flowers and trees, forests, mountains and meadows, oceans, lakes, rivers…..kings, popes, presidents, dictators…. housing, feeding… poverty and wealth… the struggle of the people against over-controlling domination…

Looking back over what we know of mankind’s habitation of the globe, we can isolate the history of man’s war-making and policing efforts and think of it as the history of man’s attempt to gain or maintain Control.  When we are talking about activity on the firmament, we can relate to and understand that humans want stuff for themselves. Beyond food and shelter, they (or at least a segment of the human population and I will add (without malice) that by-and-large they tend to be male) always appear to want concentrated wealth — not for the purpose of survival and not for survival’s haughty cousin comfort, but for something more abstract and something that wouldn’t even be desirable if not for the vast and generally thereupon impoverished audience.  We refer to this abstraction as ‘Power’.

A few days ago, there was what we now refer to as a ‘glitch’ in the Chinese (and that would mean most-heavily censored) internet.  A ‘glitch’ is like an opening in cyberspace that allows people to go somewhere or do something that they normally wouldn’t be allowed or able to do.  Taking advantage of the portal, the Chinese gained momentary access to the President of the United States’ Google+ social networking page.  Hundreds of Chinese grabbed the unusual opportunity (seized the moment) and posted messages on Obama’s page.  These messages were cries for help.  The Chinese want freedom of expression on the computer because their leadership imposes more restrictions and censorship than any other currently on the globe.  For heaven’s sake, the Chinese cannot even Tweet!!

Lately (and not in mainstream media) but thanks to internet and global news sources, we read more and more about our own United States government and other national governments around the world scheming on and enacting legislation regarding ‘policing’ and censorship of the internet, of cyberspace.  We are now witness to one story after the next, of people being arrested, interrogated, imprisoned (tortured … by US as well as Them)… for cyberspace-related behaviors, activities, misbehaviors and violence.  There are the child pornographers and the Facebook slanderers; and there are the Wikileaks adventurers and exposure-provocateurs (whom I think we should bow down before but who are now being indefinitely detained… and tortured)…




good-time charlie

July 31st, 2012

My dad used to describe a certain type of man as a “good-time charlie” and this appellation often came to mind while I was ‘in a relationship’ with X.  I’m going to call him X if you don’t mind, to preserve his anonymity.  And “in a relationship” belongs in quotation marks for a reason.

I wanted to be in a real relationship with X.  I wanted to be in a real relationship with X because being with X made me feel very happy.  Simple as that.  X made me laugh.  X made me sing.  X made me feel joyous.

Being with X made me feel happy.

I know about happy and unhappy.  I married Q and being with Q made me feel unhappy. I’m using the letter ‘Q’ because ‘Q’ is an anomalous kinda letter and Q was an anomalous kinda individual.  At first, I didn’t even truly recognize my unhappiness for what it was.  I rationalized about Q.  But 15 years of steadily progressing and deepening misery did finally enlighten me to the difference between being with somebody who makes you feel happy and being with somebody who makes you feel unhappy.

Now lots of modern-day positivists will take objection to me stating that this one makes me happy and that one makes me unhappy.  They will take the stance that things outside yourself don’t make you happy or unhappy, it is up to you, it is your choice.  Whatever is going on around you and whoever you are with essentially doesn’t matter.  If you are self-realized, if you are egoless, if you are enlightened, well then others may come and they may go, but it is not they who make you happy vs. unhappy, it is only yourself.

So, perhaps in reaction to having been married and trapped with somebody who made me feel unhappy, being with somebody who made me feel happy was all I really wanted in life.  The happy feeling meant everything.  And I wanted him to want me, to love me, to see that our happiness together was infinitely precious, infinitely special, infinitely meaningful, infinitely beautiful.

From the beginning of my ‘relationship’ with X, which he referred to as ‘friendship’, because he likes to have an infinite number of ‘friends’,  I was happy when with him and something ranging from disturbed to deeply hurt when not with him.  The first bout of real trouble came when he informed me that his ‘friend’ from Russia was coming to stay with him for 2 weeks.  What I knew of his ‘friend’ prior to this announcement was that she’d lived with him for 4 months, that according to him they didn’t have intercourse, (the intimacy shared was left to my imagination), that they’d traveled to at least 4 different places in the US together including SF and NY, that he considered her beautiful, and that she was only 25 to my 51.

Now this is where is gets interesting.  While I felt devastated by X’s news of his ‘friend’s’ visit, X didn’t see anything problematic whatsoever.  He was totally unfazed by my hurt feelings.  He responded cheerfully like this: “Ooohhh, I’m sorry you feel that way!  I don’t want you to be sad!!”  He said we could all be friends.  He suggested I bring my children over to meet his friend so they could learn a few Russian phrases.