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Why Your Sanctuary feels like home / How Your Sanctuary is like a house
« Last post by Siirist on January 23, 2016, 05:50:32 PM »
Here is how Your Sanctuary is like a house.

All About Narcissism / Are you being attaked by Flying Monkeys?
« Last post by hippieluv on January 13, 2016, 03:13:13 PM »
A narcissis tic personali ty disordere d mother has flying monkeys. This is a term taken from The Wizard of Oz, where the flying monkeys do the bidding of the Wicked Witch.  The flying monkeys may be your neighbor, church members, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandmoth er, grandfath er, nieces, nephews, etc. These people do the narcissis t's dirty work and often pour their own abuse on the scapegoat .

I spent years of my life trying to show various flying monkeys the truth. It virtually never worked, not once in the twenty or so years I kept trying to "clear the air" or to finally be understoo d. They do not understan d because they do not want to understan d. Many are willfully ignorant and blind to the situation .  There is not some magical phrase and method you have not yet discovere d that is suddenly going to cause these people to stand up for the truth.

What I have realized is the flying monkeys generally have their own reasons for behaving the way they do. Some may truly do it out of ignorance, truly fooled for years by the narcissis t. However, it is my experienc e that most flying monkeys have weak character s.

They may know the truth, but lack the backbone to stand up for what is right. They may themselve s fear becoming a target of the narcissis t. They may have been a target of the narcissis t in the past. They may have been taught to get along with everyone regardles s. They may also be a narcissis t themselve s or hiding their own troubling behavior.

There are some exception s. Someone can innocentl y become a flying monkey without realizing it. The differenc e is, you can generally reason with them. In my experienc e, this is a rare exception to what I have stated above.

Narcissis tic personali ty disorder can also run in families and what a treachero us family it is! If you are the kindheart ed, truth-telling scapegoat in a family with multiple narcissis ts, run for your life! One narcissis t will use another and tag team a scapegoat . Two or more narcissis ts will also turn on one another when that serves their completel y self-centered purposes.  I watched this dynamic many times in my extended family over the years.

Some of the flying monkeys seemed like more of a loss at first, but the more time that went by the more I realized it really was a healthy choice. It is not a loss to remove people from your life who do not respect you or your feelings. In my experienc e, when you get serious about recovery, the flying monkeys will not like it and neither does the narcissis t.  You are most likely going to lose relations hips and it will hurt.  However, if you lose a relations hip based on the fact that you are becoming healthier and are no longer as easily manipulat ed, what kind of relations hip was it in the first place?

Once you are in this situation, it is going to hurt either way, but the differenc e to me is with recovery my pain eventuall y subsided.  On the other side is attractin g healthier people and relations hips.  For me, it has been well worth it, but everyone has to make that decision for themselve s.
All About Narcissism / Are you the Scapegoat/Lost Child/Runner?
« Last post by hippieluv on January 13, 2016, 03:10:03 PM »
If you are the scapegoat, I have good news and bad news. The good news is you are the one most likely to go searching for answers - and find them. That is because you are the one in the most pain from carrying the burden of blame for the family. The scapegoat s are also usually the truly strong ones in the family, as well as being the truth tellers. I guess you know the bad news. You are blamed for everythin g.

The scapegoat s are the ones who allow the rest of the family to appear to be "normal," purged of their wrongs. Narcissis tic personali ty disordere d mothers chronical ly scapegoat . If everythin g is the scapegoat's fault (and it's not), then the rest of the family can continue to avoid the real issue. The narcissis tic mother can keep pretendin g to be "normal," since you are supposedl y the problem. "While they [malignant narcissis ts] seem to lack any motivatio n to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their "goodness" is all on a level of pretense." The People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck, M.D. The very existence of a scapegoat in the family signals a problem, because a scapegoat is only required in a family when someone consisten tly refuses to take responsib ility for their own actions. Instead of taking responsib ility, the narcissis tic personali ty disorder parent often uses projectio n and scapegoat ing. Projectio n involves the narcissis tic parent projectin g their negative character traits onto others. It may not take long for the other siblings in a dysfuncti onal family to realize they can blame the scapegoat too. In extremely dysfuncti onal families like my own family of origin, the narcissis tic parent will actually encourage the other children to abuse the scapegoat child. This does not stop once the scapegoat is an adult, but continues as adult child abuse.

Narcissis tic personali ty disordere d mothers love to manipulat e and use their flying monkeys to help do their dirty work. Now for the great news! You may think that golden child has the cherished role, but in the long run the scapegoat is the one most likely to escape, heal and lead a healthier life. Those same qualities of strength and emotional honesty or truth telling will greatly work in your favor in the healing process. If you are the scapegoat, you have the strength to escape, heal and lead a healthier life. As hard as it may be, try not to internali ze all of the blaming and scapegoat ing. Realize you are dealing with a very sick parent. The truth hurts, but then it really does set you free. -
All About Narcissism / The Narcissisitic Family
« Last post by hippieluv on January 13, 2016, 02:52:14 PM »

The healthy, functiona l family system is like a galaxy, where everyone in the family is a star. But the narcissis tic family allows only one member to be the star. So the narcissis tic family is, as Dr Mc Bride allegoriz es in her book on daughters of NMs, like a solar system, where everybody in the family revolves around the narcissis t. Mc Bride writes that 'the unspoken rule in these families is that they do not discuss this dynamic and it becomes a family secret.' (McBride, p71). The narcissis tic family is not a democracy .

A healthy family operates like a democracy . The core family values are love, care, and freedom of expressio n. There are some clear, although flexible, boundarie s between the parents and the children. The parents are responsib le for nurturing the children and ensuring their safety. The goal of the parents is to build their children up, to equip them for life. Everyone in the family is of equal importanc e.

By contrast, the narcissis tic family operates like a tyranny. Love, care, and freedom of expressio n are replaced with abuse, control, and repressio n. The boundarie s are either too rigid or inexisten t. The children are exploited by the parent(s) and made to feel unsafe. The goal of the parent(s) is to use the children for their own benefit. Some family members are treated as if they were more, or less, important than others.



Family therapist Sharon Wegscheid er-Cruse saw 6 typical family roles in the alcoholic family:

•  The alcoholic (or other substance abuser) for whom the alcohol takes priority over the family

•  The chief enabler, a co-dependent spouse who tries to keep the family together

•  The family hero, a high-achiever who makes it look like everythin g is okay

•  The scapegoat who takes the blame for all the family's ills

•  The lost child who keeps a low profile

•  The family mascot, a jester who acts as comic relief for the family

Wegscheid er, Sharon. Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family. 1981. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books. Pages 85-88.

For more on this go to:


These roles have been extended and adapted to other types of dysfuncti onal families. The typical roles in the narcissis tic family are usually seen as:

•  The narcissis tic parent

•  The enabling spouse

•  The golden or all-good child

•  The scapegoat or no-good child

•  The lost or forgotten child

The golden or all good child is the recipient of all the narcissis tic parent's positive projectio ns, and is their favourite child. While the ‘hero' saves the family by being perfect and making it look good, the golden or all good child may struggle to live up to his status. The golden child is usually victim of emotional and (covert) sexual abuse by the narcissis tic parent. He is also witness to, and sometimes takes part in, the other children's abuse. Many specialis ts believe that witnessin g your sibling's abuse is as damaging as receiving it.

The scapegoat, or no good child, is the recipient of the narcissis t's negative projectio ns. They can never do anything right. In some models of dysfuncti onal families, the scapegoat is also known as the rebel. However, the name ‘rebel' implies that the child has chosen this role, which is debatable . The scapegoat is usually victim of emotional and physical abuse by the narcissis tic parent.

The lost or forgotten child just doesn't seem to matter to the narcissis t, and avoids conflict by keeping a low profile. They are not perceived as a threat or a good source of supply, but they are usually victim of neglect and emotional abuse.


Tina Fuller, an ACoN who wrote a book on narcissis tic parents, has come up with her own categorie s: ‘In my findings, adult children of narcissis ts usually fall under one of three categorie s. I have named them Conformer, Rebel and Runner. All children start out as conformer s, but it's the parental feedback that determine s a child's category.' (Fuller, Tina pp. 789-791).

The Conformer is another word for the golden child, the Rebel is the same thing as a scapegoat, and the Runner is very similar to a lost child. But what Fuller does is give the impressio n that the child is active in choosing their behaviour: they conform, rebel, or run away. By contrast, the golden/scapegoat/forgotten model implies that the choices are made by the parent. But Fuller at the same time states that all children start as conformer s and then act in either of three ways depending on parental feedback. In other words, the children conform to their parent in rebelling or running away. This paradox reflects the struggle of being the child of a narcissis t. It seems impossibl e to escape their control. Even rebellion against them is a result of their choice.

In reality, in the narcissis tic family, the attributi on of roles by the narcissis t may differ from the role ‘chosen' or most suitable for the child. This is why a high-achieving child may be the narcissis t's scapegoat in spite of acting as the hero and making the family look so good. Equally, the narcissis t's golden child may be a total loser to the outside world. And a child might rebel without becoming the scapegoat, but rather a lost child to the narcissis t. To add to the complexit y, roles can change over time. In addition, one of the parent's hero may be the other parent's scapegoat, etc. The role is therefore determine d by the observer. Everythin g is very much a matter of perceptio n in crazy-land.

See also:

- Kathy Radina on family roles:



Whatever the roles really are, the narcissis tic parent has a favourite and everybody knows it. This creates envy and division amongst the children. This helps the narcissis t in several ways: it channels the hatred of the children away from them and towards other members of the family, and it enables them to rule according to the good old adage ‘divide and conquer'. Even the golden child will be made jealous of his siblings by the narcissis tic parent, who will ensure they highlight something the others have that they don't. There is therefore very little chance of mutiny as the children are too busy hating each other, or competing with each other, to see where all of this is really coming from. The narcissis tic parent sells to his children the fallacy that love from them is available, but that it is something in limited supply, and that they will only receive it if they win a competiti on against the rest of the family.

The favourite child, or ‘chosen one', acts in fact as a decoy for the real family secret. While everybody can see the favouriti sm, the narcissis t will deny it in words, but not in actions. Narcissis ts are much better at hiding and denying than this, so what's really going on? This obvious denial of an undeniabl e truth serves the purpose of hiding the real truth. The real family secret is hidden by the obvious non-secret fact that there is a favourite child in the family, a ‘chosen one.' In reality, there is only one favourite in the narcissis tic family, and that's the narcissis t themselve s. They are the real chosen one. There isn't space for two ‘chosen ones' in the world of the narcissis t. Understan dably, the golden child is the one least likely to see this truth. In the meantime, this child is the recipient of everyone else's hatred.

This does not mean that the narcissis t doesn't have a favourite child. They do. The golden child is indeed the one they love the most. But this love is not true selfless unconditi onal love for who the golden child really is. It is love for the narcissis t's positives projectio n onto the child. In other words, the narcissis t loves themselve s through the golden child. What they love in fact is an idealised image of themselve s projected onto the golden child. This child unconscio usly knows that being loved is dependent on complying, or conformin g, to the narcissis t's projectio ns and wants. The golden child lives in constant fear of losing the parental love and becoming a scapegoat or forgotten child.

By contrast the scapegoat(s) is (are) the receiver(s) of negative projectio ns, and the recipient(s) of hatred and violent abuse. Possibly, it's the rejected true self of the narcissis t that is seen in or projected onto the scapegoat(s). This might explain why the most sensitive of the children, i.e. the one most in touch with their true self to begin with, becomes a scapegoat . It may be that the scapegoat is the one who resembles the most the true self of the narcissis tic parent, at least in the latter's eyes. This unconscio us identific ation could also explain why narcissis tic parents generally seem to scapegoat a child of the same sex, since this facilitat es the identific ation process. Another factor for choosing the recipient of negative projectio n could be reminisce nce of, or resemblan ce with people from the NM's past. For example, if the NM was very envious of a sibling, such as the golden child, she may scapegoat any of her own children who remind her of the hated sibling.



One of the biggest division created by the narcissis t is the war of the sexes. Gender matters in the world of the narcissis t, and everyone is made to believe that the other side has a better deal.

Everybody has heard of ‘Daddy's little girl' or ‘Mommy's little prince'. When the narcissis t is the mother, she is more likely to project her negative traits unto her daughter(s), to be envious of them, and to be in competiti on with them. By contrast, the boys, or at least one son, are more likely to be her all-good or golden children. But in a family with only female children, a girl will become the golden child. And in a family with more than one boy, there will be at least one forgotten male child.

One reason why narcissis tic mothers will scapegoat a daughter rather than a son may be cultural. In many cultures, the son is more valued than the daughter. A woman's narcissis m may therefore be caused by the belief that her gender is a flaw, the root cause of her feelings of rejection or abandonme nt. Her hated true self is therefore very much a feminine one and will therefore need to be projected onto a daughter rather than a son.

It does seem that girls become more conscious of their mother's narcissis m than boys, if one is to observe what comes out in books and on the Web. This awareness may indicate that, of all the roles, the Scapegoat s (or Rebels) are more likely to see the light than any other of their siblings. Being the Scapegoat rather than the golden child may therefore be a blessing in disguise.

The important thing to remember is this: the narcissis t is not capable of truly loving anyone, not even themselve s. No one is getting their love because there is, very sadly, no love to be received. Neither ‘the boys' nor ‘the girls' are getting anything good out of this. Anything that looks like love from the narcissis t is an illusion, a trickery. Don't be fooled anymore.



The term ‘role' is very appropria te for the narcissis tic family. Indeed, as image matters more than substance to the narcissis t, the family works h*rd *n its external appearanc e. As soon as they have a witness, an audience, the narcissis tic family starts performin g. The narcissis tic family on stage is very different from the family off stage.

On stage, everyone participa tes to the idyllic display, even the rebel, which shows how strong the family dynamic really is. On stage, the narcissis tic family seems happy, and may create the envy of others who wish they could be part of this fantastic fun and loving crowd. This envy is the supply the whole family craves, it seems to compensat e for all the pain endured during the time off stage. Perceived envy is the fuel that runs the narcissis tic world.



Denial is at the root of narcissis m, and at the core of the narcissis tic family. Any exposure is a threat to the survival of the system, and must be addressed according ly. ACoNs who raise any concerns about the family's dysfuncti ons report being ostracise d by the whole family, including siblings they thought they were close to. Criticism, or any introspec tion, is perceived as an attack, and the response of the family is to attribute a fault to whomever makes the criticism . In other words, if you call the family crazy, the whole family will call you crazy back.

This is a how, in the past, so many children of narcissis tic families, some very high-profile ones, have ended up in mental instituti ons. Some of them were lobotomis ed, others were submitted to electric choc ‘therapy ‘. Most came in with the neuroses of an abused child but ended up with much worse. Thankfull y, most mental health professio nals now understan d family dysfuncti ons, and you will not be thrown into an instituti on by force. But who can survive being alone against the people closest to them? The only way out… is out. Support groups, competent therapist s, and loving friends are the ones to go to instead. This does not mean that you must necessari ly cease any contact with your family, but that you must be aware of the limitatio ns of your family.
21 signs of a narcissis tic perent (be concerned if they has many of them)

1. They have to be the center of attention all the time. This is a defining feature of narcissis m. They will steal the spotlight or spoil any occasion if someone else is the center of attention .

2. They demean, criticize and make derogator y remarks to you. They always lets you know that they think less of you than your siblings or other people.

3.  They violate your boundarie s. You feel like an extension of them. There is no privacy in your bathroom or bedroom; they regularly go through your things to find informati on they then use against you.

4.  They  ‘favoritizes’. Narcissis tic parents often have one child who is “the golden child” and another who is the scapegoat .

5.  They undermine .  They will pick a fight with you or be especiall y critical and unpleasan t just before you have to make a major effort.

6.  Everythin g they do is ‘deniable’. Cruelties are couched in loving terms; aggressiv e acts are paraded as thoughtfu lness.

7.  They make YOU look crazy. When you confront them with something they're done, they’ll tell you that you have “a very vivid imaginati on” (common phrase that abusers use to invalidat e your experienc e of their abuse) or that they have  “no idea what you are talking about”.

8.  They're jealous. If you get something nice, They’ll take it from you, spoil it for you or get something the same or better for themselve s.

9.  They're a continuou s liar. To you, they lie blatantly . To outsiders, they lie thoughtfu lly and in ways that can always be covered up.

10.  They manipulat e your emotions in order to “feed on your pain”. This behavior is so common among narcissis tic parents that they are often referred to as “emotional vampires”.

11.  They are selfish and willful. They make sure THEY have the best of everythin g and always has to have their way.

12.  They are self-absorbed. Their feelings, needs and wants are Very Important and yours are irrelevan t or insignifi cant.

13.  They are almost absurdly defensive and extremely sensitive to criticism .

14.  They terrorize d you. Narcissis ts teach you to beware of their wrath. If you give them everythin g they wants, you might be spared; but if you don’t-the punishmen ts WILL come.

15. They are childish and petty; “getting even” with you is important to them.

16.  They are aggressiv e and shameless . They don't ask, they demands. They won’t take no for an answer-they will push, arm-twist, or otherwise manipulat e or abuse you until you give in.

17.  They “parentify”. They sheds Their parental responsib ilities to the child as soon as they are able.

18.  They are exploitiv e. They will go to any length to get things from others for nothing (work, money, objects)- including taking money out of her children’s account or even stealing their identitie s.

19.  They projects. They will put their own poor behavior or character onto you so they can punish you. For example, you refuse an especiall y outlandis h request of theirs, they become enraged and furious at your refusal, then screams at you, “we’ll talk about it after you’ve calmed down and aren’t hysterica l”.

20.  They are never wrong about anything. They will never, ever genuinely apologize for anything they has done or said.

21.  They are not aware that other people have feelings. They will occasiona lly slip up in public, and because of their lack of sympathy, will say something so callous it causes disbelief in people. The absence of empathy is another defining trait of narcissis m and underlies most of the other signs that are on this list.
All About Narcissism / Diagnosis: Trump is narcissistic
« Last post by Siirist on January 06, 2016, 05:26:11 PM »
Spotted this in the National Guard (the local newspaper in Eugene, OR) on 1/6/16

I keep reading and hearing that Donald Trump has a narcissis tic personali ty, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. So I did some research on narcissis m by looking it up in the American Psychiatr ic Associati on’s Diagnosti c and Statistic al Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible of diagnosin g mental health issues for those of us who do mental health work.

The criterion for Narcissis tic Personali ty Disorder contains nine potential elements:

“Has a grandiose sense of self-importance, e.g., exaggerat es achieveme nts and talents,

“Is preoccupi ed with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brillianc e, beauty,

“Believes that he is ‘special’ and unique and should... associate only with other special or high-status people (or instituti ons),

“Requires excessive admiratio n,

“Has a sense of entitleme nt — unreasona ble expectati ons of especiall y favorable treatment,

“Is interpers onally exploitat ive, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his own goals,

“Lacks empathy: Is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others,

“Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him,

“Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes .”

The DSM requires that the person show “five or more” of the listed traits to meet the diagnosis . Delusiona l Republica ns may disagree, but it’s clear to me that Trump exhibits all nine of those indicator s.

Do we really want someone like him to be our president, let alone be “the leader of the free world”?

Gary Cornelius


Mail letters to: Mailbag, 3500 Chad Drive, Eugene, OR 97408-7348

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