I have been in a fog. Swimming through it, trying to see clear. It has felt like being in my nightmares, where I drive without seeing anything. Trying to not crash.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a serious condition which affects an estimated 1% of the population. Narcissism is characterized by an extreme self-interest and promotion with an accompanying lack of concern for the needs of others.
Narcissism is named after the mythological Greek character Narcissus, an extremely handsome young man who rejected the love of Echo and, as punishment, was condemned to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to obtain he object of his desire, he died there in sorrow.
Narcissists often use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt (FOG) in Relationships
FOG is a type of emotional blackmail, which ruins relationships.
FOG works in the dark. It resides in the land of emotion, not logic. At the heart of it is this flawed reasoning: “It is permissible for me to push your buttons to get my needs met, but ifyou try the same thing, I’ll make sure you will regret your selfishness.”
That’s right: the emotional blackmailer’s reasoning is illogical; he lives by a double standard. That’s why emotional blackmail is never discussed outright: the minute you try to shine a light on it, by discussing it or asking pointed questions, it will scurry away like a cockroach. If you try to pin a blackmailer down—“Are you saying you will pout if I refuse to go to the party with you?”—he will project the FOG back onto you, deny its existence; or try to distract you by changing the subject, being dramatic, or getting angry. The supposed anger may have nothing to do with the particular topic—a combination of anger with a request to change the subject is designed to throw you off-balance.
Here are some other examples.
- Grant is fully aware that his wife is having an affair with a man named Trent. He knows because she talks about him and compares them sexually. But he’s afraid if he demands that she stop seeing Trent, she’ll just leave him. That’s fear.
- As an adult, Susan tries to avoid her mother’s rages, complaints about others, and contagious sour moods. But Susan feels compelled to call her mother Judith back when she leaves a message on the answering machine. If she doesn’t, eventually Judith will reach her and demand to know, “Where were you?” Judith has been living alone since Susan’s dad finally left, and Susan likes to think of herself as a “good person.” For her, this means that she has a tendency to put the needs of others above her own— something Judith is counting on. This is obligation.
- Jack and Ramona have a teenage daughter they think is borderline. She’s totally out of control; normal discipline doesn’t work. They don’t know where she goes at night, and they’re afraid she’ll get pregnant—or worse, contract AIDS. But they just can’t put their own daughter in a residential treatment center. She would hate it. Down deep, Jack and Ramona are worried that something they did caused their daughter’s disorder. They feel guilty.
We have all been in the space between light and dark. Trying to see what`s there, trying to get out of the fog. Sometimes the only thing we can do, is to look at our feet and remember that we are still here, no matter if we can`t see anything around us.
Out of the FOG Support Forum – Support for family members and loved-ones here at Out of the FOG.
Emotional blackmail by Susan Forward: How to get out of the FOG
This post will be a response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Journey.”
I have travelled a lot. I have gone to Asia, Africa, USA and Europe even though I am just 29 years old. Every journey has given me new memories and lessons that has made me to the person I am today. But a journal is not only going to places physically, it`s also the mental travelling that expand and enrich our worlds. I have chosen to share one of my travel memories with you. It reflects how I try to experience new things while being with people I love.
I was in Turkey in 2012 together with four of my best friends. The two last days were at the same time as my birthday, and it was a wonderful day for the most part. This is just an excerpt from the whole experience, but sometimes it is necessary to focus on the most important memories in detail.
I am in Turkey. Beaches of ordinary sand feels like silk and dirty lakes as the source of life. Since I arrived at Kemer, I have walked in the odor of the hotel`s sewage system, had a shower in the ambivalent sea (alternating between cold and hot) and endured tiresome flirtations from Turkish men. One of those men, were of an especially annoying type, and I will call him the "snake-man" from now on. He was the waiter at a local restaurant where we ate Friday evening. Friday had so far been pretty good. I had dyed my hair dark, communicated with a lovely caramel-skinned kid and soaked myself in sweet sunshine. But still, I was in the worst mood so far that week. I had slept badly and hadn`t eatern since twelve. It was now seven and we arrived at the Restaurant. My mood elevated since I finally could eat Turkish food. But my fragile calm just lasted for a little while, since a waiter of questionable caliber came walking toward us. The first I noticed was how his tongue came in and out like a snake. Each time he said something that he believedwas funny, for example that he could "rub our delicate bodies with lovely food" he stuck out histongue and licked his mouth like it was he who wanted to eat something. My discomfort increased when he also smiled in a very unattractive manner. I decided to ignore him, since my inner traffic light was dangerously close to red. I managed to ignore him for a while, but the illusion soon burst when he came back to take our orders.
The nightmare started when I told him I wanted to order a vegetarian dish they had on their menu. In a confident voice, he declared that it wasn`t good. I was fine with that, but then me and Torunn wanted to order some wine. We told him we wanted one of the cheap wines, and he was immensely offended. He told us we had to try another one, but we declined. He kept assuring us that heknew best and that we had to follow his brilliant advice. He told us that we were "SO INCREDIBLESTUPID" to order that wine, at the same time as his tongue flickered in and out as if he was the devil himself. Me and my friend don`t care too much about the quality of the wine since we barely know the difference between red and white, and just wanted some wine that we could relax with. I tried to convey this in a calm manner. I have nothing against people recommending different types of wine if it`s done in a courteous manner, but when he for the SIXTH time started to claim that he knew best, and that we could not take the "bad, terrible wine" I felt my frustration rising. My patience was gone, so rudely I replied that if we didn`t get what we wanted, we would leave. Despite clearly underlining this point, he still did not get it. I had to shut my mouth tightly and look down,since tears were threathing to roll down my cheeks. He did not realize how tired, angry and sad I was, but after a couple more terrifying tongue gestures he finally disappeared. I actually managed to block him from my mind and had a good time after that. We went to a karaoke-bar, the best I've ever been on, and I got to sing until 24:00 when I had my birthday.
My birthday became a tear dripping affair. I got three happy birthday songs, where one of them was performed by about 30 guests at a restaurant. I got free cake, many hugs and greeting from a lot of people I love. I simply had a fantastic evening with my dear friends. Without people, we feel so small, no matter how old we get. I was touched by all the people who did their best to show me they cared. I hope that one day I can give as much back as I have gotten from the people around me. I am lucky to have met so many nice people in my life (except the snake-man).
I had been here before, a long time ago.
Some hide. Darkness their friends, light their enemies. Some of fright, some to win the war. We have all seen and known them, but like phantoms, they keep evading us. We see them, but only in the When it`s too late, when they`ve crept out of their hiding places, they drag their victims with them. We find every type of them: Vampires, parasites and monsters. Some try to take you with them to their underworld, to their promise of bliss and peace. Some lure, some force, some decide for you. They try so hard to find company in their darkness. No matter who comes with them, or what the consequences will be. They like the phobic caves of fear, and have built many. They are architects of destructions, and prey on people already in debt.
I`ve always been a naïve skeptic, and given every type of architect a fair chance. They tried to drag me down to their underworld, too, but I liked it better in the light.
And now I`m coming back.
Darkness no more, let them come into the light so all their secrets can be revealed.
You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now
Thank you, Klavert. for trying so hard.
Sorry you failed
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Shocking news about trauma centers closing down due to controversy and costs, hurt the ones who need it the most.
We need trauma therapy, we need time, and we need to use our creativity and imagination to really be of help. Our stress becomes their stress, and how can that be good for anyone? So can we start playing “roar” in the hospital, please? Because I want to hear you ROAR