Monday, October 8, 2012

charity and Charity

I couldn't bring myself to comment on any Charity-related posts. I've been sad, scared, and confused about the whole thing, unable to articulate quite what was so disturbing about it.

I'm sad and angry that upsi has to deal with even more invalidating, hurtful shit. It's not fair.

I'm sad and scared that someone is so damaged and disturbed as to pull something like this.

But, ultimately, it boils down to me. I'm terrified because I've been living in a black-and-white world. Us, ACoN bloggers, we're the good guys, right? We have understood our legacy and our insights are helping us to break free, right? Our narcissistic parents are the bad guys because they'd never even start doing the hard work that is necessary to undo years of conditioning, right?

So, when a fellow blogger who has obviously been doing some hard work in therapy and blogging does something like this and basically exhibits malignant narcissistic behavior, asking where she fits now in this black-and-white ACoN world, what does it mean for us?

Aren't we all damaged? Weren't our parents also ACoNs? Weren't some of them also scapegoats who were AWARE of their own narcissistic parents' abuse? How much hope is there for us really?

I keep wondering how much charity (i.e. love) there really is in me, and how much Charity (i.e. narcissistically conditioned damaged hurtful behavior) lurks below the surface.

How much do we really love each other? Charity seemed nice and supportive. Are we sometimes nice for narcissistic reasons in our public personas, so we are not rejected? I'm honestly asking this of myself, because I'm not sure I'll ever know for certain what my most real feelings and motivations are and what "love" truly is. I'm afraid of myself. I've had "cold," "selfish," and "unloving" projected on me for too long to ever trust myself with being truly loving and supportive.

I'm seeing a therapist for the first time on Wednesday. I'm sure this incident had something to do with prompting it. Blogging, awareness, insights, DIY might just not be sufficient.


  1. This is a great post. It was part of what I was struggling too. I had created the assumption that this community was the "good guys". It really shook up my blogging reality, to realize that even someone who is making the effort (and I think that this is a lot of hard work) could fall so quickly and so far. So, what separates "us" from "them". My initial reaction was that she'd committed an "oops" moment and I wanted to help her back up to our side of the fence. It was scary to me. And then when I looked back and saw a few more of the dots I'd failed to connect, I began to see it as more than an "oops" moment. It was a very disturbing incident.
    And to answer your question, yes, I believe lots of narcissists are nice for narcissistic reasons. In order to not be rejected. My NMIL is like this. Everything she does seems "nice". But, as I explained to my DH just yesterday, if her end motivation is to manipulate me, than it isn't really nice. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with her. As I understand it, you extend kindness to people because that's how you want to be, not in order to control other people.

  2. Actually you also have the option to day "whatever" and just move on. Charity's drama doesn't automatically mean anything about any other ACoNs. She's just one person. You're YOU, a totally different person.

    I personally supsect that Charity was just a troll. I've run across them before on other forums. They lurk for a while, get a feel for the community and what buttons to push, and away they go. Their whole deal is stirring up drama. Some get off on "the long con", dragging it out for months, reeling others in, and THEN sticking the knife in. Then they sit back and snarf popcorn and watch while their marks flip out over what just happened.

    With so many nutjobs in this world, a skill worth cultivating is *healthy detachment*.

    ble skill in

    1. I feel pretty detached from the whole Charity situation myself. Partly because I didn't find out if was here until the other day. Shit hitting the fan with my narc "best friend" kept me out of the loop.

      So I'm on the same page as you. But it certainly give us all somethings to think about it. I'm glad I've had everyone's posts on the subject to read right after I found out.

      I hope therapy helps you with your new questions and insights, Pronoia. Don't be afraid to shop around for a therapist that fits you if this one doesn't feel right!

  3. Congrats on the therapy appointment, Pronoia! I hope the therapist is one you like and trust (if not, switch it up! Nothing worse than a bad therapist!).

    Peace of mind is critical - you don't need to doubt yourself so much. I echo what PinkPearl said - we're vastly different people, each of us. We all just walk a eerily similar road - that's the commonality. But it's also where the similarities can end. :-)

    I think it's good to continually resist the 'dark side' in us, but I think I applies to anyone, ACoN or otherwise.

    Some people are born nasty. Maybe that's the difference; whether you have the real capacity to be a douchebag or not is more relevant than the power to resist it? Who knows.

    None of us are perfect, all of us fall short. But I don't think we're all necessarily monsters on the inside. Only we can know that about ourselves. And therapists can help us to see it, too (get a good one! Shop around if not!). ;-)

  4. I thought this was a great post and I'm glad you're trying therapy. If the therapist and you don't click, there's no shame in finding another. I've had mostly good luck with therapists, but I've heard stories about some that may not be good for their clients. Just trust your gut.

    I find it interesting that some have thought of us ACoNs as good vs the evil of the narcissists. While I'd say most if us are relatively "better" people for seeking self- improvement, I've always had difficulty seeing myself as a "good guy". In fact, a friend of mine called me a "nice person" and it was all I could do not to spit back, "No, I'm not. And you're an idiot if you start to believe I am. I like you. That's why I'm nice."

    But then again, I accept things like my anger. Because I'm feeling horribly depressed right now, I've realized the anger is the only thing in my toolbox I can drum up to snap me out of wanting to disappear. Which is not to say I'm lashing out at people -- because then I would get even less sleep at night than I already do.

    Thanks for sharing these insights, though. Gives me much to think on.

    1. I know what you mean - I seem to only now have a need to see myself as "the good guy" as opposed to the narcs because I used to have to see them as perfect, and myself as faulty for not truly loving them.

      I have a hard time accepting anger, as it was expressly forbidden - not just speaking out, but the emotion itself. So I had a long period of depression. It really sucks. I'm so sorry you're there right now and hope it lifts soon.

  5. The word, "hypervigilance" comes to mind. It messes with me, badly.


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