Wet stockings, drying like chapped hands on weazy radiator
Your disapprobation, her disinterest, parents who
Took poorly to the role
And I, their disappointment
Not strictly failure
More a damp root, a smell of mold
Reminding them of empty spaces within themselves
I lay, hot brow, empty handed, slack mouthed, dearticulated by illness
Briefly relieved to be cut loose
And years passed overhead without sound
Tiny dancers on the globe turning time
Until they could not be certain, of ever having had
Nor was I sure, I had been born
Such is the potency of separation
We can remove ourselves to point of extinction
And now I may return, the Archer retracing steps
With fine lines and trembling notion, mangled by distance
They cast every doubt in nets of resentment
No doubt it was a relief not to attempt a role
People without need
Going home is often empty
I fell hard, such is the consequence of a colorful lure
Flickering in shallow water lit by hope
the world was messy, like a thirsty rag soaked with blood
still not gaining sustainence
sickness an albatross, urging me to frail edge
I had yet to learn that words can possess no value
be simply pretty things, we are misled by like Xmas baubles, turned over to reflect pattern
how can a writer realize, words can be emptier than a hollow tree?
people who write them, do so with convincing candor all enveloping like hard sales pitch
it’s impossible to believe they’re just words, without meaning, or worse, deliberate opposite
of truth, that sparten ideal, sucking ice for nourishment
when the wet ass hour comes, and it always comes
those who stay, are not those who wrote long entreaty
not the flatterers, cake-bakers, trumpet players
they are usually the last you’d believe, quiet, unobtrusive leaves coloring your floor
when your loud friends have quit you, it is they who step up and inquire
are you okay? Do you need help?
I learned this directly, as if fed by a poisoned spoon
the ache of losing louder voices and reward of quiet ones, whom you didn’t believe cared
because you listened for the caucophany and wordsmiths who
know their trade as story tellers, so very, well
and I, who also wrote stories, fell hook, line and sinker
for the best of tales
the one where it’s all about them, and if you fall short you’re out
why it took so long to see, the value of things as they stand
plain in the rain, but firm of foot
is down to the fanciful nature I had
before damp veil was torn off and sickness
cast her long net and kept you underwater without purchase
in that drowning you learned, the only lesson worthy of a mortal
it will not be those who come, bearing gifts, cherry lipped
it will not be those who say; you are wonderful, adorable
it will be the person who seems aloof and speaks volumes
because sometimes a story teller is just that
a teller of stories without depth, milking our need
they do not stay when you reach out, just the length of the tale
long or short, it always comes to an end and then
they go on to the next book and you are left
dangling with pretty words, tied in useless bouquet
now I don’t know what to call myself
“recovering” of some sort of fairytale lure
and in that recovery I find the simple joy
of people without tall stories
This is to thank so much all those magical folk I did not know would step up and to acknowledge those who spoke loudest and did the least by way of mercy. Each to your own I learned and I grew.
The man- boy with drainpipe trousers
Talks too much
He claims the title of “empath”
And we know
So often narcissists hide behind a kind face
His is transparent and whorls with hipster beard
I hear the rub of his insincerity
Like familiar chaff
How easy to see the game pieces
When from the stage you step back
I am tired and old
I am young and quick
I am neither witness nor undertow
But some approximation of emotion
Observing sand-dial without taking turn
Til his upstart urges ego
To fill space with his lust to be seen
I let him know
You may have some fooled but I hear you gobble
Fat as Thanksgiving goose
Sucking all the air from the room
Hungry in unsalted desire to hear your own voice
Like a spoilt little boy, thin on holiday treats
And I long to switch you off with a flick
That others may speak and consider
Instead of your incessant bearded drone
Convinced you are humble prophet
why are the least, the ones who believe themselves the most?
Such delusion winds your faulty key
No words can find together to fabricate
The proof of your concave mouth
Slurping sound like a tin penny whistle
In years to come you may learn
When you meet a young version of yourself
Less is more
Save the pompous for Charades
Cut the roast, Pat the dog, be thankful for not
Gloating on naught
Social Media has spates of trending headlines and buzz-words. Periodically, ‘Narcissism’ will be among them. We know the basic meaning, the mythological story and how a modern narcissist can hurt relationships be they friendships or otherwise. But if we were asked to clearly define the process it might be tricky. That’s because the issue with a buzz-world is we gloss over the deeper meaning, we stereotype it, until we’re using it out of context and it loses the potency of its original meaning.
Thus, you will hear many people calling out narcissists, and in truth, fewer people are true clinical definitions of narcissists than we would imagine. Equally, some of those who labor the point regarding narcissism, are in fact guilty of the very thing they decry.
A narcissist as their core, is someone with low empathy for others, high self-regard, an inflated and delusional sense of self, an entitlement and sense of superiority to others. They can be charming and appear popular and ‘normal’ in some settings, only to be a down-low narcissist, or they can be an overt example. typically a narcissist is considered to have some sociopathy and inability to care for others meaningfully, as well as a belief they deserve more than others and others should act accordingly. Likewise, a narcissist will seek adoration and forms of worship over say, maintaining a give-and-take relationship. If they do something that appears giving it is with the knowledge they will get something in return, thus it is insincere.
Narcissists can also be very successful because they have less quam about their actions, they are confident, bullish, determined and strive for what they believe they are ‘owed’ as well as not being perturbed about the cost of achieving this or the damage inflicted upon others. Some narcissists will play games with people to manipulate them, in this sense they can be also described as sadistic and cruel.
As with any mental disorder, narcissism is on the spectrum and varies a great deal. It is a personality disorder manifested often early in life, and can be controlled, hidden or overt, depending upon its specific characterization within an individual. In other words, one size does not fit all. Typically with any personality disorder, it cannot be completely ameliorated but you can lessen its outcome if you are open to that, which many narcissists will not be because they suffer the delusion of self-aggrandizement.
Most of the time if someone hurts us, and we call them a narcissist they are not. Sometimes when someone calls out narcissistic behavior they are enabling it by their reactions to it. An example would be, if you call someone narcissistic but you do much the same in your own interpersonal relationships with people. It is possible to be narcissist and not be aware of it.
With varying degrees of personality disorders, it is very hard to definitively say someone is a narcissist because many times you can display narcissistic behavior but not have enough to qualify for the actual personality disorder. With any mental illness it is dependent upon frequency, duration and extent of (symptoms).
If you are in a relationship of any kind with someone who is a narcissist you will expect to experience some of the following; A sense that you are not entirely worthy of the individual and they feel you are lucky to be with them, difficulty in expressing successfully your perspective and that being understood. It is not as simple as being vain, confident, or even arrogant, narcissism is at the very core of a person’s nature and decision-making process.
Likewise, those subject to the natural manipulations of a narcissist will become versed in how to respond ‘correctly’ to their needs and thus, alter their behavior accordingly. It can take years to re-train yourself out of responding this way to a figure-head such as a narcissistic parent, or lover, and the beating it gives a person’s self-worth and confidence can require a lot of work to re-balance. This is because a narcissist is so confident they convince others they are right, even in the face of common sense. A narcissist parent will rear a child who is always considering the parents needs rather than the other way around, and thus, does not develop fully because they are attuned to the needs of another and not so much, their own.
We have been discussing how judging any mental health manifestation is wrong, and should be avoided at all cost. With Narcissism it is somewhat different. Narcissism, along with Sociopathy, Psychopathy, and other extreme personality disorders and mental disorders, has a poor cure or treatment rate, it often causes a great deal of harm and pain to others, and many who are ultimately imprisoned share these traits. While no good comes from judging, it is worthwhile considering whether becoming close to someone who is unable to treat these symptoms is a good idea, given the likely outcome.
Obviously someone who is a sociopath or narcissist shouldn’t be precluded from having a relationship or a life, but unfortunately in some ways, the damage of their personality can be so bad that it does come to that. Of course I feel some compassion for this, but it is tempered by the fact that someone who is a sociopath or narcissistic does not experience compassion or empathy and simply goes through life feeling they deserve what they want at any cost. Some milder forms that are say, manifested by trauma, can be treatable, but if they are entrenched, it is often a poor prognosis.
I have met some people who repeatedly are attracted to narcissistic types, this is because they learn patterns and unconsciously respond and repeat them without meaning to, because of early exposure to that kind of behavior. You could almost say it was masochistic and it is, though not consciously. It is a little like ‘better the devil you know’ because the familiar patterns of treatment become instilled and it is hard to break the cycle. In this regard, the victims of narcissists are more likely to be seen by mental health professionals than the perpetrators.
Ultimately then when we talk of narcissists we usually refer to the damage they wrought upon others and how best to help those people.
Learning to spot the signs of a narcissistic personality as well as increasing self-worth are the keys to overcoming the damaging cycle. This can include watching for people who only know how to talk of themselves, rarely show interest in others, and if they do it’s very much crafted toward gaining trust to get what you want. This is of course hard to gauge as it can be subtle and most of us have been on the losing end of a friendship with a narcissist.
There is no cure-all but the more self-respect we have, and the greater awareness of being taken advantage of, as well as looking out for people who are self-obsessed, will help us circumvent typical narcissists. This can include setting boundaries, ensuring that friendships are relatively equal (give-and-take) watching for obvious signs such as being self-obsessed, lack of empathy, lack of interest in anything but self, self-aggrandizing behavior, a need to be worshipped and/or continually praised and excessive vanity.
Just as those who are raped as children, can sometimes go on to rape children when they are adults because they are subverted into a twisted parody of their own abuse, and act it out, the same is true with narcissists. The victim of a narcissist will often exhibit narcissistic behaviors also. They will assist without knowing, the antagonism with the narcissist by responding/reacting in such a way that feeds the ego of that narcissist, they will also expect some of the same things their narcissist expects such as attention and adoration. It’s almost as if they learn from their oppressor and take on some of the traits.
This can be ‘fixed’ and is highly receptive to therapy, the first step being, admitting you have done this and wanting to stop doing it.
Breaking the cycle including your own reaction/response to narcissists is key. In some ways if you do not do this, you will aid and abet the narcissist and even attract others to treat you this way, just as you would any addiction. The behaviors are learned and highly addictive as all extreme forms of behavior are, especially if learned in childhood which they often are, such as in the case of a narcissist father and their children. The kids are literally trained into subservience, into blaming themselves as a narcissist will not take blame on themselves and are very good at displacing blame onto their victims.
Learning to be attracted to non-narcissistic people can be challenging when you are taught to be drawn to the magnetic inflated personality of a narcissist. Other people may appear ‘boring’ and ‘bland’ and not push your buttons including your sexual-desire, attraction buttons. It may seem ‘sick’ to be attracted to a narcissist but they are very adroit at becoming attractive enough to gain many followers. this is why narcissists are often in positions of power and/or lead others. They do have a magnetism and charisma that superficially impresses others. Sadly in some cases they are revered and never held to task for their less desirable traits.
It could be said our society is sick for our worship of certain narcissistic figure-heads and we should question the message we are sending by glamorizing narcissistic people in the media en mass. In many ways it is our society that creates a narcissist and certainly, we perpetuate them. What this also means is, we can change that.
Let me tell you a story …
once there was an ugly girl, by ugly I mean her soul was desolate of compassion
nobody could see her true make, because she kept her cheeks brightly daubed with grease paint
every so often she’d be provoked and the alabaster devil would crawl out
betraying her neutered joins beneath camouflage
she asked me
BITCH why are you so fucking NICE?
venom dripping from her opaque maw
she could hardly contain her tiny fanged roll of hatred
as if by being merciful I disobeyed natural laws
her hellish countenance, displeasured turn of rule
she was without color, an albino sheltering behind false eye-balls
gathering fruits of her murder, dragging the axe behind
wishing so much to rise it over head and crack my tinted neck
why for some … it is a sport to undo others?
Rorschach of destruction splattered on pavements
I shall never know
she wanted my extinction
eradicate a girl who is not like her
crying; who does she think she is?
challenging the natural order of our dirt filled minds
bent on collapsing compassion
why are we suspicious of those who are tender?
as if they must all contain a poisoned dart or
some ulterior motive
it is not so very strange to be considerate
she was the butcher’s knife in plain sight
questioning my integrity implying I had some
everyone would rather believe kindness an invention
cruelty the status quo
they joined in their discrimination
sending me out in the wilderness
where I watched them eat each other
the way glinting crows starved of fresh meat
will turn sharp on their neighbor
have been wild ever since