Fending off the temptation to eviscerate the behavior of a no-conscience narcissist adult who inflicts nastiness and cruelty on others is no easy task. It is likely the person is trapped in the merciless web of a personality disorder. Mental illness is no easy challenge for anyone to meet, particularly if they do not realize they are not well. If a narcissistic streak is present, the chance they will ever recognize how unwell they are is fairly close to nil.
The temptation to strike back, to verbally eviscerate the emotional assailant is real, and not easy to manage. This is particularly true when you’ve offered an act of kindness to someone only to get a response that can best be described as a kind of rabid nastiness. That their response reflects the absence of a conscience is par for the course, and, in a way, is almost beside the point. I say almost, rather than entirely, because no one, and I mean, no one, deserves to endure one iota of no-conscience cruelty.
The best response of all is to disengage from the individual, completely. Not doing so is tantamount to staying linked to an active alcoholic or addict under the misguided but heartfelt belief that there is something you can do or say that will heal things. There isn’t. I promise you. Unless and until the individual who is not well registers this truth, they will reach the end of their life controlled by their unhealthiness. A reality that is both tragic, and heartbreaking sad.
Disengaging is not easy. That said, please remember something. Taking care of yourself is not an act of disloyalty to anyone else. Promise.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Smerkle Grumpy. Known Peter all his life. I wrote words here before. Been too long since my man Peter gave over the pen to me. I told him just that, to be sure. We hugged. We’re cool.
Now, I am no journalist. I am a being that says what he wants, straight out. I try to stay in the borders of decency and such, but not always. The thing is, there’s a bunch of wickedness out there now. Peter’s a good man, but his words are too polite. He knows I am not as polite as he is, but he said my voice might be needed these days and so he said I could pick two points I want to make, and go for it. So here goes the first point.
If you support the orange American Grand Dragon in the White House, you know damned well you’re supporting a racist and a sexual predator. Does that really mean you’d be just fine about it if he grabbed your wife or daughter, sister, or your mother, by her privates? If you are just fine with that, a sick puppy and you might want to think counseling. Some shit. But get well, for fuck’s sake.
One thing; you can’t support this beast, and act like you’re not supporting, racism, bigotry for all but white and wealthy men, sexual predators, and Trump’s homeboy, Vladimir Putin.
Okay, that’s the first point. So here comes the second.
I think my imagination knows pretty much verbatim a conversation me and Televangelist Pastor Paula White would have.
Pastor White, born Paula Michelle Furr in Tupelo, Mississippi, is a spiritual advisor to President Donald J. Trump. She has also had a bucket-load of cosmetic surgery on her face. It’s heartbreaking to see. It looks like the poor woman’s beginning to melt, if you ask me.
Now, this White lady – well don’t that beat all – has a ministry. She knows how to preach, in front of audience and camera. She thumps the bible with the best of them. Can’t you just hear our conversation? Listen. I mean, if I said, “Pastor White, would you agree God created us? That we are created in God’s image?”
She would say something like “Yes, I do,” or maybe, “That is what the bible tells us.”
I would continue. “And we’d agree, would we not, that what God creates, for each of us, is, at its core, is perfection in all ways. That it is up to us to shed ourselves of sin, and recognize the gifts God has given us?”
“Oh, yes. That is absolutely true.”
“We’d agree that God’s creations need no improvement?”
“Then here’s my question. How’d on earth did he fuck up your face? How is it, that everything God has created from the beginning of whatever-the-fuck time it is, has been perfect, then all of a sudden – badabing! badaboom! – he gets to your face, and something goes wrong? What are the odds of that?”
“I can’t believe you have the audacity – “
“I’m just gettin’ warmed up, lady. I got another one for you. Who are you to decide that God messed up your face in this first place? That’s pretty arrogant ya know – overruling the Big Guy like that.”
I don’t know what she’d say to that. I have no problem at all with anyone who chooses plastic surgery. I have a problem with hypocrisy. You can’t go around saying God’s perfect, but you’re even better.
Moving muscled rhythms ‘cross the floor
Shape shifting time as boredom
Bends the mind we are
In this together
Brothers and sisters
We are believe it
Or not we are
In this together
Saying it ain’t so
Don’t make it so
We are all America
We are family
I am 66 now. I’ve had four parents. (I was adopted when I was a baby.) None of my parents made it out of their sixties. Two of the four committed suicide. My concern that I don’t have a lot of time left may stand on shaky ground, but it still stands. Strangely enough, I seem to be okay with that.
If willpower plays a role in all this, then I feel good about my chances of reaching 70 and beyond. But right now we have this Novel Covid 19 virus in our midst, and, it seems, I’m in the at-risk group.
(Point of order, if you please. If, like me, you’ve been walking around with a bullet lodged in the prefrontal cortex of your brain for 35 years, you must own-up to having a bit of practice on the feeling at-risk front.)
So, in brief, what to do? Or, were I wearing a tie at the moment, what is one to do?
First, you accept the reality of the experience you’re in, whatever it is, and, for the love of God, do not judge yourself.
And then, for me, my response is to honor my instinct, and my instinct is to pour as much love and kindness and compassion and, in so many ways, most of all, honesty and loyalty, into how I live my life. Anything less would be a betrayal all that I am as a man, and, of equal importance, it would be a betrayal of everyone I’ve loved in my life, and,a betrayal of those who have been good enough to love me.
Tell those you love that you love them. Say it out loud. I know this is not always easy for some. The reality is, saying it out loud is an act of strength.
No doubt some will already know you love them, and for others, what a beautiful thing to learn. Never ever underestimate how much those words can mean to people.
And then, there is this. Those who love you deserve to hear your voice say it.
(Last but not least, I hope those who love you, tell you. You deserve to hear those words too. Promise. They never get old.)