Women’s March on D.C. and the Real Revolution…

Angela Davis
Angela Davis

At a challenging moment in our history, let us remind ourselves that we the hundreds of thousands, the millions of women, trans-people, men and youth who are here at the Women’s March, we represent the powerful forces of change that are determined to prevent the dying cultures of racism, hetero-patriarchy from rising again.

“We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages. We know that we gather this afternoon on indigenous land and we follow the lead of the first peoples who despite massive genocidal violence have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. We especially salute today the Standing Rock Sioux.

“The freedom struggles of black people that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and colonialism, which means for better or for worse the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history.

“No human being is illegal.

“The struggle to save the planet, to stop climate change, to guarantee the accessibility of water from the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, to Flint, Michigan, to the West Bank and Gaza. The struggle to save our flora and fauna, to save the air—this is ground zero of the struggle for social justice.

“This is a women’s march and this women’s march represents the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence. And inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join the resistance to racism, to Islamophobia, to anti-Semitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation.

“Yes, we salute the fight for 15. We dedicate ourselves to collective resistance. Resistance to the billionaire mortgage profiteers and gentrifiers. Resistance to the health care privateers. Resistance to the attacks on Muslims and on immigrants. Resistance to attacks on disabled people. Resistance to state violence perpetrated by the police and through the prison industrial complex. Resistance to institutional and intimate gender violence, especially against trans women of color.

“Women’s rights are human rights all over the planet and that is why we say freedom and justice for Palestine. We celebrate the impending release of Chelsea Manning. And Oscar López Rivera. But we also say free Leonard Peltier. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Free Assata Shakur.

Angela Davis image by Shepard Fairley
Angela Davis image by Shepard Fairley

“Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.

“The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.

“This is just the beginning and in the words of the inimitable Ella Baker, ‘We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.’ Thank you.” (–Transcript of Angela Davis’ speech at the January 21, 2017 Woman’s March on D.C.)

Watch the 6 hour Full Live Stream video  *They aren’t allowing this to be shared easily… and are taking it down everywhere… probably because it was an AMAZING event…

Here is a link to the video via ABC that may work for a while at least: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp1FyjB8WXQ

LINK to info about: Women’s March in D.C. January 21 2017

Shigatsu's "fuck you" pom knit hat by Sourpuss Clothing from the angry young and poor collection (worn in honor of the Woman's March) and Against Donald Trump who is NOT our President.
Shigatsu’s “fuck you” pom knit hat by Sourpuss Clothing from the angry young and poor collection (worn in honor of the Woman’s March) and Against Donald Trump who is NOT our President.
"pink pussy cat" hats Against Trump
“pink pussy cat” hats Against Trump
Official Logo for Women's March by Nicole Larue
Official Logo for Women’s March by Nicole Larue
Janelle Monae was Stellar at the Women's March in D.C.
Janelle Monae 

“I wanna remind you that it was woman that gave you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,” Janelle Monae spoke, “It was woman that gave you Malcolm X. And according to the Bible, it was a woman that gave you Jesus.”

NY Times photo of Janelle Monae at the January 21, 2017 Women's March in D.C.
NY Times photo of Janelle Monae in a Fem the Future Sweatshirt at the January 21, 2017 Women’s March in D.C.

 “Continue to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. You are enough.”

“And whenever you feel in doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear.”

Janelle Monáe’s 2015 protest song “Hell You Talmbout” with Jidenna paid tribute to women of color who died in police custody, including Sandra Bland, Natasha McKenna, Tanisha Anderson. The mothers of Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Mohamed Bah, Trayvon Martin, and Dontre Hamilton led the crowd in a call-and-response chant of their sons’ names. Biko closed by naming two trans women killed by police: Mya Hall and Deonna Mason.

 “Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. We are complete human beings, and they cannot police us, so get off our areolas. Get off our vaginas.” ~Janelle Monáe

Donald Trump is NOT a Legitimate President…

martin-luther-king-jr-quote
quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

a Girl Power Academy THANKs YOU JOHN LEWIS!

To see the video and read full article go to:

NBC news.com meet the press: John Lewis boycotts Trump

 

In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said he does not believe Donald Trump is a “legitimate president,” citing Russian interference in last year’s election.

Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, “it’s going to be very difficult. I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”

When pressed to explain why, he cited allegations of Russian hacks during the campaign that led to the release of internal documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign co-chairman, John Podesta.

“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis told NBC News.

Trump appeared to acknowledge this week that Russia did engage in hacking during the campaign, but he has vigorously argued that any foreign interference had no impact on the election’s outcome.

Trump fired back at Lewis questioning his legitimacy as the incoming president in a pair of tweets Saturday morning, saying that the long-serving Georgia Congressman should “spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.”

Lewis, also a recognized civil rights leader, represents a district that covers most of metropolitan Atlanta as well as historically black schools, including Morehouse College and Spelman College.

Lewis told NBC News that he does not plan on attending President-elect Trump’s swearing-in next Friday.

“It will be the first one that I miss since I’ve been in Congress,” he said. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”

***

CNN’s Caroline Kenny contributed to the following report:

Washington (CNN)A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are boycotting President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, particularly after revelations of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and his rebuke of civil rights icon John Lewis on Saturday.

Some members of Congress have said they will be protesting in Washington, D.C., and in their districts instead.

Here’s a list of Democrats who have publicly said they won’t be at Friday’s ceremony:
Georgia Rep. John Lewis:
The civil rights icon declared Friday that he would boycott the event because he doesn’t see Trump as a “legitimate” president in light of Russian interference.
“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong,” Lewis told NBC News.

(Trump harshly responded Saturday, calling Lewis “all talk” and “no action” and saying he should focus more on “fixing and helping” his district rather than “complaining” about the Russia’s role.)

California Rep. Mark Takano:
“‘All talk, no action.’ I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration,” Takano tweeted Saturday.

New York Rep. Yvette Clarke:
“I will NOT attend the inauguration of @realDonaldTrump. When you insult @repjohnlewis, you insult America.”

California Rep. Ted Lieu:
“For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis,” Lieu said in a statement released by his office.
Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva :
“I will not be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump as our next president,” the Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair said Friday on the House floor. “My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy, but as an individual act, yes, of defiance at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration, and the actions we are taking in this Congress.”
Michigan Rep. John Conyers:
The office of Conyers, the dean of the United House of Representatives, confirmed to CNN he won’t be attending the inauguration.
California Rep. Mark DeSaulnier:
“It is with a heavy heart and deep personal conviction that I have decided not to attend the #TrumpInauguration on January 20, 2017,” the California lawmaker tweeted Friday.

New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez:
Velazquez tweeted Friday that she will be participating in a women’s march protesting policies that activists say are harmful to American women.
“I will not be attending inauguration of @realDonaldTrump but WILL participate in the @womensmarch on January 21st,” she tweeted.

Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader:
“I’m just not a big Trump fan. I’ve met the guy and never been impressed with him,” he told Oregon Public Broadcasting Friday. “I’ll do my best to work with him when I think he’s doing the right thing for the country. But he hasn’t proved himself to me at all yet, so I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony.”
Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay:
The lawmaker’s spokesperson told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Clay will be in his home state speaking to schoolchildren.
California Rep. Barbara Lee:
Lee said she’ll spend the day “preparing for resistance.”
“Donald Trump has proven that his administration will normalize the most extreme fringes of the Republican Party. On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance,” she said Thursday in a statement.
New York Rep. Jose Serrano:
“I will not attend the #inauguration2017 next week- cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard for my constituents. #Bronx,” he tweeted Thursday.
California Rep. Judy Chu:
“After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration,” Chu tweeted this weekend..
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez:
“I cannot go to (the) inauguration of a man who’s going to appoint people to the Supreme Court and turn back the clock on women and turn back the clock on immigrants and the safety and freedom that we fought for them,” Gutierrez said last month on CNN’s “New Day.”
California Rep. Jared Huffman:
“I have decided that instead of attending the inaugural ceremonies in Washington this month, I’ll spend time in California with my constituents making a positive difference in our community,” he wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “From helping to build homes for local families to pitching in on cleaning up flood debris to welcoming new US citizens at a naturalization ceremony — it will be an action-packed couple of days. Stay tuned here for more details.”
Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark:
“I support the peaceful transition of power, but I don’t feel that I need to attend the pageantry associated with and for this president,” she told the Boston Globe earlier this month.
Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer:
“There is unprecedented concern by my constituents about the many threats posed by a Trump administration seeking to implement the President-elect’s policies on health, environment, nuclear weapons and immigration, to name but a few,” he said on Facebook.
New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat:
“Many have given their lives and dedicated their lives to working to fulfill Dr. King’s dream and make it a reality, and it is up to us to preserve his legacy and the legacy of President Barack Obama to ensure that we do not go back in time! President-elect Donald Trump is trying to take us back! And the people Trump is appointing– Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions — are trying to take us back!
“That’s why I am not attending the presidential inauguration. Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration. THIS is not Dr. King’s Dream!” Espaillat issued the statement on his Facebook page.
Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal:

.@realDonaldTrump: @repjohnlewis stands for best of everything in America. If anyone knows about action not words, it’s him. #ImWithJohn
Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan:

“After reading classified Russian hacking doc & @realDonaldTrump offensive tweets to @repjohnlewis I will not be attending the Inauguration.”
Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge:

“As I told @JoyAnnReid, I will not be attending #Inauguration. I will be at home in Cleveland. #IStandWithJohnLewis.”
California Rep. Maxine Waters:

“I never ever contemplated attending the inauguration or any activities associated w/ @realDonaldTrump. I wouldn’t waste my time.”

***

The Emoluments Clause:

To view the original link and or more essays and teachers lessons about the constitution go to:

Heritage.org: constitution: Emoluments Clause

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

ARTICLE I, SECTION 9, CLAUSE 8

For the Teachers PDF lesson click here: http://www.heritage.org/constitution/content/pdf/lesson-2.pdf

Article VI of the Articles of Confederation was the source of the Constitution’s prohibition on federal titles of nobility and the so-called Emoluments Clause. The clause sought to shield the republican character of the United States against corrupting foreign influences.

The prohibition on federal titles of nobility—reinforced by the corresponding prohibition on state titles of nobility in Article I, Section 10, and more generally by the republican Guarantee Clause in Article IV, Section 4—was designed to underpin the republican character of the American government. In the ample sense James Madison gave the term in The Federalist No. 39, a republic was “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during good behavior.”

Republicanism so understood was the ground of the constitutional edifice. The prohibition on titles of nobility buttressed the structure by precluding the possibility of an aristocracy, whether hereditary or personal, whose members would inevitably assert a right to occupy the leading positions in the state.

Further, the prohibition on titles complemented the prohibition in Article III, Section 3, on the “Corruption of Blood” worked by “Attainder[s] of Treason” (i.e., the prohibition on creating a disability in the posterity of an attained person upon claiming an inheritance as his heir, or as heir to his ancestor). Together these prohibitions ruled out the creation of certain caste-specific legal privileges or disabilities arising solely from the accident of birth.

In addition to upholding republicanism in a political sense, the prohibition on titles also pointed to a durable American social ideal. This is the ideal of equality; it is what David Ramsey, the eighteenth-century historian of the American Revolution, called the “life and soul” of republicanism. The particular conception of equality denied a place in American life for hereditary distinctions of caste—slavery being the most glaring exception. At the same time, however, it also allowed free play for the “diversity in the faculties of men,” the protection of which, as Madison insisted in The Federalist No. 10, was “the first object of government.” The republican system established by the Founders, in other words, envisaged a society in which distinctions flowed from the unequal uses that its members made of equal opportunities: a society led by a natural aristocracy based on talent, virtue, and accomplishment, not by an hereditary aristocracy based on birth. “Capacity, Spirit and Zeal in the Cause,” as John Adams said, would “supply the Place of Fortune, Family, and every other Consideration, which used to have Weight with Mankind.” Or as the Jeffersonian St. George Tucker put it in 1803: “A Franklin, or a Washington, need not the pageantry of honours, the glare of titles, nor the pre-eminence of station to distinguish them….Equality of rights…precludes not that distinction which superiority of virtue introduces among the citizens of a republic.”

Similarly, the Framers intended the Emoluments Clause to protect the republican character of American political institutions. “One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.” The Federalist No. 22 (Alexander Hamilton). The delegates at the Constitutional Convention specifically designed the clause as an antidote to potentially corrupting foreign practices of a kind that the Framers had observed during the period of the Confederation. Louis XVI had the custom of presenting expensive gifts to departing ministers who had signed treaties with France, including American diplomats. In 1780, the King gave Arthur Lee a portrait of the King set in diamonds above a gold snuff box; and in 1785, he gave Benjamin Franklin a similar miniature portrait, also set in diamonds. Likewise, the King of Spain presented John Jay (during negotiations with Spain) with the gift of a horse. All these gifts were reported to Congress, which in each case accorded permission to the recipients to accept them. Wary, however, of the possibility that such gestures might unduly influence American officials in their dealings with foreign states, the Framers institutionalized the practice of requiring the consent of Congress before one could accept “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from…[a] foreign State.”

Like several other provisions of the Constitution, the Emoluments Clause also embodies the memory of the epochal constitutional struggles in seventeenth-century Britain between the forces of Parliament and the Stuart dynasty. St. George Tucker’s explanation of the clause noted that “in the reign of Charles the [S]econd of England, that prince, and almost all his officers of state were either actual pensioners of the court of France, or supposed to be under its influence, directly, or indirectly, from that cause. The reign of that monarch has been, accordingly, proverbially disgraceful to his memory.” As these remarks imply, the clause was directed not merely at American diplomats serving abroad, but more generally at officials throughout the federal government.

The Emoluments Clause has apparently never been litigated, but it has been interpreted and enforced through a long series of opinions of the Attorneys General and by less-frequent opinions of the Comptrollers General. Congress has also exercised its power of “Consent” under the clause by enacting the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, which authorizes federal employees to accept foreign governmental benefits of various kinds in specific circumstances.

written by Robert J. Delahunty
Associate Professor of Law
University of St. Thomas School of Law

Donald Trump is the world’s LARGEST Narcissist…

Being that President Elect Donald Trump is the world’s LARGEST Narcissist it’s an appropriate time to explore his style and tradition of family planning for us all:

The article below and more like them can be found by clicking on the blue link: Lynne Namka family relationships articles

Selfishness and Narcissism in Family Relationships
Author: Lynne Namka, Ed. D.

Narcissism as a psychological definition is typically seen as self-involved attitudes and behavior where there is little or no empathy for others. Narcissistic wounding starts early in life to children whose parents are insecure, abusive, addictive or have narcissistic patterns themselves.

Narcissistic injury happens to the child when his or her emotional needs are not met. The narcissistic parent has unresolved needs for attention and care taking because his or her needs were not met in their early life. Neglect, physical, mental and sexual abuse, being spoiled and not given structure and limits create the wounding. Narcissism can be an inflated ego sub part or the trait can take over the personality. Narcissistic attitudes and behavior come from the ego defenses that function as smoke screens to hide the deep shame and fractures that came from being hurt emotionally or physically as a child.

The child who was not allowed to have boundaries becomes energetically and developmentally arrested at this level with beliefs of not being safe in the world and being unworthy and unlovable. Thus the Shadow is born with the defenses and negative core beliefs becoming set in the child’s repertoire. The child carries this primitive, self-defense core of fear even into adulthood. This is called the “Core Script” or Core Identity, which is like a big lens of perception by which the world is viewed. The defenses remain lurking in the unconscious mind ready to be called into action at any resemblance of threat.

The False Self – Narcissism or Codependency:
We can be a little bit hurt or a lot hurt by neglect, abuse or trauma. The depth of the wound to the psyche determines the severity of the insult to the child’s personality and a loss of the true self for the child. A false self develops along with a fragile self esteem of defining identity as feeling good when being given to or giving to others. The child is stuck in early primitive defenses and cannot go through the stage of normal separation from the parents that is necessary for growth.

Children of a difficult, more stubborn temperament defend against being supportive of others in the house. They observe how the selfish parents get his needs met by others. They learn how manipulation and using guilt gets the parent what he or she wants. They develop a false self and use aggression and intimidation to get their way.

The sensitive, guilt-ridden children in the family learn to meet the parent’s needs for gratification and try to get love by accommodating the whims and wishes of the parent. The child’s normal feelings are ignored, denied and eventually repressed in attempts to gain the parent’s “love.” Guilt and shame keep the child locked into this developmental arrest. Their aggressive impulses become split off and are not integrated with normal development. These children grow up learning to give too much and develop a false self of becoming co-dependent in their relationships.

Living on Fantasy Island:

People with narcissistic thinking and behavior strive to defend their fragile self esteem through fantasy and have blind spots in their thinking. Living in a fantasy world where all their needs are met and unrealistic expectations take the place of life. They become involved in material things, vanity, and are shallow developing excessive life long interest in things that are not real such as movies, rock stars, soap operas and video games. They fear their feelings, gaining deep friendships and intimacy and cannot develop mature love relationships.

Fantasy can become an attempt to not see what is really there in order to build up a fragile self-esteem. People with narcissistic traits process information, emotions and unresolved pain to make up for what they did not have in childhood. They often place unrealistic demands on others to make them feel better. They cannot tolerate negative emotional distress and turn it on others and blame them instead of looking within to see their own part of the problem. This is the defense of projection — what the person does not like in him or her self, they get angry at others who may have some of that same trait. Projecting one’s anger onto others instead of using it to learn and grow is always limiting.

Self image is distorted with the narcissistic point of view and the person believes that he is superior to others. An inflated self-esteem is a defense to cover up their sense of shame deep within. Grandiosity is an insidious error in thinking that prevents them from blaming themselves and becoming depressed or disintegrated. Creeping narcissism in a person is their succumbing to the gradual demands of selfishness and entitlement by giving in to “I am special” beliefs.

Narcissistic Defenses – The Need to Feel Good at all Costs:
Selfish people usually insist on having things their own way at the expense of others. The need to impose getting one’s way over others is an unreal attitude and expectation that sets other people off against them. When the person with narcissistic tendencies doesn’t get what he or she wanted, he feels devalued. Since they cannot tolerate the feelings of fear, hurt, anxiety, helplessness and despair, they defend against them. They deny and rationalize their own contribution to the problems to preserve their own internal fantasy of being all good and right.

People with narcissistic tendencies have errors in thinking which prevents them from seeing things how they are from both sides of the picture. Not wanting to feel bad inside, they build defenses such as denial, repression and a strong need to be right. When the person has severe traits, they can feel an increase in self-esteem when they get what they want and feel no remorse or justify their using others. John Masterson called this rigid type of thinking a “Swiss Cheese Brain” with holes in the brain and mind where good common sense and conscience should be.

Some even get a sense of feeling superior when they get their way or make others feel bad. This is the dynamic underlying bullying. When hurting others becomes a hook into feelings self-satisfaction, the narcissism takes an ugly turn. There is a cost to this false sense of self-esteem. People who abuse and bully others end up being lonely because others do not want to be around them.

People with narcissistic behavior cannot handle criticism in any way and feel that they are being made wrong. . They are super sensitive to criticism and either attack the other person or they leave the scene. This blaming the person who gives criticism helps the person with narcissistic defenses avoid feeling guilt, shame and depression but it also keeps them from taking responsibility for learning from their mistakes and ultimately from growing up.

They can pout and give the silent treatment or hold grudges. This combination of these defenses that distort reality often set them up for failure in partnerships.

When the narcissistic traits are too severe and causes havoc in the lives of others, there is a disorder. Narcissistic Personality Disorder happens when a person’s outlook is so distorted to the extent that they do not see reality as it is and cannot see the needs of other people. These people are the takers of the world leaving pain and destruction in their wake. If their behavior is left unchecked, they become con artists, manipulators, sociopaths and dictators.

Without empathy for others, people with narcissistic personality disorders can irrationally justify and rationalize their hurtful and unlawful behaviors and may become sexual predators. Family members who have sex with children always have some element of narcissism seeing others as objects that are available for their own sexual satisfaction. High intelligence coupled with a lack of empathy and remorse for hurting others is a dangerous combination for family members. With extreme narcissistic behaviors, the diagnosis may be a sociopath personality disorder.

The Narcissistic Person in Relationship:
The two greatest fears we humans have in relationships are fears of engulfment (smothering, being controlled by someone else) and fears of rejection and abandonment. And to spice up the human drama, our greatest longings are the needs for connection and the opposite need for space and individuality. This is the great Cosmic joke! What a set up for problems! And so the couple dance is set playing out these great, universal themes. People with narcissistic traits have more of this quality than other people. They play both these fears out in the relationships with their significant others, yearning for closeness and fearing it the same time.

When the narcissistic person grows up, they harbor the irrational belief that the person they choose for a partner will give them perfect love and make up for all the hurts and slights of their life. People with severe narcissistic traits long for an ideal love to soothe their fragile sense of self. This yearning for getting unconditional love is an unresolved need left over from childhood. Most adults realize unconditional love would be nice, but understand that it rarely happens as people we love usually hold us accountable for our actions in some way. As we should be –no one should be allowed to impose their neediness and bad behavior on others.

In the narcissistic mind, there is a gap between the idealized love and the actual day-to-day dealings with their partner. They long for symbiosis with the idealized love to stabilize the self, but they fear being traumatized by the partner. They seek refuge in being seen as the good guy and try to gain approval and recognition. When this does not come forth readily, they feel wounded, hurt and attacked. Family members learn to back off from confronting them about their behavior and not “hurt their feelings.” Without someone to put the brakes on their unhealthy and abusive behavior, they can become tyrants.

Constantly seeking attention and approval puts them in the precarious position of always needing something from somebody else. As they believe that they are right and others are wrong, they rarely admit to faults in themselves. They can verbally abuse and punish their spouses and children without seeing the pain that they cause as they believe that the person deserves they abuse they dish out. They may try to enlist a child to side with them and turn against the other parent.

People with narcissistic behavior have a sense of entitlement that allows them to break the rules of society. They believe that the laws do not apply to them and they do not feel remorse when they get caught. However they are upset over any inconveniences they suffer as a result of being busted. They believe they have the right to do what ever it takes to get short term gratification without suffering any consequences.

Lying and distortions of reality are considered fair game to shut the other person down. They feel free to cheat on their income tax, take what is not theirs or cheat on their partners. Criticism of their behavior or trying to get them to see what they are doing only causes them to entrench further into defensiveness. When found out in a wrong doing, they get evasive, lie or get angry. They have little or no remorse for the pain they caused the other person, only anger that they did not get away with their behavior.

Intimacy Skill Defects:
Narcissists have a lack of insight about understanding and processing of feelings. Instead, they deny their uncomfortable feelings and run from them with the exception of anger. The huge core of shame inside must be protected by avoiding the vulnerable feelings. They avoid taking risks to love and never learn to develop true intimacy. They would rather threaten their relationship than face humiliation, embarrassment or injury to their self-esteem. They are slow to learn the all important skills of commitment such as sympathy, understanding the intentions and motives of their partner, compassion and empathy. They may even choose someone to love who is even more narcissistic and selfish than themselves thus mirroring their own problems.

True intimacy and a lasting partnership require the skills of dealing with conflict. After the euphoria of a new relationship wears off, each partner’s values and belief systems begin to rub against each other. At this point negotiating conflict is necessary for the relationship to continue effectively. Narcissistic people often discount the issues in the relationship and pull away from their partner. The narcissistic defenses of becoming angry, shutting down, minimizing and distancing keep them feeling safe in the moment.

Intimacy is always affected. When problems are never resolved, the partner becomes highly threatened and angry themselves thus weakening the relationship. Typically children and partners who suffer verbal, physical or sexual abuse become so overwhelmed and threatened that they do not want to continue in relationship.

Changing the Pattern:
The antidote to narcissistic behavior is to understand how the defenses work, identify and correct the errors in thinking and learn to tolerate frustration, anxiety, sadness and shame. By learning to be straight first with the self, and then with others, these unhealthy defenses can be lessened. Then the person can learn to live in the world of reality even though it hurts at times instead of turning to a fantasy that can never be gained.

People with severe narcissistic traits do not change because they do no believe that they have a problem and what they are doing works for them. The narcissistic defense occurs to keep them from feeling bad so they can’t know their own defects.

People with strong narcissistic traits are not interested in reading self help books or learning about their feelings. What they do works for them–they get what they want and CANNOT see the damage that they inflict on others. They do not want to come to therapy and often have the myth of “I can do it all by myself. I can change if I want to.” while it is apparent to others that they cannot. They are UNABLE to see the depth of their pathology as to know their shortcomings would send them down into great shame which would trigger depression.

Some people with milder versions of narcissistic behavior may change somewhat across their lifetime if they become more aware of their actions because they stand to lose something or someone they love. Some start to admit their selfishness, short comings, defensiveness, inability to take responsibility for their actions. As they grow older, some start to identify their insensitivity when dealing with those around them. With hard work, people with narcissistic defenses can learn conflict negotiation and appropriate, safe anger expression. They can learn to be less self-centered and more empathetic with others.

Some come to couples therapy after years of being abusive asking that their spouse be closer and more intimate with them. What they do not realize is that when there has been great pain and threat, basic trust has been broken in the relationship and it is unlikely that it can be regained.

Education, self-searching and therapy are needed to resolve these defense mechanisms that interfere with the ability to be happy. They can learn to become more real with their feelings; they will gain self-esteem by stretching and growing, even if it means being vulnerable to uncomfortable emotional states. As these new skills are learned, they can achieve more satisfying and balanced relationships with others.

Mature Healthy Narcissism:
Everyone has narcissistic behaviors; it is normal to think of ones self and try to get out needs met. We view the world through our own narrow outlook based on our past history and our conditioning. We all need to care enough about our self (narcissism) to pay our bills and function effectively in life. It is only when selfish behavior gets out of hand does it cause problems for the person and those around him.

“Each of us functions with a core of narcissistic, self focused view of the world,” said Marion Soloman, psychodynamic psychologist. Now we all have a bit of narcissism and indeed need some of it to survive. We all have a bit of selfishness in us and that is okay. Otherwise we would end up giving away everything. We need to learn to receive as well as give to be healthy.

The Narcissistic-Co-dependency Continuum:

Narcissism

Reciprocal Loving

Co-Dependency

Fear: I am not safe unless I get, loving conscious relationship

Love: I am safe

Fear: I am not safe unless I give

Shadow Parts Which Create Suffering

Through Too Little Caring for Others

Through Too Much Caring for Others

Mature Healthy Narcissism:

Getting a good balance between taking from others and giving to them is called “Healthy Narcissism” by the psychoanalytic community. Healthy Narcissism is the ability to have reciprocal relationships where the need of each of the partners is balanced with the needs of the other.

Mature Healthy Narcissism is the middle ground between caring for self and the caring for other. It includes those centered, conscious choices that fall within the center of the continuum. It is the equilibrium between taking too much and giving too much in regards to the other person. Moving towards the middle of the Narcissistic-Co-dependency continuum where there is not too much and not too little of either giving too much to others or expecting too much brings balance into a life. By learning the balance between giving too much and taking too much and learning the skills of communication that create intimacy (See books by Harville Hendrix and John Gottman); you can have loving, fulfilling relationships.

A Chip Off The Old Block
Lynne Namka, Ed. D. © 2005

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Sorting out your family’s dysfunctional behavior helps you take charge of your own life. Parents are a mix of both positive and negative attributes. We examine family patterns not to blame our parents, but to understand how our own neurotic behaviors were formed so they can be changed. Write down the negative facts and realities of your dad’s actions, behaviors, beliefs, personality quirks, illness, job loss, family myths and unrealistic expectations. Include facts such as worked two jobs, not there for me, alcoholism, abuse, favored my sister, stubbornness and messages like “don’t talk feelings.” What did Dad expect you to do to take care of him? Then write his positive qualities.

Dad’s Box – Fill in the blank space…
You are not your parents but you certainly learned from them. You can’t change your history, but you can change your unhealthy behaviors now as an adult to placate, manipulate, hide from, seek approval etc. What survival behaviors did you adapt when you were young? Sort out your box from your dad’s. What did you learn to try to stay safe as a child in your family?

My Box–How I Survived/Learned from my Dad

I described myself as a child by saying ___________________________

I was afraid of _______________________________________________

I always hoped for (but never got) ______________________________

I took care of my dad by ______________________________________

Dad’s addictions were ________________________________________

I took care of myself by ______________________________________

The traumas that changed me were _____________________________

I coped with family dysfunction by ______________________________

I survived in this family by _____________________________________

I told myself that if I did ________________________better,

then dad would ______________________________________________

The unhealthiest thing I learned from dad was _____________________

The best part of my dad I’ve taken on is _________________________

We do what we do as little children in order to get along in our family. With our limited resources of not having power in the family and a lack of life experiences, we resort to survival tactics that we happen on to. Virginia Satir said, “Everyone does the best they can with the resources that they have available at that moment. If they could do better, they would have.” This applies to our parents as well as ourselves. As adults, we can let go of the little child survival mechanisms, forgive ourselves for engaging in them and learn better ways of communicating and getting along with others.

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree:
Now write about your mother’s patterns–both negative and positive. What personality characteristics and behaviors of your mother affected you deeply? What specific events involving her helped form your personality to the detriment? How did Mom expect you to take care of her? Again, this exercise is for self learning, not to blame your parent. After all, your parents learned dysfunctional behavior from their parents and traumatic life experiences. We are all victims of victims of victims going back the generations.

Mom’s Box – Fill in the blank space…
Therapy offers you a process of sorting out who you truly are after your rid yourself of your negative defenses, beliefs and behaviors. You can choose to stop being a victim of your upbringing. Sort out the similarities and differences between you and your mother. What unhealthy coping mechanism and defenses did you pick up in order to keep the peace, fight for survival or protect others or yourself? Sort out your box from your mothers. By letting go of the negative, you can enhance more of the positives of each of your parents.

My Box–How I Survived/Learned from my Mom

My mom thought I was _______________________________________

I always wanted mom to ______________________________________

I desperately needed ________________________________________

I always hoped for (but never got) ______________________________

I took care of my mom by ______________________________________

Mom took care of me by ______________________________________

Mom’s addictions were ________________________________________

I made mom proud by ______________________________________

I told myself that if I did ________________________better,

then mom would ______________________________________________

The unhealthiest thing I learned from mom was _____________________

The best part of my mom I’ve taken on is _________________________

Healthy Narcissism–Leaving Family Dysfunctional Patterns Behind:
Healthy narcissism is having just the right amount of self centeredness to get some of your own needs met and as well as some of the needs of others. It’s a balance between giving and taking. Healthy narcissism means using appropriate adult communication, having appropriate boundaries and setting limits for your own self protection. It means giving up old survival patterns that no longer work and using adult behaviors that give you more of what you want.

Characteristics of the Parenting Styles in a Narcissistic Family:
Resource: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment. Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert Pressman

_____ I was not allowed to have feeling that might upset my parents.

_____ As a child, I had to meet the emotional needs of the parents.

_____ I learned early on that my needs weren’t valued so stopped trying to get them met.

_____ I felt that I had to act in ways that pleased my parent(s) to avoid being abandoned.

_____ Our family had to look good to outsiders, so I was required to keep the family secrets.

_____ At times my parent’s need to look good to others did help me get some positive attention.

_____ I was expected to read my parent(s) mind and give what they wanted without their asking.

_____ If I tried to set limits and boundaries, they were overrun by my parent(s.)

_____ I was not allowed to make mistakes or change my mind.

_____The less emotional support I got from my parent(s), the more fearful I was that I’d lose it.

_____ I learned to be super responsible to please my parent(s.)

_____ The rule in my family was that parent(s) got to do selfish things because it was their right.

_____ I have had life-long problems making and keeping intimate relationships.

_____ In relationships, I worry about the other person finding out how defective I am.

_____I have an overwhelming need for external (outside of myself) validation.

_____ I learned to achieve early on to bring glory to my family OR Even though I did well in school, my parent(s) ignored my achievements.

_____ I became fragmented trying to figure out what my parent(s) wanted from me.

_____ It was dangerous for me to recognize and express my own power as a child.

_____ I had no inherent value other that what I could do for my parent(s.)

_____ My parent(s) became hurt or angry when criticized so I learned not to rock the boat.

_____ I had to give up my own sense of self to survive in my family.

Characteristics of Narcissistic Parents
Resource: From Children of the Self Absorbed: A Grownup’s Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents by Nina Brown

Turns every conversation to him or herself.
Expects you to meet his or her emotional needs
Ignores the impact of his negative comments on you
Constantly criticizes or berates you and knows what is best for you
Focus on blaming rather than taking responsibility for his own behavior
Expect you to jump at his every need
Is overly involved with his own hobbies, interests or addictions ignoring your needs
Has high need for attention:
Brags, sulks, complains, inappropriately teases, is flamboyant, loud and boisterous
Is closed minded about own mistakes. Can’t handle criticism and gets angry to shut it off
Becomes angry when his needs are not met and tantrums or intimidates
Has an attitude of “Anything you can do, I can do better”
Engages in one-upmanship to seem important
Acts in a seductive manner or is overly charming
Is vain and fishes for compliments. Expects you to admire him
Isn’t satisfied unless he has the “biggest” or “best”
Seeks status. Spends money to impress others
Forgets what you have done for them yet keeps reminding you that you owe them today
Neglects the family to impress others. Does it all: Is a super person to gain admiration
Threatens to abandon you if you don’t go along with what he wants
Does not obey the law–sees himself above the law
Does not expect to be penalized for failure to follow directions or conform to guidelines
Ignores your feelings and calls you overly sensitive or touchy if you express feelings
Tells you how you should feel or not feel
Cannot listen to you and cannot allow your opinions
Is more interested in his own concerns and interests than yours
Is unable to see things from any point of view other than his own
Wants to control what you do and say–tries to micromanage you
Attempts to make you feel stupid, helpless and inept when you do things on your own
Has poor insight and can not see the impact his selfish behavior has on you
Has shallow emotions and interests
Exploits others with lies and manipulations.
Uses emotional blackmail to get what he wants
May engage in physical or sexual abuse of children
Secure Parents
Meet the emotional and physical needs of the children
Have healthy boundaries and can be assertive in stating them
Respect children’s boundaries and rights to be safe
Resist intrusion and mind games by others
Have strong, positive values and priorities for family
Allow children to express their feelings
Use appropriate self disclosure
Have the ability to develop intimacy and happy relationships
Narcissistic traits are treatable. Education and/or therapy are the keys to long-lasting change. If you find these characteristics in your family and yourself, you can read to learn about how to escape from this destructive pattern.

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Resources:
Children of the Self Absorbed: A Grownup’s Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents – Nina Brown. Oakland, CA. 2001. New Harbinger Publications.

Narcissism and Intimacy: 1989 Love and Marriage in an Age of Confusion – M. F. Solomon, New York, W. Norton & Co.

The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment – Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert Pressman, San Francisco: 1994. Jossey Bass–a Wiley Company.