Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Fixers and Fiends

Mirror, mirror on the wall..who’s the fairest of them all? The Queen from Snow White

Believers are a reflection of their god. They only differ in what they believe to be true about that god.

Out From Under the Umbrella

In the last several posts I’ve discussed narcissism/psychopathy and codependence.  There is a distinct relationship between the two.  A codependent either by nature or by nurture doesn’t know where s/he ends and another begins.  They don’t recognize boundaries.

Codependents also seek out security.  They find individuals who are or appear to be confident, positive, and self-assured very attractive.  With an air of superiority, grandiose visions, and elevated an elevated estimate of self-importance narcissists fit the bill.  Narcissists crave admiration and codependents want someone to admire and look up to.

Narcissists can’t handle their superiority or their authority being challenged (sound like any preachers you know?).  They need relationships with individuals who are ready and willing to be and remain subservient to them.  Codependents find it difficult to make their own decisions, for whatever reasons (nature or nurture) so they commonly defer to the narcissist.  This plays to the narcissists ego…

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Prophets or Profiteers?

Is an invisible, imaginary God narcissistic or are the real narcissists those who conjured him up?

Out From Under the Umbrella

Alright, alright.  Some of you were a bit frightened by the post on extreme narcissism; wondering whether or not that describes you.  If you were wondering it probably doesn’t.  An extreme narcissist wouldn’t care.   But that wasn’t my intent in the least.

There is nothing wrong with a little healthy narcissism.  By that, I mean, self-esteem.  If you feel confident in your abilities, if you think you can make a difference in this world, and if sometimes you realize you must put yourself first and don’t feel guilty about doing it this is healthy narcissism.  I envy you!

It is difficult to be in a relationship with an extreme narcissist and maintain any level of self-esteem.  So if you are the kind of person who is always self-seeking to the detriment of others, if you make those around you afraid of your reaction to constructive criticism, if you demand undying…

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One-Sided: My Relationship With a Severe Narcissist

Narcissism is a very ‘searched’ topic. I get a number of visits to this post each day from web searches for the term ‘narcissism’, or ‘one-sided relationships’, or ‘drained by a narcissist’. I’m going to reblog this series over the next few days while I work on some new material.

Out From Under the Umbrella

In the book “The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists” there is a list of questions to help you find out if you are in relationship with a Narcissist:

1. Do you frequently feel as if you exist to admire his or her special talents and sensitivities?

2. Do you frequently feel hurt or annoyed that you do not get your turn and, if you do, the interest and quality of attention is significantly less than the attention you give?

3. Do you sense an intense degree of pride in this person or feel reluctant to offer your opinions when you know they will differ from his or hers?

4. Do you often feel that the quality of your whole interaction will depend upon the kind of mood he or she is in?

5. Do you feel controlled by this person?

6. Are you afraid of upsetting him or her…

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I’m Seeing Things

Yesterday was a strange day for me.  It really started Sunday, actually.  Lanky Brit usually works Friday, Saturday and Sunday in twelve hour shifts, so he gets up at 3:00 a.m.  I lay in the bed for a few more minutes and then I get up, too.  Because I’m awake.  I might be able to go back to sleep but, for some reason, I like to see him off when he leaves at 5:00 a.m.  Sometimes I go back to sleep after that but most of the time I don’t.  Well, Sunday was one of those days when I did.  I had thought that I wouldn’t.

I was going to get to work organizing my home office.  We bought this house last summer and around the same time we moved in the renter in a rental property we own moved out.  My sister volunteered to help me fix it up – the rental, that is – so I could sell.  Because I’m tired of renting it.  Because I’m not cut out to be anybody’s landlord.  I have trouble making people move out when they don’t pay.  I live too far away to manage it properly and it was my reward(award, whatever) in the divorce.  A cinder block house in a not-so-good-neighborhood.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story.  So my sister and the Brit did help me fix it up and it did sell, thankfully.

Anyway I haven’t had a chance, really, to work on the house we actually live in until recently. I call it my 1970’s Brady Bunch house.  I’m going with an eclectic mix of things. So I was going to get started on that home office. I did.  I worked for about half an hour and then I got sleepy.  So I laid on the couch and when I fell asleep House, M.D. was on.  When I woke up Dr. David Jeremiah was on.  He apparently had three points, a poem, and a prayer.  I woke up on point three.

The sermon had been about the new heaven and the new earth, y’know after Jesus comes back and scorches this one to smitherenes.  You can download the outline.  You can even listen to the sermon if you like.  For some reason I didn’t repulsively change the channel and instead listened.  The third point had three points.  In the new earth, God’s removing the sea.  We won’t need it anymore, apparently.  I was only half awake at that point.  He’s also going to remove the curse that he placed on the earth when Adam and Eve snacked on fruit from the wrong tree. Finally, this earth (the one we currently inhabit) will be restored.  To perfection.  Which should give Christians a new appreciation of the world we live in now.  For some reason Christians should be conservationists because the new earth is going to be the old earth, just restored.  To perfection.  So Christians ought to be taking care of it now because it’s the same one they’ll be living in then; without a sea.  And the Christians will be reigning on this new earth with Jesus under God.  He never did say what they’d be reining over.  Each other?  Will there be animals that need to be reigned over?  The vegetation?  *shrug* I did find this little gem that explains it.  I decided procrastination was overrated and went on with my task for the day.

Fast-forward to yesterday. The Brit was slated for some extra work so we were back up at 3:00 a.m.  Maybe it was the phase of the moon or lack of sleep or something, but I wasn’t in a particularly chipper mood.  I found myself in a debate in the comment section on another blog.  Why?  I’m not a debater.  I even told myself not to bite.  ‘Don’t get sucked into this’, I said. ‘Just ignore it’, I said.  But did I listen?  Noooo. Sigh…

I failed to eat lunch yesterday, then had to go the grocery store when I got off work. Not a good combo. It took me forever in the grocery store because it’s hard to be decisive when you’re ready to chew your friggin’ arm off. This explains why I thought I was hallucinating when I arrived home yesterday afternoon and saw a pig rooting around by my mailbox. I did a double-take. Surely it was a strange looking dog. No, it was a pig.

chesterI hauled my groceries inside and decided to go investigate this pig sighting.  What is a pig doing in a golf community?  When I went back out he was gone.  Yep, I thought, I was seeing things.  I walked to the corner and looked both ways and there he was, rooting around in the neighbor’s front yard.

There’s a house just down the street a couple of houses down that takes in a lot of foster animals and animal rescues.  I saw their foster child out shooting hoops in the front driveway.  As I approached him he started to walk away.  He saw me, but he appeared to be retreating.  ‘In fairness, he doesn’t know me’, I thought.   Suddenly he stopped, turned around and took a huge shot at the hoop.

“Excuse me,” I said.  “Yes, ma’am”, he replied timidly.  “I know this is going to sound a little weird but, do you have a pig?”  He gave me a strange, puzzled look and said, “Well, yeah. How’d you know that?”  “He’s over here in the neighbor’s front yard,” I said with a smile.  He loosened up a little then and said, “He’s real nice.  We rescued him.” He leaned down and gave the pig a scratch.  With that they both turned and trotted back home.

Sigh…I guess I need to find out what potbellied pigs eat and help them out with some food for him.  I don’t know how these folks afford all these strays they take in – kids and animals.  Lanky already helps with one of the cats they took in that only has three legs and a nub.  He calls him Stumpy and my little cat(Scamper) is his friend and his military defense system.


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Holy Crap

CaptureThere was a time when I believed everything that happened in the big picture was End Time Revelation.  Earthquakes,volcano eruptions, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, wars, rumors of wars…I thought it all pointed to prophecy in the Bible.

When I stepped back to think about it, there have always been earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, wars and rumors of wars.  There is nothing new under the sun.  The earth has been shaped by all of these things, many of them happening over millions of years.  As long as there has been mankind there have been wars and rumors of wars.

Now I read posts like these of my friends who still believe that all of these things are connected to end times prophecy and instead of nodding in agreement looking toward the sky for the triumphant return of the King of Kings, I shake my head and think, ‘holy crap’.


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Southern Pride and Heritage…A Euphemism

Despite some of the things I’ve written here about the religious zealotry that happens in the U.S.A. and about the state of our welfare system I’d say that this is a pretty great place to live.  In fact, it may be some of the things that led this country down that path that I love.

This really is a land of opportunity for anyone who knows how to best take advantage of them.  Even those “trapped” within the welfare system can, given the right circumstances, get out of the “trap” if they want to. The key is having enough experiences outside their cultural norm to see that they want to.  If that’s the only life a person has ever known anything else is foreign to them.  It’s for other people.  It’s not just being told you can’t do something else, something more; it’s never having been told that you can…I digress.

The very thing that allows religious zealots to exist in this country is one of the things that I love.  Freedom of religion.  That same freedom allows me not practice a religion.  It has no bearing on how friends or family or even perfect strangers react to my disbelief.  They can be shocked all day long and twice on Sunday but none of them can force me to take part in their religion.  I’m free to do as I please with regards to that decision…I digress.

There are a lot of things wrong in the good ole U. S. of A., but there are a lot of things that are right as well.  While that is true, I recognize it’s true of other countries as well.  The United States hasn’t cornered the market on these things. And, while I love my country, I also recognize other people feel the same pride in their own nationalities.  America is not better than a lot of other places, but it is home to me.  That may not be enough patriotism for some people, but it’s enough for me…I thrice digress.  I thrigress!

There are a lot of things people from different countries and regions within their respective countries take pride in.  I’m no different.  I love the South maria-stenzel-ancient-live-oak-trees-in-georgia– most of the time. I love the laid back atmosphere, I love the big Live Oaks, and the wrap-around porches.  I love sweet iced tea on a hot day and I love the friendliness of the people here.  I love the rows and rows of farmland[which is in decline], the smell of fresh tobacco and the smell of earth in a freshly turned field, I love to eat the heart right out of a warm watermelon cut open right in the patch.  I love home-canned vegetables and preserves and I love southern fired chicken.  See, these are things I’m proud to say that my homeland is noted for.  This is also not the only place these things are found.

There are also things I hang my head in shame over.  Under the guise of Free Speech the State of Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles granted permission to the Sons of the Confederacy of Georgia the right to sell a “specialty” vehicle license plate emblazoned with the Confederate Flag that looks like this:

140218090516_Georgian PlateIn listening to a CNN interview with Ray McBerry, Spokesman for the Georgia Division of the Sons of the Confederacy, and Charles Steele, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference the following exchange took place:

BERMAN: All right, ahead @ THIS HOUR next, the Confederate flag at the center of another heated debate here in the south, this time because it’s featured on a new state-approved specialty license plate in Georgia. We’ll hear from both sides in this debate over whether this flag honors Southern heritage or is a symbol of racial oppression.

BERMAN: It is a battle that’s flaring here in Georgia. This is the flash point. It’s a new state-approved specialty license plate that features the Confederate battle flag. And many Southerners believe that symbol honors their heritage.

PEREIRA: Many others see this as a racially charged symbol of oppression. We’re joined by Ray McBerry, spokesman for the Georgia division Sons of the Confederates Veterans, and Charles Steele, he’s the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Thank you both for being here to have this conversation with us.

Charles, let’s start with you, first of all, why this new battle over the latest license tag? Supporters say they have a right to honor their legacy.

CHARLES STEELE, JR., PRES., SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONF.: Well, first of all, we have serious problems with racism within this country. And that’s a part of our history in terms of the Confederacy. And that’s where it should maintain, in history. Not to bring the dark side of our history in terms of this country, because the whole world is looking.

I just got back from Berlin, Germany. They were saying, we want to be like you are in America, working harmoniously with both ethnicity and races.

So what I’m saying if it’s a part of history, it’s a dark side of history. We were lynched. We were tortured. Our family was divided under this type of mindset. We cannot afford to go back. And you’re talking about 50 years later after the 1963 march on Washington.

BERMAN: So Ray, what about that? We’ve all heard the argument that this is part of Southern heritage; it’s part of Georgia’s heritage. Is it part of Charles’ heritage? There are a lot of African-Americans that live in Georgia. That’s the Confederate battle flag right there. Is that part of their heritage that is deserving of commemoration?

RAY MCBERRY, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS: Well, it absolutely is, John. We actually as an organization have members of every ethnic group that lived in the South during the war from 1860 to 1865. We have black members; we have Jewish members; we have Hispanic members. The Sons of Confederate Veterans is not an organization that has to do with race, and we find it ironic that here in the month of February, the folks that are criticizing us for wanting to celebrate our own history and heritage, are some of the same folks that are celebrating theirs this month. And we simply as an organization believe that every people have a right —

BERMAN: I’m sorry, are you talking about Black History Month? Are you equating Black History Month with a celebration of the Confederacy?

MCBERRY: No, we’re saying every group of people has a right to celebrate their own heritage and history. And we find it ironic that the folks are that are being critical of the license plate having Confederate heritage symbols would bemoan someone else celebrating their own history and heritage while they’ve got their own celebration going this month. We think it’s a little bit hypocritical.

PEREIRA: But at the cost of celebrating one’s is the cost of celebrating somebody else. Charles, what do you — when you hear that, what is that…

STEELE: Well, the first thing that come to my mind, well, when are we going to join alliance? Should we have a tag with the Black Panther Party?

BERMAN: Would you be okay with that, Ray?

MCBERRY: We think every organization that meets the qualifications that the Department of Motor Vehicles has established here in Georgia ought to have their own specialty plate. And we don’t have a problem with any organization.

STEELE: Well next you have the Ku Klux Klan. I mean this is a negative that we can’t afford. It’s bad for business.

PEREIRA: One of the things, Charles, that you said that upsets you and the group that is definitely against, is that the state has sanctioned this.

STEELE: That’s where I have my serious problem. The state should’ve stayed out of this. If you have a home and you resided at a certain location, it’s okay. That’s your property. But this is sanction. This is supported by the State of Georgia. That is a no-no. That’s saying that they’re willing to support slavery. Take us back inch by inch. We cannot be tolerant on this particular issue.

I was greatly disappointed that Berman and Pereira did not question Ray McBerry as to his definition of Southern Heritage.  Are we celebrating sweet tea and wrap-around porches.  I doubt it.  More likely his answer would have been how the Southern States seceded and gallantly stood up to the Union over state sovereignty, state’s rights, and extremely high tariffs.  For these Confederates rewriting history is nothing new.  But you see, all these reasons for the war up to and including those tariffs had to do with but one thing:  slavery.

What sovereign rights were the Confederate states fighting for?  The right to own slaves. Not only the right to own slaves, but the right to move into the Union states with those slaves if they so chose.  They make it sound so valiant a fight that men, even men who didn’t own slaves, were willing to fight to the death to protect those rights.  If they come for our slaves what next, our guns?  Where will it stop if the states allow the Union to pass laws disregarding the sovereignty thereof?  And they wrap all of this nobility in a Confederate Flag and celebrate it.  Yet they, and the rest of us, know exactly what it is.  It’s a euphemism for racism.  The symbol is offensive and instead of seeing it for what it is, they drape themselves in it and attempt to rewrite history to accommodate their celebratory nature over something so abhorrent.

I was raised here, born and bred.  I know what Southern Pride and Heritage means. It’s high time we recognize the damage it does, the division it causes, and put it to rest in history – where it belongs.