Let’s Talk About Boundaries.

Hello, Cadets,

I’ve spent hours working on a video to post, and still haven’t quite got the hang of the editing part of things; accordingly, we’ll tinker with it some more tomorrow, and for now — let’s talk about boundaries.

Narcissists hate other people’s boundaries. To a psychopath, other people’s boundaries are Do Not Enter zones, and the narcissist is a big, fat slab of HOW DARE YOU TELL ME I CAN’T GO THERE. To us, boundaries are a healthy and normal way to protect your ego, your thoughts and emotions, and even your plans and activities. To narcissists, other people’s boundaries are extremely offensive and dangerous, and are best demolished, trampled, and eradicated. Boundaries are yet another arena in which narcissists don’t play well with others.

Let’s say you are on a second date with a gentleman, and because he’s a psychopath, he’s read all your tiny gestures and hints and pushed all your buttons, and you’re rather taken with him. Then, he asks you, of all the bizarre things, about your periods. Or how much money you have. This is startling to you, and the reason it catches you off-guard is because of your boundaries. At this point, a part of you tells you to RUN. RUN FAST AND RUN FAR. GOD HELP US, BEAM ME UP SCOTTIE, SOMEONE CALL ME AN UBER, STAT.

But you don’t, because you’re emotionally generous and you assume he must have misspoke. So you play it off a bit: “That’s an odd question. Let’s talk about something else.”

And now the war is on. Get ready for the most covert interrogations and non sequiturs of your life, as this bozo annoys the tar out of you, passive-aggressively trying to pry your private information out of you at any cost.

Hell will freeze over before he gives up on invading your boundaries. And it’s not just personal information; if there’s a room in your house where you let clutter and mess accumulate, THAT is the room he MUST stick his neurotic nose, as soon as your back is turned. He’ll get into your phone, computer, diary, refrigerator, planner, medicine cabinet, and underwear drawer, all as soon as possible. Because you fascinate him? No, because he’s so crazy that he finds your boundaries threatening, and only by stomping on them can he feel like he’s “won”. Like he is so slick that he can pull one over on you. Like you only had the boundaries so you could hide things from him, things he needs to know to be SAFE.

Please let your boundaries do their job and protect your inner territory, Cadets, and listen to those alarms which go off when they’re violated. Psychopaths do this whenever they can. Good men rarely do, if ever. If you’re coming out of a “relationship” with a narcissist, your boundaries might need some repair work; these repairs call for peace, rest, trust, and self-care. The enhanced confidence and self-esteem gained by dumping that manure ball are a bonus.

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Missing Him Monday- 5/30/16

At ease, Cadets; we hope everyone is having a peaceful and safe Memorial Day weekend. Today, let’s talk a little about the searing, excruciating pain of missing the narcissist.
despair
Why on Earth can a brilliant, attractive, capable gal give birth to twins, or perform brain surgery, or nurse a beloved family member in their last days, and get through it with flying colors, but when she breaks up with a narcissist, it can feel like she’s had multiple organs removed by someone shoving their hand into her torso like Castiel in Supernatural fishing around for Bobby Singer’s soul, and now it’s infected and she’s bleeding internally? No, you’re right — a break-up with a narcissist can hurt much more than that.
If the break-up has happened to you, maybe you’re feeling like the only way to abate the pain even a little is to reconcile with the toad. Or at least talk with him. Tell him how you feel, and make him explain himself. See if there’s hope for the both of you, and if he wants to change.
Now, let’s do a brief exercise. Let’s close our eyes, and picture you going out and buying yourself a blow-up doll. You know, the kind they sell at those stores in New York that have signs in the window advertising “rabbits”. You take the blow-up doll home, and inflate him. Then, take a Sharpie marker and add on any facial hair or tattoos the narcissist might possess, and dress him in the ex’s clothes.
Here’s where it gets good. Now, picture yourself driving around with the blow-up doll in the passenger’s seat, and you beaming with happiness and serenity. Envision walking into a cafe, and sitting him in a chair at your table, and ordering yourself a glass of wine and one for your plastic, air-filled friend. How are you feeling? Connected? Proud to be seen with the blow-up doll? Loved? Hopeful the relationship with the doll will grow?
Allow us to go out on a limb here, and wager a guess you might be feeling none of those things. You might feel absurd, ridiculous, empty, pathetic, stupid, embarrassed, and like you’d better leave the cafe before someone takes your picture with your companion and posts it on an unflattering website. Or looks at you with concern and asks you if there’s someone they can call for you.
And so we get to the point: You’re at risk of being awash with every single one of those feelings if you ever made up and returned to the narcissist, and for exactly the same reasons: The narcissist is empty, pretend, and embarrassing to be seen with. He doesn’t love, or connect, or empathize; he only takes up space and frustrates you by not being able to relate to you like a real person. He’s an attention addict, and attention from anyone, anywhere, is far, far more important to him than normal relationship time will ever be.
If the narcissist has recently toddled off, that devaluation hurts. It hurts a lot. You might feel like you’re going crazy. You’re not; in fact you dodged a bullet. And while you heal, give your kids, the dog, your healthy family or friends all a hug. Those hugs will be far more real and meaningful than anything the narcissist ever could pull off, and your assignment is to let yourself feel it.

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The Psychopath On A Holiday Game!

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It’s another holiday weekend in America, and everyone is having a wonderful time with their psychopath, picnicking, frolicking with children, swimming, gardening, having backyard dinners and campfires. He’s fun and happy, not drinking too much, and feeling lucky to be there with you, and having him around gives you a sense of peace and well-being. Right? 

Right?

Oh, you’re not whining because he’s getting hammered, or spending all of your money, or has disappeared without telling you where he’s going, are you? He’s not embarrassing you at your sister’s place by pretending to be an insufferable know-it-all while being wrong most of the time, surely? He’s never touched you or talked about you inappropriately in front of his friends, or taken you somewhere to a party and then left you to go talk to other people — and seemingly forgot you were there, right? Only a jerk would do any of those things. 

 

Cadets, Aunt Alex loves you, and hopes you’re spending the holiday with people who see that you’re a treasure and treat you like it, too. But if you’re not, please know that this is a fabulous opportunity in disguise — to play the…

 

Psychopath On A Holiday Game!

 Two points for each correct answer. No peeking at your neighbor’s screen!  LET’S PLAY!!

 

(1) You get home after working a holiday shift, tired and brain-dead and with sore feet. Your man:

a). Makes you a daiquiri and offers to rub your feet

b). Asks you about ordering some take-out while you get in the shower

c). Told you he’d be there, but is nowhere to be found, and left you a note listing some things he needs you to do, and tells you not to wait up

d). Is drunk and on the phone inviting friends over for a cookout, which he expects you to prepare

 

(2) The lawn and garden are a mess, and you both decide to have a satisfying weekend of working outside. Your man:

a). Gets up early to get a head-start on the mowing, so you can do the gardening together

b). Looks adorable trying to figure out how to turn on the rental roto-tiller

c). Called a friend, and said he forgot about the gardening and promised his friend he’d go kayaking with him. And leaves.

d). Lazes around until your attractive neighbor stops by, and then leaps into action, carrying heavy bags of mulch in front of her with his shirt off

 

(3) You catch the douche canoe in a lie about where he was last night. Your man:

a). Explains he only fibbed to cover up a surprise for you, and gives you a puppy named America

b). Rolls his eyes at you and says he can’t deal with your paranoia right now, and leaves.

c). Shrugs, and says, bizarrely and falsely, “After all the times you’ve lied, I’m surprised you’re making a big deal out of it.”

d). Pretends he doesn’t know what you’re talking about until you give up.

 

Congratulations, Cadet, you win!!

 

And I’m sorry about that.

 

It’s about 6 weeks until Independence Day. Let’s see if we can get rid of the dead weight in your life before then, shall we?

 

To all those who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces, or are a member of a military family — Aunt Alex and the entire Army thank you for your service.

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The Challenge

 

army time

 

Deanna: Hey, Alex, I bet you can’t put up 50 posts in 50 days.

Alex: Of course I can. I’m just busy.

Deanna: Really. You’ve posted like three times in two years. LAME.

— Upon which I concussed Deanna and put her in the trunk of my car.

What do you think, Cadets? Shall we fire up the blog for an Army rally?

By the way, if you hear thumping coming from the back of the Army Headquarters vehicle, pay it no mind. It’s just the transmission or something.

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New Year, New You, Same Old Toad.

Dear Troops,

Dark days never last.

Auntie Alex is back from her covert, clandestine ops deployment, and is happy — very happy — to see so many people sticking with their toads, feeling certain that if they just work more, love harder, and try, try, try, the relationship will finally work out and they’ll be rewarded for all that devotion.  Hang in there, gals!  It won’t do any of you a blasted bit of good, but it helps keep the assclowns away from the rest of us!

For everyone else, it’s good to be back at Army Headquarters. Aunt Alex has seen so much.  It’s a scary world out there, ’tis true, but there is a radiant, enduring light at the end of the tunnel: You’re going to be OK.  If you’re here at the Army info page, you’ve been in a “relationship” with a narcissist.  A toad.  A poopstain so toxic that your head is left spinning, you’re questioning your sanity, and you feel like roadkill — 110% depleted, abused, and without hope.  All normal relationship snags and break-ups involve frustration, anger, and heartbreak, but normal fights and break-ups don’t leave you needing meds, a thousand reality checks, and a lawyer. It’s a scary world because it’s still infested with narcissists, and everyone must be careful lest they get ripped off, heartbroken, or attacked.

But if you’re here with us, you’re going to be OK.  You may not feel it at the moment, and sometimes just when you feel like you’ve got it together he catches you in a weak moment and you completely fall apart. (Please don’t beat yourself up when this happens.  Narcissists are very, very skilled at this, and the emotionally generous healthy person doesn’t stand much of a chance.)  You may watch other people who you know damn well are in a relationship with a narcissist, and they seem to be doing fabulously, and so you feel like a failure for not making your relationship work.  You may just feel like crap, emotionally devastated and not so great physically, either. All of this is hugely important, but it doesn’t change this fact: You’re going to be OK.

banksy

He won’t. The toad won’t be OK.  Ever.  He’ll continue to be really good at pretending he’s fabulous, but he’s not. He, and everyone in his inner circle, are flat-out miserable, I guarantee it.  Only people who are rotting inside work so intensely hard to try to prove they’re awesome, lucky, and enviable.

You won’t drop anchor at OK; you’ll go on to content, serene, and downright happy.  But for now, it’s fine to aim for OK. It’s a good place to rest.

For the narcissists and other toads reading this over the cadets’ shoulders: Hi, Douchebags.  Miss me?

 

 

photo credits: #1-aunt alex #2-banksy

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Book Review: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.

 

love self

 

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant.

Let’s start with a confession: Aunt Alex has never been a fan of touchy-feely, fuzzy-wuzzy talk.  She thinks the power of positive thinking is useless without the power of positive doing, and she thinks affirmations are an OK first step, but they’re a waste of time without steps 2 through 20 which involve meaningful focus and changes.  Visualization is cool, but visualizing a sandwich isn’t going to resolve your hunger.  

Having said that, Aunt Alex and the rest of The Army absolutely, positively want you to love yourself.  If you have narcissists in your life, Heaven knows your self-image has been pummeled to a pulp, and self-love has probably taken a back seat to the toad’s needs for a long time.  So, the title of this book caught our attention.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant is a little pretentious, and the author is a little too self-congratulatory, and the book comes with some shaky testimonials and support.  But at $2.99 for the Kindle version, it’s worth a look.  Ravikant talks about self-love as a practice rather than an idea, which is spot on, but the part of the book that really got Aunt Alex nodding was the direct application to your daily life.  If you’re wondering how to re-start loving yourself like you should, this book lays it out for you: One, understand that you absolutely deserve wonderful things, as does someone else who you might love, and two, ask yourself regularly: If I loved myself like I love my child, or my sister or brother, would I be doing this (whatever it is) right now?  Would I be making a decision to start or stop this, right now?

To be more clear, the book points out that if you love yourself properly, and consistently, you won’t take any more shit or flack than you would allow to come through to your beloved son or daughter.  This, for some people, can be mind-blowing: How often do we think words or behaviors are tolerable if they’re coming at us, but are wildly inappropriate if they’re directed at someone else?  And why the HECK is that so?

If you loved yourself truly, what would you do in a given situation?  What would you recommend to a person who you love, if it were her in your shoes?

This is pretty powerful, and, mixed in with the fluff, you’ll find enough quality points to redeem the rest of the book.  You’ll read more about re-conditioning the thinking pathways, and correcting the toad thinking which mandates that you, and your needs, come last.

Four out of five Army stars.  Recommended.

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Morning at Army Headquarters

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Just wanted to share this with the Troops at all our outposts. Carry on.

 

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The Friday Five: October 4, 2013

 

Today’s Friday Five: Five Narcissists On Parade.

 

weiner

1. Andrew Weiner.

Andrew Weiner is running for Mayor of New York City.  He has a past history of sending pictures of his winkie to women on the Internet, in order to relax.  He got caught, and promised not to do it anymore.  Then, he did it again, shaming his high-profile wife and humiliating his campaign.  He is hoping the citizens of NY will assume he has better control of fiscal responsibilities than he does of his body parts.

 

lance

2. Lance Armstrong.

Lance was a major hero to millions, both as a star biking athlete and a recovered cancer patient.  Lance was accused of taking steroids and other performance drugs while competing, a charge which he vehemently denied.  And vehemently denied.  And vehemently denied.  Then, OK, I did it.  Quit making a big deal out of it, y’all!

 

furlong 2furlong

3. Edward Furlong. 

You may remember him as heroic young John Connor, the kid who kicked the Terminator’s ass.  The Army knows him as some actor assclown who can’t seem to stop violating restraining orders that women take out against him.  Laws is hard!!

 

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4. Charles Saatchi.  

This past summer, this wealthy, accomplished gentleman apparently thought he could physically batter his wife, TV cooking goddess Nigella Lawson, in public and get away with it.  How’d that work out for you, Chuck?

 

savile

5. Jimmy Savile. 

Just…. no.  Sometimes, alas, the Grim Reaper comes about 60 years too late.  :-(

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Yup.

promises

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Aunt Alex’s Army 2013 Muster

Toads, MSW_2:24 

 

No matter how hectic and chaotic things get on the front lines, Troops, we must reconvene at Aunt Alex’s Army Headquarters to regroup, and we must do it meaningfully and often.  There are obvious reasons, like our Monday Mojito Mixers and the Sunday Support Groups with the breaks for massages and spa treatments.  But we also must stay with the Army protocol because, well, we need the Code of Conduct.

Nearly everything in life steers us in the wrong direction.  

Complacency is easy and is the “default” mode of pretty much all living creatures, including gorgeous humans, and complacency makes us stay with toads and put up with their crap.  This is so that the living can save our energy for more important things, like caring for kids and gathering food. Putting up with the bullshit of toads requires so much less effort than second-guessing everything out of their mouths.  

Summarily rejecting everything they say and do, which is what The Army mandates, requires a cognitive shift that can take months of practice to perfect.  It doesn’t come naturally to the emotionally generous, and it’s tiring for anyone.  Friends and family prefer the status quo to any kind of change, and they let you know it and try to influence you not to “make waves”.  Society prefers that women keep families together and attach themselves to a man, even if it means quietly enduring soul-sucking emotional abuse.  The public just doesn’t want to hear it or get involved, even in this day and age.  

There may be kids to think about when one is partnered with a toad.  Or money might be a tangled mess or a scarcity, and no one relishes the prospect of entering the horrific dating scene yet again.  

The emotionally generous have kind and vulnerable hearts, which are geared toward connecting, not rejecting.  Toads can be masterfully warm, sexy, suave, seductive, romantic, generous, remorseful, charming, and persuasive, when there’s something to be gained by it, and the emotionally generous are easy targets.  Their traps are precisely set for the angelic, life-affirming, awesome traits of the emotionally generous.

The darkness and slime and vague, repulsive creepiness of an abusive relationship is somewhere no one wants to go willingly, and so people just stay away from it.  The public doesn’t want to deal with it, or go near it.  The victims maybe don’t want to face the ugliness head-on either, and tell themselves the insufferable relationship really that bad, or it’s fixable, or it’s somehow worth it to all parties involved.  No one dares call a narcissist a narcissist, for good reason — they’re afraid of him.  He’s unstable and, who knows, maybe he’ll flip out and possibly turn violent, or spread filthy lies, or manipulate and destroy.  Or leave, and the resulting devastation of devaluation to the emotionally generous feels like murder.  So people hunker down and take cover, and feel alone and vulnerable.  And very forgotten and undervalued.

Well, let’s just turn on the lights here, Cadets, shall we?

***

What do you call a narcissist buried in sand up to his neck?

A. A good start

B. Not enough sand

***

Why won’t a vampire attack a narcissist?

Answer: Professional courtesy.

***

“Hear about the terrorist that hijacked a 747 full of narcissists?

He threatened to release one every hour, unharmed, if his

demands weren’t met.

 ***

What is the difference between a catfish and a narcissist?

Answer: One’s a bottom-crawling scum sucker, and the other is just a fish.

 ***

How can you tell when a narcissist is lying?

Answer: His lips are moving.

 ***

There’s nothing wrong with narcissists that reasoning with them won’t aggravate.

 ***

NOTHING about a narcissist makes spending time with them worthwhile.

They NEVER get better.

BY THE LAWS INHERENT IN NATURE AND HUMANITY, YOU OWE LIFE, FUTURE GENERATIONS, AND YOURSELF TO BE AT YOUR BEST — WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH A TOAD.  

It’s obvious how true this is, and yet the world holds scant help and guidance and empowerment when it comes to getting on, and following, that path to being at your best.

And that, my friends, is why it takes an Army.

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