January 14, 2008

Do Narcissists Get Abortions?


Apparently, yes.


I.

I got an email from a reader, Phanatic, which is worth posting in its entirety:

Hi there.  You frequently cover topics in your blog that touch upon narcissism in some fashion.

Well, I just read an article in the LA Times that just screams out about it, but doesn't use the word once, because it's supposedly dealing with the abortion debate, talking to men who have regrets about past abortions their girlfriends had. 

Here's an excerpt.  This guy takes the narcissism cookie:


Chris Aubert, a Houston lawyer, felt only indifference in 1985 when a girlfriend told him she was pregnant and planned on an abortion. When she asked if he wanted to come to the clinic, he said he couldn't; he played softball on Saturdays. He stuck a check for $200 in her door and never talked to her again.

Aubert, 50, was equally untroubled when another girlfriend had an abortion in 1991. "It was a complete irrelevancy," he said. But years later, Aubert felt a rising sense of unease. He and his wife were cooing at an ultrasound of their first baby when it struck him -- "from the depths of my belly," he said -- that abortion was wrong.

Aubert has since converted to Catholicism. He and his wife have five children, and they sometimes protest in front of abortion clinics. Every now and then, though, Aubert wonders: What if his first girlfriend had not aborted? How would his life look different?

He might have endured a loveless marriage and, perhaps, a sad divorce. He might have been saddled with child support as he tried to build his legal practice. He might never have met his wife. Their children -- Christine, Kyle, Roch, Paul, Vance -- might not exist.

"I wouldn't have the blessings I have now," Aubert said. So in a way, he said, the two abortions may have cleared his path to future happiness.

"That's an intellectual debate I have with myself," he said. "I struggle with it."

In the end, Aubert says his moral objection to abortion always wins. If he could go back in time, he would try to save the babies.

But would his long-ago girlfriends agree? Or might they also consider the abortions a choice that set them on a better path?

Aubert looks startled. "I never really thought about it for the woman," he says slowly.


Yeesh.  He's 23, he gets a girl pregnant, and he slips $200 under her door, goes and plays softball, and never speaks to her again.  And to this day, the regret wasn't that he was a self-centered asshole who slipped $200 under her door, went and played softball, and never spoke to her again, it's that she aborted the child.  Never really thought about it from her point of view.

I say again, yeesh. 

II.

Well, it's probably worse than that.

Consider that the problem here isn't his changing stance on abortion, but rather that he was so self-absorbed he couldn't even consider the woman's perspective.  That's narcissism: you're the main character, everyone else is supporting cast.  They don't get backstories, or motivation.  They're just foils.

And in 17 years, it still never occurred to him to think about her feelings on that day.

Bad enough, but observe that he is so self-absorbed, even today,  that he didn't even consider that he would appear foolish in a newspaper article.  In the LA Times!

He knows she's going to ask him questions about abortion, about a "woman's right to choose"--  he doesn't even take a minute to come up with a few soundbites about that?  No prepared responses just in case they ask him, say, the obvious?

No.  Because that's not how he thinks.  He probably thought, great! The LA Times!  Finally the recognition I deserve!   Never once considering that the article might be a sneak attack on the pro-life movement using him as a straw man.  Narcissism does not allow you to consider that things-- good or bad--  are about something else other than you. I'm not saying the article was a sneak attack-- merely that he did not consider it might be.  And he was thus very unprepared.  The guy is a lawyer-- his job is to be ready for precisely this sort of thing.

Did he consider that the article might reflect badly on his practice?  That his name would be googled and then blogged by, for example, nut psychiatrists in California?

No.  He could only see the potential of an article from the context of his identity, which therefore meant it would be wholly aggrandizing.  That in showing how bad he was, he can signal how good he is.

Remember,  narcissism is: getting people to believe your backstory.


III.

But let's ask a different question.  Chris Aubert is a Houston lawyer.  I'm sure the Rolodex at the LA Times is extensive, but exactly why does it contain a Houston lawyer?  Of all the men who've "had" abortions, why him?  Random?

Turns out Mr. Aubert has been profiled before: born Jewish, abortions in 1985 and 1991, converted to Catholicism in 1997 after he married his Catholic wife,  etc. He even wrote an article about it.

Clearly, then, he was selected.  The LA Times writer came prepared, she already knew what he was going to say.  That's why she picked him.  Do you understand?  She wasn't writing a story about her discoveries about this issue, she was writing a story about what she already believes, and he fit that story.

In the article Aubert's article From Jewish to Catholic By Way Of Abortion, the word "she" appears only 8 times-- only 3 in reference to his former girlfriend.  The word "woman" appears 3 times.  "Her" 6 times.   In 9 pages.  Get the picture?  "I" appears 201 times.  "My" 83 times.

I doubt the LA Times reporter was sitting there counting, but she must have thought: no way has this guy ever given a moment's thought to women-- or anyone but himself.

It is why also why his picture isn't at the top of the LA Times article-- he looks too normal.  For the photo, they use a guy with, well, a mullet.  I'm not trying to criticize the guy(s), I'm just showing you how you construct an article you want to convey a hidden message: anti-abortion guys are clueless.

So didn't he think to investigate the journalist?  A Google search? Just to see what bias she might have?

I did-- the right wing crowd has a lot of problems with what they perceive to be her pro-choice bias.  I'm not saying she has a bias or doesn't, but wouldn't you at least want to be better prepared for the interview?

No.  Not because of a lack of intelligence, but because it is impossible for him to think any other way.  Forget about considering whether his beliefs are wrong, he can't conceive of other beliefs except as prelude to his own.  The LA Times' writers exist only in relationship to him, as a means of disseminating his own opinions.  They do not exist by themselves, they don't have an agenda outside of him.  They can't hurt him.

Unfortunately, they did.








Comments

Great! This is so well don... (Below threshold)

January 14, 2008 3:35 PM | Posted by K2: | Reply

Great! This is so well done. I love your writing, and the way you dig deeper than just reading the words in an article to deconstruct the back story.

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Last Psychiatrist writes:</... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2008 10:00 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

Last Psychiatrist writes:

"The guy is a lawyer-- his job is to be ready for precisely this sort of thing.

Did he consider that the article might reflect badly on his practice? That his name would be googled and then blogged by, for example, nut psychiatrists in California?

No. He could only see the potential of an article from the context of his identity, which therefore meant it would be wholly aggrandizing. That in showing how bad he was, he can signal how good he is."

That's the thing about narcissism. It can disrupt self reflection and cognition and thus make it impossible to remember what one has learned in law school.

Ive been caught this way myself.

Must mention a man I knew, and fortunately only platonically. He ruled me out as marriage material because I made it crystal clear that I knew I was unfit to have children or function as a parent.

X had been married once before. He was in a horrible stew because his former wife told him, in the process of a ghastly divorce, that she was glad she'd not had kids with him, because---kicker!--that meant that once the divorce was final, there was no way X
would have any way to force her to stay in contact with him.

This comment, made by a woman who had regained her autonomy in relation to him, drove X nuts. He reacted by becoming

* Anti divorce

* Anti abortion

* He considered it immoral when people were married, able to have children, but chose not to have children (!)

* And he went from being a devout Christian to being utterly rigid (my-way-or-the-highway)about his Christianity.

It is as though X wanted to outlaw all the ways his wife had inflicted narcissistic injury on him.

I heard of one woman who had been engaged to marry him. After spending a weekend trip with him, she broke the engagement. She told a woman friend 'I discovered that the only way to be with him was to surrender my individuality and merge with him. It was too exhausting to be with him and retain any psychological independence.'

If anything you said did not gibe with his viewpoint, he literally could not hear you.

He never got exhausted in a debate because others did not exist for him as persons. He didnt have the energy drain of being empathic.

Those who were empathic and tried to reason with him from that standpoint were the ones who got exhausted--and were tempted to agree with him, because he seemed so strong and so grounded.

I was at a vulnerable time in my life and succumbed to this for a time--in my family Id been trained to mirror narcissistic people.

But arguing with this guy was like trying to reason with a box of rocks. He was the wall, you'd end up beating yourself bloody.

Fortunately I had the sense to be horrified at how he discarded a loyal friend and that brought me to my senses and I got out.

I wrote him a letter, had it proof read to ensure it was clear and made sense--and he literally could not compute it---I was no longer willing to function as his extension and he couldnt deal with it.

I might add that this guy loved it when I phoned him. But he almost never initiated phoning me. Once, he abruptly went 2 to 3 weeks without replying to my phone calls.

When I finally decided to test him by not intiating any phone calls, it took him two weeks before he phoned--and it was the first time I ever heard him sound deeply anxious on the phone.

Advice to lay persons: Anyone who disappears on you for weeks at a time, leaving you crazed with anxiety, and then treats you as clingy and unreasonable when they deign to show up---run the other way.

They are acting like small kids who play with a toy, then forget it, the instant they are bored.

Two year olds in two year old bodies--we know what we are in for. Plus with the right socialization and parenting, they grow up and learn empathy and gratitude.

Two year olds in adult bodies are different--they treat friends and lovers and ex lovers as objects rather than person--objects to use, throw across the room, discard when something else comes along that looks like more fun.

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I don't think it's unfortun... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2008 9:15 AM | Posted by watermelonpunch: | Reply

I don't think it's unfortunate. ha. I think it's always better for everyone else when people show their true colours.

As for the anti-divorce guy... That's so typical of a narcissist! It's like they come out of a cookie cutter. It's like the absolute worst thing you can do to them is shut them out of their life - to protect yourself! It's like a mad obsession with them, like an addiction to people, coupled with an emotional age of 4 (I think that's when the narcissistic phase of childhood ends in normal people).
"How dare you take yourself away from me!!" *stomps feet*
Their last ditch effort for some sort of control over this is to try and shut someone else out first. But of course it never lasts, they always attempt to come prancing back eventually, like the drunk to the tavern they've been kicked out of 3 times.
It's just amazing to me how this behaviour is so rote among people with this disorder. The sameness is breathtaking!

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A friend of mine was very c... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2008 10:28 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

A friend of mine was very close with this guy. They were both in graduate school together. She was constantly rescuing him from the social consequences when he said things that infuriated classmates and even faculty members.

He constantly borrowed her car, after his vehicle broke down. Once, he was late returning it, and she nearly missed a crucial therapy appointment.

He ate at her place a lot, and once, after she put a plate of bacon and eggs in front of him, he looked up (and no, this is not a sit com or New Yorker cartoon) said, 'My needs are not being met in this relationship.'

The instant my friend rescued her self respect and set some limits, he dumped her with no more remorse than a small kid who ditches a toy that's become boring.

As soon as my friend liberated herself, her GPA soared and a chronic anemia she'd had cleared up. (She'd been suffering GYN bleeding due to the stress of dealing with this guy).

The terrifying thing is when she and I compared notes, we discovered he acted totally different ways with us. When with me, he was The Christian and took issue with my profanity.

I was stunned to learn that when he with my friend, this guy was foul mouthed.

'Do you mean George Carlins Seven Word You Can Never Say on Television?' I asked, wanting to be sure we were both on the same page about what profanity meant.

My pal said, 'Yes, and then some.'

That was the scary thing. He was splitting, manifesting Fictional Self #1 with me and Fictional Self #2 with my pal.

Scared the crap out of us.

Regarding how long it took for this guy to return phone calls when it was his turn to initiate, I seem to recall a review article on narcissism, published by Akhtiar or Aktiar in Psychiatric Clinics of North America, possibly 1989, at least the late 1980s.

It is a nifty article. The author listed two interesting features that in his experience showed up a lot amongst persons with NPD:

* In marriage, they tend to value the children ahead of thier spouse. Given that young children are nonjudgemental, cannot leave, dont have autonomy in relation to you and can serve as extensions of the NPD person to a far greater degree than an adult spouse, this is an interesting observation.

** The author said that people with NPD may not be good at returning letters--unless doing so serves their interests. (Differential diagnosis--rule out depression. When depressed, its easy to let correspondance sit and gather cob webs)

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Wow, the catholic.com bio y... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2008 2:07 PM | Posted by fraise: | Reply

Wow, the catholic.com bio you link to has a hilariously pertinent lapsus: "...and [Aubert] slowly began to be convicted about how wrong abortion was."

Convicted.

Then there's one example of its gag-inducing egocentrism: "...fathered two aborted babies". Fathered? How dare this man use the word "fathered"? It implies responsibility, at the very least, which he appears to have valued at $200. Plus it looks like he earned a profit on that investment! (Sickening. Just. Sickening.)

And that's not even mentioning how the entire writeup so eerily glosses over women. Look at it: "Catholic mother", "at his wife's urging", "The effects of abortion on men as well as women" (hey thanks glad to know it might affect the person actually having the abortion too, and not just the one who left a check, dumped his pregnant girlfriend and never even witnessed the abortion), "the mother". Four mentions of women, total. (The word "man/men" alone is used SIX times.)

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I just wanted to clarify on... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2008 2:14 PM | Posted by fraise: | Reply

I just wanted to clarify one thing I said: "Plus it looks like he earned a profit on that investment!" That's mocking his approach to it. He's clearly twisting his own irresponsibility into some fake "oh what a bad boy I was and aren't I all the more respectable for admitting it and regretting it? Woe is me, and praise me for having the courage to say that!" Geh, narcissists. Even their mistakes -- oh, sorry, "he didn't know any better", so it doesn't really count as a mistake, does it? (sarcasm again) -- are twisted to aggrandize them.

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The article you are thinkin... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2008 8:26 PM | Posted, in reply to fraise's comment, by Dr DJ: | Reply

The article you are thinking of is by Salman Akhtar in Vol 12 No. 3 of psych. clinics. Was reading it last week, good review article. As a digression, if you like his writing, I can recommend his book 'Freud Along The Ganges' where western psychoanalysis is paralleled with indic studies.

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Dear Dr. DJ:Thank ... (Below threshold)

January 18, 2008 11:10 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

Dear Dr. DJ:

Thank you for your heads up of 'Freud Along the Ganges.'

This is an area that I am very interested in--and have put this item on my reading list.

Sigh. At the risk of others coming along and throwing vegetables in my direction, (hey, I'll take them home and cook them into soup) my take is this:

If a woman becomes pregnant, she is the one who faces and bears the potential medical/psychiatric/social complications. (Which can include in those predisposed, gestational diabetes, sleep disruptions that can in persons who have it, complicate bipolar disorder, eclampsia, etc) and childbirth also carries its own attendant risks, physically, emotionally.

Women who have had children sometimes have the grief of losing single friends who cannot adjust to how different relationships become when a woman friend has to split her attention a million ways to deal with a baby or small child. Managing work and money become more complicated.

And, unless one has an unusually supportive spouse, most of the work of childrearing (and social networking) still falls on Mom's shoulders. Go hang out on the Craigslist parenting forum--you see how this works.

For all those reasons, IMO women should have the final say on whether to 1) get pregnant and 2) whether to carry a pregnancy to term.

I cant recall the exact quote and have to paraphrase, by Surgeon General Elders allegedly said this is so complex that no one person is wise enough or virtuous enough to tell the rest of us how to live our lives.

If one is pro-child, I think the way to do it is create a world where

1) We are all as conscious as possible in relation to sexuality. Most of us sleep walk our way through this whole area, and cannot even admit we feel horney and want to do something about it. Unless we are capable of being conscious about our erotic desires it is nearly impossible to use contraception effectively.

2) Create a society that puts a priority on the well being of parents, and especially mothers. If the adults are cared for, they will have then have the humor and resilience to provide 'good enough parenting.' Right now, too many families are under social and economic pressures that force them to live in a blur. There's barely time to enjoy the presence of the children you're slaving away to support.

3) Set things up so that parents, especially mothers, have the responsiblity of parenting ONLY when that responsiblity is accompanied by what I call the three Rs: Resources, Respite and Respect. If responsiblity is not accompanied by these three R's it is a recipe for chronic shame, and can even be crazy making. Only when accompanied by the three R's is the Responsiblity of parenting going to feel satisfying.

IMO people (and especially girls and women)should be educated as early as possible to avoid becoming parents unless they are sure they can count on the Responsiblity of parenthood being accompanied by those Three R's.

4) I get the impression many Americans, including politicians, are sentimental about children (but in practice, when it comes to voting funds, do not seem to like them very much.

In practice, parents are forced by social pressures to privatize their hardships, much of which are caused by society's refusal to pay attention and give support.

(A small example. If as a society we honored parents and children, we would outlaw candy displays that are put at child eye level right by the cash registers in stores. Ive seen so many episodes where a weary mother is in line at the market and her child, tempted by the colorfully wrapped candy in those displays, makes a grab for a bar. All this was designed by advertisers.

The tired parent either gives in, allowing the child to eat sugar that isnt needed, or gets into a battle of wills in line and sometimes the poor child is slapped.

Its a socially engineered set up that exploits, rather than supports the parent child relationship. If I ran the country, these things--and similar set ups--would be outlawed.

The nuclear family, by itself is not enough IMO to support the needs of the adults--let alone the children, especially today when the media pressures aimed at children have become so intrusive and sophisticated.

Thank you for reading this rant--especially if you're someone balancing parenting and work.

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While I appreciate the post... (Below threshold)

January 20, 2008 5:47 PM | Posted by Arthur Bane: | Reply

While I appreciate the post about the clueless narcissist, oblivious of his own persona and the fact that he's perceived accordingly, I'd be weary of a narcissist that that is in control of his narcissistic mojo, throwing temper tantrums at the clueless spectator.

Or worse, milking the **** out of it. Case in point: Sam Vaknin. I've long wanted to read your opinion on how the leading internet authority in narcissism is himself a narcissist. He's spammed the google globe so that the majority of search results turn his name over and over again. His credentials are dubious, his intentions dishonorable, and his pervasive presence on the net a sad reflection of his disordered self, yet there's plenty of abuse victims taking advice from him or, worse, falling for the trap again.

What say you?

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All I can say is this. I am... (Below threshold)

January 21, 2008 11:12 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

All I can say is this. I am a layperson. Due to my family dynamics and personal issues, I faced that I had to learn more about NPD.

I researched this in the early 1990s. I was not online. The only literature available on NPD was in books and medical journals written by and for professionals. I also had done some graduate school studies in which I had been required to take classes in research design and statistics--and had classmates who took courses in the schools of pharmacy and medicine and told me the complexities of making diagnoses--and the process of differential diagnosis.

Because of this, my sources on NPD were from persons who had training, and were accountable as professionals to their colleagues and understood the grave responsibilities of arriving at a diagnosis with stigmatizing potential.

This is very different from the way NPD is now bandied about on the internet--and, all too often used as a club to beat people with.

Its becoming quite dreadful for persons who struggle honorably and honestly with conditions such as bipolar affective disorder and borderline personality disorder. There is a lot of bashing going on in cyberspace and in society. If you dont believe me, go to the health and psychology fora on Craigslist.org and run searches on bipolar, borderline and 'BPD'--the bashing is hateful. Ive even read rants on the CL General Community section.

Unless I am mistaken, I think Last Psychiatrist mentioned that this social stigmatization is distorting the diagnostic process because some mental health professionals, to protect vulnerable patients, are assigning them diagnoses of bipolar, rather than borderline.

At one point I read a great deal of Vakin's material. At first I found it fascinating--and then I became grim and glum and depressed--and realized I had to stop reading it.

I never felt this way when reading material on NPD written by professionals. And because of my pre-internet research I could tell the difference between the sobriety of the professional literature and the quite different, non therapeutic tone of material written by non professionals who had no insight into their personal processes and who were projecting their disowned issues onto NPD, borderline and bipolar.

Diagnostic labels must never, ever be used as clubs to bash people with. For this reason I feel very uneasy when attempts are made to psychoanalyze politicians and presidents--even those whose policies I find repugnant.

Using diagnostic labels is a heavy responsiblity and should be done by persons who are trained, calm and caring.

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That's the thing a... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2008 5:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

That's the thing about narcissism. It can disrupt self reflection and cognition and thus make it impossible to remember what one has learned in law school.

I thought narcissism is what you learn in law school.

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"I thought narcissism is wh... (Below threshold)

January 23, 2008 7:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"I thought narcissism is what you learn in law school."

It is easy to make jokes about lawyers--until you discover that
you need one.

I am not an attorney.

But I do know from first hand experience what a difference it makes, in one's hour of need, to be represented by a top notch attorney--and by one who worked pro bono.


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I have wondered about the a... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2008 11:41 PM | Posted by holy water salt: | Reply

I have wondered about the abortion narcissism link. I know a supposedly devout Catholic- he is in no shape or form any sort of Christian- who had his wife have an abortion twice.

He told her he wanted to travel to Alaska. Alaska because he hates tropical weather because he has "back-acne".... Just recently in his second marriage, now defunct, he claimed he wanted more and more children. He barely sees the ones he has.

I don't think abortion is the issue necessarily, though since I find narcissism evil I do suspect the narcissist gets-off on the power in terminating a life, but it's more that they want whatever is opposite of their spouse, partner. That's key- the wife who wanted children, he manipulated her to abort, the wife who didn't want more children, he manipulated into divorce.

I plan on writing more on this.

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How many abortions have you... (Below threshold)

April 13, 2008 7:19 PM | Posted by Edie: | Reply

How many abortions have you all had? Many is my guess....

What a bunch of loons.

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WOW. I've heard of a Narci... (Below threshold)

May 4, 2008 4:08 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

WOW. I've heard of a Narcissist but I never knew what it really meant until now. Last guy I dated, had an abortion with, sounds like he might be one? I got pregnant only maybe a couple weeks after we started dating. Texts me a hundred times a day and expects a response right away. Always used my car when we went out, even though he has two. Showd up at my place unexpectedly in the middle of the night because he thought I was cheating because I didnt respond to a text or answered his phone call, when actually I was in la la land. When we'd go clubbing, he'd spend hundreds of dollars easily on drinks for himself and friends (I don't drink). But when him and I eats, he'd choose to stay home and cook rice, eggs, canned beans, whatever he could find in the fridge/kitchen. I worked only two days a week going to school full-time, it was was my very first semester at college. I got pregnant, cried, said don't worry about it, he's here for me blah blah. But after I found out I was pregnant, I got very depressed and distant with him, I didn't wanna have sex with him anymore. Mind you, I was NOT ready for a baby, no money, no education, no job, family is thousands of miles away from me. I thought I was doing so well, finally knew what I wanted to do with my life (psychology) finally started school (at 30yrs old) finally heading in the right direction, and BAM! I'm pregnant.

X has no clue how I'm feeling obviously, has no clue why I'm acting the way I am, being depressed, not sexual anymore. I got so sick from the pregnancy and exhausted I had to drop out of my first semester of school. Then having the pressure to find a job so that I could get health insurance so that I can see a doctor and support this baby of ours. Where am I going to live? Where are WE going to live? How do we survive when we don't have any money to begin with?

But all he can think of is, (well I have needs too). X keeps asking what's the problem. X keeps asking why it's about me. Apparently, X can't go more than a day without sex. I told him I'm not ready, that I'm depressed, fustrated, worried about us and the baby and our future, etc. Well, we finally decide an abortion. So then I get anxiety because I've never been put 'under' before and I worry about the procedure, how's it gonna feel, if I'm going to regret it one day, and X still doesn't get what's going through my head, only that he has needs that needs to be met. He says, 'whats the problem, you go to the clinic and get it done, what's the problem?'

So I have to take off my clothes, let him use me as a sex toy so that he can take care of so called needs. While I'm depressed, tummy aches, assist him, so that its not about me anymore. After the abortion was over, I finally got rid of the jerk and he starts harassing me left and right, threatening me that he knows where I live etc.... WOW! And I thought the nightmare was over, he tells me, ain't karma a bitch. I told him Karma is something that comes back to you on your own, not what you give to someone. Well the other day a gf of mine text me asking me if I heard from lately because he crashed his car ( wonder if it was his corvette). Hmmmm..well ain't karma a bitch NOW!

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"Advice to lay persons: Any... (Below threshold)

June 15, 2008 8:44 PM | Posted, in reply to AK's comment, by Cady: | Reply

"Advice to lay persons: Anyone who disappears on you for weeks at a time, leaving you crazed with anxiety, and then treats you as clingy and unreasonable when they deign to show up---run the other way."

AK, I'm at a point in my life where I really needed to hear exactly that. Thanks.

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Hi Cady, its been months si... (Below threshold)

October 9, 2008 10:01 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

Hi Cady, its been months since I re-read all these comments. Am glad you found this helpful.

Am wishing I'd wised up sooner....

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It's always interesting to ... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2009 5:47 PM | Posted by hofus: | Reply

It's always interesting to see narcissists break in to discussion about them, hands waving and shallow attempts at manipulation.

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You nuts don't get it. The... (Below threshold)

January 9, 2010 7:37 PM | Posted by Ed: | Reply

You nuts don't get it. The lawyer IS upset for the woman - that he wasn't more of a man and do the right thing. It was the WOMAN who wanted the abortions, not him, and he did what THEY wanted. The comment about "he never thought about it" was about how he never thought about what it might mean for them in the long term. If he had, he would have stopped the abortion. You guys are nuts, and sick.

I also find the question asked above interesting: How many abortions have YOU had? My guess is LOTS. So, you have a horse in the race.

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I don't have anything too b... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2012 2:06 PM | Posted by rotten valentine's day: | Reply

I don't have anything too brilliant to say and I have to admit I found paying attention to/appreciating this post difficult, so maybe someone can clue me in, if need be.
As a person who values certain spiritual beliefs, I have to say that I believe that ultimately the decision to bear children or not has to belong to the mother.
I am troubled by the use of the word 'narcissism' whenever the simpler terms 'self-centeredness' or 'selfishness' or even 'clueless' would do. I feel using the term 'narcissism' adds a weightiness, a pathologizing quality, a little extra judgment, that is not always appropriate or deserved. (I also feel, very much so, that psychiatry has become something similar to what the church was in medieval times: a mysterious authority, little understood, feared, powerful, weighty. And so I would use caution using terms from psychiatry recklessly. Mind you, I do not feel psychiatry has to be this way and this way only; I spend once a week with a psychiatrist or I probably wouldn't be able to be as critical of it). But at any rate, I think men should talk about their feelings about abortion. Why not? It does not necessarily equate with them assuming that the right to a woman's body becomes theirs when she is pregnant with his child. Or does it? I think not. But I think that assuming that the expression of such feelings will lead to this action and therefore the expression of such feelings should be suppressed sets a dangerous and unhealthy precedent. I also think that criticizing men for expressing their own views/feelings about abortion because they aren't always presenting the woman's point of view is absurd; woman can speak for themselves quite adequately on this subject and have been doing so for quite some time. If anything seems narcissistic (to me) it is the implied idea that men should have to be overly preoccupied with presenting/supporting the female feelings/point of view at the expense of their own. On a certain level, all I really want to say is this: do we want men to feel, or not? Be emotionally involved with their children, or not? Have opinions, or not? ...

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You should have gone with t... (Below threshold)

March 17, 2013 10:59 PM | Posted, in reply to rotten valentine's day's comment, by Seneca: | Reply

You should have gone with that instinct that you didn't really understand what was being talked about.

Nothing in this article AT ALL is about criticizing men for having opinions on abortion. It would be a self defeating argument given that The Last Psychiatrist himself is a man so therefore his opinion would also be invalid.

Many points were made in the article, all of them much more subtle and insightful than "Men shouldn't say stuff about abortion".

You're making yourself irrelevant through poor comprehension and lack of a genuine desire to engage with other people. You clearly came to post with a preset agenda to make your point about how men should get to present their view on abortion, since this issue wasn't even broached in the article but you still thought it was because it mentioned abortion. This pre-occupation with sounding out your own preconceived ideas apparently stopped (or at least hinder) your ability to comprehend what the article was actually about.

The fact that your "spiritual beliefs" are guiding you in talking about this matter (i.e. beliefs you have for emotional reasons that you can't justify with logic or evidence) probably isn't helping either.

The primary point of the article wasn't even that his behaviour was "selfish", in any traditionally conceived way. The fact the guy didn't give a shit about the woman he paid to have an abortion is just a side point. The main point is he gave absolutely no thought to how he'd be represented in the article, despite being a relatively intelligent lawyer, because narcissism causes him to see others as an extension of his own desires.

If you were going to use a lay-term, it would be "oblivious" not "selfish", but thankfully "narcissism" is more accurate than both.

I.e. When the guy was asked to talk about abortion, his thoughts were "great, an opportunity to show the world what a changed man I am, and how much I care about abortion" and not "I wonder what this journalist wants to get from me?"

To the narcissist, the newspaper journalist is an accessory to their own self-aggrandizement, not a separate person with a separate agenda. Thus it never occurred to the narcissist that the journalist might want to make him look like a dick, or that the girl paid to have an abortion might have feelings.

In this way narcissism is extremely self defeating because it renders people unable to fully pursue their goal of controlling how they are viewed by others.

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I never knew people still h... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2014 6:43 PM | Posted by jane: | Reply

I never knew people still have powers and make things happened this way. my boyfriend LENON STAIN left me for another girl for three months’ ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love who disvirgin me when i was 21 years old. about two years ago, A friend of mine LANA told me he saw some testimonies of this great Dr Alusi that he can bring back lover within some few days, i laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love my friend had for me, she consulted the great priest on my behalf and to my greatest surprise after three days my boyfriend called me for the very first time after three months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for every thing he made me went through and as i speak right now we are happily married. i still can’t believe it, because it highly unbelievable it just too real to be real. Thank you Dr Alusi for bringing back my lover and also to my lovely friend who interceded on my behalf, for any one who might need the help of this great priest here is the email address alusispellcaster@gmail.com or you can call the great man on +2348100078330. good luck.

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"Their last ditch effort fo... (Below threshold)

December 25, 2014 6:51 PM | Posted, in reply to watermelonpunch's comment, by Fifi: | Reply

"Their last ditch effort for some sort of control over this is to try and shut someone else out first. But of course it never lasts, they always attempt to come prancing back eventually, like the drunk to the tavern they've been kicked out of 3 times.
It's just amazing to me how this behaviour is so rote among people with this disorder. The sameness is breathtaking!"

The last ditch attempts by some of these types of people is murdering their partner and children. Consider yourself lucky that you haven't run into a physically violent narcissist!

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