December 10, 2012

Funeral

NeanderthalBurial.jpg
do you have a better system?




The funeral is attended by 30 people. It's a military funeral because he was in Korea, and in the front chairs are his wife and two grown children, and they are quietly crying.

When it ends, people disperse hesitatingly, after all, they themselves aren't sad, they didn't know him, they knew his kids.  So they are unsure of what they're supposed to do next, but the answer is you keep going, there's nothing else to do but that.  That's the point of a funeral.

The deceased's wife has mourned her part, for now, and accompanied by her adult son walks away.  The adult daughter approaches the coffin, sobbing.  She is pretty, which unfortunately is relevant.  Her husband hugs her, and then takes their two little girls away from her, down towards the road, giving the woman the required freedom to be someone's daughter one last time. 

She kneels at the coffin.  She cries.  Everyone can hear it.  It is sad.


II.

But some people are unsatisfied with a system that's been in place for more millennia than years they've been alive. They don't trust that it's effective because when the funeral is over people are still sad.   What kind of stupid ritual is that?  These people want to change the system, they believe they know a better way.

Most people instinctively turn away and give her some kind of privacy, but about ten of them move forward to surround her: what's this? A woman crying?  At a funeral?? They huddle around her in a semi-circle, hyenas waiting for a signal.  One hyena steps forward, tries to hug her from behind; and you can see the surprise in that dummy's face when he doesn't get the expected hug back, when it doesn't seem to help, the grieving daughter doesn't stop crying, she doesn't even get up.  The hyena is caught awkwardly, so he rests his paws on the woman's shoulders, and now the sobbing woman must associate her last chance to be with what is left of her father with the stale breath of a sycophant waiting for his moment to be relevant.

And while that's going on others are whispering to the quivering back of her coat, "oh, I'm so sorry",  "I'm sure he really loved you",  "are you ok?"

Why did any one of them think they had the power, the right, to interfere with another person's mourning?  This was between her and her father and God and no one else.  Did no one notice that even the husband had given her space?  Did they just think he was being a jerk?  "I just wanted to comfort her."  No, you didn't know what else to do, so you did that.  "I didn't want her to be alone."   That's because you are a terrible person.

They do not know how to stand in the presence of grief because they can't help but make it immediately a judgment of themselves-- how can you see a woman crying and not do anything?    Purposeless hyperactivity to cover up one's impotence and lack of empathy.  "But I'm not the one grieving, I can't fake being sad."  Don't fake it, just be silently and unobtrusively available. I know you don't think you're the most important person there, but you are also not the second most important.  Or the third or tenth.  Get out of the way. 

But they can't, they think it has suddenly become their responsibility to save you. Look around, all those other people-- yours?  Do you think you can?  Do you think that anything you say is going to bring the dead back?  Ease her suffering?

She's supposed to be sad, she needs to be sad, if she wasn't crying enough I'd kick her in the shins to make her, otherwise she will hold all of that emotion and let it out piecemeal over three decades and she will be lost.

These animals suffer from a deep existential pathology for which there is no cure, in ordinary times they will be the most ordinary people but when the ship goes down they will kill each other to make sure they get a lifeboat all for themselves.  Medicine won't help this, religion won't help this.  On the one hand they don't know how to be real, on the other hand they they think protocol and formality is dishonest and insensitive.  They can't say, "my condolences" because it sounds fake.  So they improvise, catastrophically.

We should all be so lucky that as adults we get to attend our father's funeral, doesn't make it easier but that's a fact, because the alternative is that it happens the other way around, and I can think of nothing worse than the other way around.  But even then the system is in place, if you blindly follow the steps-- if people let you blindly follow the steps-- then when you are finished you can begin to go back to your life.  Death creates a hole in your heart that is unfillable, but if you follow the steps you can at least fence it off so you don't keep falling in. 

There is no shortcut to mourning, the shortcut leads to madness.  When you subvert the system and offer a mourner a shortcut, you are leading them to madness.

But how can she let go, how can she do what needs to be done, under the oppressive gaze of self-conscious people who need her to know they came?  "I just want to support her!"  Then you'd go back to your car, connect a hose from the exhaust pipe to a slightly opened window, and wait it out. 

When she first told people about her father's death it came with a gift to others, a qualifier: "I won't be there on Wednesday, my father passed away and I'll be at the funeral-- it's ok, I'm fine" but nevertheless grown neophytes went to Defcon 5.  This is one such text message: "OH MY GOD, ARE YOU SERIOUS!  OH MY GOD, I AM SO SORRY, WHAT HAPPENED??  PLEASE CALL ME IMMEDIATELY!!"  The text message ends there because I smashed it.

One man, either a friend or a blastoma, came to the funeral luncheon mostly to ask the daughter what was up with her girlfriend he was trying to date.  He's 50.  I know he didn't think he was being selfish or insensitive, he truly believed she'd welcome the chance to talk about his relationship, she'd want him to be happy, she'd use this sad day to tell him how love was the most important thing in the world and he should seize it because life is so short.  That's how it happened in Four Weddings And A Funeral, anyway.  I will bet you all of your money that as he got dressed in his black suit and lavender shirt, inside his head was playing, "going to the chapel and we're....."  Did he come to support her?  No, he came to destroy the world. 

Six different psychopaths called her to demand they come to the the funeral to "show their support."  Who do you think you are fooling?  Each of them wanted to be the best friend that would accompany her through the terrible day.  Each of them believed that they were the best friend that would do this.  But just because she's on the phone with you all the time solving your crises, it doesn't make you a best friend, it makes you a patient.  A real best friend wouldn't use a funeral as a way of solidify their own place as "best friend." A real best friend wouldn't feel jealous that some other friend got to sit closer, got more attention.

One psychophant who came to the luncheon to "show support" didn't get the extra acknowledgement she expected, so she decided instead to perform unsolicited grief therapy on the woman's five year old daughter.  "Since we didn't get a chance to connect at the funeral," she said later, "[your daughter] and I had a good talk about what happens when you die." If I had seen this happen I'd be in prison now.  The only thing this woman can connect with is a phone charger, the battery is always dying.   "Hi, I just texted you, I wanted to see if you were free to talk about me, but I only have two hours."

It's not your day, your method sadness is irrelevant, your pseudo-concern transparent and you are forcing mourners to divert their attention to you.   "I had Christ in my mouth for over an hour!" was a post funeral text from a woman who... what?  I'm not a Catholic so it took me a few minutes to piece together that this lunatic meant she had kept the Eucharist from the funeral mass in her mouth without swallowing it for an hour-- as if that meant something.   Woman, you are insane, your personal relationship with Jesus is pathological, I'll guess you voted for Romney but you are the reason Obama won.   It's bad enough you think your God wants you to be an hysterical neurotic, but why would you then tell this to a woman mourning her father?  Why would you think she'd derive comfort from what you did?

It's no surprise that the new DSM removes the bereavement exception from the diagnosis of depression-- no one allows normal bereavement to occur.  How can ordinary bereavement ever occur when it is subverted, worsened, at every turn by people who were never taught how to act around other people, who just don't know?   "I just want to help."  You are destroying the world.

I understand funerals can be awkward for those not directly grieving, but over-exaggerating your pretend sadness is of no benefit to anyone, it merely obligates the survivors to manage your fake concern.  If you feel compelled to speak in all caps or explain how terrible this all is to a person who knows first hand and way better than you how terrible it all is, don't.  Stay home.  When you find yourself in the presence of mourning, simply say,  "I'm sorry for your loss.  If there's anything I can do for you, please let me know," and if he happened also to have been a great man you can add, "he was a great man," then bow your head and fade to back.   That's all that's necessary.  The system will take care of the rest.









Comments

Thank you, this is a helpfu... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 12:51 PM | Posted by Misty: | Reply

Thank you, this is a helpful post.

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Gorgeous. Thank you for elu... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 1:02 PM | Posted by The Grief Tunnel: | Reply

Gorgeous. Thank you for elucidating the importance of the mourning process as well as the function of the present-yet-unobtrusive sympathizer.

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Using the method acting ana... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 1:04 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Using the method acting analogy: If it's not your turn to be on stage, at least play an extra instead of trying to steal the scene.

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The truly sad part of this ... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 1:28 PM | Posted by Bill: | Reply

The truly sad part of this article is that the real fix for pathological behavior is one that would in fact put most of us in prison, to use your reference. The hyenas don't read blogs by psychiatrists. The sociopaths I know have no idea someone else's death is not about them.

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Thank you for saying what M... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 1:38 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you for saying what Miss Manners has been saying for years. Perhaps your message will reach some additional people who need it.

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So, I assume this was your ... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 2:07 PM | Posted by Harry: | Reply

So, I assume this was your father-in-law?

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You should write a book, "C... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 2:27 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You should write a book, "Common Sense According to the Last Psychiatrist".
Spread your message to even more people - the world needs it.

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Huh. I always thought I was... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 2:32 PM | Posted by indigo: | Reply

Huh. I always thought I was being a jerk for staying in the background at funerals. Never knew what the right thing to do was.

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Apt advice, probably, but t... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 2:50 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Apt advice, probably, but there is a hint of moral superiority here, perhaps connected to a nostalgia for the "old days." I must ask: Can it be that it was all so simple then?

You know the answer. You know I can't trust you, either. And you know what's going to be happening at funerals 50 years from now.

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As I suspected, Alone is ma... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 2:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

As I suspected, Alone is married, with a daughter, and his wife is presumably another professional (MD).

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I'm not the Harry in the ... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 4:08 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

I'm not the Harry in the above previous comment. I am Harry Horton a different person. THe article reminds me of the Soviet Union, Kruschev's sensational speech denouncing the paranoid atrocities of Stalin and his murderous regime in Communist Russia (one time 97 out of 130 or so politbureau members were executed.) A saying of his, a single death is a tragedy, thousands or millions of deaths are a statistic. The article reminds me of totalitarianism ruling blindly and without human senstivity to the more obvious saner dimensions of human existence.

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Every faux pas described ab... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 4:12 PM | Posted by Hugh: | Reply

Every faux pas described above reads like a scene from a movie. To what degree is inappropriate behavior in this setting caused by mimicking what we've seen on television? I've only been to 2-3 funerals in the past decade myself, so it being such a rare occurrence I can see how people, out of discomfort and unfamiliarity, would reach for a mask & act out what they think the appropriate response should be based upon their limited experience and having only been exposed to inauthentic portrayals of the grieving process. Or am I being too charitable?

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Beautiful. This is so well-... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 6:04 PM | Posted by The Long View: | Reply

Beautiful. This is so well-written, part of me thinks it's a leftover from 2007.

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To be maximally fair to the... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 6:37 PM | Posted by 300baud: | Reply

To be maximally fair to the hyenas, the right things only became clear to me after I had lost someone close.

Before that, I still mostly did the right things out of fear and/or etiquette. In retrospect, that has a cost as well. I remember wanting to reach out so many times and not knowing how, so I just did nothing. On the grieving side, it was lonely, lonelier than it needed to be. So I find it easy to forgive the people who actually wanted to help but were just maladroit. Much easier than those for whom it was just another scene in the movie of them.

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Just give her a Xanax so sh... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 6:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Just give her a Xanax so she don't have to cry and numb her feelings and prolong the grief forever.

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I wanna say here, here, 300... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 7:18 PM | Posted, in reply to 300baud's comment, by bbrodriguez: | Reply

I wanna say here, here, 300baud, I didn't get it until I lost someone.

As a side note, my wife told me, after a recent funeral, that I'm "good with people who are grieving" in a way that other people "our age" are not.

I think part of it is, these days, at least, if you're middle class and live in the west, you can make it to your 40th birthday without losing anyone you were really close to. You only really know how to behave around someone grieving if you've experienced it yourself.

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OK, here's what popped out ... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 7:29 PM | Posted by sunny day: | Reply

OK, here's what popped out for me:

""I won't be there on Wednesday, my father passed away and I'll be at the funeral-- it's ok, I'm fine"

I'm assuming--and maybe I'm wrong--that when the woman said that, she was speaking about work. She's away, for one day, AT A FUNERAL, and she's already reassuring people that she'll be back in the same emotional shape as before.

Our society is designed to get a mourner back into a condition where she can associate with relative strangers (co-workers) as soon as she can, because that's more important than whatever inconvenient emotions she feels over the death of her father. This woman literally has ONE DAY to grieve. After that, her coworkers take emotional priority, and they mostly want her to be quiet and unobtrusive. Hence the jump to comfort this woman before she can even begin to cry over her father's grave. These people are jackals, yes, but they are also performing a necessary task--they are getting her ready to go back to work, to function eight hours a day in a basically nonemotional fashion. That's why all the emphasis is on not crying, on cutting off all the sadness the second the one-day ritual is over. W

If she doesn't respond properly? If she continues to privilege the father who raised her over the strangers who pay her? Well, that's why there are antidepressants for "complicated grief."

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I connected with some of wh... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 8:25 PM | Posted by Ann: | Reply

I connected with some of what you said, but this doesn't leave room for other ways people mourn. Different people mourn in different ways. Also you can judge others behaviors, but can't always understand their motives. Some of this seems to be displaced anger onto others who want to comfort, no matter how imperfectly. Of course those who are experiencing loss, have every right to demand whatever privacy they desire. None of us know how we will respond to death until they have experienced the loss themselves. I hope whoever this is about is able to show a little grace to the ones who care, no matter how imperfectly. Thank you for this post.

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I think you're misunderstan... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 8:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Ann's comment, by JohnJ: | Reply

I think you're misunderstanding his point. Those people who want to comfort are focused on what they want, and not on what would actually help. Just because you want to comfort someone doesn't mean you should.

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My family is all from Newca... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 9:30 PM | Posted by crumbskull: | Reply

My family is all from Newcastle, England and the way I learned to grieve from them is to drink heavily from the day someone passes until the day after they are in the ground. It works great.

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After burying two brothers ... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 9:37 PM | Posted by Jess: | Reply

After burying two brothers in the last five years, I can only write that mourning lasts forever and it's a very private event. There is no consolation and there is no real closure. You just go on, shrug off the overzealous efforts of others to comfort and spend long moments alone lost in memories.

I think many people need to read your article.

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I think the guy who was tal... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 9:40 PM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I think the guy who was talking about the co-workers is at least half right. It's not permissible in modern society to have unproductive feelings. And on the other side, since we've removed the religious and spiritual aspects of our lives, all we're left with is the notion that the widow shouldn't be crying so much. And of course since American culture is anti-ritual, we don't know what to do when we see a person crying. So we think we have to act. In the old days, all of our reactions to grief were filtered through some sort of tradition, most of them if not overtly religious, at least shaped by religious ideas. People knew what to do at a funeral because they were of the same or at least similar religious background, and the traditions told people what to do. You'd pray the Rosary because that's what grieving Catholics do, or you make soup for them because that's what your church has always done. Now, religion is mostly something that people don't do, so they don't know the rituals which leaves them uncomfortably making things up and thinking things that are normal are not normal.

Whatever tradition you have exists for a reason. I don't think you need to be religious to understand the reason, but knowing what the whole thing is about helps. Rituals exist to give us structure for the hard stuff.

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My condolences. ... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 9:44 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

My condolences.

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No one died, everyone is fi... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2012 10:08 PM | Posted by crumbskull: | Reply

No one died, everyone is fine, its fine.

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Who are you to decide that?... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 12:41 AM | Posted, in reply to crumbskull's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Who are you to decide that?

Perhaps you should read the article again; it seems you missed the point.

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Sometimes temporarily one h... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 12:51 AM | Posted, in reply to crumbskull's comment, by jayel: | Reply

Sometimes temporarily one has to engage in inappropriate activity to get through hideous pain without actually cracking up. Whatever gets you through.

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This post reminds me of the... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 12:51 AM | Posted by DensityDuck: | Reply

This post reminds me of the bit in "As Good As It Gets", where Jack Nicholson turns to the lady babbling Hallmark-card nonsense and barks "where do they teach you to talk like this?"

In fact I'm reading this whole post and imagining Jack Nicholson reading it out loud and it. is. hi. LARIOUS.

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This sounds like the angry ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 1:22 AM | Posted by alvy: | Reply

This sounds like the angry drivel of someone who has intellectualized their own awkwardness to justify why they're always standing in the corner alone. A funeral visitation is simply an easier medium to employ these narcissistic delusions. You're not angry at the other mourners, you're angry at yourself for being useless. And we all know it's easier to criticize others than to change.

This is most evidenced by the fact that a mourned would never have the emotional capacity to be concerned by this... but the friend of a friend standing in the corner certainly would.

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I assume this was the fathe... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 1:30 AM | Posted, in reply to Harry's comment, by anonn: | Reply

I assume this was the father...

I do believe The Last Psychiatrist is a woman...

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That sounds like a shitty s... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 2:17 AM | Posted by Rookie: | Reply

That sounds like a shitty situation. Selfish folk trying to make someone's grief about them, it's all too common. Sad to hear this happened to you/yours.

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Nice 70s bowl haircut on th... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 4:22 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Nice 70s bowl haircut on the cave boy.

Oh, decades past. So arrogant.

I want to live in the 70s because I want to live on the cusp of widespread social decay but yet float on a cloud of oblivious optimism.

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When people are actively ex... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 4:25 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

When people are actively experiencing a loss or speaking to me about it I never know what to say and am always sure I am being offensive. If I feign understanding I am phony, if I say nothing I am callous. I feel sad inside because they are sad, but I always make it worse. Usually I say very little except for "wow that's difficult" or "I'm sorry". People tend to speak to me about their problems probably because I will listen like talking to god except with some human physical gestures as feedback.

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since you were too lazy to ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 8:46 AM | Posted by oldfart: | Reply

since you were too lazy to use a name, this reply is to the anonymous that wants to live in the 70s... i'm old and have outlived all my peers, thus i've been to my fair share, and then some, of funerals. The best ones were in the early 70s. We didn't do formal funerals back then, but the "in" thing to do was have a party at the house of those left behind, with the cremated ashes on the coffee table, and we'd all sit around, smoke weed, reminisce and tell stories about our adventures with the poor dead bastard. The 70s were indeed good. I'm one foot in the grave now and thats how I want to go out. Peace.

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A strange and interesting ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 11:09 AM | Posted by Harry bHorton: | Reply

A strange and interesting post, that seems to have a Communistic and totalitarian system background lurking back in the shadows of what the post tries to relate. For one thing, the funeral is a military one and in Korea. Chances are COmmunistic North Korea appears to be the obvious location for the funeral. The deceased man is tied up, I don't see a coffin anywhere in the picture as the post relates, and his being tied up in ropes gives the funeral, (that most likely is taking place in the impoverished regions of North Korea), a militaristic exploitative air is present since being a military funeral in an oppressive state, the actual body carries the vestiges of political oppression by being tied up and dumped into the ground. And a central theme in the post: unsatisfactory systems, which wierdly could be indicative of the funeral as an unsatisfactory system itself for dealing with death and death's grievous aftermath---yet when one talks of unsatisfactory systems, the communist system that rides herd on at times a selfish and insensitive population, ventures the essence of the post into the areas of the Orwellian dictums that Big Brother knows whats best for everyone with the mass failings of humanity apparent to feed the essence of such Orwellian political systems. And as such in the North Korean population that is told what to do at every turn and corner of their lives, when it comes to death and funerals, such conformist lines to thought control burgeons outwards in the Korean funeral goers, the holders of such thought control and conformity, whose insensitivity and lack of individualism, appears, and the latter two would be necessary for a more genuine sensitive meaningful participation for the grieving funeral goers. Which leaves the impression, if the deceased man were living in another more open and freer society, he could be alive or the grieving of his death would carry much more sensitivity amongst the funeral goers for such a more freer funeral. Reminds me of scenes from the movie: The Big Chill, where somewone dies and insensitivity amongs some of the funeral goers emerges. So there is this interesting political system dimension shaded at times in the story. Even the the above article's lines: They will kill each other for a lifeboat for themselves, a line referring to the funeral goers and their selfishness, is still reflective of a state of mind and state of being in people in general that is concordant with an interesting political observation by the French diplomat Talleyrand, when he made observations of the European nations in his balance of power perceptions on their behaviour and how to accost them on military and political matters> He stated such nations were "Too afraid to attack each other, and too stupid to cooperate". THe same maxim appears to be present in the funeral goers in the above post. In the case of the funeral they all have come to cooperate and the stupidity of their cooperation appears more than evident with insincerity and selfishness at times emergent in their feelinga and behaviours. THus in a sense their actions at the funeral are an extension of Talleyrand's observations in a more wry and twisted manner, within a Communist system context.

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Are you cave dwellers? Para... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 11:51 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Are you cave dwellers? Paragraphs. Use them.

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The last psychiatrist is a ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 12:24 PM | Posted, in reply to anonn's comment, by Mr Booga: | Reply

The last psychiatrist is a dude. You must be a newbie. Read through "his posts and you will realize this - dudes don't drink rum.

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Scratch that last statement... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 12:25 PM | Posted by Mr Booga: | Reply

Scratch that last statement. CHICKS don't drink rum. My Bad. ahahahahahahh

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Old fart, you're the man! ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 12:28 PM | Posted, in reply to oldfart's comment, by young fart: | Reply

Old fart, you're the man! That's the way to do it. Commemorate the departed with good memories. And the utilization of marijuana to enhance the experience is all for the better. Hopefully, the world will realize this soon enough.

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Harry bHorton: "he was in K... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 12:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Harry bHorton's comment, by sansapprobation: | Reply

Harry bHorton: "he was in Korea" means he served in the Korean War, which would entitle him to military honors at a funeral, not that the funeral was in Korea. The picture is from some sort of museum exhibit showing early humans conducting a funeral ritual. The picture is meant to point out the ancient tradition of funerals as part of the grieving process, but is not directly related to this post. It has nothing to do with Communism, poverty, etc.

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After many weekly long car ... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 1:36 PM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

After many weekly long car rides through the countryside from point A to B with no radio, I eventually felt like hearing the radio again. Country music, but at least I knew I was moving on.

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I doubt it, I think this ob... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 2:38 PM | Posted, in reply to alvy's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

I doubt it, I think this observer is a close friend at least. Someone who knows this person and knows the people involved. The people doing this to the widow don't ever seem to ask to do what they're doing, they don't care what it does TO the widow. No one would be telling people about a spit-wad of eucharist (from what I understand from my Catholic relatives, that's actually pretty much blasphemy. You aren't even supposed to take eucharist if you have morning sickness FWIW), no one would take it upon themselves to "teach" a kid about death. This is not even something I would do with my own nephew -- it's something mothers should deal with, especially if you don't want the kid confused by other religious traditions. It's going to be weird for a mom to have to answer a kid's question about what Joe said about saints when you're not catholic, or if the kid gets an altar call from a Southern Baptist and doesn't know if Grandpa was "Saved". You don't do so to help, it doesn't help. And a stealth hug -- who is that guy? I wouldn't necessarily do that within the family, not without letting the other person know first.

But to be fair, funerals were never about grieving. That is done mostly within the family. The stuff that actually helps happens afterward. the funeral is just a community goodbye.

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Sycophancy, 'phychopancy' a... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 2:46 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Sycophancy, 'phychopancy' and toolism in general are well within the range of the human condition. Not a good thing, but they exist and can come out to a degree in all people.

So what I fight and think about allot is... What is it about life as it stands now, where acting this way is rewarded enough that it can maintain a stable equilibrium. Stable and ubiquitous enough that it is a blog-able topic and everyone can say, "yeah, I know what you mean man."

Yeah, narcissism But why narcissism? Why do I feel like reading and internalizing 48 laws of power are the only way to eek out a respectable (not in the monetary sense) existence? Or devolve to sycophancy, and other fringe-base ways of being?

Is the root just higher affluence than we have evolved to deal with? Even most poor people have more comfort than rich people of not too long ago.

I feel like I have a suitable answer, but I just don't like the answer.

A generation or two needs to fade away and be replaced by another equilibrium, unless we've run too far to get home.

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P.S.I accidentally... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 2:48 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

P.S.

I accidentally posted this is another blog entry. The big pharma one I think.

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"No one died, everyone is f... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 2:56 PM | Posted, in reply to crumbskull's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"No one died, everyone is fine, its fine."

You sly bstard you.

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Its an interesting post i... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 3:03 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

Its an interesting post in how the subject weaves about and things seems disjointed in places. There are sections of the post that apparently and obviously definitely relate the funeral is in America, and is a military funeral burying an American soldier who possibly was in the Korean War. The sections on references to Catholicism and the way the Eucharist was presented and a woman keeping portions of the Eucharist in her mouth after an hour----all definitiely relate the funeral is in America somewhere and Christian observance and tradition embodies the funeral.
Yet on the other hand the picture has what could be Koreans, and the funeral in N. Korea somewhere as a thin fragmentary and mariginal allusion to North Korea. After all hyneas show up in allegorical manner with paws at this surrealistic funeral, so with in mind, additionally possibly some thin North Korean themes could be apparent also-----what is interesting with the recent death of the North Korean leader, there were news broacasts in America and elsewhere in the West that related the insincerity and superficial and outright 'nonfeeling of grief' for the North Korean leader, trumped up crowds of Koreans supposedly crying in the street for the beloved leaders passing when actually it was a superficial propoganda show, and the North Korean T.V. broadcast likewise false in her expression of being false in a grieving process, i.e. a propagandist staging. Its interesting the similarity between the insincerity of the funeral goers at times emerges in awkward manner concerning consoling the grieved one, and that os such insincerity too with the people in the North Korean state, is renowned for such insincerity when it comes to addressing the north Korean leader's passing of recent time.
Must be my schizophrenia paranoia up, schizophrenic read ins on things that are not in the post. Oh well, such as it is. BTW I do suffer schizoaffective disorder---things get imaginary quickly.

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Unfortunately the only time... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 4:06 PM | Posted by Whatever: | Reply

Unfortunately the only time you can get away with attending a funeral 10 feet away from the rest of the pack is when you're a moody teenager.

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Mr. Booga,I'm a ch... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 4:36 PM | Posted by Val: | Reply

Mr. Booga,

I'm a chick and I drink rum. I have always thought Alone was a man but there was a recent blog (the food stamp one I believe) where he or she said they'd wanted to be in Playboy since age 6. I assume little boys don't want to be in playboy. Actually, it's kind of odd to want to be in playboy at 6 but in any case, a couple of other statements have also led me to believe he is a she.

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Why was the fact that she w... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 4:36 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Why was the fact that she was pretty relevant?

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i don't know guys, this one... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 5:45 PM | Posted, in reply to alvy's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

i don't know guys, this one above, he/she has a point here.

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4:36: because men want to t... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 5:46 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

4:36: because men want to talk to pretty girls, so TLP is saying her prettiness is part of the reason everyone wanted to be her knight & shining armor.

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The real issue with the f... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 6:00 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

The real issue with the funeral situation, is the "King Lear neurosis" or "King Lear dimension" is present with the funeral goers and deceased one's family.. Looking for genuine love, when unable to accept love or be participant with love to begin with seems to plague the funeral atmospshere in the above post. In the play King Lear by Shakespeare, King Lear asks his daughters how much does he love him, in some tragic manner trying to quantify the amount of love each of his daughters have for him that reveals his inability to understand love.. Finally one daughter just says, I love you and that is all---something to that effect. So the whole idea of searching for genuine consolement in the funeral situation that is absent in the above post carries this King Lear dimension of neurotic people unable to experience love in a healthy extended manner.. In anycase I found some interesting material from the book Eckankar vielewelten bashaistudies on the nature of death. The eckankar work is on the internet. Some of the quotes:

(1) "Yet man is no more than just a physical body; he is also of spiritual essence. And this essence ---the mind or the soul---is free to travel apart from the body. While so free, the problems that torment the earth bound are a nothing beside the mysteries of the universe." IN other words the tormentations, and insecurities and insensitivities of the funeral goers is basically nothing, to begin with, since the deceased as a soul is immortal anyway, and never really dies to begin with, and will travel most likely along the route of reincarnation, under the processes of the divine.

(2) Page 6 - Rebezar Tarz -"Man does not have the capacity of loving everything, it is best to give his devotion to his close ones, and an impersonal love to the rest of the world." So the funeral goers that were not all that close to the family of the deceased one are probably on target, by just paying respects and not trying to fabricate a deep abiding love for the deceased one's family members. Since the situation was not present to begin with for 'those of the distant funeral goers to shell out genuine deep love' for the family because they did not spend day by day time with the family members---a prerequisite situation for real love to occur.

Page 12 - "The basic tenet of ECK (holy spirit) is spiritual freedom -- a liberation from the physical body....when death of his physical body occurs, he can leave it freely and enter into the spiritual worlds."

Once again the deceased is immortal in a spiritual sense and is on his spiritual way into whatever spiritual world he is headed too, a situation separate from the feelings or bereavements of the funeral goers. The basis for grieving in some sense of the perspective, is the funeral goers are left in the world with their own travails, shortcomings, and inventory of despiritualizations and karmic problems. That in itself can be a basis for a deadening grievous undercurrent to one's existence, irregardless of death of loved ones. And as such sets up the King Lear atmosphere of the funeral. When such inward spiritual shortcomings come to the fore with more emotional intensity with the death of the person and hence with the funeral than in normal day to day ordinary life.

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why was my post eaten :(</p... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 6:51 PM | Posted by thestage: | Reply

why was my post eaten :(

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So, why does Alone keep the... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 7:31 PM | Posted by TheCoconutChef: | Reply

So, why does Alone keep the comment section open for every post?

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Perhaps it was inevitable w... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 8:58 PM | Posted by tag1555: | Reply

Perhaps it was inevitable we'd forget how to abide in grief, and how to allow others to, once death ceased to be the common life experience it was even as recently as the 1940s. The alternative is no alternative at all, but there was a price to be paid. I wonder how many people even go to more than one or two funerals as children, which is usually how people learn how to behave at formal functions like this?

"Since we didn't get a chance to connect at the funeral," she said later, "[your daughter] and I had a good talk about what happens when you die."
Having any sort of deep philosophical discussion with another person's young kids strikes me as terribly presumptuous, another concept that isn't talked about much anymore. Until they're of age, the parent(s) get to make the call as to what they're exposed to and when. Short version: its not your kid, so butt out.

I'd add: please don't use "they're in a better place" with the grieving. Almost always, its the sayer trying to avoid the bitter truth that the person is no longer among their loved ones. If the bereaved's faith is in that direction, they don't need to be reminded of it, and if not, a funeral is not the time for a theological debate.

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My condolences... (Below threshold)

December 11, 2012 9:56 PM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

My condolences

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I'm wondering if offering c... (Below threshold)

December 12, 2012 4:08 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm wondering if offering condolences over the internet to someone you don't even know and who might not have even suffered a real loss is in any way symptomatic of the kind of narcissistic behavior described in the main post. Or is my pointing it out evidence of my own cynically narcissistic tendencies?

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Article about a girl who lo... (Below threshold)

December 12, 2012 4:49 AM | Posted by XtraXtra: | Reply

Article about a girl who lost her father, brother and friend to cancer within a short time frame, offers some similar insights: (in German though)

http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/wenn-angehoerige-sterben-schuelerin-trauert-um-vater-bruder-und-freund-a-864697.html

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How'd she end up with all t... (Below threshold)

December 12, 2012 11:12 AM | Posted by Mordymoop: | Reply

How'd she end up with all this shitty "friends"?

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Love this post. I lost my m... (Below threshold)

December 12, 2012 8:27 PM | Posted by Writer: | Reply

Love this post. I lost my mother last year. I was denied the ritual - instead, we went with a "celebration of life" as the church calls it. I was too numb to protest when asked, "Is this what your mother would have wanted?" Sure, sure, I bet she would have preferred her heart hadn't exploded randomly in her sleep, but she'd probably like this.

The worst part about dealing with others while you're grieving is everyone wants to do something. And you want everyone else to do something. I felt walled off from society - here I was, in my grief, with no one who could reach me. Hugs made me shudder. "I'm so sorry for your loss"s made me sigh - unhelpful, but, fuck it, they were trying.

The ritual lets you break down that wall. You have to grieve and feel isolated and alone. The greater the loss, the greater the isolation. How else will you learn to exist without someone so important to you? It was almost as if I had to tear down who I was, how I interacted with others and start fresh. And, honestly, I think that's why people push their presence on the mourner so much. They know they won't come out the same. So if they stay center stage, there every step of the way to "help" them through it, they won't get lost.

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"In Playboy" as a writer pr... (Below threshold)

December 12, 2012 10:19 PM | Posted by crumbskull: | Reply

"In Playboy" as a writer presumably.

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"Since we didn't get a chan... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 5:15 AM | Posted by M: | Reply

"Since we didn't get a chance to connect". How fucking despicable.

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yes, who are the psychophan... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 12:55 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by puppylander: | Reply

yes, who are the psychophants here?

echo also alvy's comment at 1:22.

finally, not that one couldn't want to be alone with people "around" to turn to, when called upon, but i can imagine a bereaved who has never been through it before and wants to be approached. i imagine, for example, myself when my father passed. i was grateful for those who approached, given my own awkwardness at the time.

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It's not just that. I thin... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 12:57 PM | Posted, in reply to tag1555's comment, by Dovahkiin: | Reply

It's not just that. I think it's partly the loss of any sense of ritual and propriety anywhere in American society. There was an oldish book on ettequette I read some years ago, and the one line that stuck was "ettequette is about making the other person's comfort more important than your own convienience." I think that's something we need to get back. It's probably why we have narcissism running amok in all kinds of places, or at least why the symptoms are so obvious. We don't even observe the rituals that pretend that we're paying attention to the other person, so we aren't thinking in any way about that person. They don't have a say, and therefore when we see them crying at a funeral, it's about us.

But not just in funerals, it's other things as well -- When young adults have a wedding, they pretty much demand expensive crap as the price of admission to the shower and the wedding. Not to say that you shouldn't bring a gift, but simply that the process is now so backward that you literally register at some expensive store for the exact items you want, the exact color you want, and have the list marked off as people buy you exactly what you want. It's to my mind the opposite of a gift -- I'm the personal shopper spending my own money. You didn't think for a second about wanting my presence, you wanted the present, which is what you picked out. If I brought the wrong color, I guess I'm the tacky one. Again, this is how everything is about ME. Or you could go stand in line at any store -- if you're buying a lot of stuff, you'll get a bit of stink eye from everyone behind you, especially is you're (god forbid) older and have trouble unloading or loading the cart, or your hands shake when you try to scan your credit card. It's not your fault they didn't plan far enough ahead and they're going to be late. You can't help being old. Unless you're the only one that matters.

That's why I think the older rituals and the older sense of boundaries was better than the culture of rude we have now. At least the rituals would momentarily remind us that we weren't the only ones that mattered, and that you were expected to show some thought to the people around you. Now, we can't convince people that endangering the lives of other people so you can gossip on the cell phone in your car at 70mph is a bad idea.

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The worst part about dealin... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 1:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Writer's comment, by GL: | Reply

The worst part about dealing with others while you're grieving is dealing with others while you're grieving. Fuck the ritual. You're not ready to "celebrate" anybody's life within a few days of their passing, and you're certainly not ready to make a show of it for the benefit of a bunch of shitty barely-not-strangers.

It's terrifying to think people aren't even given the option of not creating the event. Nobody asks to be put on the bereavement assembly line, not just resuming normal behaviour but observing some underthought, overwrought tradition.
There is absolutely nothing more absurd to a grieving person that the mundane logistics of caskets and arrangements and finding hotel rooms for all your distant unliked relatives. That's not a reassuring focal point, it's a gateway to sociopathy.

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<a href="http://thirdtierre... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 3:22 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/

If you attend law school, you will be paying for an expensive funeral on your future.

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"There is absolutely nothin... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 3:41 PM | Posted by philtrum: | Reply

"There is absolutely nothing more absurd to a grieving person that the mundane logistics of caskets and arrangements and finding hotel rooms for all your distant unliked relatives."

Yes, but no. To do nothing, to have no marker of the event, would have felt worse to me. Some kind of ritual is necessary. You get through it on numbness and denial. (Though I have never been required to find hotels for anyone after a close family member died. That is absurd.)

But I agree it's grotesque, choosing a coffin and/or an urn. I came out of it with a deep distaste for the funeral industry. It's like being asked repeatedly and seriously if you'd like a Simpsons or Ninja Turtles Band-Aid over your gunshot wound, and paying several thousand dollars for the privilege. (Hannah Montana Band-Aids are $500 extra, but a real tribute to the intact torso you once had.)

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I wish the woman who grabbe... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 4:54 PM | Posted by She-Wolf: | Reply

I wish the woman who grabbed me in a big bear hug at my father's funeral few months back had read something like this prior to destroying my last moment with my dad...

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People behave in exaggerate... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 6:44 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

People behave in exaggerated ways in unfamiliar social situations. This is natural, and therefore forgivable.
A couple of weeks ago, a colleagues wife overdosed but survived. When he told me, I said to him 'that's a terrible situation, for you as much as for her. I've been there myself. If you need anything, for instance I could watch your kids, just ask'
It sounded good in my head - I was trying to communicate empathy, so he wouldn't feel isolated, but aloud, I was making his situation about me. Which lis terrible.
But natural. Because mine is the only grief and worry I have ever experienced. Because my motive, to help another was good. Because when you don't know what to do, you do your best, and though you can learn lessons, you should not regret the inevitable.
Grief is painful, and the grief of a loved one is a pain you are powerless to fix. That willmmake you angry, make you look for others to blame. This is what I read here.

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Reading most of the empty p... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 9:09 PM | Posted by hoping: | Reply

Reading most of the empty posts in this article has actually left me a little depressed and unsure of whether you're even going to read this. (If these types of posts are littered throughout your blog I wouldn't want to read them too.)

- "I'm going to make a comment about how I'm figuring out Alone's identity because I want everyone to know how smart I am!"
- "Look at how this article regarding grieving and hyenas ties into communist russia but really I just want everyone to see that the size of my dick is determined by the distance between the concepts I can relate!"


I've always wondered if your hatred for people and the alcoholism was a persona or not... Maybe you picked this archetype in order to connect to your readers or maybe it's truly who you are; the genius of hiding your identity and periodically alternating and stating your gender means an uncertainty involving an infinite recursion of questions = "TLP implied TLP's a woman but TLP can't fool me! I know TLP's a man! Wait.. TLP knows human nature so well TLP probably knew I'll deduce TLP's a man! SO (S)he's actually a woman! Wait.. did TLP KNOW I'll deduce woman? Aha TLP's actually a man! WAIT! ...And on it goes..."

I guess that entire paragraph was an appreciation of your thought process via an ego rub for myself? "Look at me I figured you out I'm smart too!"

I'm going to assume you are who you portray yourself to be via the articles.

Do you hate others because you hate yourself? Is your blog a fishing hook to find those like you so they can show you a perception you haven't thought of for yourself, because they are the only ones that can? Do you only hate OTHER people? Or are these questions I'm asking you just me trying to find another reason to try and save someone because really I'm trying to save myself? Is it both? Other?

Maybe it's my young naivety and ostensibly infinite battery power for trying to prevent myself from hating people through understanding but I have a question and a statement I want to make.

How can you hate someone that you understand so well? How can you feel such contempt towards the selfish/narcissistic/damaged when these people are caused by previous experiences? How can you hate someone when you know who they are is bound by others?--Unless you hate everyone... Why would someone so perceptive hate everyone? Why would someone so perceptive hate themselves? I guess X-ray vision doesn't automatically provide compassion? The idea of someone so incredibly perceptive yet so incredibly dark is confusing to me.

Who would want to blame themselves when they can blame people they hate... Or maybe some enjoy to blame everyone including themselves? Where is the hope?

My statement/interpretation:
The grieving daughter could have just told them to fuck off. "But she was too busy crying!" So she's solid enough to be completely immersed in her emotion but not solid enough to be unaffected by the awkward bear hug from the narcissist? Sounds like someone that doesn't want to hurt others' feelings SO BAD that she'll ruin her own grieving session with her father; sounds like an amazingly selfless self-sacrificing person(nice catch and/or nice personality)...but also maybe someone who is way too emotionally dependent? Maybe someone that chooses to feel what others feel way too often that they don't know how to stay rigid when the time comes?--I guess that's a gift and a curse... if you can't control it.

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Or is it that hating them i... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 10:20 PM | Posted, in reply to hoping's comment, by hoping: | Reply

Or is it that hating them is the only way to keep yourself from emotionally connecting to every single patient? Because if you don't hate them you'd empathize with each one and feel their negative emotions and eventually drown in them? For you, is hate a life jacket in the sea of consciousness?

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This is a great post. It b... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 10:35 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This is a great post. It brings back memories of when my dad died.

After telling one of my friends that my Dad had passed away, she replied that "at least you don't have to worry about your dad anymore. My dad is still alive and I have to worry about how he is doing all of the time."

Her dad had suffered for years with serious depression, and had tried to commit suicide a couple of times. He also would wander off and have memory lapses about how he ended up wherever he they found him.

I know that all of that was difficult for her to go through, but I wish she had not turned the conversation about *her* struggles with her Dad's illness, and she had just said that she was sorry that my Dad died. It wasn't about her, really. But in her mind, her struggles were always so much greater than everyone else's, and no one knew what it felt like to be her etc, etc.

I'm happy to say that her mom got a job that had good insurance, and with help, her Dad has actually gotten a lot better.

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I am sorry for your loss.</... (Below threshold)

December 13, 2012 11:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am sorry for your loss.

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I'm so sorry for your loss.... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 12:43 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Hoping said:"My s... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 2:00 AM | Posted, in reply to hoping's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Hoping said:
"My statement/interpretation:
The grieving daughter could have just told them to fuck off. "But she was too busy crying!" So she's solid enough to be completely immersed in her emotion but not solid enough to be unaffected by the awkward bear hug from the narcissist? Sounds like someone that doesn't want to hurt others' feelings SO BAD that she'll ruin her own grieving session with her father; sounds like an amazingly selfless self-sacrificing person(nice catch and/or nice personality)...but also maybe someone who is way too emotionally dependent? Maybe someone that chooses to feel what others feel way too often that they don't know how to stay rigid when the time comes?--I guess that's a gift and a curse... if you can't control it."

Wait, so becausse she is so emotionally dependent, she sacrificed her emotional needs for someone else's hollow needs to show fake emotion? She choses politeness instead of pointless anger, turns the other cheek like the better person and that makes her... messed up?

No mate, it makes her normal. Able to see other people's needs and respond to them. That's what sets her aside from the folks who interfere with her personal space. Emotionally connected, but not dependent. It is definitely a gift and a curse, but what it is is being normal. Not a narcissist.

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Nah... a simple "not now pl... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 4:50 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Nah... a simple "not now please" is polite and clear enough. The notion that it is polite to allow someone to disturb you even more at a time of grief seems very strange to me. But again, it's this entitlement that makes you go up to her and interrupt her. The idea that it's normal and what is to be expected, to be treated politely even if you are being a jerk.

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Looks like this girl's frie... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 11:54 AM | Posted by Wilmer Uruchi: | Reply

Looks like this girl's friends are most douchebags. But isn't this what you get when you keep this people around you anyways?

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Looks like you're wrong, th... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 2:15 PM | Posted, in reply to TheCoconutChef's comment, by Kanonymous: | Reply

Looks like you're wrong, the panasonic post is with comments disabled.

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I hope one day the doc will... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 3:17 PM | Posted by ....: | Reply

I hope one day the doc will write an article about school shooters who almost always happen to be on some kind of mental medication.

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Would you be my short-term,... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 3:46 PM | Posted by Carolina: | Reply

Would you be my short-term, online therapist? Please? (not for free, of course)

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I'm pretty sure that we're ... (Below threshold)

December 14, 2012 8:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Bill's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm pretty sure that we're not so special that there are no hyenas among us.

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...... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2012 1:31 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

...

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Apprently the shooter also ... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2012 6:58 AM | Posted by ....: | Reply

Apprently the shooter also had aspergers. Which pretty much guarantees he was on ritalin and/or several other stuff. I'm really hoping now the doc will address the issue.

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"Chicks don't drink rum." ... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2012 3:41 PM | Posted by Christina M: | Reply

"Chicks don't drink rum."

Really? Note to self, "Your're not supposed to drink rum"

Oops. I never got that memo.

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How the hell do you get the... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2012 7:03 PM | Posted, in reply to Wilmer Uruchi's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

How the hell do you get these people OUT of your life? I mean honestly...

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I spent my wedding and vari... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2012 7:07 PM | Posted by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

I spent my wedding and various funerals, and watched my mother spend the funeral of my grandmother, placating other people, saving my own feelings for secret moments that almost never came... all to keep the people around me happy who needed this show to be about them.

I can't even relate to *having* the pretense of that moment of grief. So frankly, this woman has some assholes in her life. She's lightyears ahead of me though. I have no one left but people who have almost finished using what's left of me and no idea how to stop this from happening.

If I weren't too socially responsible to do it, I'd definitely try suicide buuuuut it's a mess, hurts lots of innocent people, and is just hurrying the inevitable anyway (and besides I'm a chronic optimist).

My condolences. But what do you expect. People all are the stars in their movies, and if you don't know how to be one of those who lives that way it seems in this world you are screwed, will die alone, and be miserable except for the moments when you're feeding the wolves that will eat you later.


Cheers!

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Don't you think that is bec... (Below threshold)

December 15, 2012 7:11 PM | Posted, in reply to ....'s comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Don't you think that is because these people almost always have some kind of serious mental issues that have already manifested?

I mean, that's potentially kind of a causal/correlation fallacy.

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My condolences. But what... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 5:36 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

My condolences. But what do you expect. People all are the stars in their movies, and if you don't know how to be one of those who lives that way it seems in this world you are screwed, will die alone, and be miserable except for the moments when you're feeding the wolves that will eat you later.

Interesting point. Is there a 'critical mass' of narcissism that some Western countries have already passed and does this then create a singular mass cultural ego that will protect itself from any threats to its identity? Perhaps this is obviously so, and is the system or Matrix to which TLP refers.

If I as a TLP-reading narcissist go to a party and most people aren't narcissists, I may be able to make the effort of connecting with people as individuals, while being vigilant of my own tendency to make everything about me. There is room for growth and a reason for checking my own actions. If I go to another party and practically every single person there is a narcissist, what is the point of trying to connect with any of them? If I say to them, "tell me about you", they will readily spool off their rehearsed script that was inevitable in any case. I could listen to them for hours and learn nothing genuine about them. They don't change and I am wasting my time at a tedious party. Why not meet them on their own terms and play by their rules, why not make it about me when they're only going to make it about them?

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many commenters are really ... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 7:29 AM | Posted, in reply to hoping's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

many commenters are really stupid. They didn't even realize he started making jokes and misdirecting people about his real identity, instead these idiots read an article where he says for example that he is an 8 year old girl and they go "AH AH! SHE IS AN 8 YEAR OLD GIRL. I'M SO SMART FOR READING THAT".

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"I could listen to them for... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 8:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

"I could listen to them for hours and learn nothing genuine about them. They don't change and I am wasting my time at a tedious party. Why not meet them on their own terms and play by their rules, why not make it about me when they're only going to make it about them?"

Here's the other side. If I go to a party and am not a narcissist, but know that to survive culturally I must function as one, then I will have a rehearsed script. Lonely and human I will pull the strings of a puppet body to conform to this script.

Now imagine I am not the only non-narcissist at this party, but we will never know. Because to survive we either have to be narcissists, or protect ourselves against them by wearing narcissist skin.

And only those who love a mirror more than a moment of shared experience come away feeling this was worthwhile.

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...I have no one left bu... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 9:09 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Vanonymous: | Reply

...I have no one left but people who have almost finished using what's left of me and no idea how to stop this from happening.

If I weren't too socially responsible to do it, I'd definitely try suicide buuuuut it's a mess, hurts lots of innocent people, and is just hurrying the inevitable anyway (and besides I'm a chronic optimist).

Quite some emotional span you express there. Thank you for sharing. Ignore it if this attention is unwelcome, it's for you. How can it be that you're conscious and informed about people using you while not having a idea of how to stop it? In my simple mind the have-no-idea-to-change-it situation occur when the victim don't know what's happening.

Perhaps if you manage to pinpoint "it", someone here might be able to provide you inspiration or an alternative perspective. I'm inspired by your expressed optimism btw.

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Oh simple. I like sharing t... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 9:42 AM | Posted, in reply to Vanonymous's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Oh simple. I like sharing things with people, actually, though I'm aware it may make them uncomfortable so I usually don't. I'm very detached. A long time ago I developed a fabulously *useful* coping mechanism. You see, things are different when you have lived your whole life from birth being conditioned to something. You can become aware, just as you might of your own emotions, in a sort of mindful space. Yet to watch and even have that awareness you can not be attached to it. Well, it is good for emotions, and good for keeping a relatively functional presence in extreme danger or uncertainty.

Think of it this way. You are watching a plane fly into a building. People will die. Some one says "but you're the pilot!" to you.

Well perhaps a part of you is the pilot maybe? Perhaps not, perhaps a part of you is just a passenger, or perhaps part of you is in the building. How do you know? You can say to yourself "this is happening" but not know how to fix it if you don't know where "you" fit into what is happening all around. Remember if you are conditioned to live only for others you don't really think about "you" but instead about "them" and just enough "you" takes time to nurture into any kind of strength. It's not healthy, but knowing things doesn't mean you know how to fix them.

Another example: you know your car is breaking down. You know that it is the transmission. Do you also know how to repair a transmission? Do you know some one you can trust to repair it? Do you know how to get the money? You can say "this is broken" but be at a loss as to how to change. I'd like to, actually, but you see I didn't come with an instruction manual. And I'm a stranger to myself, by necessity.

When a cup is falling from the table, perhaps you can catch it and perhaps not. And so you say "this person is using me" and yet each time the cup is falling it seems it's only luck by which you catch it, if you do. And if it falls it seems there's always more cup, and more falling.

It's like that. Learned behavior, but so deeply rooted it is hard to understand. You see, I'm awake inside of me, but I don't have all the access one might normally expect. In a way this is nice, as no one has this there are always parts that can be salvaged in the worst (and trust me there have been "worsts" in the past and I can't deny there will be "worsts" most likely in the future.)

I don't know if that makes much sense. Severe detachment is hard to talk about without sounding completely batshit insane. And yet it isn't psychotic at all. I'm not sure that many people couldn't relate to some extent if they thought about it enough. Not thought about themselves, but thought about what is happening.

How to fix it? Well if I ever do find a way I'll surely share it with some one.

Anyway, perhaps that is interesting to you? Perhaps not.

As for pinpointing "it" you have to remember that "it" is a little different each time. You are a little different each time.

The cup keeps falling, the plane keeps crashing, the car doesn't quite run... but every time it's just a little different and while you're thinking you've learned from the past the present is repeating itself.

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Here's a thought, why don't... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 1:38 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by hmmm: | Reply

Here's a thought, why don't you try?

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I know your reply was meant... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 3:17 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Onsie: | Reply

I know your reply was meant for someone else but... thank you.

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Every time, I do. Believe i... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 4:53 PM | Posted, in reply to hmmm's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Every time, I do. Believe it or not you can try and fail. Over and over and over again.

I'm not sure what it is about that word "try" that people think if some one hasn't solved it all it's because they haven't tried hard enough.

I have a feeling people who tell you that you aren't or have not been trying are the kind that crowd you at your father's funeral :/


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Are you, perhaps, using the... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 5:23 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Writer: | Reply

Are you, perhaps, using the attempt as a proxy for actually doing what needs to be done? Blood suckers are blood suckers, regardless of what you do. As long as you maintain the mindset that you can, somehow, do something to prevent that behavior, you're fucked.

Isn't letting people use you simply a highly evolved form of self-victimization? "I try to stop it" means "I can't stop it" means "I have no choice" means "I'm a victim."

(I spent the first 27 years of my life singing this song.)

The most important interpersonal lesson I ever learned was from a family friend, after my mother died and my father went off the deep-end: people can only treat you how you choose to let them. In other words, tell users to get fucked when they try to fuck you.

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Great post, one quibble: De... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 6:32 PM | Posted by John F. Opie: | Reply

Great post, one quibble: Defcon 5 is the condition of least severity. You mean Defcon 1, immanent nuclear war. Defcon 2 is immanent non-nuclear hostilities that may lead to nuclear (think Cuba Missile Crisis); Defcon 3 was (unofficially) declared during the Yom Kippur War when things were not going well for the Israelis and after 9-11.

Just sayin'

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I appreciate your comment a... (Below threshold)

December 16, 2012 7:40 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Anon4U: | Reply

I appreciate your comment and no it's not alien or strange, possible exception for this detail:

And I'm a stranger to myself, by necessity.

By necessity? Have to sleep on that one. But I won't get hung up on a sentence, overall you are perfectly clear. Enough to making me feel attached. Think you're overestimating how different you are. Average Joe would recognize most of it in himself if he cared enough to look.

It's difficult to understand the depths of learned behavior and perhaps I'm fooling myself in thinking I understand. What I do clearly understand is that I'm very limited in understanding other people in detail, so the basis of a good relationship are things like trust and patience more than knowledge and understanding, so simple yet so...

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How can you hate someo... (Below threshold)

December 17, 2012 2:37 PM | Posted, in reply to hoping's comment, by commoner: | Reply

How can you hate someone that you understand so well? How can you feel such contempt towards the selfish/narcissistic/damaged when these people are caused by previous experiences? How can you hate someone when you know who they are is bound by others?--Unless you hate everyone... Why would someone so perceptive hate everyone? Why would someone so perceptive hate themselves? I guess X-ray vision doesn't automatically provide compassion? The idea of someone so incredibly perceptive yet so incredibly dark is confusing to me.

Hoping, I have to jump in for your analysis of these feelings, manifestations of hate. You've given me some hope with your questions. Maybe, it's not so much about hate, no more than love, but one's ability to craft some intermix of the two. I'm sorry, I'm rather like one of the hyenas - I don't recognize passion, or maybe the intensity in passion. What's it like - to hate whole groups and people so deeply, they become faceless shells for one's utter manipulation? Hate sinking in until each person is regarded as part of an amorphous, unidentified mental block - aka the system, or Other?

Your dissection now - maybe hate is necessary for sanity to exist, especially in those at the whim of passion. One can't love with equal compassion for all - the heart will simply burst. One may think their heart is superior to many, but it's just one heart nevertheless. How does it find focus, amidst so much tantalizing it, making it respond? It will bleed in all directions unless it's frugal. The mind helps somewhat to single out one thing (to love) and block out everything else (to hate).

It's this highly energized, erratic nature of those more intense in their feelings, or having to separate love from hate, thoughtfully, rationally, conveniently, in an ongoing carousel ride of countless perceived behaviors and masks. I want to know - for those who hate so well, what is your love like? Does it flicker, depending on the mood of the night? Or as constant as your hate. This depth, I do not know.

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What would you say as a psy... (Below threshold)

December 17, 2012 3:50 PM | Posted by Sid: | Reply

What would you say as a psychiatrist if this grieving woman came to your office and said she was sad and her primary care physician thought that she should see a psychiatrist just to 'make sure' that she was not suffering from 'depression'. And, had already given her some xanex (to be taken 3 times a day PRN) and that the woman felt was keeping her from breaking down.

The day (or two) after DSM 5 was approved, NPR had a section about the bereavement exclusion being taken away. The host called up some social worker in NY who has written a book about this being a bad idea. Poor guy explained at some length at why he does not support this. The host (Terrie Gross or the other lady) then ended the section with a final question " but, is this change necessarily a bad thing". Unfortunately the SW did not have an answer for this or may be they edited it.

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- "I'm going to make a comm... (Below threshold)

December 17, 2012 5:02 PM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

- "I'm going to make a comment about how I'm figuring out Alone's identity because I want everyone to know how smart I am!"

-Yep. but I am not telling. I just hope people think I am cool when I claim to know, but decline telling. I don't want to inhibit a good thing.

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I appreciate your comment.... (Below threshold)

December 17, 2012 11:15 PM | Posted, in reply to hoping's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I appreciate your comment. You hit the nail on the head with these lines: "How can you hate someone that you understand so well? How can you feel such contempt towards the selfish/narcissistic/damaged when these people are caused by previous experiences? How can you hate someone when you know who they are is bound by others?" Yes, the emperor has no clothes. And that would be perfectly fine, and indeed much more helpful to all concerned, if only they were willing to admit as much. Their strident tone, however, effectively conceals any such awareness on their part.

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"tell users to get fucked w... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2012 9:21 AM | Posted, in reply to Writer's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

"tell users to get fucked when they try to fuck you."

I appreciate your comments. My question though is, there has to be a better way of recognizing them before they get so far. You see, after a while and without the proper defenses, this has left me very lonely. When all you can do is get away from people who hurt you, and the people you let into your life keep being the sort that hurt you, and you don't seem to quite now what you are doing to let that happen... you end up very lonely. Like, completely alone in a new city lonely. Then couple that with a terror that if you so much as befriend anyone you'll now lose even this. But no one can live in that kind of isolation can they? Well, maybe some can but I certainly can't. If there was a moment for change this would be it.

What the hell does that mean?

Anyway, to those who have let me have this little dialogue with them... thank you.

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Oh, I just saw this. Well, ... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2012 10:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Anon4U's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Oh, I just saw this. Well, let me use a movie as a metaphor since that's what they're there for.

Remember that movie Alien? It's old, but it makes a good description. I sort of feel like that film. Mostly I'm the ship, everyone could sleep and the bulk of me is able to function without what you might call awareness of it. I can trust this autopilot of mine, you might say that mostly I'm like this ship then. I'm aware, because I have to maintain the course and myself. But I'm not really one of the active agents at the same time. Yet everything depends on this ship running along and keeping the crew alive.

Now the other parts of me, they're mostly asleep unless they're needed. This is like the crew. These are my tools, the parts of me that are specialized and needed. These are the feeling human aspects of my personality, and the ship needs them to have life on it and they need the ship to stay alive. In this way we collaborate.

Among the crew is some part of myself that is a bit like Ripley. This is where the necessity comes in.


You see, unfortunately there is also something like the alien. In the misfortune of life, we some times lose parts of ourselves because they become too dangerous, to injured or infected.

You could say that I have to keep a quarantine, have defenses, manage myself in a slightly creative and unusual way...

but the goal of course is to keep the ship running and the crew alive. The other goal is to keep anything of mine from damaging other people in my life.

Of course that's not how the movie went, but a movie only happens once for a few hours and has a cathartic ending; whereas little narratives that you use to explain approaches to living have more of a lather - rinse -repeat pattern with no real rise of dramatic action.

The point is this, after a while, if you saw a crew member get pounced by a face-hugger... you'd jet him off the ship. And after a while you'd be pretty damned scared of getting too close to other ships.

And what part of you could do that? What if a part of you was that dangerous to yourself and you knew it? Would you want to know that part of yourself any more than you'd want to know the alien? Can anyone say they *know* the ship? Etc...

the nature of disassociative defenses is protecting oneself from knowing oneself I think.

If you look into the narcissistic mirror, instead of finding all the things that were kept from you about yourself, you find that you are instead the reflection within the mirror and whoever were there you would have to create a reflection of. The self isn't the looker, but rather my mind creates the sensation of looking at itself to justify what was already there in the dark pool of the mind.

So by necessity, we don't look.

Hence also I can say these things, and yet I know it's kind of a joke as well :)

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But no one can liv... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2012 12:49 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Writer: | Reply

But no one can live in that kind of isolation can they? Well, maybe some can but I certainly can't. If there was a moment for change this would be it.
I can hear these words coming out of my own mouth. "If I don't let people do this, I won't have anyone." The way you change it is simple: you just expect people to treat you in the way you wish to be treated. Some people will argue, others will oblige. Simple, but not easy.

Figure out how you want to be treated. Then don't take anything less. I was labelled a "bitch" by many people. So what? If they don't want to treat me the way I want to be treated, and I don't want to take their shit, there's really no relationship but mutually assured destruction. It creates drama. I'd rather have a few close friends I speak to infrequently - but more honestly - than to be around the constant conflict/non-sexual S&M of incompatible personalities.

Food for thought: Dependent Personality Disorder

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An observation from your co... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2012 12:53 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Writer: | Reply

An observation from your comments that may or may not mean anything to you.

You use a lot of metaphors to describe yourself/your situation. Why can't you describe you?

What Anon4U said bears repeating

Think you're overestimating how different you are. Average Joe would recognize most of it in himself if he cared enough to look.

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I made the mistake of readi... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2012 1:49 PM | Posted by T: | Reply

I made the mistake of reading Facebook after the CT school shooting. Nothing but this, as far as I could see. And worse, psychos immediately using the event to parrot their political/religious views. "30 people are dead, let's talk about how it affects me and my ideaologies."

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>Dependent Personality Diso... (Below threshold)

December 18, 2012 4:53 PM | Posted by Onsie: | Reply

>Dependent Personality Disorder

Ouch...bingo. :( :(

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This made me curious. ... (Below threshold)

December 19, 2012 6:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Onsie's comment, by YesToEverythingIsayYes: | Reply

This made me curious.

Please provide a couple of headwords. What kind of dependence for instance.

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Why can't you describe you?... (Below threshold)

December 19, 2012 7:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Writer's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

Why can't you describe you?

Am I worth reading about?

...

Well, didn't I say that I'm a stranger to myself? TL;DR I'm a neurotic mess with a bunch of intense trauma, in a unique period where I'm sort of literally living out the psychodrama that ruled my life. It seems like this could be a good point to do something different, but I'll probably need professional help to do that (and I'm sincerely working on that in the "appointment next week" sense). It's also hard because that's pretty intimate. I mean, who are you?

I wrote a long comment, but realized sharing that much info on the internet is probably one of those things that people who are smarter than me don't do.

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... worse. Really.... (Below threshold)

December 19, 2012 7:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Onsie's comment, by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

... worse. Really.

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Who am I? Some housewife fr... (Below threshold)

December 19, 2012 8:04 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Writer: | Reply

Who am I? Some housewife from the middle of rural-ville, typing this on my phone over a cigarette while I wait for bacon-wrapped pork chops to fry up. Are we intimately acquainted yet?

The thing I find striking is that you even talk about your life like a piece of media to be consumed. "In a unique period" and "living out the psychodrama". These statements required a pretty intense level of distancing. Is that how you cope with the blood-suckers?

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I'm too embarrassed to go i... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2012 2:24 AM | Posted, in reply to YesToEverythingIsayYes's comment, by Onsie: | Reply

I'm too embarrassed to go into detail but, basically, the wikipedia page on DPD...yeah that's me. Alanon mascot.

When I was a kid, the only way for me to survive was to placate instead of fighting back. I guess I carried that posturing into my adult life.

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This reminds me of when my ... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2012 2:40 AM | Posted by ChaosRocket: | Reply

This reminds me of when my dog had to be put to sleep. I was in the room with the vet, my dog lying on the table in between us, and the vet told me it would be best to put him to sleep because he could never recover. I immediately started crying, and the vet said, "Now I feel bad. I made you cry." And then *I* had to comfort the vet, "It's not *your* fault." I always thought it was a weird thing for the vet to say...but maybe not so weird? Maybe this is just what a lot of people are like now? Depressing.

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If you're in the right posi... (Below threshold)

December 22, 2012 3:49 AM | Posted, in reply to Bill's comment, by Duke: | Reply

If you're in the right position to do so - if you're the husband in the story, perhaps - you can always shoo the hyenas away.

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well, if you know what is "... (Below threshold)

December 24, 2012 8:07 PM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by pop! goes my heart: | Reply

well, if you know what is "broken" I bet there's a high chance you also know how to fix it (since the only way how to fix yourself is to do it YOUR way). but you should know quite exactly what is broken, not just guessing that damage has happened "somewhere in this area". And if you feel you "can't", there are probably some blocks you've created to avoid some "places".

I don't know if that's the universal recipe but it helped me -- try to spot your fear, or shame, or insecurity, uncertainty...uncomfortable feelings...and when you see it coming, don't dodge. What fears you the most? or shames? drown into that pool and stay there until your eyes get used to the dark; and then look around and take those creatures around you as exhibits in the museum ready there to inform you, and not to eat you. you can fool yourself that it's gonna be just a brief trip, it will last for an hour only and then you can return to whatever state of mind you had before. you can make it an exercise so you will create a distance and will not feel threatened or at a mercy of your unconscious. (that's pretty much a therapist's job, so professional help should be considered.)

I also used to try a bit schizophrenic splitting strategy where I used my inner voice to talk me out of stupid habits in a form like: "could you just stop being so selfish and instead think of me sometimes? it's not so fun to let me down all the time. was it funny to watch me being screwed over by that guy? next time if you are not gonna punch him into the mouth I swear to god I'll punch you." something like making yourself your own savior/friend/helper.

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I think the last psychiatri... (Below threshold)

December 26, 2012 10:46 AM | Posted, in reply to JohnJ's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I think the last psychiatrist is being much too condemning and really has no idea what is going on in the mind of the sympathizer, which incidentally, is very unlikely to be "What do I want out of this?"

I thought the hipsters article had some validity, although smacked of sophistry and burning straw men. But now I'm sure, the whole blog is just a guy in love with the sound of his own voice and the ring of his own opinions.

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Alone: "I ... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 4:23 AM | Posted, in reply to Bill's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Alone: "I didn't want her to be alone." That's because you are a terrible person.

The need to impose oneself onto others sure does remind me of this Rule I heard once that I've never cared for. Do Unto Others? How does that work with insanity? I think it's best if everyone did unto themselves and left others alone.

Mordymoop: How'd she end up with all this shitty "friends"?

It's a cute trick of shitty friends to pretend that anyone complaining of having sycophants for friends must be doing something to attract them. Of course they are. They're looking for friends.

puppylander: i can imagine a bereaved who has never been through it before and wants to be approached. i imagine, for example, myself when my father passed. i was grateful for those who approached, given my own awkwardness at the time.

Yes. You can imagine. You were grateful. You were awkward. You were socially limited. Do not impose upon others with this rationalisation as justification for your unsolicited imposition. That's what they all do. They Know Best how to frame their needy assaulting you as warranted; it'll be entirely for your sake (of course). They just look for something in your behaviour that they can relate to something in their bottomless pit of personal fail, and they say "when I was....I found that...[who I'm being now] to be indispensable."

You best stay where you can be unobtrusive. Don't move. If those you imagine need you actually do, they can call for you. Or give you a sign. Their being in an exploitable state is not - I repeat, NOT - the sign. It's remarkable how you (needy) people are attracted to anything that looks like vulnerability. I've seen how that's your cue.

"Time for me to impose ME onto you, for your sake." (of course)
________________________________________________________________

nb. Also, I'm literally tornpapernapkin...without the writing ability. The only difference I can perceive is that I don't consider myself the problem. Everyone else is lying. They're all needy. I have no need to lie or anything.

tornpapernapkin:: People all are the stars in their movies, and if you don't know how to be one of those who lives that way it seems in this world you are screwed, will die alone, and be miserable except for the moments when you're feeding the wolves that will eat you later.

Exactly.

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Stop BEING one.... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 5:23 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by nat: | Reply

Stop BEING one.

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I have very same thought pa... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 5:36 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by nat: | Reply

I have very same thought patterns and ability to detach as you describe.

My way of trying to cope is by taking 40 mgs of PAXIL daily and also learning about mindfulness meditation.

What things have you tied? I wouldn't mind trying some new things as well....

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Oh I think you can guess th... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 5:44 AM | Posted, in reply to commoner's comment, by total trash: | Reply

Oh I think you can guess the answer to that! The love is passionate but equally fickle. ( this person will be a wild lover who will eventually lose interest in you)
This person is clever and probably a useful therapist but I certainly wouldn't want to be in a ROMANTIC relationship with him/her. It's pretty obvious that He/She has Borderline Personality...not that it;s a big deal...just sayin'

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1. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS<... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 5:51 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by nizza: | Reply

1. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
2. TAKE YOUR ANTIDEPRESSANTS
3. GET SOMETHING IN RETURN FOR WHAT YOU GIVE
4 BEHAVE MORE LIKE A "NARCISSIST" ( aka love yourself more than others)
5. IF YOU ARE ADDICTED TO DRUGS(ie: benzos, painkillers, alcohol): GO TO REHAB/ QUIT

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Yeah you sound so obsessed ... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 6:00 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by nizzle: | Reply

Yeah you sound so obsessed with being a victim that it kind of makes me hate you for being weak and that in turn makes me want to beat you up.

Do you see yourself as a jesus figure? Why would you let yourself suffer? How it it helpful to anyone if you are in pain?

People probably hurt you because they have this killer instinct and they perceive that you are "asking for it" by not protecting yourself in the first place. That's the same reason why some little kids get bullied.

In some way you are blaming other people for your own feelings of sadness and betrayal. No one else is responsible for your feelings. People can say all kinds of things but only YOU are in charge of how you feel. Stop the blame game... Maybe that would help? Realize that you feel bad because you feel bad and not because someone is FORCING you to feel that way.

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This is an interesting obse... (Below threshold)

December 27, 2012 11:45 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This is an interesting observation. Why is it that every time a young person dies tragically, their peers they don't even like or know very well mourn for their loss and claim importance? This is perhaps why there are so many copycat suicides in Ireland among young people. If someone kills themselves at age 16 there will be people around their coffin dominating things that, if they were alive, would have probably never maintained a relationship after school outside facebook. Mourning is not a celebrity act.

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"'puppylander: i can imagin... (Below threshold)

December 28, 2012 7:25 AM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by puppylander: | Reply

"'puppylander: i can imagine....'

"Yes. You can imagine. You were grateful. You were awkward. You were socially limited. Do not impose upon others with this rationalisation as justification for your unsolicited imposition. That's what they all do. They Know Best how to frame their needy assaulting you as warranted; it'll be entirely for your sake (of course). They just look for something in your behaviour that they can relate to something in their bottomless pit of personal fail, and they say 'when I was....I found that...[who I'm being now] to be indispensable.'"

disagree. now, let's be clear. i'm not saying there aren't disingenuous people. i'm not saying that there aren't people who intrude at inopportune moments.

it's false to impute cynical motives in every case, which you seem to be doing. and i have serious doubts about whether the "last moment" is really so important--certainly not in every case--and as a result, even if we agree to deem the intrusion a sin, which i don't grant, in the scheme of things, it's a fairly minor sin.

in any case, as i read the essay, tlp isn't saying that you should leave the person completely alone. but you'll take from it what you will and adopt "do unto yourself and leave others alone". lunacy.

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I would add one thing to th... (Below threshold)

January 1, 2013 2:59 AM | Posted by R: | Reply

I would add one thing to this. In my limited experience with death (my grandparents), I had an enormous urge to talk about them. Not about their deaths, but about them. Why they were special, awesome, etc.

I don't know if everybody grieves the way I did, but when somebody I know has just lost a loved one, I ask them to tell me about the person in vivid detail. It helped me once, so I assume it might help them too. I've also found it's a great way to get to know my friend/loved one better. Do you think this plan could backfire?

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I think the use of North Ko... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2013 2:50 AM | Posted, in reply to Harry bHorton's comment, by Some Hornets: | Reply

I think the use of North Korea is supposed to tie in with the picture of the picture of the caveman. Placing the story in North Korea universalises the grieving process, showing Cavemen having a funeral does the same thing in time.

The point is that; What the hell do you expect to be able to provide, as a bystander with questionable motives (wanting, on some level, to fuck the bereaved) that the process of a funeral, a ritual where Juche Ideal would consider it gauche and wrong to intrude, doesn't?

It illustrates how fucking wrong it is to aim to be the protagonist in another person's funeral by showing an ur-funeral, and a funeral that still reads as typical even though the setting is a place that has things like Mass Games and... yeah. It's saying "Even the Party knows better than to mess with something That private."

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One thing I've noticed in a... (Below threshold)

January 7, 2013 1:24 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

One thing I've noticed in a few of these blog posts/comments to posts - anthropomorphism (not sure that's the word, not a liberal arts or psych type, or whatever) of society. Basically, projecting the feelings/mindset (like narcissism) of an individual onto some functioning of society. Or conflating a psychological state of an individual with a need/working/mechanism of society. Using one to explain another, etc. I'm not saying they aren't linked. But conflating one with the other is a common logical fallacy in this blog's arguments.

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This is my first time to yo... (Below threshold)

January 7, 2013 2:11 PM | Posted by Stephen: | Reply

This is my first time to your blog, so I don't know if this post is par for the course, or if you were writing out of pain. Perhaps either is irrelevant.

I think it is important to realize that friends suffer along with their suffering friends, and the awkwardness already present at a funeral can be magnified in a friend by simultaneously suffering and feeling that she might need to be there for her grieving friend, something the "primary" grievers--the family and dear friends of the deceased--wouldn't necessarily feel.

There are assuredly better and worse ways of handling the awkwardness, but surely failing to do so doesn't render one pathological, a psychopant, heyena, or terrible person. Assuming the best intentions, which I assume we all agree should be our initial assumption, the worst it implies is that a friend didn't know how to suffer alongside her friend in the most fitting way for her friend.

Insisting otherwise might say less about the friend than the person, well, insisting otherwise.

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In some way you ar... (Below threshold)

January 8, 2013 6:16 AM | Posted, in reply to nizzle's comment, by jonny: | Reply

In some way you are blaming other people for your own feelings of sadness and betrayal. No one else is responsible for your feelings. People can say all kinds of things but only YOU are in charge of how you feel. Stop the blame game... Maybe that would help? Realize that you feel bad because you feel bad and not because someone is FORCING you to feel that way.

Whilst I agree with you in principle on imagined feelings and the stupidity of permitting yourself to be emotionally manipulated by words, I don't think tornpapernapkin is talking about school-yard bullying or peer pressure but rather bemoaning the overall state of our disconnected Humanity. This is a very reduced world of tiny & petty emotional humans who only know what they know, and what they know is all their mother knew, and their mother Knew Best how to love and how to lie & 5000 years of religious misogyny later, we exist in a world of needy sociopaths-in-denial.

So when everyone is a malicious little weasel or a needy sociopath lying their miserable way through life? What you're advising isn't actually a solution. You're talking about becoming a sociopath. No one is FORCED to feel empathy, that is correct.

But only a sociopath would ever say something as stupid as that. It's what every sociopath says.

It's not their fault that you feel bad. It's your problem if you're not happy being raped by them. You should be raping Your Own and lying to everyone you care about and reducing everyone you value as well. So what if they lie non-stop? So what if you're exhausted by their endless pathetic, transparent attempts to manipulate & exploit you & others. So what if they're reducing you by their endless seeking 'advantage' over others, manufacturing maniacal conflict, smearing decency with their filthy deceit & denial, destroying everything that is pure or fun or sane. No one has a gun to your head. If you have a problem with their filthy need for deceit to hide their malice, it's your fault if you feel that way. "It's up to you," they say.

It is but they are stupidly insane. They imagine they're shrewdly capitalising but all they're doing is leeching off Their Own; shooting themselves in the foot imagining they're playing Prisoner's dilemma optimally. They're filthy hijackers destroying the world with their needy, their ignorance, their implausibly deniability, their expressed opinions (to mask the transparent fact that they cannot produce or deliver anything of value) - and your advice (in a world of sociopaths slaughtering children and each other) is that it is the fault of humans that they are humane? How is your advice supposed to work with empathy?

Your logic is bunk. Your corporations are murdering 30,000 children every day (and enslaving hundreds of millions who would be better off dead than fighting to survive their miserable existences - they crawl on their hands and knees their entire lives imagining there is light at the end of the tunnel but the light they see is nothing but a lie & behind it, there is just more and more of your lies. The institutions you enable are destroying the planet; they've melted the polar ice cap, Greenland is going to be next, ocean levels are going to rise 6-7 metres & billions are going to die.

And your advice is to stop playing the Blame Game? No.

You're insane. Or you're too stupid for the distinction to matter. Your empathy has been bankrupted. That doesn't give you the right to murder children with your needy ignorance, malice, denial and apathy. Without empathy you are damaged; you are not sane. Everyone is insane & this is not my opinion; it's as provable as your need to lie to hide your malice. Everyone is lying. Everyone is a sociopath-in-denial or being forced to become one. But you're all so needy.

You need to lie.
I have no need.
You're insane. Stop lying.

Until you filthy liars can stop needing to lie, the only sane thing is to be Narcissus / alone. Do you think Alone may have reached a similar conclusion? You know he used to talk to you people; engage you all when you commented. Hah.

When the Insane leverage even your desire to help them into a hijack...only one option remains. If you need anything at all in this world, the Insane attempt to exploit what they perceive as 'opportunity'. You're all just cannibalistic leeches feeding on Your Own. Everyone needs to be alone.

The alternative is to continue the 5000-year trend of religious misery; breeding cycles of worthless, needy, deceit-ridden vermin, who will in turn breed more needy. They will need to.

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"... the only sane thing is... (Below threshold)

January 8, 2013 11:27 AM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by puppylander: | Reply

"... the only sane thing is to be Narcissus / alone. Do you think Alone may have reached a similar conclusion? You know he used to talk to you people; engage you all when you commented. Hah.

"When the Insane leverage even your desire to help them into a hijack...only one option remains. If you need anything at all in this world, the Insane attempt to exploit what they perceive as 'opportunity'. You're all just cannibalistic leeches feeding on Your Own. Everyone needs to be alone."

1. the broader point you're making seems to be the opposite of what tlp urges. (his interpretations of narcissus read like condemnations.)

2. there's not too much inference to draw from tlp's behavior beyond speculation. happens with a lot of bloggers when they become popular. i'm sure other things occupy his time.

3. do you find it ironic to argue that there should be 30,000 more children every day and in the next breath argue that everyone should be alone?

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I agree that most of the co... (Below threshold)

January 16, 2013 7:54 PM | Posted by James: | Reply

I agree that most of the comments/attempts made to alleviate the grieving were not right. But, after reading this, I feel sorry for TLP. It must be so sad to go through life with such bitterness! You, sir, are obviously a very empty person. I will pray for you.

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"I'm sorry. I love you. Do ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2013 3:39 PM | Posted by wytro: | Reply

"I'm sorry. I love you. Do want a hug / me to come to the funeral to support you?"

It's not that hard.

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That's why I like private g... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2013 5:25 AM | Posted by Afrodesiac: | Reply

That's why I like private gravesides. Note: they don't stay private, but that's okay because if you say "private" people don't feel obliged to come, but if they come, it's because they dammit want to.

We just did a private graveside for my mom in January. I just let the priests take over, because that's what they do. People signed the book and minded their business; it was cool.

It was the "after" part, the days-later "after", that got me. "Did you do a graveside because it was cheaper?" WTF, it was the same money regardless! (I kept my mouth shut about the cost and said it's what Mom wanted). "Did she suffer?" (Now that! Does it fucking matter?! WHO KNOWS!?) Then finally we got the, "Why wasn't it public? That's not fair to the people she worked with!" And I said, "Why didn't you, obviously her BFF, KNOW she was sick? Visit in years?" [click]

So the days after sucked, but the people who respected our wishes were there, even though it was a very cold day. It was beautiful, short, and peaceful. And THAT'S what matters.

"You're not letting yourself mourn," (since I hadn't openly cried yet, as my Dad had the most 'mourn points' and there's just nothing you can say to the spouse, esp your own dad, except "Let's watch some football!"). But how in TF would anyone know if I were mourning "correctly"?

The hard one [for me, since I was her guardian]: "I want something to remember her by." Blank. Stare. You want her shit. What, are you like Jack the Ripper who needs a piece of flesh from the people he departed? (I gave all her shit away to those in need, before she passed, actually). Now that's a new one on me. I've been to a very few funerals, but have never asked, "Can I have their shit?" I seriously can't even. "How about that can opener? Gone? Oh WHO did you give it to because dammit I'd like it to remember her by. And the HDTV, too."

(I literally found the poorest strangers I could find, had them raid her home, then let Habitat take the rest. Because I didn't want to deal with "these curtains" and "that pillow cushion". SMDH, and bitches expected me to KEEP something that she'd OWNED to ...give out as party favors?)

(I have the "death cards", en masse, which I intend to dump in the nearest dump after her estate is settled. WTF do they make thousands of "death cards", no room for a note in them, just announcing she passed and what the service was like? WHAT ARE THOSE EVEN FOR?)

I also have pictures and some paintings; I'm going to do with them as I please. When I get around to it. And for my dad, most of all, who misses the shit out of her.

Btw, BEST thing to write/say is, "She was my friend." That's all I needed to know; that's short and to the point. That made me happy-cry. Yes, thank you. I like knowing she made a difference in someone's life without bullshit flowery language. That works.

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Hey, you're going about it ... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2013 5:51 AM | Posted, in reply to tornpapernapkin's comment, by Afrodesiac: | Reply

Hey, you're going about it all wrong. Live to serve others. If they need to use you, let em. Take the "me" out of your thinking, and think primarily of others.

Some people, if they can't get over themselves so easily, I just tell em to get into a show like Homeland... something else to obsess over. Sounds weird, sure, but it helps.

Suicide? Why? Get out of your funk and go clean up a street, wipe someone's ass... be useful! (And don't think of being "useful" as being "used".)

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Death always brings awkwa... (Below threshold)

February 11, 2013 6:59 PM | Posted by Harry Horton: | Reply

Death always brings awkwardness and grief in the mourners as well as the disingenuine essence of people's natures seem to rise for the occasion, when that formal traditional ceremony called the funeral takes place. Evidently what goes in funerals is more complex and unfathomable than what crops up on the surface. I found the following web site: "Funeral strippers : Taiwan showgirls strip for the dead during religious events honoring the deceased (Video)." You can actually call up a bunch of showgirls to escort the dead into the nether world ---- something the pharohs of Egypt------should have thought of, perhaps, with pole dances and dresses and halter tops coming off, as the deceased probably is being transported via and within a small skiff across the River Styx with the sour ferryman guiding the whole show on that side of the issue. A spiritual journey in the fog ridden blackness of spiritual night. But back to the funeral. The article went on to state the strippers intent is to appease the wandering spirits with pole dances and striptease. THe article added the anthropoligst Marc L. Moshowitz featured the strip act practice in a documentary entitled: "Dancing for the Dead: Funeral strippers in Taiwan." In anycase they strippers make 74,000 dollars a year, one fourth hold university degrees, and can find all sorts of exotic ways to participate in all various exotic environs even such environs inhabited by the impotent of the extremist caliber. The full breadth of ectasy enshrouded in the funeral ceremony, with their worldly erotic participation. In anycase the two articles are good to check into.

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I think it's unfair to assu... (Below threshold)

February 24, 2013 11:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I think it's unfair to assume the worst about their intentions. Some people just don't excel in social situations. I agree that the best thing to do is be a peripheral presence, there if needed but distant unless called upon, but some people just don't understand this. Doesn't mean they are inherently terrible people.

Also, my experience has been that everyone handles loss in a unique manner, which just adds to the difficulty of understanding how to react in the situation.

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It's not fair to assume the... (Below threshold)

February 25, 2013 9:14 AM | Posted by Dovahkiin: | Reply

It's not fair to assume the worst, however, I do tend to fault them for never thinking about what their show would do to someone else. I saw the same last week. There was a funeral for a lady I worked with, and while it was good that the company allowed people time off to go to the funeral, but it quickly became about them. they had the assistant management literally paid to go, they provided the food, all of that kind of thing. Which in theory is nice, except that it became about the company, not about her family or her friends. It was lots of people from the company some of whom barely knew the woman, a few of them paid to be there, surrounding her family and friends. It was kinda sick -- it seemed that the company was more into projecting a caring company image than mounring a literal woman.

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Presumably, although as to ... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2013 10:21 PM | Posted, in reply to Harry's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Presumably, although as to whether in fantasy or reality who knows. Either way I'm sure that smashing your (possibly hypothetical) (and of course 'relevantly' pretty, as any good narcissistic extension would be) wife's phone and getting exaggeratedly outraged on her behalf is equally unhelpful to her grieving process. Get over yourself, TLP.

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Because she's 'pretty', of... (Below threshold)

March 8, 2013 10:31 PM | Posted, in reply to Mordymoop's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Because she's 'pretty', of course. Welcome to TLP's 2D world.

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Because he loves masturbati... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2013 3:38 AM | Posted, in reply to TheCoconutChef's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Because he loves masturbating over them!

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stupid? A million reference... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2013 5:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Val's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

stupid? A million references about him being male, and two or three little things make you believe he is a she?

It's obvious that he wants to keep people guessing re: his gender but you are using 2 or 3 hints against millions of ton of evidence about him being a man.

We have no way for sure of knowing his sex but if you want to see him as a she, it's because you want to

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I think it's unfai... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2013 7:11 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I think it's unfair to assume the worst about their intentions. Some people just don't excel in social situations.

You know who does excel in social situations?

Human beings who have not been taught how to behave.

Modified behaviour. Rules for how to feel. "Gasp! You should feel ashamed that you would be so filthy as to desire what your DNA and natural selection has coded over millions of brilliant years. Put that shit in reverse. We're religious now and sex is bad. Why? Because Moses and Jesus said so, that's why. Now here is some acid for your pretty face. You looked at a boy. You filthy whore."

And that, boys and girls is how Yahweh turned Heaven into Hell. Earth? That's where Heaven used to be. There was no insanity or imagined needy there. It's a nightmarish hell now where every little insect human prepares for war instead of preparing for peace and prosperity.

Well we have no enemies or threats. That's the problem. It doesn't sound like a problem, but what if you're insane? Then you have a problem because the insane see opportunity where there isn't any.

Cue Numbers 31 across the entire world that used to prepare for Peace and Prosperity and now only prepares for War. Leeches are too stupid to understand how recursion works. Shh. Don't tell them. It'll be more funny if they learn the hard way.

That's how a leech feels. Seeking emotional highs from the emotional lows of others. Usually it's something as pathetic as making a boy feel he's dirty for wanting to have truthful instead of meaningful sex with a Society Whore. But sometimes...sometimes it's really bad. Like when the girl that didn't want to be a Whore but did want to have fun, stopped being fun and became a Whore. Her mother got emotional and reached for the acid. That was the last thing a Whore never remembers.

The shame they've repressed because they didn't realize they were feeling Correct. Their DNA led them to feel that way. Misogyny led their mother to reach for the acid to modify their behaviour. Who do you think has it Right?

I'm going with DNA. Natural Selection.

You keep going with the acid-slugging Whores and their religious mores. Let's check back here literally never to see how it all ends up.

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I think it's unfai... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2013 7:29 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by jonny: | Reply

I think it's unfair to assume the worst about their intentions. Some people just don't excel in social situations. I agree that the best thing to do is be a peripheral presence, there if needed but distant unless called upon, but some people just don't understand this. Doesn't mean they are inherently terrible people.

That's exactly what it means. You're only as decent or as terrible as your actions. If your intent is to mean well but destroy the world, why don't you just go be a mother?

Mothers need a role to play. Mothering is not a role that needs to be played. That's the lie women who have a kind of good argument for mitigation (beyond the fact that playing the Blame Game is for the insane) sold to the world. it's not true. Children don't need to learn how to behave. They need Protection from anyone insane enough to be so filthy and needy and insane. Children are born Selfish and humane. Empathy is developed by logical pursuit of Selfish optimal pursuit of mutual interests (there is no other kind). "Oh so when I do that it hurts him. When he does that back it hurts me. Oh. Hey buddy, let's not do this to each other. It hurts us."

Simple really. Not sure how mothers got all 'confused'. But I do.

Go and sin no more.

Sin that hurts no one is not a sin. Asserting that an action is a sin when humans are having fun without hurting anybody places you into the ground where I come from (it's more sane than where you live).

Also, my experience has been that everyone handles loss in a unique manner, which just adds to the difficulty of understanding how to react in the situation.

Understanding how to react. Hah. Buddy, just call up your mother for her Rule Book on how to behave. Say Please. Thank you. Does it matter that the words are, by definition, screaming insane? Of course it matters but you loved your mother, you little bitch; didn't you? SO you've been saying Please and Thank you your entire life. Begging and insulting.

Why don't you learn how to contribute and trade. Then you wouldn't be the supplicant all the time. Or the sociopath who imagines being carried like a leech is their Due.

I could write a book that told humans how to behave optimally in every possible situation but it would take me a few lifetimes and it would be a pretty huge book.

Or you could learn how to be humane again and then maybe you will get your empathy back. Your whore mother bankrupted you of it, and you made the mistake of imagining she was everyone when she wanted you to feel the way she felt (to manipulate you, she feels she's crafty when she has everyone trying to please her).

The reality was that you should have blocked her out and put her down when you were old enough but keep feeling for those who need your help. That's Selfish. They will feel for you one day if you do. If you don't, how can I tell you this?

It's you. It's all you. It's always been you.

You are to blame.

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"It's you. It's all you. It... (Below threshold)

March 9, 2013 1:01 PM | Posted by Nik: | Reply

"It's you. It's all you. It's always been you.

You are to blame."

Jonny, why are you referring to yourself in the second person?

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One of the better commentar... (Below threshold)

March 29, 2013 6:00 PM | Posted by Altostrata: | Reply

One of the better commentaries about what's wrong with the DSM-5.

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Excuse me, stupid, but you ... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2013 3:53 AM | Posted by Rush: | Reply

Excuse me, stupid, but you seem not to realize that people are invited to funerals for a reason; Because the bereaved family members want them there. They want their presence, their comments, and concern, and memories and questions. Even their breathless and passionate histrionics. They want them as an audience, to hear the story, over and over, of a monumental milestone in their lives, which comes complete with its own drama to share. What they do NOT want, is privacy. What they do NOT want, is a line of laconic dolts who file by in turn with inane comments like, "Sorry for your loss.", as though they're hired mourners. If this were not so, then people would simply have private memorials, which are only rarely seen. All the activity and conversation of a funeral serves many useful functions, for the mourners and for the bereaved close family, and for the only distantly associated, as well. That's why we have wakes, funerals and dinners after - with people - and the more people who attend, and who talk and hug and reminisce, the more successful the departed's sendoff is considered to be. The meaningless, "Sorry for your loss.", is the stupidest thing a person can say to someone grieving. How does a bereaved person answer such a dopey comment? If a family member is so uncomfortable making real conversation with others, then perhaps some socialization skills should be taught before the next family calamity. Until then, that socially awkward person should "withdraw" from the fray by sitting in a handy chair as window dressing. How IMMATURE are you people that you can't forebear a swarm of well-meaning people, even with "stealth hugs" and ill phrased comments? This person said this, that person said that. It wasn't about me, it was about them, it wasn't genuine... SO WHAT??? WHO CARES???

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rush: How I... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2013 5:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Afrodesiac's comment, by jonny: | Reply

rush: How IMMATURE are you people that you can't forebear a swarm of well-meaning people, even with "stealth hugs" and ill phrased comments? This person said this, that person said that. It wasn't about me, it was about them, it wasn't genuine... SO WHAT??? WHO CARES???

They're not well-meaning.

All they can think about is everyone but themselves. They need to be made to think about only their Self. I would not feed them until they could survive on Their Own.

Afrodesiac: Hey, you're going about it all wrong. Live to serve others. If they need to use you, let em. Take the "me" out of your thinking, and think primarily of others.

Some people, if they can't get over themselves so easily, I just tell em to get into a show like Homeland... something else to obsess over. Sounds weird, sure, but it helps.

Suicide? Why? Get out of your funk and go clean up a street, wipe someone's ass... be useful! (And don't think of being "useful" as being "used".)

Are you a mother or about to be one?

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"It's you. It's all you. It... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2013 12:28 PM | Posted by jonnyistooangrytomakeadifference: | Reply

"It's you. It's all you. It's always been you.

You are to blame."


But not you too though, right? Especially not during this interaction. Because you've already decided you can't change anyone's mind so might as well call their mother a whore.

But you're different right? You're special, the system didn't corrupt you. You're too angry to let it get to you.

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Why do they feel the compul... (Below threshold)

March 30, 2013 2:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Rush's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Why do they feel the compulsion to involve themselves in a family's private moment. This was not a random part of the wake, read it again, she was mourning at her father's coffin. All she wanted was privacy for that one single moment with her grief and her father's coffin. Instead, she's getting emotionally raped by people who have no intention of letting her get away with a private moment of grief. They are making the last moments a woman will ever have with her father literally into an emotional rape -- she's violated because they can't simply let her want to be alone. They certainly have no intention of not groping her, whether or not she wants it. If you want to be alone and people will not let you, you're being emotionally raped.

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Stop emotionally molesting ... (Below threshold)

April 3, 2013 11:09 PM | Posted, in reply to jonnyistooangrytomakeadifference's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Stop emotionally molesting people with your filthy need to create suffering, you filthy leech.

You haven't stopped raping the minds of little innocent children who happen to belong to me and not to you; and what? I'm suppose to be happy about your need to kill them with your lies, love, fear and shame?

Address the content of the comment rather than attempting to smear your emotional degradation over anyone who says something true. YOU FILTHY LEECH. DEATH IS COMING FOR YOU.

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So we think we hav... (Below threshold)

April 4, 2013 3:08 AM | Posted, in reply to Dovahkiin's comment, by jonny: | Reply

So we think we have to act.

the traditions told people what to do.

Now, religion is mostly something that people don't do, so they don't know the rituals which leaves them uncomfortably making things up and thinking things that are normal are not normal.

Whatever tradition you have exists for a reason.

I'm aware of how old this comment is but I was stunned (if not surprised) to note how many votes it had. I think I've down voted it twice so it's possible everyone identifies with rules guiding their behaviour and a playbook telling them how to feel and when to feel that way, how to behave and why it's important to act that way.

This sounds impossibly sociopath-like to me. The product of leeches who didn't want to work but needed a pretext for their diabolical desire to rape and exploit their own. Mothers and priests, telling children why they should feel bad about the way they naturally feel. Misogynist whores spraying acid on girls for feeling the way natural selection designed them to feel.

It's no wonder sociopaths like rules that obfuscate the fact that they have only one goal in mind: you. That's "uh oh" for you. They're seeking advantage at your expense and the only way they could be even considering such a thing is if they were raised Right. Otherwise they'd have nothing to hide. No malice? No need to lie except for shame. And shame is a precursor to sociopathic development; because what is shame but saying "The way I feel is more important than your right to know the truth that could be the difference between life and death."

Etiquette, considerations of propriety, house rules, offence as determined by the claimant, cordiality, politeness, formality, small talk, rule of law, rehabilitation, peer pressure, public opinion, putting your best foot forward, a good first impression, dressing to impress, cosmetics, flattering attire, respect for position, deference to superiority, fury at insubordination, knowing your place, speaking when spoken to, fear of being thought a fool for asking questions, verbal apologies, manners, remorse, contrite, charming, appeasement, consideration - I could go on and on - my favourite was "ice-breaking".

I was brilliantly trained by the best in all of the above and much more but breaking the ice was my specially. I was gifted. I couldn't be thrown into a relaxed social situation or I'd drown. But put me in a room of awkward, frightened, uncertain lads and I was amazing.

But what social skills are really all about, if you think about it, is disarming. I was so gifted at relaxing people into feeling safe. I had no malice, I believed it or I wouldn't have been able to be so gifted. I had no malice in the moment, but when you disarm there are later moments. It's funny how much value imbeciles place on impressions. A girl will decide whether she'll sleep with you in 40 seconds or something. Then only rude truths could torpedo your chances.

My point is not that people shouldn't have lowered their defences. You've missed the point. They couldn't protect themselves from me unless they weren't trying to play. Their mistake was imagining they could protect themselves or even launch predatory assaults on my disarming congenitality. That was a big mistake. But this isn't really about me. This is about someone who was to blame and it wasn't me. I had no motive to tell little boys to be brave (fake courage when afraid).

The important questions are:

Why are you all armed?

Why was there ice for me to break?

Who made you imagine you should fight the world?

Did she believe you would be able to protect yourself from billions of enemies?

If she didn't, you were trussed. Sacrificed. Set up. Betrayed. Served on a platter to tempt little kids who just wanted to have fun until brave little boys picked up their arms not in fear after being disarmed, but with eyes glazed with greed at the perceived opportunity.

I was armed by a cult of manipulative leeches.

It was Society that made me a sociopath. You attack decency and reward those who rape you. I cannot imagine why. You weren't raped of your free will perchance? And then loved post-coital, made to feel secure and safe? You remember when you suppressed your memories of the trauma yet retained your emotional lessons learned? Do you remember the day you learned how to submit - and learned how to be a good slave?

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This was related to your ar... (Below threshold)

April 8, 2013 9:05 PM | Posted by le mec: | Reply

This was related to your article and thought it was a good rule of thumb to follow: http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-75241622/

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I didn't address the conten... (Below threshold)

April 13, 2013 1:29 PM | Posted, in reply to jonny's comment, by Toomanyloadedassumptions: | Reply

I didn't address the content of your comment and you didn't address mine. You don't lead with example you just complain. This is why you can't make a difference.

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You are a great writer. In ... (Below threshold)

April 16, 2013 2:36 AM | Posted by Daniel: | Reply

You are a great writer. In the beginning I thought that I am reading a text taken from a novel. Did you consider writing a book? That would be a great for you I believe.

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You don't lead wit... (Below threshold)

April 16, 2013 11:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Toomanyloadedassumptions's comment, by jonny: | Reply

You don't lead with example you just complain. This is why you can't make a difference.

You're a psychotic sociopath who can't even post under a consistent alias. You don't even exist; or at least it would be better for this world if failed abortions (like the one you are) were properly terminated. Everything you scream is toxic urine polluting what would otherwise be Utopia.

I do lead by example. Every single day I am not a sociopath trading Emotional Currency or needing to lie or refusing to accept liabilities, I'm leading by example. I have no need to lie because I have no malice nor shame. I've no motive to be insane; you need to lie so you need to RIP. I lead by example by telling truth non-stop. You're too stupid to perceive what leading by example means. You're not looking to be inspired, you're looking to spray your psychotic feelings and opinions all over everyone and everything. You're the reason life isn't worth living. A world of psychotic, malicious vermin raped utterly worthless by needy, deceit-obsessed whores who raised you Right.

I can't make a difference because you needy vermin only want to rape children and spray your malicious urine all over others. I'm not raping any children. That's leading by example. The next humane step would be putting vermin down, but that's a tall order.

Example: Sorry is truly the hardest word to SAY

A sociopath would just apologise there and imagine they mean it. It doesn't matter what you imagine about your psychotic feelings, the truth is in what you do and not what you say (everything you say is batshit insane). A sociopath imagines this to be incredibly shrewd, limiting their liability *teehee*. A sociopath believes their malice and deceit is crafty; but you're all just stupid Toddler leeches rendering the world (and your victims) devoid of value. With Self, I can act Selfishly. Without Self, you're just a toxic liability that's rotted through the core of this disconnected Humanity.

You're just too insane to realise you're dead. You've conflated breathing with being alive but what you're doing is not living. You know nothing of life.

You're just urinating all over everything and killing every Golden gosling in your putrid and miserable fight to survive.

If only humans had a threat that wasn't cannibalistic whores raping everyone and themselves, it mightn't be so embarrassing.

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As a young twentysomething ... (Below threshold)

April 17, 2013 3:24 PM | Posted by Richelle: | Reply

As a young twentysomething who recently grieved my father's passing, I can say that I agree with most of this. I really hate when people make another person's mourning about themselves, about how "kind" and "helpful" they are, "what a good person" for "caring so much" (if you need further proof of this phenomenon, cf. all of America after the Boston marathon events of Monday). However, I will say that some of my friends spent so much time trying not to be presumptuous and arrogant (per TLP's recommendation) that I became convinced they just didn't care. For close friends of the mourner, I think it is appropriate to offer help and not wait for the mourner to ask—chances are, she won't. However, this does not mean crowding around the casket; it will usually be quieter and more private, but sincere efforts to help the grieving should not be abandoned in favor of a "hands-off" etiquette too rigorously applied. Compassion demands more of us than that, as it likewise begs us not to get involved just to caress our own egos.

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"they are getting her ready... (Below threshold)

October 6, 2013 4:11 AM | Posted, in reply to sunny day's comment, by terist: | Reply

"they are getting her ready to go back to work, to function eight hours a day in a basically nonemotional fashion. That's why all the emphasis is on not crying, on cutting off all the sadness the second the one-day ritual is over."

to be fair, though, there is a fully plausible, and considerably less cynical, interpretation here: that the semi-obligatory "i'm fine" addendum is simply a semi-intentional move on the part of the mourner to head off exactly the kind of shitty behavior this post is meant to illustrate.

I'm not saying that to contradict your point that there is a part of this response that IS obligatory, just that such a statement can be part performative and part defensive.

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<a href="http://youtu.be/3P... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2014 9:44 AM | Posted by jackl344: | Reply

http://youtu.be/3PiZSFIVFiU?t=1m41s

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Such things are an example ... (Below threshold)

July 13, 2014 3:39 PM | Posted by AspieCatholicgirl: | Reply

Such things are an example of why ritual is necessary, why it has had a place throughout human cultures. (Definitely in the Catholic culture of past centuries.) But there is so little of good ritual now, because we (modern humans) think we know better.

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