Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Part II-You meet all Kinds on the Internet. Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A good story always starts at the beginning so we should start with childhood. I have thought (like a good Freudian) that we all carry baggage from our childhood and even as adults we carry our good and bad experiences with us.
Childhood:
Overprotective, insecure, socially ambitious mother; weak, unsuccessful father (Donaldson).

Parental indulgence of pretensions and of unrealistic views of the self and life's possibilities.

The more unrealistic the expectations of the parents, presupposing massive denial of emotional reality, the more likely that a discrepancy will arise between the "ideal child" and the "real child" (Wurmser, pg. 72).

I will refer back to this passage from time to time. First I want to look at our subject's views on his mother.
Let me ask something: When you were two years old and you wanted to, let's say, suddenly run across the street, and your mother grabbed you and stopped you and you screamed "no!" as two year olds do who are discovering the conceptual words for the action and their internal urges (note this is a conceptual statement based on personal observation), were you aware that your rights were being violated by your mother?Posted 20 October 2005 19:10

This was the first post about mothers that I found and although it does not specify his mother, it shows a dominating mother and that even at a young age he may have had conscience dilemnas. It is also worth noting the personal observation statement.
Perhaps another way of saying it, when I grew up I was not heavily conditioned to being told what to do. I was almost never told to do something, I was more often provided opportunities and offered choices, even the choice not to participate in something. Thus, as I got older and entered the regimentation process of public school and other behavior control processes, when I got into situations where someone told me to do something and I didn't want to, it didn't dawn on me at first that it might be a problem for me to decline. What did dawn on me very quickly was I didn't particularly like being ordered around, the act of having my personal autonomy revoked. That was an unconceptualized impulse, I still get it, and I was later considered to be one of those guys in the military service that had problems around those issues. No one taught me conceptually to have those strong feelings about not wanting to be told what to do, that came naturally. What I missed was a lot of cultural conditioning that would have allowed me to "take it" with a little less fuss.Posted 21 October 2005 01:17

So he says that he was grown up as a child with no strong parental role. But through a child's mind this could indicate weak parents and indulgence.
Those we too call rights. In this case I brought up with the mother and child it's a might makes right kind of thing, very natural I'd say. I may talk about it in an objective voice like that, but that's pretty much how it's worked for me in my life.
...
Now all I'm trying to do here is deal with the problem you've presented of not being able to talk about any of this in an abstract sense, but talk about the process directly -- only here we are, stuck using an abstract medium, words, sentences, and so forth. Have I ever mentioned the notion of double binds? That's something I learned about directly, having a childhood in the company of a schizophrenic mother. (Not that I'm trying to suggest anything, it was just part of my early training. We all do it to each other. Some Buddhist masters liked to train their students with it.) Posted 21 October 2005 18:24

The first passage is hard to understand but seems to imply that mother/child relationship is based on might makes right in his own experiences including his childhood.
Even the second passage does not make complete sense. But we see the introduction of his schizophrenic mother which lead to his early training. But I am not sure how Buddhist masters expose their students to schizophrenic mothers or that we all do it to each other.
You missed the meaning of my question and then gave me the kindergarten version of an answer which I've already passed eons ago. I'm at the old man stage here. And I wonder: What does it take to get you to stop doing that? The reason I started my post with the paragraph on playing was because I was hoping you might get a clue, but it seems you didn't.
...
I've been to the place where thought slows almost to a halt. I'm there all the time, actually. It's like just before you are about to get killed. I've dealt with the pain bodies Eckhart Tolle talks about. Those are concepts we use to torture ourselves with: like the war in Iraq, the awful President Bush, our cousin who lied about something that caused us to get in trouble when we were four, etc., etc. I don't know for sure if there's a war in Iraq, if we have Global Warming, if the clear cuts my eyes tell me are all around me here in Western Washington are really there, I don't know any of that for sure because I know it's possible to trick myself. You want to know what it's like to learn something of very sincere mental trickery first hand? Try being a four year old with a schizophrenic mother who is having her first break.
...
You know what? This is like some kind of dogma I read in a Zen book back in 1967.Posted 22 October 2005 22:56

The first passage is when our subject is talking to another left of center person. I included this to show authoritarianism in the form of parenting. The second passage again shows the trama he experienced at the age of four which included an incident where his cousin got him into trouble and presumably his mother then flipped out. the last one just struck me as that Zen never seemed a Dogma anymore than any other philosphy. I did have a friend that useto space out when I asked her a question and she said it was her practicing Zen. She told me to read a book on it and afterward I told her she was making up excuses. Although I did enjoy the book.
I seem to be pretty much disassembled most of the time. and I'm well aware that the only one that gets me back together is me. A lot of the time I don't bother, just go with it. Benefits of having a schizophrenic parent, I guess. They have their own way of asking questions and not answering them with anything that makes sense, which is like no answer, or worse. A lot of it doesn't involve words.

I once got stuck in a baler trying to unjamb it. I was by myself out in a field. No one home but my mother who was out of it on drugs, which is what it took to keep her out of a hospital. I learned a lot about being connected to metal on that one. Also panic is an interesting experience.Posted 03 November 2005 09:59

This is the first entry on the subjects background in farming. From what I read into this is resentment toward his parents. His mother was no help by being strung out on drugs and could not answer questions that young men need anwered. His father was no where to be seen when he needed his help.
For instance, environmentally I had to deal with a paranoid schizophrenic mother who had her first psychotic break when I was four years old. From then on attention to grammatical detail had a lot to do with my mental survival in a world that wasn't always interpreted by her in a way that made sense to me. I thus became acutely sensitive to how things are stated.Posted 04 December 2005 02:09

Again our subject goes back to telling about his childhood. And yes it was trajic for a such a young person to have to face impossible choices in life that even adults would have trouble handling.
Yes, bipolar. My mother had a mixture of bipolar and schizophrenic patterns. She was fascinating in her use of poetry and juxtoposition of imagery, much as Eley found lbm to be.Posted 12 December 2005 10:49

That basically ends the links to our subjects mother. I now want to look at his relationship with his father...
Just so you know, I grew up on a small (250 acre) family farm, in fact I was pretty much running it from age twelve while my father tried to support it with outside work. We were somewhere between a commercial venture and a precursor to organics before it became popular, so we failed. I've been self employed most of my life, the last fifteen years or so as a remodeling contractor. I can repair just about anything I set my mind to, I also like to think about all sorts of things. I really hated school until I got back from 'Nam. I nearly flunked out of high school. I think it was the authoritarian aspect of it. College was like a tremendous release and the opening into a vast universe of the mind. Working with my hands seems to correlate with what I do with my mind in satisfying ways. I consider my approach to life my own unique art form.Posted 09 December 2005 12:35

So as mentioned earlier our subject had to run the family farm at the age of 12. Even with a relatively good size family farm and his father working outside they could not save the farm which to me showed a weakness in his father. Our subject has contunually mentioned how small family farms will someday replace the large industrial farms we now have because of peak oil. But how is that going to work when a 250 acre farm did not make it?
In regards to what Howard brought up about Ayn Rand’s tome on the “Virtue of Selfishness”, I have a few thoughts. I was exploring the Ayn Rand’s philosophy in high school when I read that piece, and my gut reaction to it was, in the end, to reject it. I remember it fairly well, because that period was where I was beginning to intellectualize about things, and turn preconceptions around in my mind. So the idea of seeing “selfishness” with it’s bad connotations in a different way appealed to me. But in the end, after reading it, I found it violated something deep in my upbringing that has to do with a natural desire to pitch in and do my share where I see a need. Separating out other peoples needs as Rand does and making them not mine to be concerned about somehow just couldn’t work for me. That doesn’t mean I want to go around helping everybody out or that I extend it to some sort of welfare state scenario, but that I see people trying and my hear goes out and I want to help. According to Sawdust’s formula, I don’t really have a heart because I wasn’t “liberal” when I was young. And now I don’t have a brain, I guess, because I’m not really conservative.

At the same time, I was living in a very Republican family environment back in Michigan. It’s still predominantly Republican, but not lock step conservative. They’re kind of old fashioned, not very political about it. Personal responsibility was not even an issue. Everybody just pitched in. I did what I did to keep our 250 acre farm going because it needed to be done. My father and I would drop what we were doing and go help my uncle unload a semi truck of sod when his sometimes not very dependable help didn’t show up – he had a landscape business. Sometimes he’d come and help us. There was never any money involved, we didn’t rent each other’s bodies. We were all kind of self employed small business types, my father was a Rodale enthusiast (organic farming did not begin with a bunch of folks wearing Birkenstocks and eating granola bars), thus one of the first of the organic oriented farmers. Not the thing to be back then (late fifties, early sixties). I guess the thing about objectifying self interest, and then the idea of personal responsibility is then you can create a story that makes it look like once you weren’t, and then you were. In that sense, I never “was”, except all my life I’ve been told by various people at various times I’m “too” responsible, I need to lighten up. I still don’t give it much thought in regards to who or what I am.Posted 09 March 2006 08:55

Not too much insight in this passage into his interaction with his father but I included it since it shows an interesting passage on “Virtue of Selfishness”. He somehow thinks that Ayn Rand’s tome was supposed to be selfishness within cooperative groups. Families are based on cooperation and not competition. The competition happens outside the group. Just as a business is a cooperative structure inside the organization but is selfish with respect to outside interest. They do that by property rights including patents and trademarks in addition to many other ways to show selfishness.
He also said they did not "rent each other’s bodies". We actually rent people's time as well as their output. But this was just cooperation inside the family unit with some expectation of in kind payment.
This is an economic and life choice issue. Like many family farms in the last half of the last century, ours went bankrupt when I was in high school. My father was a Rodale organics devotee from the forties and resisted transforming the farm to industrial methods, which would have involved some sort of focus on one of the groups of animals we husbanded -- cows, chickens or hogs, and a trememdous capital investment we didn't have, nor did the farm have the equity value to borrow on even if we wanted to. He worked a full time job the last few years to try to keep the farm solvent, and I took over much of the managing of the farm -- which is excellent training in personal responsibily and the characteristics that go with participating in a democracy, I believe. So I'd certainly agree with Jefferson in the above article on the correlation between family farming and democracy.Posted 02 May 2006 08:47

So it again shows the weakness of his father that was unable to keep the family farm solvent. His father was also unwilling or unable to adapt to the market or change with new practices.
Seahawkfan, I've been a self employed contractor, building and remodeling houses for over fifteen years, I have every skill it takes to build a home out of a wide variety of materials. I taught myself all of it. I was repairing broken down farm equipment when I was 12, running the family farm while my father worked outside to support it, I knew how to trouble shoot mechanical problems before I got to high school. I had my own strategic planning consulting business back in the eighties where I did strategic planning for multinational class corporations like John Deere and Southwestern Bell, as well as many smaller type firms. This involved research, financial modeling and about 250 pages of analysis and forcasting per project. I had no formal business training when I started out, so I had to teach myself how to analyze businesses. I didn't even know how to begin, but I figured it out. If you don't think all that takes common sense, I suspect you don't have a handle on what common sense really is.Posted 27 July 2006 11:43

This passage leads us to see the subject's Narcissistic tendencies. And now I want to go through the points of The Disease Perspective from title link:
PTypes personality types proposes Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a pervasive pattern of unstable, "overtly narcissistic behaviors [that] derive from an underlying sense of insecurity and weakness rather than from genuine feelings of self-confidence and high self-esteem" (Millon), beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by ten (or more) of the following:
1. seeks to create an illusion of superiority and to build up an image of high self-worth

Yes we just saw that.
2. has disturbances in the capacity for empathy

Our subject has indicated he values all lives equally in the world, but his actions on Thom's Board has shown that some (negroes) have less value than others (Palestinians).
3. strives for recognition and prestige to compensate for the lack of a feeling of self-worth;

This he shows by bragging about himself.
4. may acquire a deprecatory attitude in which the achievements of others are ridiculed and degraded

Just about everyone on Thom's board has mentioned that he has ridiculed and treated other members with disdain that have conservative ideas.
5. has persistent aspirations for glory and status

Yes.
6. has a tendency to exaggerate and boast

Yes, we saw that earlier.
7. is sensitive to how others react to him or her, watches and listens carefully for critical judgment, and feels slighted by disapproval

Whenever someone has even questioned his point of view he has considered it a personal attack on him even when it was just general questions.
8. is prone to feel shamed and humiliated and especially hyper-anxious and vulnerable to the judgments of others

Yes, very similar to the above point that he is extremely sensitive of any judgment of his point of view. He easily stops talking when someone questions his logic.
9. covers up a sense of inadequacy and deficiency with pseudo-arrogance and pseudo-grandiosity

Yes, likes to put animated cartoons of peeing dogs and other rude attacks on others on the board.
10. entertains fantasies of greatness, constantly striving for perfection, genius, or stardom

Yes, at least his posts have to be perfect and considers his posts are genius status.
11. has a history of searching for an idealized partner and has an intense need for affirmation and confirmation in relationships

I think everyone on the boards tend to look for affirmation so this is hard to determine. And his relationship with his ex-wife has not lead me to confirm this also. No to not sure.
12. frequently entertains a wishful, exaggerated, and unrealistic concept of himself or herself which he or she can't possibly measure up to

Our subject often talks about everyone else (especially conservatives) being authoritarianists. But he of course can not live up to these ideals. Maybe another time we can explore authoritarianism.
13. is touchy, quick to take offense at the slightest provocation, continually anticipating attack and danger, reacting with anger and fantasies of revenge when he or she feels frustrated in his or her need for constant admiration

Yes, very similar to points already made. The revenge appears in his crude cartoons that show signs of taking actions against the other person.
14. is self-conscious, due to a dependence on approval from others

Yes, constantly looking for approval.
15. seeks to undo feelings of inadequacy by forcing everyone's attention and admiration upon himself or herself

Yes, he likes to be the center of attention.
16. may react with self-contempt and depression to the lack of fulfillment of his or her grandiose expectations

Yes, when he looses a debate he basically goes away for a couple of days (went for a walk).
And the last is a hypothetical profile of Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The Dimensional Perspective
Here is a hypothetical profile, in terms of the five-factor model of personality, for Compensatory Narcissistic Personality Disorder (speculatively constructed from McCrae, 1994, pg. 306) (Cf. Narcissistic):
High Neuroticism:
Chronic negative affects, including anxiety, fearfulness, tension, irritability, anger, dejection, hopelessness, guilt, shame; difficulty in inhibiting impulses: for example, to eat, drink, or spend money; irrational beliefs: for example, unrealistic expectations, perfectionistic demands on self, unwarranted pessimism; unfounded somatic concerns; helplessness and dependence on others for emotional support and decision making.
High Extraversion:
Excessive talking, leading to inappropriate self-disclosure and social friction; inability to spend time alone; attention seeking and overly dramatic expression of emotions; reckless excitement seeking; inappropriate attempts to dominate and control others.
High Openness:
Preoccupation with fantasy and daydreaming; lack of practicality; eccentric thinking (e.g., belief in ghosts, reincarnation, UFOs); diffuse identity and changing goals: for example, joining religious cult; susceptibility to nightmares and states of altered consciousness; social rebelliousness and nonconformity that can interfere with social or vocational advancement.
Low Agreeableness:
Cynicism and paranoid thinking; inability to trust even friends or family; quarrelsomeness; too ready to pick fights; exploitive and manipulative; lying; rude and inconsiderate manner alienates friends, limits social support; lack of respect for social conventions can lead to troubles with the law; inflated and grandiose sense of self; arrogance.
Low Conscientiousness:
Underachievement: not fulfilling intellectual or artistic potential; poor academic performance relative to ability; disregard of rules and responsibilities can lead to trouble with the law; unable to discipline self (e.g., stick to diet, exercise plan) even when required for medical reasons; personal and occupational aimlessness.

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