Projection 101

Something that those with what are known in the psychology world as cluster B personality disorders, particularly Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is the designation for psychopaths and sociopaths, have in common with people of a particular political persuasion is a tendency towards projection.

What is projection? I’ve touched briefly on it here before, describing it as when someone accuses someone else of what they themselves are guilty of in order to deflect blame and attention away from themselves and onto their opposition.

But it goes beyond that. People of the above mindset are wired in such a way that they are pathologically incapable of even beginning to fathom that other people are different — with different morals, different values, different moral limits, different patterns of thought — than themselves, and so they feel perfectly justified in projecting their own guilt onto others. After all, what they’re accusing you of is exactly what they would do in your situation, and so you must secretly be guilty, too. They’re just exposing what in their minds is true.

This is destructive enough on an individual level when applied to interpersonal relationships. But when a large group of people who think this way get together, combine their resources, and attain power over those who don’t think this way, things get really dangerous. Then you begin to see entire groups of people maligned for evils they would never even think of committing — and not only maligned, but punished for them.

One fortunate thing for us normals is that people with this mindset can’t help but expose themselves and their true nature by the things they accuse others of doing or  being. They tell us exactly what they would do if they were in their opponents’ position, incapable of comprehending that most of those they’re lumping together simply want to live their lives in peace, get along with others, and be free to provide for themselves and their families as they see fit. Violent people see violence all around them and expect violence from others. Disloyal people see disloyalty all around them and expect disloyalty from others. Insert your sociopathic quality here and repeat, ad nauseum.

Conversely, kind and considerate people tend to see kindness and consideration and to expect it from others, and are shocked when they’re met with unkindness and lack of consideration, and with false accusations and unjust maligning of character. It shakes us off our foundation and leaves us floundering as we try to make sense of what just happened — which is why it’s such an effective tactic that the narcopath returns to again and again. See also: gaslighting

Maya Angelou famously said, when people tell you who they are, listen to them. It’s time to listen and pay attention.

It would not be the worst idea in the world, if you have time, to educate yourself about narcissists and psychopaths and the way these people think, as well as the tactics they use to manipulate, control, and get their way. On YouTube, Richard Grannon, Dr. Ramani, and the Surviving Narcissism channel are all good places to start.

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We’re living in perilous times, friends. I wish I had some encouragement. But one of the best things we can do, besides pray, is arm ourselves with discernment skills and learn to exercise prudence.

Yesterday, during Bible study, this thought occurred to me — that God is going to allow things to get really bad before they get better, because these latter generations, who have lived our lives in relative ease and comfort, need to be exposed first-hand to true evil and see for ourselves what it’s capable of and what happens when sin and lawlessness are allowed to go unchecked. This life is our inoculation against evil, so that we will be immune to it in the afterlife. And we’re all about to get a big dose.

But the righteous will be saved by faith. Habbakuk first said it, and Paul repeated it multiple times. What makes us righteous? Not our works or our morals or our human virtue. Nothing inherent in us. Only faith in Jesus Christ, who covers us with his righteousness.

The Lord knows them that are his, and he is in the boat with us, our rock and our refuge, our shelter in times of trouble. He will see us through the storm.

Some Thoughts About the Current State of Things

Image by Taylor Burnett from Pixabay

I mentioned in Monday’s post how one of the hallmarks of 2020 was constantly battling the feeling of cognitive dissonance from watching plots of dystopian sci-fi and horror movies from my youth play out in real life. Yesterday and this morning, I’m experiencing that feeling in spades.

Having grown up with a narcissistic parent, I’ve learned well how to recognize when I’m being gaslit, manipulated, bullied, and outright lied to. Things in our nation and culture have devolved to such a point that this is now happening daily, on both sides. Those who report and commentate on the news seem to be divided into those who are knowingly participating in the lying and gaslighting and those who are naive and deceived enough to go along with the narrative. It’s hard to know what, or who, to believe, and right now I feel like nobody’s telling the whole truth.

Just an aside: another hallmark of narcissists and psychopaths is projection — that is, accusing others of what they themselves are guilty of in order to deflect blame away from themselves. In my observations, the people who shout the loudest accusations are usually the most guilty of those things which they’re accusing others of doing or thinking. Narcopaths always tattle on themselves. Never forget that.

At any rate, I don’t know what to think about the events that unfolded yesterday, or what to believe. I do know, now that the dust has settled a bit, that the events at the Capitol disrupted the proceedings just in time to prevent Cruz and Hawley, et al, from formally making their protests, and put an end to all debate about the veracity of the election outcome. Upon reflection, it seems like the only ones who benefited from those shenanigans were Biden and the Left. If it was indeed Trump supporters who led the charge, they undermined everything their side claimed to desire and destroyed all future hopes of a political future for the President as well as ensuring that, at best, no one will ever take their side seriously again, and at worse, that all Trump supporters will be branded as crazies and terrorists.

I want to share two videos for your consideration, and I suggest you watch them quickly before they’re removed. The first is only a minute long. I’m not sure who this guy is or where the footage was obtained, or even if he’s telling the truth, but I don’t find his claims hard to believe.

The second is longer, around 45 minutes, but I urge you to make time to watch it. I find this woman extremely credible and, as crazy as everything she’s saying would have sounded a year ago, after 2020, it’s all completely believable to me.

https://vimeo.com/497855165

(Update: YouTube already took the second video down. I’ve replaced it with a copy from Vimeo. If that should disappear as well, here’s a link to watch it on Bitchute.)

Like I told my husband last night, life in our present age feels a lot like how it felt growing up with an alcoholic narcissist — never able to relax, always bracing for the next crazy thing, never sure what to believe, wondering if I’m the one who’s crazy.

And yet, through it all, I have a deep, abiding sense of peace. I have peace because, in the midst of all the lying and gaslighting, I have the objective, absolute truth of God’s word as an anchor. I know that the Creator of the universe is sovereign over all of His creation, that He installs governments, raises up their leaders and removes them as He sees fit. I know that He has a plan, and that His plans always prevail, and that nothing happens that He doesn’t allow, and that He works ALL things together for ultimate good, and in the end, nobody’s going to get away with anything.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. –Romans 8:28 (NASB)

We can’t trust our media, we can’t trust our government, and we can’t trust our politicians. Put your trust in God, and in Jesus Christ his Son. They will never fail you.

2013: Blessing In Disguise

I’m not going to beat around the bush: 2013 was not a good year. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say it had very little to offer in the way of high points and was filled with a lot of very low lows. Low-lights include losing one of my uncles and one of our cats, substantial freelance income loss and a whole lot of stress and frustration.

There was also a lot of blaming myself and beating myself up, feeling completely helpless and useless, and wondering why God was punishing us. What can I say? It’s hard to think healthy and helpful thoughts when you’re standing knee-deep in the doo.  Continue reading “2013: Blessing In Disguise”

Surrender

God has really been at work in me lately. He’s been patiently pulling me through a rather painful and difficult process of learning to let things go, to stop being led by my ego and my stubborn desires and to submit my will to His.

I confess that we haven’t been happy lately. Pretty much the opposite, really. Not with each other, I should clarify — our marriage is the one great thing we’ve got going. Well, and our dog. He’s pretty great, too. He makes us laugh when we really don’t feel like laughing. But everything we’ve been working on and toward has ground to a halt. For a little while there it seemed like the freelance biz was starting to pick up and maybe head toward success, but it’s floundering again, and while we’re still managing to scrape by, home repairs are piling up, and other little emergencies keep cropping up, and things have been overwhelming and we’ve just kind of been drifting, directionless, not knowing where to go next or what to do. It’s like God suddenly said, “NOPE! This isn’t the direction I want for you guys.” And for a while, instead of humbling ourselves and praying for Him to show us the right direction, we (I, mostly) kept stubbornly butting our heads against the wall trying to make it move.

I’ve done a lot of crying out to the Lord in my frustration in the last couple of months. I’ve done a lot of casting about for something or someone (other than myself) to blame. But I’ve also been digging deeper into scripture and realizing that I’m the one who needs to change. I need to surrender my pride and my ego and humble myself to God’s will. I need to surrender all of my desires and give God rein over my life. I need to stop seeking my own pleasure and start seeking His. I need to stop trying to wrestle everything into submission to my own will and start trusting in Him to care for us. And I need to stop putting him in the back seat in certain areas of my life.

These are of course hard lessons for any Christian, but I think they might be especially hard for those who, like me, were raised in faith and grew up taking God and Christ and salvation and faith and etc. for granted. It’s hard to fully understand passages of scripture that talk about putting off the old man when you were only five years old when you got saved. It’s too tempting to think that you don’t have an old man to put off.

So now, at 40 years old, I’m just now beginning to grasp what it means to present myself a living sacrifice. I’m finally starting to understand that in letting myself be broken down like this I’m giving God material to work with so He can build me back up, and He’ll build me into something better than I ever could have imagined for myself.

Since I’ve come to that realization, things are starting to turn around. Doors are starting to open for us again. Matt and I had a heart-to-heart the other day about re-examining and re-defining our priorities and what changes we need to make to ensure that we’re walking in God’s will. Part of that is that we both need to start looking for work outside of the home, because God clearly hasn’t blessed our home business. We have to accept that maybe that’s not something He wants for us right now. Maybe it’s not something He wants for us ever. And that’s okay, because whatever He has for us will be better. At any rate, I have my peace back, and I’m full of hope for the first time in a long time.

Last year, we got to a point where business died down, and out of sheer desperation I started looking for a full-time job. I did so grudgingly. I cried a lot. I was resentful. I didn’t put my all into the search. Somehow, I still managed to find a job, but it was a terrible job and I only lasted there about six weeks, and I cried almost every day that I worked there. I came out of it resolved to make our business work no matter what.

But now, there are two differences. For one thing, we’re not desperate. We’ve still got some work coming in, plus content mill writing (which isn’t my favorite, but I’m grateful for it regardless), and while it’s not enough to prosper, it’s enough to make ends meet while I take the time to find the right job — the right job being one that meets all of our needs and is well-suited to my personality and abilities.

The other, biggest difference is that this time I have total and utter peace and contentment about going back to full-time employment. I’m even a little excited about it. And as we make our plans, I trust that the Lord will order our steps. I look forwarding to seeing where He leads us.