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Confronting Narcissism: Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

July 25, 2011 2 comments

Book suggestion: Dr. Karyl McBride, author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Her web site – click here

I just picked up this book after visiting Dr. McBrides web site and taking her survey.To say the least, my mom scored very high.

Even after writing my own book (It Has A Name) on unhealthy narcissism, I still struggle with being the daughter of a narcissistic mother. My mom, age 85, is in a nursing home these days. She is nearly deaf, suffers from some dementia, congestive heart failure and diabetes. I have the greatest empathy for her condition, but I have slowed my visits down to seeing her every two weeks. This is for a couple reasons. First, she cannot hear very well and on the days where her dementia is flaring and she is agitated, she is very difficult to be around. Communication is non-productive and frustrating for both of us. The second is, she has retained her narcissistic personality and still is very controlling, critical, lacking in empathy, and downright mean at times.

As an adult, I have chosen to stand up for myself and not allow others to unfairly criticize me, but when it comes to my mom, I tend to fall right back into the role nearly 80% of the time. These encounters bring up all sorts of old hurts which were developed in my childhood. There are times when I am quite strong, feeling myself, and simply cut the visit short. I try to part without any anger directed at her. But, too often after the visit I breakdown and cry. I feel I am working through the anger and hurt in as healthy a way as I know how. There is anger, hurt, and now facing the final abandonment – death. There is the difficult reality of knowing there will never be a resolution to our dysfunctional relationship.

I find when I am getting ready for a visit, I start to get a GERD pain in my upper gut. It is an internalized reaction to knowing I will be dealing with my mom, an abuser. First and foremost, we must understand that in dealing with unhealthy narcissists, they are not only controlling, but abusive. The anticipation I experience is a conditioned response from years of abuse. The abuse for many children is not always physical, but it is powerfully emotional and psychological. This creates all types of stressors that can lead to more negative behavior for the abused child, like drug abuse to manage emotional pain, overeating to have some sense of satiation, over working to prove our worth, co-dependency (over pleasing). These all are related to the damage inflicted on one’s psyche which negatively affects our self-esteem, self-image, and self-respect.

The key to combating and achieving your own truly authentic self, independent of, and free from the narcissistic parent, is rooted in establishing one’s own healthy set of values (including healthy boundaries), which essentially is re-parenting oneself. Once we establish our own healthy set of values, this leads to helping our true authentic self emerge, the self that was inhibited from expressing itself in its full dimension because of the roll the narcissistic parent projected onto us… the good daughter, the perfect daughter, the high achieving daughter, etc.

The one thing that is helpful for children of narcissistic parents to hear is for someone to give them permission to be themselves. I give this permission to you and to my readers. It is ok to live your own life as you see fit, in a healthy way free from criticism, manipulation, intimidation, bullying, authoritarian abuse, domination, and pathological pattern behavior.

My book, It Has A Name, addresses my own journey to self-realization. It identifies the root of unhealthy narcissism, the dynamic, how to recognize it in others, how to make the necessary changes to free ourselves from the pattern behavior that ensnares us and keeps us from experiencing our true authentic self.

Both my book and Dr. Karyl McBride’s book are available on Amazon.com. The link for my book in hard copy is to the right on this page. It will take you to the Create Space Amazon purchase page.

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Stieglitz And O’Keeffe: Their Love And Life In Letters

July 21, 2011 Comments off

Listen to and then buy the book: My Faraway One
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/21/138467808/stieglitz-and-okeeffe-their-love-and-life-in-letters?sc=tw&cc=share

Buy the book on Amazon – click here

Books on Tap: Lee Krasner

July 17, 2011 Comments off

Lee Krasner, A Biography by Gail Levin. An excellent bio on the artist which properly places her where she belongs, as one of the premier abstract artists of the 20th century. While the film, “Pollock” was very good, it did no favors for Ms. Krasner who was married to abstract artist, Jackson Pollock. Krasner was in fact, tough minded, very intelligent, suffered no fools, spoke her mind and while she sacrificed a great deal emotionally from the alcoholic episodes with Pollock, she willingly took a back seat to promote her husbands art with the idea in mind that he was an artistic genius. She was very active with the WPA from its onset to the end of the program. She was also a political person, involved in protests for artists’ rights through her association with the Artists Union. A fascinating look at a vibrant personality who scraped and struggled and created her way into her rightful place in the pantheon of New York abstract artists.

Books on Tap: Treasure Islands – Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens

May 1, 2011 Comments off

Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens by Nicholas Shaxson

To purchase click on image

Product Description

A thrilling ride inside the world of tax havens and corporate masterminds

While the United States experiences recession and economic stagnation and European countries face bankruptcy, experts struggle to make sense of the crisis. Nicholas Shaxson, a former correspondent for the Financial Times and The Economist, argues that tax havens are a central cause of all these disasters.

In this hard hitting investigation he uncovers how offshore tax evasion, which has cost the U.S. 100 billion dollars in lost revenue each year, is just one item on a long rap sheet outlining the damage that offshoring wreaks on our societies. In a riveting journey from Moscow to London to Switzerland to Delaware, Shaxson dives deep into a vast and secret playground where bankers and multinational corporations operate side by side with nefarious tax evaders, organized criminals and the world’s wealthiest citizens. Tax havens are where all these players get to maximize their own rewards and leave the middle class to pick up the bill.

With eye opening revelations, Treasure Islands exposes the culprits and its victims, and shows how:

*Over half of world trade is routed through tax havens

*The rampant practices that precipitated the latest financial crisis can be traced back to Wall Street’s offshoring practices

*For every dollar of aid we send to developing countries, ten dollars leave again by the backdoor

The offshore system sits much closer to home than the pristine tropical islands of the popular imagination. In fact, it all starts on a tiny island called Manhattan. In this fast paced narrative, Treasure Islands at last explains how the system works and how it’s contributing to our ever deepening economic divide.

Books on Tap: Free Trade Doesn’t Work: What Should Replace It and Why

April 9, 2011 Comments off

Free Trade Doesn’t Work, 2011 Edition: What Should Replace It and Why by Ian Fletcher

To purchase this book, click image

Product Description
This very readable book is aimed at both ordinary concerned citizens and people with a bit of sophistication about economics. It is a systematic examination of why free trade is slowly bleeding America’s economy to death and what can be done about it. It explains in detail why the standard economic arguments free traders use all the time are false, and what kind of economic ideas – well within the grasp of the average American – justify protectionism instead. It examines the history and politics of free trade and explains how America came to adopt its present disastrous free trade policy. It looks at the breakdown of specific industries and how we can rebuild them and bring millions of high-paying jobs back to this country. It examines what’s wrong with NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is sharply critical of the current establishment, but from a bipartisan point of view, so it should satisfy progressives, conservatives, and everyone in between. Unlike many past critiques of free trade, it is economically-literate; it also explains New Trade Theory, the hot new area of economics that critiques free trade.

Books on Tap: Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy

April 7, 2011 Comments off

Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy by Joseph Stiglitz

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Review
Asks some basic and provocative questions… Freefall is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the roots of the financial crisis. Stiglitz brilliantly analyzes the economic reasons behind the banking collapse, but he goes much further, digging down to the wrongheaded national faith in the power of free markets to regulate themselves and provide wealth for all. (Chuck Leddy – Boston Globe )

Stiglitz offers a powerful account of the financial meltdown and criticizes the Obama Administration for ‘muddling through’ rather than pushing aggressively for change…. An excellent overview from a Nobel prize-winning economist of what caused the crisis and what reforms should be enacted…. I can only hope Obama makes room for it on his nightstand. (James Pressley – BusinessWeek )

This is the best book so far on the financial crisis. Joseph Stiglitz . . . is knowledgeable about the historical background, immersed in the policy debate and a pioneer of the economic theories needed to understand the origins of the problems. (Financial Times )

As a Nobel Prize winner, member of the cabinet under former President Bill Clinton and chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, Joseph E. Stiglitz has some practical ideas on how to ease the pain of the Great Recession and maybe help prevent the next one. (Carl Hartman – Associated Press )

Mr. Stiglitz uses his experience teaching to give the lay reader a lucid account of how overleveraged banks, a shoddy mortgage industry, predatory lending and unregulated trading contributed to the meltdown, and how, in his opinion, ill-conceived rescue efforts may have halted the freefall but have failed to grapple with more fundamental problems…. His prescience lends credibility to his trenchant analysis of the causes of the fiscal meltdown. (Michiko Kakutani – The New York Times )

Books on Tap: The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict

April 7, 2011 Comments off

The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict by Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz

To purchase, click image

3From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Readers may be surprised to learn just how difficult it was for Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz and Kennedy School of Government professor Bilmes to dig up the actual and projected costs of the Iraq War for this thorough piece of accounting. Using “emergency” funds to pay for most of the war, the authors show that the White House has kept even Congress and the Comptroller General from getting a clear idea on the war’s true costs. Other expenses are simply overlooked, one of the largest of which is the $600 billion going toward current and future health care for veterans. These numbers reveal stark truths: improvements in battlefield medicine have prevented many deaths, but seven soldiers are injured for every one that dies (in WWII, this ratio was 1.6 to one). Figuring in macroeconomic costs and interest-the war has been funded with much borrowed money-the cost rises to $4.5 trillion; add Afghanistan, and the bill tops $7 trillion. This shocking expose, capped with 18 proposals for reform, is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how the war was financed, as well as what it means for troops on the ground and the nation’s future.

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