ACoN not Akon…

… Though Akon’s lyrics do suggest he could be a bit of a narcissist,
Or maybe Akon is an ACoN.

Adult Children of Narcissistic parents (ACoNs) know a special type of emotional abuse in being raised by narcissists.
Not every emotionally abusive parent has the narcissistic personality disorder, but every single narcissistic parent is an emotional abuser-intensified.

The childhood of a person raised by a narcissistic parent is all kinds of horrible. The narcissist parent does not recognize the child as a separate human—but either an extension of self, an Echo, a mirror, an object, or a servant.

The childhood of a kid being raised by a narcissistic parent is a brutal one. And, unfortunately, due to the amount of psychological manipulation and abuse that the child is conditioned to accept, the abuse of the narcissistic parent often extends far into adulthood.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders. People with these disorders have intense, unstable emotions, and a distorted self-image.

Narcissistic personality disorder is further characterized by an abnormal love of self, an exaggerated sense of superiority and importance, and a preoccupation with success and power.

Imagine
(Only 4 of many examples of a narcissistic parent)

1. Everything she does is deniable. There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to help you.

2. She violates your boundaries. You feel like an extension of her. Your property is given away without your consent, sometimes in front of you. Your food is eaten off your plate or given to others off your plate. Your property may be repossessed and no reason given other than that it was never yours. Your time is committed without consulting you, and opinions purported to be yours are expressed for you.

3. She undermines. Your accomplishments are acknowledged only to the extent that she can take credit for them. Any success or accomplishment for which she cannot take credit is ignored or diminished. Any time you are to be center stage and there is no opportunity for her to be the center of attention, she will try to prevent the occasion altogether, or she doesn’t come, or she leaves early, or she acts like it’s no big deal, or she steals the spotlight or she slips in little wounding comments about how much better someone else did or how what you did wasn’t as much as you could have done or as you think it is.

4. She makes you look crazy. If you try to confront her about something she’s done, she’ll tell you that you have “a very vivid imagination” (this is a phrase commonly used by abusers of all sorts to invalidate your experience of their abuse) that you don’t know what you’re talking about, or that she has no idea what you’re talking about. She will claim not to remember even very memorable events, flatly denying they ever happened, and she will never acknowledge any possibility that she might have forgotten. This is an extremely infuriating tactic called “gaslighting,” common to abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your intuition, your memory or your powers of reasoning. This makes you a much better victim for the abuser.

DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU? Do you know someone who grew/is growing up like this? Was this similar to your own childhood? Or do the above examples sound like habits you yourself have?

For anyone wanting to help ACoNs:
Give the children in your life (whether students, nephews, nieces, etc.) respect, dignity, and a listening ear. A child who is emotionally abused may not be able to voice what is happening in their home life but they will feel crippling loneliness and lingering sorrow—and the kind, thoughtful words of an adult in his/her life will make a huge difference. Your attention, kindness, and respect will give the child a sense of how healthy people treat one another.

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5 O’clock Somewhere?

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Rumination? Repetitive, intrusive, almost involuntary thoughts about work. Mark Croply, a health psychologist has made a study of the area. He found between two-thirds and three-quarters of people say they find it “difficult to unwind after work.” A full quarter of all sorts of people say they think about work-related issues in their leisure time, including holidays, weekends and extended breaks.

This is not about work-life balance as much as work-life boundaries. It is about not letting work issues dominate outside work, during leisure activities.

A report I read online in Leisure Studies investigated the typical behaviors of high and low ruminators. Predictably the former had “live to work” and the latter “work to live” philosophies. High ruminators were not actually clear about their contractual hours of work (meaning 35-45 hours per week), so weren’t clear how much they were overworking. It was in part an element of their work culture, but it was also their choice.

The problem is worse for those who experience the Zeigarnik effect, discovered 80 years ago. Unfinished, incomplete tasks are remembered better than completed tasks which are “put-to-bed,” and part “erased from the system.” For those working on long-term, complex projects that are rarely easily completed, it is all the easier to dwell on them at home.

Interestingly, healthy low ruminators were more intrinsically, rather than extrinsically motivated. There was a big difference in how they coped. High ruminators seemed to withdraw and get cut off from social contacts more, both at and after work. But low ruminators seemed to do the opposite. They had more fulfilled leisure and much more work-family harmony.

The question is, what differentiates those who can, and do, throw the big red switch on the journey home and those who can’t let go and pull out the plug? The news is not good for the ruminators. They are six times as likely – compared to non-ruminators – to report problems with concentration, five times as likely to experience anxiety and other somatic symptoms, and four times as likely to report fatigue, depression, irritability and worry. Their stress hormones are higher all the time and they are particularly prone to “cognitive errors”: all those little mistakes and forgetfulness that we experience on a daily basis. Ruminators are tired, moody and poor at decision making.

There are acute and chronic consequences of this ability to unwind. Sleep problems and mood disorders can lead to psychiatric and cardiovascular disease.

The idea is not that different from the ‘90s concept of workaholism: a sad, sick addiction to work. Here the individual puts work above everything else for the psychological functions it promises to fulfil: self-respect and self-esteem; identity. The paradox with workaholics is that they are often not that productive. They work hard not “smart.” And over time they lose sense of their priorities. They are seen as pathetic rather than heroic, compensators not fulfillers.

Workaholics stay at work. Ruminators take it home, at least in their heads. This means they have little or no time for restorative leisure, for recreational activities, for time to recharge their batteries. As a result they don’t allow themselves the all-important incubation period, so well understood by creativity researchers, who know that it is best to stop working on a problem in order to solve it.

Ruminators need to be taught how to switch off. Ultimately, it is a lot better for them and the people that they work for that they do. A tired, obsessed, error-prone worker is no good to anyone.

So ruminators need to be encouraged; given permission; and taught how to relax. To take time out; enjoy friends and family. A burnt-out, fatigued employee is a less productive employee.

Desiring to Measure Up to People I’m Taller Than

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Two generations on each of my arms. Both strong, faithful, humble, and hard working women. I’m the third generation in this picture. Will I be as tenacious as they are or will I be a cold and sloppy wet noodle, halfhearted, dim, and cowardly?

I, without a doubt, have never been characterized as any of the negative words above stated, in fact, I’ve been called a few of the favorable terms. So, does my pondering mean I am an apprehensive and anxious person?

Maybe so.

Well, being anxious is better than being a cold and sloppy wet noodle, anyway.

I was considering that this post was off topic, and it was then I realized that I am a kid and this is my behavior. So, this post is on point.