Perfect children

March 20, 2016 (Kampala): My 'troubled relationship' is with my daughters. Perhaps I have idolized them as the 'perfect children', in the sense that I try to control them to make sure they're perfect. It manifests in two ways. First, I want them to be perfect (by my narrow definitions), and when they are not, …

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Stupid

February 25, 2016 (Kampala): The voice of guilt over being a terrible father has been growing louder. It's no surprise, since I've been unkind to my girls this week. It's almost like I can't help it. Yesterday I even mocked Mercy over something she said. Is this the real me? I self-righteously told them two …

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Wishful thinking

People with narcissistic tendencies often have what's called a poor 'reality test'. A reality test is the ability to accurately assess actual entities and events outside one's private inner world. In well-adjusted individuals, this testing is done continuously as a way to ensure that our  inner world of experience and outer environment are calibrated and …

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Hopeful monster

I am a monster! I am emotionally malformed and psychically misshapen. The combination of utter neglect and loving nurture in my childhood distorted me. I became a mutant, a monstrosity - appalling to witness, an omen of the evil to come. If you see me coming, run away! What I crave is intimacy, and yet …

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Timu Forest Academy

I'm not entirely sure what I thought our mission work among the Ik people would do for them. Probably I assumed that if we did X, Y, and Z, God would take care of the details. Providing them a translation of the New Testament in their mother tongue would, I believed, enable them to know …

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Cold empathy

People with degrees of narcissism may have what Sam Vaknin calls cold empathy. That is, though they do empathize, their empathy tends to be cold, calculated, and cognitive. They are keen observers and analysts of emotions - in themselves and others - but largely incapable of feeling them. They remain detached from emotional life, preferring …

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Low on fuel

I am a recovering (usually benign) narcissist. In order to keep going, narcissists need fuel. The fuel (aka 'supply') comes in the form of neurochemical highs induced by the ways others interact with the narcissist. These can be positive reactions as when the narcissist is attended to, admired, and adulated. Or they can be negative …

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Mind-job

Fundamentalist Christianity exhibits certain psychological dynamics that in other arenas of life are considered dysfunctional or even pathological. Successful evangelism entails convincing someone that a) there is something innately and inescapably wrong with them and b) that there is a single way to make right this essential wrongness. It's a matter of creating the problem …

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