End the Blame Game

When Lost in the Wilderness — Fear is an Emotionally Intelligent Response




Once upon a time we find our brave hero, Prince Charming, saving his fair damsel from the forces of chaos and attempting to carry her away to the privileged life of her dreams …

One leg into their journey, alas, chaos has enchanted the forest and our once brave prince has now lost his way.

Unless the prince admits his predicament and our maiden realises that her’s is the challenge to lead the pair back to safety, the wilderness they are now lost in will soon make way for dry desert, filled with loneliness and loss of all hope…

How we got lost

It took human beings thousands of years to develop traditions and rituals adapted to their local environment, to best produce and protect physical, emotional and mental health.

For instance when Christopher Columbus first introduced corn to Spain and Europe from the Americas, he failed to bring along with it the preparation process of nixtamalization. This process of soaking the corn overnight in water filled limestone containers made nutrients in the corn bioavailable. Nixtamalization was vital to making the grain suitable as a dietary staple.

The result was catastrophic. Widespread consumption of corn that had not undergone this process produced a deficiency known as Pellegra, causing dementia, dermatitis and diarrhea and a very slow and agonizing death. When the cultivation of corn was introduced to the Southern states of the US the Pellegra epidemic spread with it, spanning 4 decades with 3 million cases and 100,000 deaths. Pellegra remained such a scourge in Europe that it has even been cited as the cause of the vampire legends in that part of the world.

Vitamin B deficiency is a still a big problem and even today in western society is a very probable cause of our poor mental health.

Throughout the ages nearly every culture had traditions of fermenting food making beer or staple dishes such as sauerkraut, kim chi, miso, fermented cod livers or pickled fish. These foods are all good sources of B vitamins (and other nutrients) that would otherwise be lacking in these cultures diets. The word culture itself may have been derived from the practice of ‘culturing’ food. These traditional dishes were not only eaten for their flavor, but for the vitality and good health they produced, and to prevent the torment caused by deficiencies in these nutrients. The practice of growing and preparing food in these traditional ways prevented these populations from wandering off into ‘the wilderness’ of sickness and despair caused by nutritional deficiencies.

In our modern culture food is consumed primarily for its taste and easy availability while pasteurization and irradiation processes kill vital live cultures and nutrients whose presence in the traditional recipes were the whole point of producing the food.

So again we have found ourselves lost in the wilderness with ‘deficiency vampires’ perhaps sneaking up on us unawares.

But this story is not just about Pellegra. With so many people displaced by war and political unrest and with big corporations taking over our food production and influencing our lifestyle choices, many of our life enhancing cultural traditions are being lost.

One size doesn’t fit all

Examples of this are countless and include people whose racial origin and skin color make them unsuitable for their current line of work.

Being of Irish heritage with fair skin that burns easily I would be most ill suited to work in the sun in Australia for many hours of the day. On the other hand I worry about the beautiful black Somalians now moving to our area and presumably into indoor work. How will they get enough sunshine and vitamin D to flourish, in this their new home? Likewise vitamin D deficiency is now being recognised as a big problem for African Americans, particularly in the northern states of the US.

And much as we all love the romance of the Mediterranean diet of red wine, pasta, salad, bread and meat – for many people not from that part of the world, wine is not something they should drink.

The percentage of alcoholism in the population of France, Italy and Greece (who have consumed wine for thousands of years) is much lower than other populations who have not developed this same tolerance. But regardless, a plate of pasta with a glass of red wine is now promoted to people right around the world as a normal and even health promoting meal.

What are we learning from the messages we see everyday?

Likewise rites and passages of initiation into man and womanhood have been lost, while everyday on the TV we see advertising and programs encouraging immature behavior, rather than men and women being guided to become responsible members of their family and community.

Fashionable ‘lifestyle options’, promoted nearly everywhere we turn, often encourage poor health and mental health choices.

Pornography is pushed on men at every turn, yet the book The Brain That Changes Itself describes how pornography literally changes the wiring in men’s brain causing impotence (with all the accompanying anxiety and destruction of family relationships) with decreased sexual pleasure and emotional attachment with their partners. This affects themselves and their whole family as much as it affects their spouse.

Meanwhile women, many of whom still aspire to motherhood and homemaking are now encouraged to study for high powered careers, while learning homemaking skills in any serious capacity is usually not even suggested as an option for girls at school.

And the list goes on …

Women are being conned by the consumer system that we can live like royalty having every need taken care of by servants who vie for our attention (business) – when royalty we are not. What little girl these days is not encouraged in the idea that she is a princess? But who will these young girls’ princes be when the young boys’ role models are all business tycoons, gangsters and pimps?

In this charade of women as royal princesses – their royal servants have been replaced by corporate and public servants who, only weeks after we deliver our babies, stand waiting for us to let them take over their care.

But is this what is best for our children and family life? Do strangers really care about our kids more than we do? Can childcare and TV really replace the attachment and education that a child’s real parents would normally provide?

Send me a hero

So we eat too much but remain malnourished and starving. Men are seduced day and night by impersonal sexual images which in the end leave them impotent and all alone. Meanwhile women are conned (by advertising) that we are royal, yet expected to spend every waking hour slaving or spending, while our partners and children have been taken from us and in reality we too have been left all on our own.

Is it any wonder that we feel vulnerable and lost in this wilderness of our modern life?

Left in this condition it is natural we should want our partner to ‘save us’ and be confident and strong in leading the way to emotional security and a better life.

But does our partner really have any idea about how to lead us out of this wilderness? Do they really know what daily habits, customs and traditions are needed for our health and emotional stability?

My guess is that they do not.

A human lost in this wilderness is bound by layers of emotion; worry and anxiety on the outside, fueled by feelings of unworthiness just beneath. A layer deeper we then find anger, with its partner, fear, under it and giving it all of its steam. And then at our very core, hiding on its own, we will find (if we are brave enough to look) the shameful wound that all these other layers try to protect: our deep seated feelings of personal inadequacy.

And covering all of this, like icing on a big emotional cake, our ego or false pride says to us; “I’ve got it all sorted out (if it wasn’t for ——- messing things up for me, or if I could just get time to get —– sorted out), there is nothing I need to change, everyone just needs to stop wrecking my plans, none of this mess is my fault, just look how much better I AM than THAT PERSON over there!”

So even worse than being hopelessly lost, is that we cannot even admit this fact to ourselves.

Watch out for these words

So as hard as it may be to accept it when your partner tells you they are scared and don’t know what to do – this is probably the closest to their inner truth you are ever going to get.

If they are off track in their life, this moment is actually the point of truth you need to wait for…

But what to do when this moment arrives?

Will you jump in and blame or judge?
Will you try and force them into therapy?
Will you lecture and try and become the ‘foreman’ of their life?

If so and you are insensitive to your partner’s feelings of self worth and self respect — their walls of defensiveness will be likely to come right back up.

Do you know what is best for yourself and your family, without becoming lost in the wilderness of fashion, ego and a society that has lost its way?

Are you wanting a life that looks impressive to others, or do you take time considering and planning what steps you will take and responses you will make — putting new habits in place based on principles of integrity and good health?

Because your daily habits need to be about more than just food and exercise. How you greet your partner, how you build connection and rapport and where to lead and how to respond are all areas that need healthy habits in place as well.

Do you know how to take the lead with wisdom when your partner is feeling lost?

Because only then will you be able to say it’s okay and with love and patience take their hand and one small step at a time guide them gently to a happier and more loving way of life.

Because the hero in this story needs to be you …

Lost and tired, the prince at last climbed down from his horse and admitted his fear and defeat. Patiently she listened and then gently touched his hair.

“Come now I will stand by you”, she said softly but with strength and kindness in her voice.

She then took the prince and led him to a nearby stream where they each knelt to drink. When their thirst was quenched she encouraged him to stay silent and let his breathing settle. She then prepared a small meal which included wild fungus, young leaf tendrils and other strange ingredients she combined from an ancient recipe she had learned from a local wise woman – and with their energy and spirit restored – side by side the young couple began tracing their long journey home.

Note: Steve and I just got back from a weekend away that was one of the most enjoyable in my life. We took most of our own food, stayed in a beautiful old hotel (we got onto a great special on a room) and did very little except meet with family both days for breakfast (at the hotel), visit a beautiful old church and walk through Melbourne’s magnificent parks. We also spent a little time lying on our backs on the grass looking at the trees and clouds. Our holiday cost very little, but in my eyes brought heaven just that much closer to earth.






Some steps on the journey to health …

Steps to a Peaceful Home Special

Normal Breathing

Digestive Health

No Porn Pledge

Making Kefir Cheese

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There Are 41 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Cindi says:

    Wow! You have incredible insight
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. neil says:

    True that, preach it sister :)

  3. dt says:

    so what happens when the damsel patiently listens, says I’ll stand by you, and fixes the meal, all out of duty and not out of a genuine love and desire for the prince? What then?

    • Kim Cooper says:

      Hi dt, If you have no love or desire for your partner you really need to lead the way and take some steps to a healthier place for you both – whether that means you stay together or you part. Back From the Looking Glass has advice on how you can help end the conflict either way. Hang in there!

  4. Karen says:

    Wow…thanks for sharing this perspective. There is so much truth in this article. It does a great job at describing the situation but I’d like to hear more about changing it and healing ourselves and helping our partners to heal.

  5. Judy says:

    Kim, I think that you are onto something even bigger than working on a relationship. There is a malaise in our society that is creating a lot of problems. We as individuals must address it first hand. I am in the midst of a divorce with someone who simply was incapable of hearing my pleas and would not read the writing on the wall. Silicon Valley is a foreboding place. Fortunately, I was able to get out. After huge turmoil and strife.

  6. Cindi Hepler says:

    My husband has totally ruined himself being into PORN it started way back when he was a teenager and his Dad had a shed in back and had his dirty magazines to look at, then he went to work with handy men and after work they would watch 7mm dirty movies. The enternet makes it too easy for them to watch and he has always been screwed up in the head doing this all his life. He has a very sick way about his sexuality….

  7. BuzzBee says:

    Hi Kim: So glad you two enjoyed a nice vacation-sounds heavenly to me too :-) I have just recently gotten a copy of The Brain That Changes Itself; can’t even remember where I first heard of it. I think it was in a women’s circle I was in, and it was mentioned the chapter on porn. I thought “aha, women’s intuition about porn has been right all along!” Often women who aren’t comfortable with the idea of their men watching it are accused of prudery or insecurity when really I think our intuition was telling us, deep down, that this danger lurked beneath the surface of this “harmless past time”. Before I read that chapter of the book, I read your book Back From the Looking Glass and red flags of concern came up regarding this issue. Mistake I made, I believe, was letting my SO read your book too–it tipped him off I think. And before reading your book I would not have thought he could have a problem with it, but then I never “policed” what he was doing on the internet. I’m just not the type of person, by nature, that wants to “babysit” I guess. We were already having problems what with his narcissism & my concomitant familial codependency but then he did something of an intimate nature that was so far beyond the pale of “normal” for us & beyond my acceptability (that he KNEW would be unacceptable to me) that I grew very suspicious about his watching porn. Then thinking back, putting together what had seemed unrelated incidents like having found over 40 hard core (not just simple nudes) porn pics on his phone (“to share or send to other guys” um yeah), porn movies on a cable on demand channel that said “resume watching” (“just curious” again um yeah), his out of the blue saying my nephew had shown him porn after he’d hooked the computer up to our TV (my nephew is over 30, but even if he looks at that stuff, he won’t even look at a BRA AD in my vicinity) then he suddenly changed the password on his email & computer. After what he did to me & how outrageously defensive he got when I very calmly asked him if he’d been watching porn I finally “hacked into” his account & computer. (He accused me of being very judgmental about it when all I said was that I didn’t understand why people wanted to have sex for money in front of a camera or why anyone wanted to watch people have sex for money in front of a camera, but if that’s their “thing” so be it. I suggested that perhaps some shame based issues he had about it might be coloring his perceptions of my opinions.) Long story short, he had erased ALL of his internet history, both from his personal account settings AND the browser. This from a guy who had been too tech challenged to even CREATE his email accounts himself. This he says he thinks he “did out of spite”. I said how would it “spite” me if you had no reason to believe I could even get in to see it? (I did NOT share how I was able to get in past his unknown password) Right now, I can go to my history and see like 15K pages of history; I’ve never bothered to erase it. Why would anyone who has nothing to hide erase their history?! When I read that chapter of The Brain That Changes Itself, I was astounded, and when I looked up the symptoms of internet porn addiction I think I stopped breathing for a second; I was so in shock of how it completely detailed every single problem we’d been having in the relationship! Emotional distancing, eventual lack of emotional intimacy, developing a lack of interest in sex, just everything. I feel kind of stupid now to have not really had any concerns or doubts about him & porn in 15 yrs. Looking back I should have seen it, but looking back I should have seen A LOT of things really. It was only in the last year I truly allowed myself to realize fully that he is a narcissist. I really don’t know if I have the energy, strength and patience to “re-parent” him while also trying to “get right” with myself, I have multiple chronic medical conditions and I’m on disability. That also means I have no easy or quick way out either. And when I think about starting over, it has occurred to me the prevalence of free porn on the internet, and it makes me wonder what *really* are the chances of finding a man in this day and age that HASN’T messed up his neural pleasure center wiring with porn?! I’m sure the prevalence of the problem is likely higher among narcissists but with the way that it’s just out there all the time on the net, plenty of “every day” guys have been falling into the trap too it seems. It’s like an epidemic that no one is talking about openly! Sorry for the egregiously long post but I thought it was so timely that you mentioned that book & this issue right now. I would love to read more about this issue or your experiences with it if you’re willing to write more about it. I’m sure I’m not the only woman who had no idea that this could be a big source of their relationship problems or that their man could so easily hide something like this from them! Thank you for your work & sharing your stories on your journey! Always a thought provoking read here on your blog! Blessings to you, Steve and the rest of the family :-) <3

    • Kim Cooper says:

      Hi BuzzBee – Thanks for sharing and please read my comment to Sue. This issue does need dealing with and you are certainly not alone.

  8. Susan says:

    I admire what you are doing Kim and Steve. We are lost, in our western societies. It seems there is a loss of values and principles and other personal qualities that make up common sense and consideration for others. People seem to make decisions and act without thinking things through, thoroughly. Care, caution, concern need to come back into fashion. Perhaps respect is the key. Can people learn to respect themselves and others, and life itself, when their experiences have not allowed for that? I hope so. I am grateful for your unique ability to think past the status quo, Kim. It’s very common to accept the popular ideas and solutions for our problems, though people live confused and hurt because it’s often not an appropriate solution at all. And–I applaud your courage. You have seen a need for change and have not been afraid to express your ideas and share them. The world needs leaders with character, wisdom and innovative thinking. Thank you.

  9. Kathy says:

    Kim, you mention SO many important points.
    We are getting so far away from what matters in life…from trying to maintain a healthy balance to an extreme unhealthy imbalance, which seems to be what is becoming the social norm/standard.
    Life in general is ‘imbalanced’ for so many and it seems it is continuing to progress in that direction.
    Society seems to be so far from ‘normal’, that abnormal is becoming the new ‘normal’. Consequently, people do not know what normal even feels like anymore.
    As a child, I remember going into one of our fields, lying down, and just watching the clouds pass over in the sky. How many times my mind has gone back to those days!!!
    As a society, I believe every person could benefit immensely from this experience-or something similar.
    My concern is that we may get too far gone that we cannot find our way back to what really matters—or, worse yet, people stop caring about what really matters or even know what really matters to even care about for themselves or others.
    ————————————————-
    And, in response to BuzzBee, I understand…I pray you can find your way….I have been there/still am there to a certain point. You are not alone. :)

  10. Kelly says:

    Hi Kim,
    I have been reading your stuff for a long time and find it insightful, intelligent, and very logically and rationally put out there. I enjoy reading a lot of what you write so thank you for that :)

    I would offer a note of caution however. Some people, this is on a case by case basis mind you, do honestly need psychological help. And while no one should be forced into therapy because therapy will not work if one does not want to change, I don’t think it should be ruled out altogether as an option. I do speak from personal experience on this one. I don’t have all the tools to help my husband deal with some of his issues regarding his family and I was, thankfully, wise enough to know this and asked him to get help because I was at my wit’s end. I still practice all the other tools you talk about here, looking inward first, stepping outside of that victim role, self-soothing, not expecting a prince to come along and rescue me, you get the idea.

    I would simply caution against not advising therapy if it seems like it is needed. I understand that therapy may not be an option for everyone due to health insurance issues and the economy and a partner’s willingness to go and at that point, you have a really wonderful support net set up to help people. But therapy has some good points too and can be a viable and necessary option.

    I would also be lying if I said as a psychology major I didn’t object to that point, I do in that sense object to not recommending therapy but I also know that therapy is not for everyone and therapists can easily get played. I guess what I am trying to say is you don’t necessarily have to advocate for therapy but I don’t recommend advocating against therapy either and that’s kind of how it sounded to me.

    Anyway, I love reading your stuff. You have wonderful insights and a lovely sense of wisdom. Keep it up! And thank you, as always, for taking the time to put these messages out there. :)

    • Kim Cooper says:

      Hey Kelly, Thanks for sharing, I do think therapy can be very useful – I just have not seen it very successful for dealing with relationship issues with people with NPD and personality disorders. Personally I got a lot of benefit from seeing a counselour about my anxiety for instance. I guess I take the hard stance that I do here because there tends to be so many people who think that they must somehow convince their partner to get into therapy if they are every going to have a loving relationship. I believe this is a big mistake. For starters trying to convince someone else that they have a problem is never attractive and will only damage trust. Anyway the list goes on and I won’t repeat my concerns here as I am sure you have read them already! In our 5 years online I am very proud to say that I do see the conversation changing. I have also seen much more work being done on modeling being acknowledged as a beneficial treatment option. I wonder why emotional intelligence training has so far largely only been applied only at work?

  11. The Preacher says:

    Thank you for your customarily thorough and enlightening work. As we try to emerge from the wilderness to the dawn of a new day, we need material such as this to guide us on our journey.

    The one contribution I would offer is that we are in different places in our journeys. Therefore, the more inclusive our language can be, the more our ark will cover all who want the arms of love to surround them.

    These are difficult times, and people need inspiration; we can speak healing by the energy we give.

  12. Sue says:

    The porn addiction for my husband had been around longer than was first evident. H efirst started ordering magazines from abroad decades ago. His ‘excuse’ was he was buying them for a pal at work whose wife didn’t understand, then it was for someone who had kids at home so he didn’t want them coming to the house, all pre internet. When they still kept turning up in the post when we had kids, I put my foot down and the magazines stopped turning up, but by then interent access was more readily available. I only stumbled across his addiction when he was made redundant and he was supposed to be on a job search. I saw the search history and it wasn’t jobs he was looking for! He was mortified and said it wasn’t what I thought. I’ve no idea how he thought he could explain it away as his favourite sites were bookmarked and that couldn’t be an accident. It wasn’t easy to deal with, but having found out a lot about NPD, it all fitted.
    He still wouldn’t accept he had an addiction but he realises the time he spent wasn’t healthy. I do get it that shame and NPD are very unhappy partners. His mother was a real player with the shame game and I think my husband was relieved when I didn’t act like her and go balistic but said he ought to try to reduce his habit. Seems to have worked.

    • Kim Cooper says:

      Never-the-less shame is a real teacher and kids (and adults who never learned this) need to be taught how to regulate it – not be protected from having to face it. A porn addiction that he hides is shameful and he will need help overcoming this. There are many chaperone programs that he can place on his computer so that you or someone else can monitor what he is viewing. If he resists I would say that you hope that you do not need to seek outside help for him by talking to —– (a person with some authority in his life that he would be ashamed of knowing) about his problem – but that you will if you have to because you are very concerned about him. If he tries to say you are the one with the problem you can say, “Well then why are you ashamed of anyone knowing or you getting help? If you really thought this was alright you wouldn’t be ashamed of it.” It was precisely this kind of conversation which was the biggest turning point in my relationship with Steve.

  13. Stephanie says:

    I know this is not with topic but I have a problem that I just don’t seem to know how to handle right, so I am in need of some advise.
    My partner has NPD and has a tendency to switch his mood and behavior on a dime. It used to catch me off guard and make me very sad and frustrated because I didn’t understand why he would be so mean to me out of no where and for no reason. Thanks to Kim and Steve, I have since started to set boundaries and learned to self soothe.
    We did however have a repeat of him coming home in a bad mood and trying to let it out on me and start a fight.
    I started to respond the way I always did, I got mad at him for being mean to me for no reason.
    Then I stopped myself and explained to him that if he was feeling bad to please don’t let it out on me and that he was not going to ruin my day because of his ill temper.
    I took time to calm down and went on with my day.
    Now that he is over his ill mood he expects me to welcome him back with open arms.
    He has done this over and over and I dont know what I should do now.
    Part of me feels that if I give in and forgive and forget too quick just because he is over it, I will repeat the same pattern we have been.
    What can I do to get him to understand that I am not his jojo?
    Kim I am so greatful for the work you and steve are doing but I find that even though you give us great examples of how to handle given situations I am a bit at a loss as to how to follow up once I set my boundries. How do we make up so to speak after a situation?

    • Kim Cooper says:

      Hi Stephanie – You cannot expect that staying mad at him or not forgiving him will change his behavior. You need to work through the exercises in The Love Safety Net Workbook in the chapter on Limiting Abuse. This does not mean you that you should go against your feelings. Just don’t let trying to set boundaries and teach him a lesson by staying mad or being cold with him influence your feelings. As this process evolves you will need to build warmth and trust between you for him to eventually come down off his pride.

  14. Nadia says:

    I agree that it is almost impossible to have a happy family life in the modern world with the current trends and culture. People should realize that it is important to look at yourself and work and change yourself first and not to expect that anything will be delivered to you just because you think that you are special. Women should realize that we need to learn how to be a woman. Women are the mothers and the keepers of the house and the family in the first place. And once we do these duties first than we can think of job or career. There can’t be both you choose either family or career. Women should look after their children and husband, be living and kind. Another thing is that women should control their greediness. By nature we are greedy, but controlling it helps. Learning to control emotions is important. If woman is calm and happy whole family will be calm and happy. By Ayurveda women emotionally 6 times stronger than men. So we can do a lot and change a lot in a family with a knowledge and patience and forgiveness and love.

  15. Lotta says:

    Kim. You are onto something BIG! I’ve got almost tears in my eyes. It´s painful to read – but necessary.
    I´ts time to find the root cause both in our selves but also collectively. I´ts like there is a force that promotes alienation, separation and desapare. And our job now is drag it out in the open day light.
    The femininity in the world will hopefully be vindicatet and in harmony with the masculinity.
    (But not in a modern so called feministic way)
    Blessings
    /Lotta from Sweden

  16. Kristin says:

    Hello Kim! I love this post and the connections you make! You have such a strong voice and SO much wisdom — Thanks for sharing your fresh insights and encouragement here! <3 from the U.S.

  17. Guus says:

    Nice article. Goes much further than narcissism, so I doubt this is the right place. The last makes it difficult to share with friends, which I would like to do.

    Still looking for people to connect to. My partner keeps running away and has now been gone for two weeks ‘needing time’ and this affects my daily life too much and no, I don’t want to leave him.

  18. Darlyn says:

    Hey Guus!
    Near the top of this page/blog on the right hand side you will see a column with other blog pages of Kim & Steves listed under ‘Recent Posts’. There are many others like us in the same or similar situation that you can share with.

    Also on the right hand side are links to other information and material that Kim & Steve offer to help us. Here is a link to Kim & Steve’s updated homepage;

    http://www.narcissismcured.com

    Hope to hear from you.

  19. Robyn says:

    Kim, thank you for this article (and ALL your articles)! I have a question – what if the N feels no shame about viewing porn, doesn’t hide it at all, and even talks openly about watching it in order to push someone’s buttons? Is this also narcissistic behavior, or is this something else? What would be a good way to handle this?

  20. Shasha says:

    Hi, That is great you are eating in a way that it helps heal the brain/body and personality. Thanks for your awesome site and hard work to teach people how to heal…not just give up. Happiness…..

  21. margaret says:

    HOW DO YOU deal with insincere apologies? Keep going and pray for a breakthrough? How do you handle the extreme lies a N dishes out about you to others? I have been applying all this for years but all our community is on his side. I have to figure this out, how to advocate in the real world. In five years I want to be healthy and have kids in school and not be forced to home school anymore. How do I find authority and ask for help? I guess it’s all about acquiring the authority in yourself over yourself, and then advocating outwards until all your life reflects an in ward reality that at the bottom line, I WILL NOT BE ABUSED against my will ever again. Why is it hard for women to acquire an inner unwillingness to be allow abuse in our lives? Is it all about Genesis 1-3 and the curse of the Fall? How crazy we can’t grow up except very very slowly and with a lot of trial and error. I guess it comes back to a lack of emotional intelligence or modeling. God make a way for me to give a sense of boundaries to my children even as I have to advocate for authority against my husband’s domination. The compassion of Jesus and the strength of God’s holiness. 0In Jesus’ NAME AMEN. MB

  22. The Preacher says:

    Margaret:
    I will not give specific advice to you for your specific situation, because I do not know you or your partner. What I will do, though, is to comment on the general situation to which you have alluded.

    We often find ourselves in situations with partners who abuse us. If we get rid of that person, we may find ourselves in a subsequent relationship that mimics the same qualities. If it is not a personal relationship, it may be a job that abuses us. In either case, people and circumstances are really MIRRORS that reflect life back to us.

    As much as we don’t realize it, we attract the people and circumstances into our lives that precisely reflect our expectations. The old expression, “I’m mad, and I’m just not going to take it anymore” grows out of a realization of self that refuses to stay in the wilderness that we have found ourselves in previously. Getting out of that wilderness, though, takes a lot of work and prayer. That’s really what Kim’s site is all about.

    We teach people how to treat us. They will treat us exactly how we allow them to treat us: no better and no worse. They will reflect how we treat ourselves. That’s why Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” It’s really impossible to love another at a higher level than you love yourself. There are a lot of love surrogates, but true love mirrors itself and rebirths itself.

    Be Blessed.

  23. Nikki says:

    Thank you Kim and Steve for sharing your personal life with us!

  24. Jason says:

    “Lost and tired, the prince at last climbed down from his horse and admitted his fear and defeat. Patiently she listened and then gently touched his hair.
    “Come now I will stand by you”, she said softly but with strength and kindness in her voice.”

    I was touched by this, almost to the point of tears. Almost I said…aww, shucks, I just lost two points off my man card (sniff).

    • Kim Cooper says:

      Well done Jason! You got the real message in my article bulls eye! We all need to be able to lead sometimes and also to sometimes just follow.

  25. lauralee says:

    Hi there, funny, well, not so funny…right after returning from our honeymoon, I found the porn on my husbands computer. I confronted him, at first he denied it. when he saw that I was not going to believe him, he became a totally different person, gone was the gentle, quiet compassionate person I thought I married: what appeared was a lunatic…his abuse left me shaking in the guest room with him over me ranting and raving and using every painful situation I shared with him while dating as a weapon of destruction. I should have packed my bags and left. I stayed in this marriage, having no money or place to go. I had quit my job before the wedding as he makes good money and promised me a life of healing from all the past abuses I have already survived, a life of luxury and ease…it tuned into horrible nightmare, I was so ashamed that I married another abuser I isolated myself. I found more porn, same abuse, he put a filter on the computer…then I realsized that was like putting the rooster in charge of the hen house…so I insisted that I take charge of the filter, which he became abusive again…then I found evidence of his attempting to gain access to Victorias Secret, Sports illistrated Swimsuit. I thought it odd that he didn’t seem interested in sex much, here we just got married and I thought it odd, but he always had some lame excuse. Looking back I see it clearly now. I left him for awhile, went to a bettered womens shelter due to being suicidal again and just too weak to stay and take anymore. He has been seeing the same incompetnet therapsit for 2 years now, is graduating from his batterers group and he flipped out on me the other nite. after calming down, he said his anger scared him and asked me if that was the narcassism….I don’t know how much longer I can hang in there. We are working with mentors going through Love and Respect classes, but I really don’t think he’s getting it about how the narcassim has wrapped around his life since a young age, porn is a huge factor in the lives of these men, we are bombarded by sexual images, everywhere we go women are dressed like wanna be porn stars, which wets the appetite for these guys, they are impotent due to feeding thier heads with all those images we real women can’t measure up to them. anyway, this topic is HUGE!!! it has taken all of us hostage! I’m fed up with it all and it makes me sick to see how it is ruining so many marriages and wrecking the minds of our youth at a younger and younger age….sorry for the long windedness, you hit a nerve in me….all my life porn has followed me, most of my sexual abuse was after the men viewed porn…my brothers included! how many people are being abused due to porn fueled lust???

  26. Darlyn says:

    Hey Everyone!
    Make sure you check out Kim & Steve’s updated home page. They add things periodically to help us. I’ve just viewed an added video/movie and it really helps me with my current dilema. Plus it helps remind us when we may forget somethings.

  27. Claire says:

    Hi Kim & Steve,
    I thank you for making so many valuable points in the above piece. It’s taken me a very long time to be proactive in my relationships in determining boundaries. I find this step to be integral with every relationship I have. It really keeps me healthy and my relationships are now more harmonius because everyone knows where he or she stands. At the same time, I find we are able to develop our core belief system and therefore we become stronger people.

  28. Dr. Wendy Basil says:

    Hello Kim — this is the article I was looking for. Would you care to comment how you see fairy tale images being used (positively and negatively) in every day life?

    • Kim Cooper says:

      Hi Wendy :-)

      I think that fairy tales were once stories that helped us understand psychological and moral truths about ourselves but now have unfortunately been twisted mostly into political propaganda.

      For instance while we are led to believe that we are no longer ruled by kings, nearly every little girl in the west is raised aspiring to be a princess. The narcissism of politicians is discussed regularly and openly, while the fact that most of the royal family is obviously suffering from NPD is never mentioned. With their need to be worshipped and their insistence on preserving ritual and costume that play out their superiority to others, along with a whole publishing industry devoted to confabulating their personalities and role in history, can anyone seriously doubt this diagnosis?

      Not to mention the family history of severe mental illness that you do not need to dig very deep to discover.

      We call the royals mere figure heads, but allow them to keep immeasurable wealth, mostly won from slavery, drug running and colonial rule. We also allow them immeasurable influence with most world leaders bowing down to them still.

      The royals may look innocent – but that in itself is a symptoms of NPD. If they didn’t look innocent they would never survive playing the superiority game that they do.

      In the fairy tales of old, from Bluebeard to Snow White and even tales of vampires, we are warned of the evil lurking in the castle. Yet these tales have been sanitised by our modern culture and the emphasis placed on the new young Princess, who coming into power makes everything okay. This was not the emphasis of these early tales. I have seen this fairty tale of the princess played out twice now in my lifetime – with a new princess just recently wed in grand ceremony on the world stage. Let’s hope she fares better than Diana but somehow I doubt very much that she will.

      Perhaps the biggest fairy tale of all lies in our hopes for ‘the new princess’ – it is a tale that leaves us clinging to the certainty that fate will shine more favourable on us than our parents, because we believe that our heart and emotions are so much purer than theirs. Yet we grow up with all the same emotionally stupid habits that were passed on to us and then further ingrained by our wholly codependent entertainment industry and media.

      So of course the evil persists and the chaos and suffering of our leaders disordered personalities continues. When will it end? Certainly not by crowning a new princess. We need to understand that our instincts have been impaired and that everything we think about our emotions is basically back to front. We say “I am sad and so you should feel sorry for me” or “I am angry and so you should soothe me” instead of saying, “I am feeling sad lately – so what is it I need to let go of?” or “I always get angry when this happens – so what is this telling me I need to change?”

  29. maryann says:

    I have been married for 33 years and am ready to bail out but a part of me says stay I believe in victory my mother stayed in abuse she had no choice she had 15 children no job I was raised catholic so I was trained to feel guilt shame 18 yrs of my life I have left religion and cling to my blessed hope prince of the whole world and this is what has upheld me he will never leave me nor forsake me I am in group therapy with other battered wome we emotional abuse is sneaky you can’t call the cops it is a hidden parasite that feeds off of you and tries to destroy who you are this is the way narcs protect both their sick behavor I belive I will be a advocate for women in northern minnesota this web is the first time I have ever felt on the same page with others endued with wisdom on high thank you so much for helping me out of the darkness into his marvelous light I will no longer harp on my husband but work on healing myself taking presc pain pills is a cop out I’m through with that now and on my way to full recovery my 2 children are the ones that are bleeding now I hope and pray they find the light earlier my son has so divuldged in the lie he has to have gastric bypass in order to live how sad this generation is it is like fish in the sea of humanity going after whatever bright shiny lure lures us in than bang were hooked truth is what I hunger for naked before my god with nothing to hide what you se is what you get transformed by truth tarry on oh mighty kingdom that reigns in splendor in the grass smell the fragrance of life he sets before us life and death like steve and kim have been telling us all along choose life you can post this and take out the catholic if you wish I use no labels on who I am anymore just a princess waiting for the fragrance of truth to arise

  30. Karen says:

    I grew up in an abusive alcoholic home, married two abusive alcoholic men (more emotionallly abusive than physical) and I see my Dad (who is finally sober 7 years) and Mom still fighting at 82 and 85 years old and after 59 years of marriage. My mom still tries to stand up to him, but it has cost her her health. She has pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis and has to be on oxygen 24/7. My Dad is finally being kinder to her because she is sick. I don’t know how much longer she has. But anyway, back to me. It took me a long time to get to a certain level of happiness with myself. I have stayed out of ANY relationships with men since I got divorced in 99, I am just too scared and am at peace finally. But I have this friend who keeps trying to push me into this program called “Landmark Education”. I did the basic “Forum” weeekend class and really did not get all that much out of it. They seem money hungry to me and are always pushing you to take more classes which are VERY expensive and to bring new people in. Does anyone know anything about them? Thanks, Love, Karen

  31. Karen says:

    PS…I forgot to say that I LOVED this article. It is sooo right on. I am so glad to see that someone else notices it. I’ve just never know what to do about it. I thought that getting more involved in my faith would help (Catholic) but I’m still not sure what to do about that…I plan on reading and signing up for everything I can with Kim and Steve. I just have to watch my finances for now as I am not working. I was so sick, I could no even work and I am still trying to heal. I am not sure I can go back out into the sick work world and stay sane and not lose it again. I’m scared. So, I stay poor and live on very little. I am a totally different person than I used to be. But I have found my soul again. I feel the happy, loving, little girl I use to be and my free happy spirit. I don’t want to lose it again in the work world. My biggest problem is losing my mom and my dad. I cry hysterically whenever I think about it because I love them so much. They did help me so much after my divorces even though I know I turned out the way I did based on what they instilled in me. But I still love them. I feel that they are walking victims too and do not know how to change. I am hoping that this website turns out to be something that I can turn them on to and that it will help them. I feel so bad for them.

  32. Kim Cooper says:

    Hi Karen and sorry it has taken me so long to answer your question. Your comments got buried in WordPress and I only just came across them. I had a business mentor who had a business in Sydney for a number of years that helped people once they got to the end of what LandMark had to offer and still had their problems. Landmark is a type of therapy that used to be called EST which research shows is more helpful for men than women. Our approach is very different and doesn’t delve into past trauma (or recreate trauma like EST does). Instead we look at what habits and skills a family lacks that may help them learn to understand and regulate their emotions better and set boundaries effectively (with minimal confrontation) while also building attachment.

    My personal experience is that with new and better habits in place a cycle of positive re enforcement can begin to change a persons attitudes, self worth and expectations. We deal a little with facing and overcoming attitudes that can be roadblocks to healing in our CD Reconnect. These are dealt with in a very non confrontational manner and are raised as discussion points for groups.

    I am a person who suffers from anxiety and so the confrontational aspect of Landmark is very uncomfortable for me and I can’t say that I think it a healthy approach to building trust in yourself and others.

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