Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Boris is Probably a Flying Monkey

Among those of us who deal, or have dealt, with narcissists, there's a term we use.

Flying Monkeys.

These are people who the narcissist employs to be their liaison with their target.

Maybe liaison isn't the right word.

Maybe bridge would be a better word?

I  bet there's a better word than bridge, but I can't think of it right now.

Anyway, what happens is the narcissist manipulates the monkeys to take his side and go after the target. Sometimes this might be for overt bullying. But I think more often it's in a more covert form.

The narcissist doesn't want to be the bad guy in the story. He doesn't want to see himself that way, and he doesn't want other people to see him that way. So he'll work to convince others that he is actually the victim in the drama.

He might want the flying monkeys to attack the target. Or he might prefer that the flying monkeys convince the target to come back into the narcissist's inner circle.

I think sympathy is the key tactic here. Either the narcissist will try to illicit sympathy for himself. I really care about her. I try so hard to show her I love. But no matter what I do? It's not enough. She keeps rejecting me.  OR (AND)  the narcissist will direct the sympathy towards the target. I'm really worried about her. I think she might have a serious mental illness. We really need to get her some help.

I'm still reading Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. And I think one of the characters is a narcissist. (warning. some storyline spoilers below).

Theo's dad abandons his wife and child. Though mother and son don't miss him when he leaves, because he never really added anything positive to the family unit.

After Theo's mother dies, Theo's dad shows up to play daddy and drags Theo from NYC to Las Vegas.

Theo is still not overly impressed with his Dad's fathering skills, but his new friend Boris tries to convince him otherwise.

The thing is, like most narcissists, Theo's father knows how to put on the charm when he feels it will benefit him.

He might not have been a charming husband or father, but he knows how to be super charming to certain other people...including Boris.

Boris tries to convince Theo that Theo's dad is pretty damn awesome; that he loves loves Theo; and that he wants a good relationship with Theo.

For awhile, it seems that maybe it IS possible that Theo's dad wants to improve their relationship.

Narcissists might be dishonest, self-centered, spoiled, and manipulative. But that doesn't mean they don't sometimes long for love and closeness.  (Or at least they want a strong and numerous fan club)

It turns out, though, that Theo's dad is after Theo's money. A lone shark is after him, and Theo's dad is very desperate.

Although he could have wanted a closer relationship with his son AND his son's money.

Either way....he uses manipulation to try to get what he wanted. His main tactic: turning Boris into a flying monkey.

I say try, because he ultimately fails. And that's kind of nice.

For more like this: My posts about narcissism and other toxicities 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Reference to Aussie Television in The Goldfinch

I've been reading Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch...and totally loving it, by the way.

It reminds me of a John Irving kind of thing, and it also reminds me of Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole.

I just read a part in which a guy named Boris talks about living in a town in the Northern Territory. He mentions watching Australian soap operas, and that, in itself, was exciting for me. But I was thinking, wouldn't it be cool if he actually mentioned the name of the soap opera?

And he did...McLeod's Daughters!

Not only that....

Boris didn't just mention the name of the show, he talks about the character and mentions the death of a particular main character.

Speaking of Australia and The Goldfinch, there are some other connections.

They're making a movie.

I've looked at the cast.

Nicole Kidman plays the NYC socialite Mrs. Barbour. I actually wasn't thinking of Kidman just now. I totally forgot about her but was reminded when I went to IMDb.

The actress I was thinking of is Ashleigh Cummings. Though I forgot her name, so that's why I was checking out IMDb.

Cummings plays Pippa, a girl the main character (Theo, not Boris) has a crush on.

Any other Australians in the cast?

I shall look.....

Well, I don't see anyone.

And I just checked to see if any of the movie is being filmed in Australia.


It's New Mexico, New York, and the Netherlands.

I checked, because if it was filmed in Australia; then a lot of the bit parts would probably be played by Aussies.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

My Fake/Wonderful Life

October 2- My dad texted me this morning. He wanted to know if I wanted to go out to lunch with him.

I told him I didn't want to, because I was mad about what he had said about my neurology stuff.  After all those conversations I had with him, the emails, the article links, etc. he still doesn't understand the difference between my tremor and my myoclonus!  I told him I felt that if we went to a restaurant together it would turn into a public fight.

Okay, maybe I shouldn't get mad about something like that. But it bothers me when I feel someone hasn't listened to me...especially about something that's important to me. Is that immature? I don't know.

Well, my dad majorly apologized!!! He was so sweet.  He said he's sorry for getting confused and saying something stupid.  I accepted his apology. Really. How could I not?  Then we ended up going to the Thai restaurant he's been wanting to go to.

It was a lot of fun. I really love my dad. We have a great relationship.  I feel so lucky to have him.

October 7- My dad sent us an email today kind of being pushy about selling our house. He and my mom have been generously helping us live in a house that's now beyond our financial capabilities. Tim and I have been talking about moving for the past few months, but we haven't really put our heart into it. We've been LAZY.

Well, my dad has helped us along by telling us that they're going to stop helping us with the bills for the house.  Yikes!!!!

It's cool, though. 

It was the kick that we needed.

And we're both excited about living somewhere new.  I used to move so move so much when I was younger, and now I've lived in the same damn house for fourteen years.  It's time for a change!!!

That being said, moving is supposed to be one of life's most stressful experiences. And whether my issues are caused by psychology or neurology, stress is probably not good for me.

My parents made sure that I know that they understand this. They said they are happy to help in anyway they can...minus financial stuff, of course! Oh and also no cat sitting, because my mom is allergic.

November 5-Tomorrow I have my neurology appointment.  I've been so anxious and upset about it, since the last neurology experience was awful.  But Tim has been SO sweet and supportive.

He said after my appointment, we'll do something special together. And after that, he'll be by my side for the rest of the night.

I'm so glad to have so much love and support at this difficult (and annoying!) time.

Wait! Please don't get me wrong. I'm not that high-maintenance!! I don't need all this TLC every time I have a doctor's appointment. But because of the nightmare with the last neurologist, I'm needing some extra love this week.

November 6-My neurology appointment went okay.  I didn't get any answers yet...but maybe someday soon?

Tim was wonderful. We all went out to eat after my appointment.

Okay, he wasn't by my side ALL night. And if he had been, I'd probably feel suffocated. But we did spend a lot of time together....mostly just on the couch watching TV, talking, cuddling, etc.

We watched some of the election together. We're both so happy Beto won!!!!!

November 22-Happy birthday to me!!!!

No gifts, because I'm not really a gift-loving person.  And I especially don't want to add more clutter to our house.  But Tim bought me a yummy dessert from the bakery.  He knows I love sugar.  He's good at making me feel loved and special.

January 3- Sorry. I haven't written in awhile. I've been busy. WE'VE been busy!!!!! You know...with the house and stuff.  It's not like we work day and night.  We still have time to do fun things like watch our favorite TV shows. Tim plays his video game.

But we get a lot of work done each day. A lot of times we work together.  We'll go through a room together, decluttering, cleaning, talking, listening to music, etc. We make fun of our old stuff and sometimes have little debates about what should be thrown away.  It's actually very romantic.

To me, things like walks on the beach and candlelit dinners are not romantic. What's romantic is working side by side with someone...having a common goal and getting there together.

February 1-I felt so sick earlier tonight.  I'm feeling better now, but....

I just felt really weird. I didn't know if it was my neuro issues or if I was getting a stomach illness. I felt like I might have to run to the toilet...for something. It's like something was going to happen, but I didn't know what.

I asked Tim if he minded if we stopped watching our show and continue tomorrow.

He was very concerned. I guess I looked awful. Or...well...really, he's concerned anytime I'm sick. He worries a lot.

I told him I was going to go to the bathroom. He asked if I needed him, and I said not right now. He asked if I'd be okay if he took a shower.  I said, yes. Actually, I needed some space....

I had some time alone.  Then when I felt a little better I went in the kitchen to feed the cats. Tim rushed in and told me to go back to my room and go to bed. He'd feed the cats.

So sweet!  And it WAS nice to crawl into bed.

February 3-  Things are going very well. Our house is looking so much better. I'm so proud of all of us for working so hard.

Things aren't perfect, of course. I still have my neurology symptoms. But that's okay. And Tim is so incredibly supportive.  Every day he asks how I'm doing, if I'm feeling okay, if I'm having any new symptoms, etc.  It's very sweet.  And it makes me feel that although I have problems, I'm totally not alone. Do you know what I mean?

There are times that I do more of the housework than Tim. He's busy with a big, exciting project. But I'm okay with that, because he has already DONE a ton of work. Also, he's apologetic and very grateful when I do extra work. I love that he notices what I've done, and he acts so impressed. It's very sweet.

My life is wonderful.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Hugh Wants Dot to Quit Her Job After they Get Married

This week I watched season two of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

In one of the episodes, Hugh (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) asks Dot (Ashleigh Cummings) for her hand in marriage.


But then he lets her know that he expects her to quit her job as Miss Fisher's (Essie Davis) assistant.

Hugh wants Dot to be unemployed so she has time to take care of their home while he goes out and works.

The show takes place in the 1920's.

Things have improved since then.


Actually, from where I'm standing...I don't think so.

And unfortunately, I'm sure I'm far from alone.

I think these days most husbands will not stand in the way of their wives being employed.

I think most men, these days, happily see themselves as modern and supportive. Yes, their wives can get jobs. Of course!


At the same time, these women are still expected to take care of the home. There's a gender gap in household chores.

So my feeling is....

Unless a man is doing his fair share of housework, he is no better and no more modern than Hugh.

What is the fair share?

I think it should be this.

A) 50/50 if both partners have equal employment status.  If you both have full time jobs, you do equal housework. If you both have part-time jobs, you do equal housework. If you're both unemployed, you do equal housework.

B) 40/60-If partners have slightly differing employment statuses. For example, one person works a predictable forty hours a week, and the other has to do a shitload of overtime.  Or one person works full-time and the other works part-time.

C) 30/70-If one person in the relationship is employed and the other is not.

And by employment, I mean a job that is guaranteed to make money.  It's not working on your paintings, because it is your dream to sell something one day...or working on a novel. Or working at a non-paying start-up venture. Or going on auditions.

Of course I totally support artists, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. And yes I believe that some of them will succeed and the money will come pouring in.  But the thing all of us need to remember is our partners have dreams too.  If they're busy doing the majority of housework because you're off going on auditions, when do they have time to follow THEIR passions?


Keep dreaming. Keep planning. Keep creating. But make sure you're doing an equal amount of housework.

If your dream pursuing gets a little intense at times, fine. Maybe do a little less housework. But then when things die down a bit, return the favor by doing more than your share.

And PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if your dreams, hobbies, and leisure activities get in the way of doing your fair share, at the very least, notice the extra work your spouse is doing and thank them.

Thank them, not in a quick, dutiful, polite way but a sheepish, groveling way. Apologize with a thank you, a promise to do better in the future, and then work your ass off to make the promise a reality. 

The same goes for when you're unable to work as hard because of injury, illness, family tragedy, etc.  Yes, it's totally fine to expect your spouse to help you in your time of need. But it's also nice to show gratitude.

One last thing (for now).

It's important to realize and be aware that household needs fluctuate based on what's going on.

For example, there's going to be much more housework needed when there are infants and toddlers in the house.  If you have a new baby in your house and are thinking, Well...really life actually hasn't changed that much. I still have time to do all the things I love. This is easy! We should have another baby soon! Something is probably not right.

Right now, our family is in the midst of trying to sell our house. The housework that needs to be done has GREATLY increased....mostly because we indulged in too much leisure time, the past several years, and let our house become a super cluttered disaster-area.

So yeah. At this time, much, much, more effort and time needs to be put into our housework. I am pleased and proud of myself for working hard, AND I'm actually enjoying most of the work. But at the same time, I'm stressed, scared, and overwhelmed.

After we sell the house and get settled into a new home?  Well, I don't want to end up living in another cluttered-disaster. But we can probably do a moderate amount of reductions in our household chores workload.