Lawyers Hate Me

Rembrandt, The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, a self-portrait with Saskia, c. 1635, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Never mess up a good memory with the facts. My lawyer wrote a book. I have lifetime training and practice in speed reading, and I read the story of his life in 15 minutes in his waiting room. Less really. There was no imagination, just an accounting. It was like reading a spreadsheet.
He offered me a free copy and when I said no thanks I’ve already read it, he didn’t believe me. I said I prefer creative descriptive writing, that takes hours to savor and enjoy and re-read just for the pleasure of the words. I could look at Rembrandts feathers all day long… Steinbeck could take 3 pages to describe a drop of dew on a leaf…and I could read your entire life in less than 15 minutes. There is nothing to hold the eye or capture the imagination. You are a very interesting guy, I said, you should learn how to write.
Lawyers hate me. QC’s despise me.
My wife went law school, I went to art school.
The sex was dry and mundane, worse than the nurse but not as bad as the engineer. 50 shades of blah. I liked the part where you moved, then smiled and kissed me back; we laughed with joy, in my imagination.
I was more in love with Rembrandt’s wife than my own.
At least the divorce was free.


I met you at Deb’s and Maddi’s. Early 80’s. I was fresh out of a narcissist du jour, Betty, who had dumped me, a serial dumper, a psych nurse, for an abusive angry engineer. She wanted to marry her father and finally gain his approval, and live happily ever after.
Being in such pain and vulnerable, when you bombed me with love, I was smitten. I couldn’t believe one as beautiful and talented as you could love me, sleep with me. Instantly. The fairy princess.
I didn’t know that it was all an act of your needing approval, any approval, in a storm of self hate and then hating the ring bearer of your addiction.
Convinced, I thought you liked me, I mean I believed you, a passable actress, but it was a script learned well to gain only applause…the usual temporary transient sordid solution; the love junkies delema.
Good until the next fix. Serial installments in a storm of instant love.
Overvalue, undervalue, dump, rinse, repeat.
Any poet in a storm, baby.

Old Dogs

Learning is a skill that improves with practice, like any skill. Older people have more chops, potentially, if there has been a lifelong interest in lifelong learning. I went to art school at 40 and watched 20 year olds drop out, I never did homework. I learned how to learn hanging in the library as a street kid, avoiding beatings. Took a speed reading course too, when I was a kid, there are several free ones on the net. Tutored kids at art school on writing papers, still do. An old dog/new tricks is a self defeating cognitive distortion (lie) that stands in for poor low frustration tolerance. Usually that means older people have untreated depression. But it is the same depression symptom at any age. I’m often frustrated with my limitations of stroke recovery, I just learn (there is that word again) to tolerate the frustration. With that learned skill I tolerated the frustration of learning MySql and Xampp to host my own servers and websites only to discover that the reason people find tech challenging to learn is because it is poorly written and engineered by people who submit low quality work in order to get paid faster, much like the framer of a house that doesn’t square his walls, saying fuck it let the drywaller fix it….welcome to the gig economy…don’t even get me started about how that plays out in medicine…not getting treatment in a busy hospital, fuck it let the community therapists fix it, only to find they are understaffed underfunded in community, so I go to gym and ask what is that machine for? how do I use it? I have things to do, I can’t afford to wait around for people to care for me, they have their own problems to fix…

I Sleep With Monsters

Recently I have met two women who have criticized my writing for being too hard on narcissists.
It’s true I don’t find the humanity in me rising up.
When I mentioned that I had one visit from narcissistic family to my hospital room, in 6 months, including Christmas, where I am the kind of guy that would go every night, I mean I have, the woman I spoke to couldn’t seem to feel what I felt.
I was doing something wrong by expressing this she thought.
I wasn’t being nice.
Wait till she hears about being prey for the monsters without empathy that lurk on dating sites…

Back to The Dating Site

Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for the courtesy of a reply. Of course people recovering from a traumatic life changing event tend to be irritable, that’s called frustration actually. I chose to document it.  I would never take it out on someone, that’s called abuse. I mean that’s what it is.

It’s also emotional honesty, I have a right to express my emotions, you have right to know what they are, or in this case, were.

My writing on my blog is a form of using REBT therapy to really get to the rational: why me, well why not me, where is it written I can’t deal with a pain in the ass. What good can I make of this?
Well one good thing was to write a book, writing every morning with my left hand for 6 months while living in a hospital, suddenly homeless, I mean you just wake up one day and you have lost your home, and your cat, and your car, and you are living in a wheelchair. And your dominant arm and hand are flaccid. The process of getting all that back was a tad frustrating. Learning to shave with the left hand was dangerous. Don’t even talk about clipping nails.

The government sent my temporary drivers license yesterday I have final testing soon. I’m going back to my first love, driving to the mountains, the forest, the trees, which I had thought lost to me forever.

I met a fellow last week who after 5 years in the wheelchair, finally got the courage to attempt to stand at a urinal. 5 years living in anxiety.

Of course hostility and anxiety go together, hand in hand.

That is what people fear and run away from and attack, someone who has dealt with what they fear most.

“I like your photography…” it isn’t, I’m a painter using digital brushes, real photographers hate my practice of cropping and editing, a standard painting practice.

That’s the overvalue.

“I sense many many aversions and irritability…” I have no idea what you mean, which sense, smell? but your likes and dislikes only describe you, not me or my work, so it’s really an undervaluing of my human experience couched in the language of cult recruiters from the local Ashram or some such.

This of course is followed by the dumping, “we wouldn’t be harmonious”, so therefore I’m not a candidate for harmony which is usually don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel in dysfunctional relations. defines it as ‘a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity’. This sounds extremely fascist and authoritarian to me. Trump would be pleased. Actually harmony is created my soon to be ex friend by frank conversation, and willingness to compromise. Asking for what you want frankly is a relationship deepening exercise, which involves a bit of tension, and is therefore unharmonious.

But since I’ve been overvalued, undervalued, dumped for the crime of not being ‘nice’ and potentially unharmonious, I will take my frank conversation and willingness to compromise to some other stranger whom I will ask for what I want, a self helping exercise. Who knows, they may want more than a dishonest relationship killing ‘nice’.

Yours in sincere and honest disappointment, as well as relief from dodging the bullet.

Proposal for Empathy Week

I am a fine artist and critical writer on social issues from a personal perspective. My first career was in drug dependence counselling, and I have a background as a professional, teaching and exhibiting art, and also as a volunteer doing art as therapy, using the creative model in long term care facilities. My clients have been primarily those with neurological disorders, as my now deceased partner suffered with Huntington’s Disease, and I was Huntington’s Society volunteer coordinator, art facilitator and art fundraiser.
Last year I suffered a stroke and spent 6 months in hospital, on a neuro-recovery ward. I now live on my own, continuing to recover. My home was an apartment up 4 flights of stairs, and I couldn’t return. I was homeless and my possessions in storage, my cat in a new home.
While in hospital I started a gofundme, on the net, raising 1700.00 so that I could no longer be homeless, first months rent and damage deposit. I have family in Calgary, and across the country, but they are very conservative and totally lacking empathy. One member, my military brother, posted on my gofundme: go on welfare. So most of the contributors were Facebook friends and colleagues that I have never met. People with empathy.
So I wrote about my experience with empathy, it’s opposite narcissism, and my psychological recovery tools, Cognitive therapy in the form of REBT, daily on a blog. All the  while meeting weekly with a psychotherapist, dealing primarily with issues of empathy and how it can be faked as a recruitment tool for various cults, religions, new age marketers and similar predators of the vulnerable.
I have created a  portfolio, of primarily street photography but I refuse to create images of the homeless because on the street, I am in their home, and going into someone’s home uninvited taking photos is an invasion and intrusive. Other folks though don’t have an expectation of privacy in a public place, by law, the idea being they shouldn’t be doing private things in a public place. We are photographed and videoed  hundreds of times a day without permission or knowledge. My work challenges concepts on both sides of the issue of empathy towards the unsuspecting subject.
The blog which I started in hospital and the ongoing photojournalism are located on my website.  Feel free to contact me around possible uses for either, in a separate venue or just leaving it on my site and publicizing it (my preference due to my current mobility issues). 
I am a member of Carfac and request use of their contract guidelines, for copyright and exhibition fees.
I became aware of this opportunity through the Carfac newsletter.
Kind regards

Jerald Blackstock dip.(ACAD), BFA, CPF

the narcissists stare
Blackstock ’16
digital various sizes

Pimps for Parents and Lovers

Having a narcissist for a parent or a romantic partner is exactly the same as having a pimp.
You are prostituted into a fear based, (as well as guilt and obligation) slavery, which means you are brainwashed into thinking your normal self-helping behaviours are not as important as taking care of  some adult 4 year old, who can turn emotionally or physically violent at any moment. 
Walking on eggshells in a no-win life sentence scenario.
They need you. It’s wonderful to be needed, when actually it’s an icky con-job.
Mine was a ten year sentence with a woman with the gene for Huntington’s disease. I discovered later at the family therapists that I was hunted, a nurturing man who had successfully sought professional help and extricated himself from a narcissist single parent by age 14, I knew what to look for.
But just as cults and religions and pimps target intelligent educated people in transition who are suffering the pain of loneliness and rejection, offering the soothing pain relief of instant relationship,  I was vulnerable due to suffering from the cognitive distortion of ‘Life must be convenient and comfortable or I can’t stand it’. I was ripe for the picking. 
I was approached in a coffee shop, while reading Robert Bly and commenting in my journal. She was beautiful, sexy, well dressed and interested in me; she found me fascinating. A coffee date led to dinner led to incredible uninhibited sex, led to relationship to a planned cohabitation. Art school, a lifelong dream, was also planned, as her father, a retired millionaire farmer, would buy the house we would live in. I applied and my portfolio was accepted. The hook was well set.
One day she announced the results of genetic testing (2 years previous to meeting me as it turned out), a 95% chance of a degenerative brain disorder, for which she would need constant care, after onset, until she died, usually about 10 years of decline of motor and cognitive function.
In the meantime, our free time, quality lifetime, would be spent fundraising for research for Huntington’s Disease. I and my art colleagues and professors donated half a million bucks in art to the cause which was sold for a pittance at auctions to conservative rich Rotarians, sucking off the disease and looking good doing it. I volunteered doing art as therapy with Huntington’s sufferers in long term care facilities.
During this time I not only did not meet my own emotional needs, my relationship had gone into the usual withholding sex mode of manipulation.
Later the therapist talked about this typical narcissist scenario describing my relationship before I even told him. A relationship is unconditional he said, this was a business deal, a contract that I broke by being self helping. 
I had gained 50 lbs was depressed and anxious, panicked all the time on eggshells waiting for that other shoe of emotional abuse to drop, typically at Christmas time and Sundays. My sweetheart, a woman that I genuinely loved and cared for was in horrendous emotional pain and lashing out at me and it was all my doing. Not bringing in enough money, not fund raising enough, not volunteering enough; a pimp tuning up her ho, essentially.
So I did some things for me. Quit smoking. Eating better. Bought a bicycle and rode constantly. Built a digital studio and learned how to use it, creating a living and relationships and art practice in secret on the net.
One day the shoe finally dropped, the eggshells no longer avoided as the love of my life announced that I was to move out of my home and studio. Fred, her minister at the new age church, Science of Mind, was to replace me. There had been ongoing fucking for years, as it turned out, her and this family friend that had come with her as part of the package. Turns out that as an industrial psychologist he was providing the cult recruiting training for the church members recruiting their vulnerable partners.
The family therapist I sought out as the hospital, as well as the social worker for the Huntington’s Society, both had similar advice: run.
Non contact, find nicer friends, learn REBT.
Talk to strangers, ask for what I want, which is the real protection against the future inevitable narcissist attacks. When you ask for relationship deepening, they leave or fire you, simply because they have nothing to offer relationship, only a business deal.
I was taught to seek my ‘value and worth’ by appreciating that I have value and worth simply because I exist and am able to create some sort of interesting and satisfactory life for myself.
Here I am 20 years later recovering from a stroke, vulnerable to narcissist pimp-contracts on all sides, from caretakers at the hospital recruiting for their religion to recovery gurus at the gym selling their pyramid products, to women (?) in far away lands on the net sending naked pics of someone, for some reason. As long as I stick with knowing that life is rarely comfortable, it doesn’t have to be, others likes and dislikes only describe them and others probably aren’t going to do the ‘right thing’ because I don’t rule the universe, I’ll be reasonably ok.
Shitty things happen to nice people and nice things to shitty people. Accept, accept, accept.


How to create panic & terror. Simply label an event as Awful. Terrible works just as well.  


What is the situation that you are upset about
     Answer: I am experiencing reduced mobility due to a brain injury


What are the unhealthy negative emotions that you are experiencing? (depression,rage,anxiety,shame,embarrassment,hurt,guilt,jealousy)
     Answer: anxiety, shame, embarrassment, hurt, guilt, jealousy, depression

What self-defeating behaviors would you like to change?
(withdrawal avoiding social contact, procrastination, violence, unassertiveness, drug or alcohol abuse, exercise or work avoidance, overeating, etc.
     Answer: withdrawal, exercise avoidance,  work (art) avoidance, procrastination

What demand are you making about the situation?

I must do well and win the approval of others or else I am no good.

Other people must do “the right thing” or else they are no good and deserve to be punished.

Life must be easy, without discomfort or inconvenience

     Answer: Life must be easy without discomfort. 
     Dispute: Is there any evidence that this is true?
     Rational Belief: There is no evidence. Life is often uncomfortable and I find ways to deal with it. Therefore I have great skills at dealing with discomfort.

In what way are you awfulizing about the situation? 
     Answer:  it’s awful to not be able to move and get around properly.
     Dispute: Awful and terrible mean I’m going to die from it. Am I dying from this brain injury?
     Rational Belief: No I am not dying. In fact I am recovering, this is not a degenerative disease, this is an injury that my body deals with just fine, given it has lots of activity.

What are you saying to yourself about the situation that indicates low frustration tolerance? 
     Answer: I can’t stand it. 
     Dispute: Is there any evidence that I can’t stand this?
     Rational Belief: There is no evidence at all. The evidence is I have been standing the discomfort of many injuries my entire life, I am standing this injury discomfort (because I am not dead), so I will continue to stand this discomfort and deal with it.

What beliefs show that you are rating people instead of rating their actions? 
     Answer: I’m a broken down piece of human garbage
     Dispute: Is there any evidence for this belief?
     Rational Belief: There is no evidence. The fact that my body is healing is evidence of high functioning, not the reverse.

How are you overgeneralizing about the situation? 
     Answer: My body let me down, and I’ll never get better
     Dispute: Did my body let me down? Never?
     Rational Belief: My brain was struck by a random piece of plaque, that could and does happen to to anybody of any age. This was not lifestyle related or self abuse related. In fact it’s been 20 years since I had a cigarette and over 30 since I drank or indulged in pot. My weight is within my BMI, and I work out regularly, paying attention to eating healthily making my own food, even yogurt, and avoiding packaged and junk processed foods, grain and sugar free for a decade.

What are your new healthy negative emotions? 
(sadness, concern, regret, disappointment, annoyance)
     Answer: concern, disappointment, annoyance

What are your new self-helping behaviors?

(talking to strangers, asking for what you want, tackling unpleasant tasks without needless delay, exercising, eating healthily)

     Answer: Exercising, eating healthily, talking to strangers, asking for what I want

Warning: This form should not be considered a substitute for individualized treatment with a mental health professional. If you are seeing a counselor or a therapist, it is recommended that you print this page and discuss your responses with him or her.

Designed by Will Ross © 2006

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Having A Narcissist For A Parent

Well, the first thing is, you tend to marry someone exactly like your parent. Trying to get back that feeling of being loved and cared for that they continually took away as they groomed you to be their slave.
My Dad, who died at 40, had married a copy of his mom, whom uncle Charlie, medicating being a slave with booze and AA, lived with their mom till she died at 90 or so. I was the youngest and destined to take care of my mom, but I left ‘home’ and got help at 14 with the advice of strict non contact. Family has scorned me ever since for dumping the burden of this adult 4 year old ‘parent’ on them.
It’s addicting, love addiction essentially. The need ever present. Like crack.  I must be liked and accepted and do well, or else I am a worthless inadequate human being is the programming. The craving never goes away, it is accompanied by waves of panic, those of a child forced to care for itself, emotionally, and often physically, living on the street, vulnerable, robbed and beaten.
So later in life, when I meet the new love-bomber, feeding my addiction, then withholding love, affection, sex I feel right at home. Then they get bored with the game and seek a new adventure and I am devastated. You fucked John!!? Or they stay and manipulate with guilt if you try to leave, threatening self harm with FOG: fear, obligation and guilt.
Dwayne Johnston, the family therapist I sought out in desperation and loneliness, said ‘Well, you were essentially an orphan, might as well accept that.
You lived in the library, learned to read way above your age group, and discovered a different normal. The normal at home began to look crazy to you because it was. Essentially you deprogrammed yourself.’ Oh.
Much has been written about getting rid of crazy, how they send you messages continually, guilting you with their pain, or else they dump you and start a smear campaign. 
I recently had the former, basically reliving my mother,  I was hooked when vulnerable during stroke recovery, lonely and abandoned by family, and I ended it when I saw what I had on my hands. It’s hard to spot, at first, but as soon as the evidence of their needs not your becomes, well, evidently the priority, I find it’s pretty obvious pretty fast. Talk to strangers and ask for what you want, is healthy but the narcs panic when you express you preferences, bereft of any empathy, only seeming to care, they tend to fuck off, or bomb you with guilt.
So I set up the blocks on the net, and this supposedly unsophisticated computer user found a way around most of them, fake accounts, strange ip.’s, all the usuals. The naked pics were interesting and if they weren’t sent with manipulation in mind, they might have been fun.
The rational response to the programmed demand that I must have love or I am worthless is of course: I have love because I self care, besides, others likes and dislikes only describe them. Some folks have lovable traits, and that’s fun to hang out with and build intimacy and trust over time, but I don’t need it like heroin, I just prefer it, highly prefer it with some.
In the meantime I have hobbies and other enjoyable pursuits with which I am happy and when I meet a love, I am doubly happy, especially when she sends pics.

images from Designer and artist April Soetarman has been producing and anonymously hanging custom street signs around her hometown of Seattle since 2016.