Our most recent submissions:

The Workaholic

Category: Poetry/Lyrics

From the first moment he saw her
He was hooked, sunk and smitten.
Passing the chic design dress shop on the corner
He saw stunningly beautiful large hazel eyes, she was
Tall and slim, had a certain wispy elegant beauty
In the way she moved about the window showcase.
She was wearing a silky smooth pale blue dress
Complimenting her figure and long legs.
A strand of blond hair kept falling onto her forehead
Covering her eyes, she kept pushing it aside.
Surrounded by fashionable mannequins
That she arranged in different poses around her.

She sorted out the various decorations
Hanging them one by one until the design was complete.
Stepping back, she examined her work and was satisfied.
Susan Edwards was an established visual designer
Of displays, store windows and sales floors.
Oblivious to anyone watching her
She continued to decorate the storefront window
In her signature style, but in holiday fashion
And she was gathering quite a crowd.
It was incredible how eye-catching her display was.
She knew it would be the talk of the neighborhood.
Day after day Brad walked past that corner to catch his bus.

He was so engrossed in business matters that
He hadn’t noticed this goddess before,
That was, at least until now.
Stepping out from his office building he meandered
Down the street until he paused, right in
Front of her showcase window.
He watched her for a few minutes,
Engaged by the grace and beauty and creativity,
As she carefully moved the mannequins about
Engrossed with her display, she didn’t hear him enter
When he spoke, Susan jumped, apparently startled
That anyone would interrupt her, invade her world.

“Hello, I love your exhibit. You have created a warm atmosphere.
Your neutral colors are stimulating and inspirational.
I love the way you accented the area with throws,
And with these cushions and flowers and paintings.
‘Why did he have to interrupt my concentration?’ she thought to herself.
She didn’t ask for his opinion or appreciate being interrupted.
“I’m sorry, but I am busy. Perhaps we can talk when I’m not so harried.”
He wanted her from the moment he had looked at her.
She was beautiful, intellectual and ever so classy,
One might even say that she was a bit sassy.
Not accepting a rebuke, he said “Have you noticed
Every holiday revolves around food? Stop what you are doing!”

Accept my dinner invitation in the name of the Holidays!”
“My name is Brad, Brad Williams.” He said immediately. “And yours?”
Speaking in a buttery smooth yet commanding voice,
His white teeth showed in a reckless boyish grin.
At age 49 he looked delicious with his… Read More...

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The Green

Category: Poetry/Lyrics

I ran and thrust myself deep
into the woods, only to be accosted immediately
by the river.

“Where were you?!”

It was true; lately, I’d been selfish.
Consumed by petty earthly matters
not pertaining to The Earth herself.

The Earth I was responsible for.

“Where were you?!”

While I’d been admonished by the river many times before,
I’d never heard her so shrill, nor seen her this raging.

“Last night every tree was felled
As chaos and terror were sowed,” she informed,
“So much murder reigned supreme
Because you weren’t here to protect us.”

I swiveled, frenzied, in false hope that it wasn’t that dreadful,
only to fall over one of thousands of dead trees.
It was true, and
it was all my fault.

I craned my neck to view the sky above.
Where once it was barely visible, only through tiny slivers
between branches intricately intertwined,
Now the I could see the clouds,
and they me.
Pendulous and exposed, they rained down drops of
bitterness and fury, pelting my skin.

The river wept so loud, I feared I would go deaf.
I plugged my ears with feathers
plucked from the myriad of birds
that now lifelessly carpeted the forest floor.

The betrayal of my soul’s true roots
unleashed a ravenous shame in me.
It rapidly began feasting on my spirit.

The river, God bless her, wouldn’t stop carrying on
until I stripped as bare as the land surrounding us.
I plunged myself into the depths of her pain.

Her waters calmed as she greedily lapped up
my man-made waters, foreign and filled with salt
that were streaming down my face in grief.

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A Cerebral Narcissist on His Sexuality

Category: Life

By Sam Vaknin
Author of “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited”

I am a cerebral narcissist. I brandish my brainpower, exhibit my intellectual achievements, bask in the attention given to my mind and its products. I hate my body and neglect it. It is a nuisance, a burden, a derided appendix, an inconvenience, a punishment. Needless to add that I rarely have sex (often decades apart). I masturbate regularly, very mechanically, as one would change water in an aquarium. I stay away from women because I perceive them to be ruthless predators who are out to consume me and mine.

When I am depressed, my libido is gone, so sexlessness is a moot point. When I am manic and grandiose, I am also sadistic. I then seek to frustrate, humiliate, and discomfort people (and women in particular) as a way of upholding my sense of omnipotence. By denying myself sex, my grandiose and glorified celibacy serves both to taunt and torment women around me, to defang and disempower them, and to buttress my conviction that I am superior and unique. Only supreme beings do not succumb to the irresistible allure of sex.

I have had quite a few major life crises. I got divorced, lost millions a few times, did time in one of the worst prisons in the world, fled countries as a political refugee, was threatened, harassed and stalked by powerful people and groups. I have been devalued, betrayed, denigrated and insulted.

Invariably, following every life crisis, the somatic narcissist in me took over. I became a lascivious lecher. When this happened, I had a few relationships - replete with abundant and addictive sex - going simultaneously. I participated in and initiated group sex and mass orgies. I exercised, lost weight and honed my body into an irresistible proposition. The aim was to “acquire” the next woman in line to serve as a source of secondary narcissistic supply. This accomplished, the outburst of unrestrained, primordial lust waned in a few months and I settled back into my cerebral ways. No sex, no women, no body.

These total reversals of character stun my mates. My girlfriends and spouses found it impossible to digest this eerie transformation from the gregarious, darkly handsome, well-built and sexually insatiable person that swept them off their feet - to the bodiless, flabby, bookwormish hermit with not an inkling of interest in either sex or other carnal pleasures.

I miss my somatic half. I wish I could find a balance, but I know it is a doomed quest. This sexual beast of mine will forever be trapped in the intellectual cage that is I, Sam Vaknin, the Brain.

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for… Read More...

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Narcissist’s Frustrating, Negativistic, and Passive-Aggressive Behaviors

Category: Life, Mind Change

By Sam Vaknin
Author of “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited”

Frustrating one’s nearest and dearest has the dual “advantage” of simultaneously satisfying the narcissist’s masochistic and sadistic urges. By withholding love, sex, intimacy, and the fulfillment of other people’s desires and needs, the narcissist torments them even as he obstructs his own gratification. This enhances and buttresses his fantastic sense of omnipotence.

Self-sabotage, self-defeat, self-denial, and self-destruction (the martyred victim stance) also serve to prevent the forming of attachment and intimacy and the potential for ultimate hurt and pain as they dissolve. But they also uphold the narcissist’s sense of superiority, uniqueness, and omnipotence. Only the strongest can overcome and vanquish desires, urges, needs, and emotions that easily overwhelm lesser mortals. The narcissist adheres to his idiosyncratic brand of ascetic religion in which he is both god and worshipper.

The narcissist’s inner monologue goes: “I reject everything that matters to other people, everything deemed valuable, worthwhile, meaningful, and desirable. I hold the weaklings who succumb to their emotions and drives in contempt: nothing they have or can possess or attain is of value to me. It is all meaningless.” The narcissist devalues the “commoners”, the average Joe, the pedestrian and routine, the “animalistic” (sex), and the socially conformist.

Thus, self-defeating, self-denying, and self-destructive behaviors and choices engender narcissistic supply because they support, demonstrate, and “prove” the superhuman nature of the narcissist, his utter titanic independence of society, of nature, and of others in interpersonal relationships. When narcissistic supply is in short supply, embarking on the path of self-negation is an efficacious shortcut to obtaining and securing. At the very least it draws astounded attention to the narcissist.

The Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder is not yet recognized by the DSM Committee. It makes its appearances in Appendix B of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, titled “Criteria Sets and Axes Provided for Further Study.”

Some people are perennial pessimists and have “negative energy” and negativistic attitudes (“good things don’t last”, “it doesn’t pay to be good”, “the future is behind me”). Not only do they disparage the efforts of others, but they make it a point to resist demands to perform in workplace and social settings and to frustrate people’s expectations and requests, however reasonable and minimal they may be. Such persons regard every requirement and assigned task as impositions, reject authority, resent authority figures (boss, teacher, parent-like spouse), feel shackled and enslaved by commitment, and oppose relationships that bind them in any manner.

Passive-aggressiveness wears a multitudes of guises: procrastination, malingering, perfectionism, forgetfulness, neglect, truancy, intentional inefficiency, stubbornness, and outright sabotage. This repeated and advertent misconduct has far reaching effects. Consider the Negativist in the workplace: he or she invests time and efforts in obstructing their own chores and in undermining relationships. But, these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors wreak havoc throughout the workshop or the office.

People diagnosed with the Negativistic (Passive-Aggressive) Personality Disorder resemble narcissists in some important respects. Despite the… Read More...

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Classification (Taxonomy) of Psychological Theories

Category: Life, Mind Change

By Sam Vaknin
Author of “Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited”

All psychological theories can be classified by one or more of these dichotomies (pairs):

Dualism vs. Monism

The belief that the mind and the body are two separate entities (though in constant interaction via various mechanisms and pathways); OR

The belief that the mind is nothing but an emergent phenomenon or a manifestation of and emanation from or a mislabelling physiological processes and qualities and, therefore, that psychology should be a branch of neuroscience or medicine (medicalization of psychology).

Innate vs. Stimuli-driven

The belief that all psychological traits and processes are innate and autonomous; OR

The belief that psychological processes are triggered by and psychological traits are shaped and conditioned by stimuli emanating from the environment.

Nature vs. Nurture

The belief that genes and, more comprehensively, evolution determine one’s psychological make-up and modus operandi; OR

The belief that one’s psychology is decided by one’s upbringing, human milieu, and personal history.

Reductionist vs. Holistic

The belief that psychology can be analytically reduced to a set of interacting, distinct, atom-like components or constructs; OR

The belief that one’s psychology is the complex, irreducible outcome of shape-shifting network of ceaseless interactions and the synergy of extensive and intensive qualities, parameters of action and boundary conditions.

Fixed vs. Plastic (Childhood vs. Lifespan or Determined vs. Mutable)

The belief that, at a certain age, one’s psychology becomes an immutable fixture, subject only to minor, almost imperceptible modifications; OR

The belief that one’s brain is plastic and reprogrammable from cradle to grave and that, therefore, one’s psychological settings and proceedings are constantly evolving and changing throughout the lifespan.

Static vs. Dynamic (Objective vs. Subjective)

The belief that psychological reactions and processes are rigid and set, allowing for well-demarcated diagnoses based on sharply-delineated clinical entities which are subject to the scientific method; OR

The belief that psychology is a narrative, fuzzy, impressionistic, ever-evolving, and somewhat “artistic”. Diagnosis and treatment require human contact and interaction, mostly subjective and emotional.

Process vs. Behavior

The belief that psychological processes constantly occur in the mind and underlie behaviors, cognitions, and choices and that they can be subject to meaningful and informed introspection; OR

The belief that, since we can never, in principle observe or measure inner processes in the mind (the intersubjective agreement is not falsifiable), we should only monitor, observe, and analyze behaviors.

Categorical vs. Dimensional

The belief that human behaviors, both normal and pathological (aberrant), can be categorized, distinguished, and demarcated with a minimum of ambiguity and overlap; OR

The belief that human behaviors constitute a spectrum and can be described only using interacting multi-purpose dimensions.

Statistical-Normal vs. Descriptive-Spectrum

The belief that human behaviors cluster around a mean or average which constitutes “normalcy”; OR

The belief that all human behaviors, preferences, drives, urges, traits, and orientations are “normal” (though they may be socially unacceptable or even illegal) and are part of a spectrum, even when there is only anecdotal evidence for their existence.

Analogous vs. Standalone

The belief that… Read More...

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