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Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

I speak from personal experiences when I say that it is of crucial importance for a woman to ensure her own economic independence. It’s imperative to her own well-being and also that of her child. I would never suggest that money is more important than family because for me it isn’t. I have no desire to hold a high-powered job making six or seven figures. I want only to make a decent living for myself and for my family.

Three years ago, I came to the harsh realization that for my own sake and that of my daughter, I had to leave my marriage. It was an agonizing decision made all the more so by the fact that I was a stay-at-home mom at the time. With no way of providing for myself or my child, I was terrified at the idea of leaving and yet I knew I had to for the good of everyone involved. The end result is that I have struggled for the past three years to provide for myself and my child. I could not possibly love my daughter more and had I been given the choice, I would have continued working so as not to have had to put her through this period of economic instability. Fortunately, she is very young and will likely not remember the vast majority of it but I will never forget the pain of knowing that I couldn’t provide for my child the things I so desperately wanted to provide for her. I certainly gave her all the love and attention possible but neither of those things will put food in a child’s belly or clothes on that child’s back. There were days when I cried over being unable to spend a few dollars on an ice cream or a ride on the merry go round. I would never wish that experience on anyone, male or female.

Having been a stay-at-home mom, I know how difficult the job is and how little recognition women in that position often receive. In no way am I looking down on women who choose to stay home with their children. I’m simply cautioning them to think carefully about their choices as the unforeseen can strike any of us at any time and with no warning. I certainly never expected to get a divorce from a man to whom I’d been married for five years before getting pregnant and to whom I was utterly devoted, a man I had loved so passionately for the nearly seven years of our marriage. I certainly never imagined I’d feel the powerlessness that my economic dependency brought about, nor did I imagine I’d submit to the misery I did because of this dependency. Even at this considerably more stable point in my life, I shudder to think of those dark days and of the physical and psychological toll they took on me. This book is absolutely correct in stating that a man is not a financial plan and I am living proof of this.

Bookphile, on a book review of “The Feminine Mistake” by Leslie Bennetts

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I Know What’s Wrong With Charlie Sheen

I’ve figured it out.

After observing Charlie’s erratic behavior on television networks, reading his Twitter account, and analyzing his past interviews in contrast with his current behaviors, I collected some data, did some research, considered what others had to say about him, and I finally came to a conclusion: I think Charlie Sheen suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and is currently using drugs. My guess is that he’s using both meth and coke. I only speculate on the meth because he goes for long periods of time – for instance, during interviews – where he’s not seen sniffing anything, and he’s definitely not crashing.

Dr. Drew Pinsky has diagnosed Sheen as “hypomanic,” which is a symptom of Bipolar Disorder, the psychotic effects of which can be prompted by drug use. PsychCentral.com’s Sherrie McGregor, Ph.D. explains, “Speed (methamphetamine, crank, crystal) and cocaine are two that have sent many abusers into mania, often followed quickly by deep depression and psychotic symptoms. Hallucinogens, including LSD and PCP, can set off psychotic symptoms as well.” And, of course, who’s ruling out LSD or PCP? Either way, there’s something a little #tigersblood going on here…

Although I concur with the hypomanic diagnosis, hypomania is commonly comorbid (coexistent) with NPD – and so is substance abuse. I don’t think for a second that Charlie has stopped using drugs, even if he has found a way to circumvent the results of his urinalysis. (Obviously it’s a stupid idea to let him take the urine test in his own house. Duh. Cheating.)

According to the DSM-IV, symptoms of NPD are:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Charlie appears to feature all of the symptoms associated with the disorder and, as a child star, has many of the risk factors for NPD. The risk factors for NPD are:

  • An oversensitive temperament at birth is the main symptomatic chronic form
  • Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults
  • Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
  • Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for poor behaviors in childhood
  • Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
  • Severe emotional abuse in childhood
  • Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
  • Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem

In an interview with ABC, when questioned about whether or not he’s bipolar, Charlie says, “I’m not bi-polar; I’m bi-winning… if I’m bi-polar, aren’t there moments where a guy, like, crashes and is, like, in the corner like, [mock crying] ‘Oh my god, it’s all my mom’s fault,’ [as a frustrated respondent to the crying guy] Shut up! Shut up! Stop! Move forward.”  Shunning this make-believe person for crying is somewhat telling as well. Dr. Daniel A. Bochner, Ph.D. and author of “The Therapist’s Use of Self in Family Therapy” writes, “The narcissist grows up in an environment in which vulnerability is unacceptable. Any sign of weakness in this environment is met with disdain and disgust.”

Idealization and devaluation are also components of NPD. People are all good or they’re all bad. For instance, on his radio show, Sheen’s Korner, he used the tagline, “You’re either in Charlie’s corner, or you’re with the trolls.” In contrast to the trolls, he idealizes his live-in porn stars, referring to them as “Goddesses.” (Unfortunately, this lofty moniker simultaneously makes them faceless, nameless and disposable.)

A person who is suffering from NPD lives in a black-and-white world. It’s good or bad, right or wrong, love or hate. Here’s a quote from his radio interview on the Alex Jones Show:

“My motto now is you either love or you hate, and you must do so violently. And the reason you must hate violently is because – and you have to hate everybody that’s not in your family, because they’re there to destroy your family… and, therefore, there’s nothing in the middle. I don’t live in the middle anymore; that’s where you get slaughtered, that’s where you get embarrassed in front of the prom queen… and it’s just not an option…”

Check out some of his interviews here:

Good Morning America

Alex Jones Show

Charlie Sheen’s UStream

Clean Charlie Sheen in 2010

His recent behavior in comparison with his past conduct is drastically different.

And when I think about the fact that Charlie Sheen is, in fact, suffering from a disease, and decomposing, in front of billions of people, I almost feel sorry for him… until I think about this. And this. And this. And this. And this. And this.

And then I smile and watch, quietly amused, as he publicly self-destructs. And, suddenly, it seems like – for once – the victims are WINNING.