Our World is One Big Trauma (with Symone Fairchild, EyeOnDV)

Uploaded 5/18/2021, approx. 1 hour 9 minute read

I'm recording, we can start. There is God.

Okay, shockingly we can start. A bit behind the times, but aren't we all? Yes.



We are on air.

Oh, yay.


So, firstly, thank you so much for doing this. I am such, I've been, I've watched only two of your videos and I had like eight pages of notes already.

My condolences and apologies.

No, it's fascinating. Like when I was in college, I was a minor, my minor was psychology. So I wanted to go into, I wanted to help like schizophrenics and bipolar disorder and whatnot. It was just, I get too personally involved. So it wouldn't have worked, but when I watch your videos, I would just jam full of information that has so much to do with the area that I'm passionate in. So I have quite a few questions on narcissism, if you don't mind.

It may shock you to realize that I may have the answers.

Okay. Wonderful.

Let's try it.

Let's give it a try.


Okay. Um, first, would you mind going into, going into a little bit about who you are and your background and your experience?

The author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited. It was the first book ever published on narcissistic abuse.

Narcissistic abuse is a phrase that I coined in 1995 to describe a highly particular subtype of abuse. And I coined most of the rest of the language in use today to describe narcissism and narcissistic abuse. That was back when the dinosaurs went extinct in 1995. You were, I think, an IDA, by the way, you look much younger. And then I became a professor of psychology, but it's not my fault. I fought tooth and nail not to become one, but I did ultimately. AndI've been studying cluster B personality disorders, most notably borderline narcissism, for well over 26 years. And I'm trying to reconceive of the field to reconceive of these disorders as actually post-traumatic conditions.

And so I suggested at the time in the mid nineties to unify all personality disorders under one umbrella term, and then to designate it as a post-traumatic condition. And this is actually, this had been done not only because of me, of course, I was among one voice among many, but this had been accomplished with the international classification of diseases, addition 11, which is the DSM of the rest of the world. The United States uses diagnostic and statistical manual. The rest of the world uses ICD 11. The ICD 11 does a single personality disorder, not many, not multiplicity, but a single personality disorder with emphasis.

So you have personality disorder with narcissistic emphasis, your personality disorder with borderline or emotional dysregulation emphasis, etc.

And Judith Berman and a few other scholars are continuing the push to actually begin to consider all these ostensibly personality disorders to actually consider them to be forms of complex trauma.

Now there's a lot of backlash against this because victims want to be victims. They don't want to be grouped among the narcissists and the psychopaths and the border lines and so on. And if everyone is a victim of complex trauma, including the abusers, what makes the victim stand out? What differentiates them?

So there's a lot of vehement emotional resistance to the idea that narcissists are actually victims of abuse. Narcissists are victims of abuse who had never recovered. And they had adopted dysfunctional strategies, coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms in an attempt to cope with this self-perpetuating endless abuse.

So we have two types of victims, victims who had recovered and these are the classic victims that we see online and offline and victims who had never recovered and they become border lines and narcissists and so on. All of them are a family of victims of abuse.

And that is of course, precisely the reason why narcissists and borderlines resonate very strongly, very powerfully with co-dependence and with victims of abuse. Because they, too, are victims of abuse. They come from the same family, their siblings.

I gave a very detailed answer to a question you never asked. Yes.

No, that makes a lot of sense though. I am a survivor of narcissistic abuse, but in all of my studies and everything that I've done in the past four years, as I was backtracking and as I was comparing what I was learning to what I had experienced, going back in time and putting the puzzle pieces together, I figured he has got to be a victim of abuse. That's the only way this really could have started, is how does one heal from that?

Whether it be a victim or an abuser.

From abuse or from narcissistic abuse.

And is that possible?

Luckily for humanity, the vast majority of people are born genetically. They're hereditary components that endow them with resilience and neuro-clasticity, the ability to rewire the brain. That's the vast majority of humanity.

So abuse is reversible. Prognosis for victims of abuse is very good. Excellent actually, in the vast majority of people.

Narcissists, borderlines, histrionics, psychopaths, schizoids, borderlines, histrionics, psychopaths usually have some deficiency, which is probably neurological or biochemical, because we see a great comorbidity. We see another diagnosis.

So we see, for example, that most personality disorders co-occur together with mood disorders. And we know that mood disorders are basically biochemical. And they happen together with anxiety disorders. And we know that anxiety disorders involve normalities of the brain and the chemical processes.

So because we see a lot of comorbidity, dual diagnosis, because we see that in most situations actually, there are other disorders which are essentially biochemical or cerebral, neurological. It would stand to reason that the narcissistic reaction, the co-dependent reaction, the borderline reaction, the dysfunctional abnormal lifelong pattern of reaction to early childhood abuse has to do with highly specific brain structures, highly specific brain biochemistry and electrochemistry and heredity. It's very likely, extremely likely.

Now we had found without any doubt severe abnormalities in the brains of psychopaths and mild abnormalities in the brains of people with borderline personality disorder.

We had found this.

Moreover, we can safely diagnose borderline personality disorder in as early as 11 years old, which we never do with psychopathy and with narcissism.

Borderline is a childhood condition, which survives sometimes, not very often, by the way, survive sometimes into adulthood. But it's childhood and early adolescence condition.

While narcissism and psychopathy are adulthood disorders. Although psychopathy has a precursor, psychopathy starts very often with another type of disorder in childhood called contact disorder.

So it's much more complex than we give it credit for.

It seems that some children are born with sensitivity to abuse. They are hypersensitized to abuse. The brains aren't able to cope well with abuse. The chemistry is different. Biochemistry, brain biochemistry is different. Neurotransmitters are less perhaps regulated and abuse reshapes the brain, rewires the brain. And for some reason, which is an enigma, perhaps the greatest enigma in psychology today, for some reason, some people are unable to rewire the brain back to sort of neuroplastically revert the brain to the earlier stage.

And these are, of course, people with personality disorders. And we don't know why we have no idea why.

Yesterday, I made a video on my YouTube channel. And the video is about the borderline miracle healing. We don't know. We don't know why the vast majority of borderlines lose the diagnosis during the lifespan. We have no idea why and how this is happening.

But it is a fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder are no longer borderlines. By the time they're 45, talking about numbers like 85% in some studies, 91% in other studies. And we have no idea why.

It seems that borderlines somehow are able to revert the brain to its primordial, primordial pristine condition before the abuse.

Narcissists are incapable of doing this. The psychopaths, of course, are damaged beyond description.


What is the difference between narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder?

Well, precisely the difference is between narcissistic style and narcissistic personality disorder.

Or if you want to nitpick between healthy narcissism, narcissistic style, narcissistic personality disorder. Healthy narcissism, everyone has. It's the foundation of self-esteem and self-confidence. It's a residue and a vestige of primary narcissism, which is a narcissism the baby has.

Every child, every infant starts off as a narcissist to explore the world, to say goodbye to mommy and walk away 10 steps.

You need to be seriously grandiose. You need to be a narcissist.

And so babies start off with what we call primary narcissism. And when primary narcissism survives unmolested and unaltered, immutable into adulthood, that's secondary narcissism.

And that would be pathological narcissism. Pathological narcissism is two variants of concern. One of them is what Len Sperry, the great scholar of personality disorders, Len Sperry, calls narcissistic style. These are a-holes and jerks to summarize the style.

Insensitive people, self-centered people. I mean, a-holes.

So this is the narcissistic style.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a very, very different animal. It's much more egregious, much more extreme. It involves a total lack of emotional empathy, no access to positive emotions of any kind. Inability to regulate sense of self-worth, except via external feedback, which is known as narcissistic supply.

Total confusion between internal and external objects, which borders on the psychotic. That's not my observation. That's the observation of the great Otto Kernberg.

And so narcissists very much like psychotics confuse external objects with internal objects. And in this sense, they have massive fantasy defenses.

So someone with narcissistic personality disorder is highly, highly deficient in a variety of ways and is utterly incapable of maintaining any meaningful or long term true, profound relationships, interpersonal and other with other people. It's not to say that narcissists cannot be pro-social or communal. It's not to say that narcissists cannot teamwork. It's not to say the narcissists cannot become pillars of the community, chief executive officers, or even hush hush presidents of the United States. They can and often do, but this is a simulacrum. It's a simulation of a human being. It's a shell.

Deep inside, there is what we call a schizoid empty core. There's a void. It's deep space enveloped with carbon and flesh and blood.

So even when the narcissist works with other people, collaborates with them, is goal oriented, which is what we call high functioning narcissists. The relationship will be very superficial and it will go invariably through cycles of idealization, evaluation, discard and replacement.

And also because narcissists are utterly incapable, exactly like people with autism spectrum disorder, utterly incapable of reading social cues properly. And that includes body language, micro facial expressions, facial micro expressions, I'm sorry, etc.

Because they're incapable of reading other people. They have no empathy. They can't tap into other people's emotions. They have cold empathy. They can scan you and immediately locate your vulnerabilities and intrusion points, but they can't decipher and figure out your emotions.

So because of that, they end up destroying everything. Everything ends up in an orgy of self-destruction. Even the greatest chief executive officer, the most amazing president and so on, they end up in a mess in unmitigated chaos because they have a disability which is irremediable. It's cannot be fixed.

If you can't read other people's emotions, you can't manage in the world.

So this is the narcissist.

Oh, wow.

Excuse me for a minute.

My chair is squeaking. I have another chair. It's called the non-squeaking chair.

And I'm going to switch to the non-squeaking chair because my chair is squeaking.

I froze. I was walking. I was walking. I was sitting on eggshells.

So we can't have that. Right. We can't have that. Not with the professor of acne.

Yes, I'm listening.

The professor.

Okay. Oh, what was I going to ask you? Doggone it.

This discombobulated you.

Yeah, that was. Oh, shoot. Because I was going to touch on what you just said.

Oh, I have been reading also a discrepancy between two things that narcissism gets better with age, but then I've been reading that it also does not.

So say an individual in their sixties, would it be getting better as they get older or not so much as they get older at that point?

This touches upon very, very recent studies. The latest one has been published in July, 2020.

I have a video on my channel, which discusses the distinction between grandiose narcissists and covert narcissists in light of these new studies. And what we are discovering is that there are actually two types of narcissists and these types have had been misidentified.

Now, again, to my credit, I had suggested this 20 years ago.

Well, they never listed today.

I'm self-aggrandizing. It's okay. I'm entitled.

Okay. So essentially what we're discovering is that grandiose narcissists are actually psychopaths and they're only real narcissists. The only real pure bread, pure bread narcissist is a covert compensatory narcissist.

So what we used to call until now, compensatory or covert narcissist probably is the only narcissist. And what we used to call until now grandiose overt narcissist is actually a subtype of psychopath. That's how we are reconceiving the field.

Now, paradoxically, people with antisocial grandiose psychopathic narcissism, overt narcissism, classical narcissism, or what used to be called very enticingly phallic narcissism. These people tend to recover. The disorder tends to ameliorate with time. Behaviors are modified. They are even sometimes internal changes.


Rare, much more rare, but behaviors definitely are ameliorated and mitigated and modified. So they become much less abrasive, much less antisocial, much less aggressive, much less dangerous, reckless, risky, divine, consummations, etc. They become more pleasant to be with and around.

But these are ironically those narcissists who start out the worst psychopathic grandiose in your face, define totally lacking in empathy, trample over you, ruthless, callous. These are the ones who actually heal or recover over time.

The compensatory or what used to be called hitherto covert narcissists, compensatory narcissists, the real purebred clinical entity, they don't recover as much. They don't change as much. They don't heal as much.

But still over the lifespan, actually the majority of narcissists lose the diagnosis. They can no longer be diagnosed.

Similar to borderline. Majority of borderlines can no longer be diagnosed, but with narcissists, it takes much longer.

So narcissists recover more actually than borderline, but it takes much longer.

And like borderline, they preserve some dysfunctional behaviors, which are very detrimental and deleterious and problematic for people around them.

So honestly, people around the narcissist, they don't see much of a difference. While internally, things are changing. For example, the old narcissist are better able to discern the separate existence of other people. They're better able to treat other people as agents with individual individuality, autonomy, self-independency and self efficacy.

So narcissists, old narcissists are better at treating other people like separate entities. Young narcissists can never do this.

As far as the young narcissist is concerned, you're an internal object, an extension, a tool, an instrument, a function. So that's one example.

But people around the narcissist, I mean, it's very, very laudable and commendable and wonderful that the narcissist is changing internally.

Regrettably, he does not change externally. It's similar. It's similar with the borderline. The borderline loses her diagnosis. Her internal landscape changes dramatically. She's totally healed. Her internal landscape becomes totally normal.

But the behavior she had learned while she had been sick remained with her for life. And so she's still, you know, explosive and defiant. She's still unpleasant to be around.

So there is some change in covert compensatory narcissist, but it's imperceptible and glacial.

Well, at least there's some hope there, because that's something I've been wondering about for a while.

What you may wish to do is team up with a psychopathic overt grandiose narcissist, because by the time he's 60 or 70 and you're a flowering bud of 50, he will change and you may have a happy life to go.

Having suffered for 30 years.


What was I, let's see.

I think you answered that one. You answered that one.

Um, I can answer that one.


How can we demolishing your interview?

No, it's wonderful. You're cutting through like half of my questions, but that's awesome.

And I don't even know if this is possible, but how can we as a society keep these things from happening in the first place?

So is there a way that we can keep narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder and these things, is there a way that we can keep things from happening?

Um, could it be through awareness, talking about them, learning about them?

Um, of course, the way we raise our children and is it even a possibility to keep it from happening?

Not unless we changed, we change our society dramatically.

You see the way our society is structured.

There's a twofer, a double whammy, not yummy. On the one hand, abuse in early childhood is guaranteed. Our society rewards and encourages parents to abuse their children in a minute. I'll go into it.

And so abuse generates narcissists and borderlines and psychopaths and what have you.

Well, psychopaths know, but borderlines and narcissists and others and abuse is baked into the social structure and into the incentive structure of society. You're incentivized as a parent to abuse your child, for example, to dump him in daycare and not see him all day long.

Let's abuse. I don't know if you realize it.

So that's one facet of society and social mores and so on.

And the second, the other facet is that society itself is structured in a way that incentivizes narcissists and psychopaths.

Narcissists and psychopaths rise to the top. Fake it till you make it. It's the law of the jungle. Alpha males win. I mean, all these mottos and slogans of the toxic culture of business coaching and dating coaching and other types of life coaching and self-styled experts online and so on. All this creates a kind of push to be more and more narcissistic because narcissism pays. It's a positive adaptation.

Now let's start with the basics. There is no such thing as trauma. Trauma is not an objective entity. Trauma is the way specific individuals react to circumstances.

You can take 10 individuals, expose them to the same event. One would be traumatized, nine wouldn't bat an eyelid.

So trauma is an idiosyncratic, highly specific, individualistic reactionchildren are prone to trauma. They have hair trigger brains. They're prone to trauma.

And these children would tend to interpret even benign behaviors of the parent as traumatic. They would tend to interpret, for example, the parent's absence as traumatic. They would see trauma everywhere and in everything.

And we had constructed a society where parents and children live in separate worlds, cyberspace, offline and online. They inhabit separate worlds. They don't bestow on each other the benefits of presence and presence of mind. They drift apart, conveniently so.

The parent is tired, exhausted. The child wants freedom like every child. So they drift apart.

The outcomes are horrifying. Outcomes are horrifying. We are talking about group sex with teenagers, adults, predatory adults, using teenagers for group sex. We are talking about teenagers consuming drugs and drinking. We're talking about an explosion of depression and anxiety disorders. And I'm using the word explosion judiciously.

Studies by Twenge and Campbell between 2008 and 2018, that's 10 years, found a rise of 500% in anxiety and 300% in depression and a rise of 45% to 54% depending on the group of suicides among teenage girls. That's in the span of 10 years.

So things are really, really, really bad.

And society doesn't make things easier with a great recession and with climate change and with COVID, which is a direct outcome of climate change and mistreatment of nature. And we're not making it better. We're making it impossible for parents to parent, thereby guaranteeing the traumatization of those children who have what I call hair trigger brains. And these children will be traumatized and a percentage of them, a sizable percent, will become narcissists in borderlines for life.

We had created factories, breeding factories, brave new world for narcissists in borderlines. No wonder society had adopted itself to accommodate narcissists in borderlines and psychopaths, because their numbers are rising inexorably.

These are also studies, for example, among college students. You can also see the behaviors of young people.

And no, I'm not an old coder. I'm not an okay boomer. I'm talking about studies with numbers. There's no value judgment here. I'm not expressing any opinion. I'm not castigating. I'm not praising. I'm data-oriented. I'm a scientist.

Originally, I have a PhD in physics. I'm a physicist. I'm data-oriented. So the data is unequivocal. If you study, for example, the sexuality of young people, it's absolutely terrifying. Sexuality, as Freud had observed correctly, is a force of life. It's an indicator, a barometer, a seismograph of life. There's no life in young people.

Dating has had collapsed. Dating in all its forms, including dating apps, the famous dating apps, dating in all its forms had collapsed, there's no other word to describe it, by 56 percent in the last 40 years. It's down 56 percent.

Young people don't date.

Sexuality had been polarized. There's a tiny group of young people who emulate pornography. And so they engage in the most extreme sexual behavior.

At an amazingly early age, I came across a case of 12-year-old who regularly had gang gangs. I mean, you have this group, which is a tiny group, and the vast majority of people, of young people, actually abstained from sex, the celibate. And they'd given up on each other. On the rare occasions that they do meet for sex, the only thing they know, the only sex education they have is pornography.

So they try to imitate and emulate pornography to the point that the number of sexual injuries in hospitals among teenagers had skyrocketed off the charts because they injure each other.

The situation is dramatically better. I've been ringing the alarm bells for ages now. I've been predicting this epidemic, or pandemic, decades ago. And more recently, Twenge and Campbell wrote a book called The Narcissism Epidemic. It's really bad, but narcissism is a symptom. It's not a disease. The disease is social.

Today we are reconceiving of the concept of individual, the concept of personality. We think we got it wrong. It is what we did in the past 70 years, starting with Freud.

What we did is we kind of isolated the individual. We said, okay, the individual is atomized. It's like an atom.

What is the word individual? Indivisible. It's like a single atom.

And so we said, okay, let us study the individual, and then we will know everything about the individual.

And we came up with concepts such as the self or the ego and so on.

But actually it's nonsense. Individuals are the intersection of multiple relationships. They're a node in a network.

We need to study the network.

The individual, the personality is relational, not standalone.

That means that we are creating a generation which is selfless, but not in the good sense. Selfless in the infernal sense.

They have no self. They have no functioning self, not constellated, integrated self, because no one was there relationally to help them form. They are unformed.

And again, that's not an okay boomer statement. These are the facts, and that's why they have inordinate rates of anxiety and depression and, of course, substance abuse and so on.

Binge drinking, for example, had exploded among teenagers to the point that many of them do it weekly, on a weekly basis. Blackouts are common among teenagers, common occurrence.

And of course, unwanted sex and everything comes blackout, including by predators.

So if we don't change society dramatically, this is going to get worse. We're going to live in hell. We are on our way to hell. That's as simple as that. That is terrifying. It is.

And here's the thing.

Your mother, you're not going to know about it, because your child inhabits now a virtual universe to which you have no access. It is full fledged this universe. It allows your child to escape reality.

But within this universe, there are predators. There are risks you're never going to know until it's way too late.

Social media, dating apps. I mean, now Instagram is considering allowing 13-year-olds to have accounts.

The addiction, the damage, the conditioning of two billion people is not enough for them. They're not making enough money. They want a target now 13 years old, 12 years old, 10 years old. It's like 13 and younger.

Now, anyone who's been on these platforms knows how they are being abused. Platform owners claim to police them. They don't, of course. They're into monetizing eyeballs. That platforms were constructed, and that's not a conspiracy theory. These are testimonies by the engineers who had made them, crafted them. The platforms were constructed with addiction and conditioning in mind, and with inflaming negative emotionality, because it attracts eyeballs. The platforms were also constructed for fake news, absolutely 100%.

And so these platforms are evil. Absolutely evil. Evil by construction, not evil by unintended consequences. They're evil, and they're spreading the evil. They're spreading the poison now to our youngest defenseless children.

How do you feel about the engineers and how they constructed these platforms, how do you feel about these engineers that are now coming out and speaking out against how these platforms were built and constructed?

Well, it's extremely kind of them to enlighten us.

It's a little too late, but I mean, it's nothing way too late.


It's very kind of them to enlighten us.

Yeah. Of course, legislators, legislators, legislators, everyone is a hostage. If a legislator dares to go against these networks is deranked or more colloquially shadow banned, his gun, he's dead. He has zero visibility from that moment. No one dares to go against them.

The Amazons and the Facebooks and the Googles and no one dares to go against them. This is tyranny of the highest sort and form, because they are not neutral platforms for disseminating information. They're absolutely not neutral. They do edit and select. They're gatekeepers, but they're gatekeepers not of specific opinions or leanings or thoughts, but they're gatekeepers of profits.

They want money. They're going to eliminate any form of free speech and access that reduces their profits, end of story, and they're going to promote anything ISIS videos included that generate monetized eyeballs. This is bad.

And so we had created an alternative universe which now is inhabited almost exclusively by our children up to the age of 25.

Our children are no longer with us. They had left us. Their bodies are here. They had left like Elvis. They're not here. They're no longer here. They had been, there was been a rupture. They had been catapulted. They've been taken up to the heaven of the social networks and so on. They are never coming back for you to understand. These children are never coming back. These are lost generations.

If we don't do something real soon and real drastic, the species as a whole will be in serious trouble.

Not because there will be no engineers or scientists. Of course, there will always be engineers and scientists and biologists and medical doctors and so on. We will have excellent simulations of human beings, but they will not be human by any extension or definition of the word.

I'm the type of person that fights against things like that.

And now that I'm a mother, I have a six-year-old son. I have a mother. I'm a mother. And I'm not going to see my son turn out that way, period. I don't care what I have to do. What do I have to do?

You have to cut him off and he's going to hate you for this.

That's the price you'll pay.

It may even be too much. He may pay a price in terms of peer pressure, peer acceptance.

The structural society is such that if you do try to cut yourself off the toxicity, you're traumatized, that society and businesses punish you. If you try to wean yourself off the drugs and so on, off, for example, social media, you're punished.

The punishments built into the system, is the price to pay.

In the long term, of course, if you cut him off, or limit, for example, his use of social media to one hour a day, only to people he knows, friends, and maintain parental control, intrusive parental control, and discipline him when he deviates and establish firm boundaries, the price you will pay is that you will hate your guts.

But he will grow up to be healthy.

But this is the sad choice facing parents today. Be hated and secure the health and welfare of your child, or be loved and sacrifice your child.

Okay. I have recently been dialing back his time that he's had on his tablet, for instance, like when I take him to his after school, and when I pick him up from his after school, there's no more tablets in the car.

And I thought that he would just go berserk. But it's actually been, there was one day where he, I felt, I felt the heat from it.

But after that, I mean, we talk in the car now, he plays with his little hot wheels, he stares out the window, and he's reading all the signs.

And so he's acclimated pretty nicely to the little bit of a dialing back that I've done.

But be paranoid, repressed, urges erupt elsewhere.

Parents today need to be paranoid, absolutely paranoid. The number of online predators, for example, had exploded beyond control. No one controls it anymore.

So congratulate yourself on the successful maneuver and make sure that he's pent up resentment and energy do not erupt elsewhere. Not when you're not supervising, and when you're not watching.

Society had created a battle zone between parents and children. And parents need to be, to develop a secretary of paranoid ideation just to be good parents. This is very sad.

This breakdown between parents and children is very, very sad.

But the lure of online is such that it's biochemical. It, for example, encourages dopamine release in the brain. It's an addiction. It's 100% addiction and conditioning.

But online is only one aspect. A child listens to news, watches television, talks to his peers, observes other people's families. Where is he going to get a good example? Who are going to be his role models?

When I was growing up, the sexiest man on earth was Albert Einstein. You should have seen his afro.

But today, who are the sexiest people on earth? Empty, vacuous, chimpanzee IQ people. They're the role models.

I've just insulted one, one type of primates.

It's okay.

But like, you speak of social media influencers and stars of that nature that they have no character. They have no character.

It's a death cult. Our civilization is a death cult. It's a death cult because we prefer the inanimate to the animate. We sacrifice human beings to preserve material possessions and to preserve ever increasing profits and GDP growth and oil reserves and what have you.

We have made a choice, a recent choice, by the way, we have made a recent choice in the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution to prefer the dead to the live, the object to the human.

Even in psychology, do you know how we call people? Objects.

We have in psychology a field called object relations. It's not about relationships with objects. It's about relationship with people.

The object in object relations is people. We have objectified everything and everyone.

It's a death cult. It's a death cult because material possessions are dead by definition.

So we are worshipping death, not the life force, not eros, but death.

Death is about not being, unbeing, non-existence, absence.

So, of course, narcissists rise to the top because they are the epitome and reification and culmination of emptiness. They have an empty schizoid core.

Narcissism is not about presence ever. It's about absence.

So, of course, absence rises to the top in a death cult because death cult is about absence. And, of course, vacuous people, empty people, become celebrities and influences and so on.

Some of them masquerade as public intellectuals and so on. And if you listen carefully, they are regurgitating.

There's this pure utter unmitigated nonsense and trash. Their conspiracy theories.

These are our role models today. It's shameful.

In 1950, when Time magazine made a survey of who are your role models, people, including youth, chose Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell. These were the role models.

Today, your heart pressed not to find the brain concussed footballer, an influencer who doesn't know how to spell, and a woman who's only claimed too famous, that she's famous.

These are the, because this is a vacuous, dead civilization that celebrates death, emptiness, absence, alienation, atomization. We glorify malignant individualism, self-sufficiency. In your face, I don't need anyone. Just watch me. I mean, see if I care.

We glorify psychopathic. This is psychopathy, by the way. It's called reactance, this kind of attitude. We glorify fake it till you make it. And if you don't make it, still fake it. And we glorify all these things. We have made them the pillars of our society today.

Where would the child look if you tear him away from his tablet? Where would you direct his gaze?

Remember to take your antidepressants after this episode.

It gives me a lot to think about. I've always been very choosy about the people that my son around always. I was raised to have very positive, very loving individuals in my life. And so that's who I want to have in my son's life.

He is a very sensitive person by nature himself.

So I'm also very careful in that regard as well.

But this deepens that.

Okay. Switching gears.

You've given me a lot to personally think about switching gears.

Okay. I have watched two of your videos so far. I've watched the signs you are a victim of narcissistic abuse, not common abuse, and also the PTSD emotional numbing video.

And I wanted to ask you, there's a comparison that you made that I thought was very interesting between trauma bonding and Stockholm syndrome. What is that comparison? How did they compare?

Stockholm syndrome is not a recognized clinical entity. It was a suggestion in 1973 by a Swedish psychologist. He suggested to me. It simply means that when you depend for your life on someone, you would tend to idealize them. And that's why I have a massive disagreement with Melanie Klein.

Melanie Klein was a very prominent psychologist, psychoanalyst. Melanie Klein suggested that the child idealizes himself and renders the mother a bad object, which is like, you know, it's called splitting. He becomes all good, the mother becomes all bad. I believe it's exactly the opposite.

The child has to idealize the mother. It would be inconceivable for the child to conceive of the mother as a bad object because his life depends on the mother. It's terrifying to think that your life depends on a bad object. He would have, he would do exactly the opposite. He would idealize the mother. He would say the mother is all good so that he feels safe, feels safe and secure.

Same with Stockholm syndrome. You idealize the kidnapper because if you begin to accept that the kidnapper is about to kill you, is cruel, evil, sadistic, you would freak out. It's frightening. It's terrifying because you're a hostage. As a hostage, you want to believe that there is some goodness in the kidnapper, that he will never harm you for no reason, that everything will turn out for the better. That is as human as you are.

So you idealize the kidnapper because I have breaking news for you. Kidnappers are not nice people, but you need to conceive of them, misconceive of them as nice people. And that's the Stockholm syndrome. Very simple.

Trauma bonding is much more complex phenomenon.

Trauma bonding relies on transfer of internal functions to an outsider, which happens to be the intimate partner in the majority of cases, but doesn't have to be, could be a boss or even your employee, your neighbor.

When we transfer what we call ego functions, when we transfer functions, psychological functions that are normally carried out internally, when we transfer them to another person to carry these functions for us.

In other words, when we outsource internal psychological functions, we become dependent on that person, because that person carries out these functions for us.

So for example, that person now has the power to regulate our sense of self-esteem and so forth. That person becomes our reality testing. We look to that person to grasp reality, etc.

So we become dependent on that person.

If that person is consistent, loving, caring, compassionate, the relationship is survivable. It's not healthy.

Transferring your inner function to someone else is never healthy. It's mostly done by codependents and borderline and narcissism, of course.

But if the other party is benevolent, not malevolent, it's survivable.

What happens if the other party is malevolent, or the other party has his own problems of self-regulation?

The other part is as mentally ill as you are. So you would tend to have a resonating echo chamber where you would hand your internal functions to that person. That person would reject the imposition and have his own problems, and he would try to hand his internal functions to you, and it would be like back and forth.

In the process, such people, the intimate part of, for example, they become very dysregulated because they kind of absorb your needs as well as theirs. They can't cope with themselves. They're immature. They're fragmented. They can't even manage themselves, let alone another person.

So when you force yourself from these people, they become dysregulated and very aggressive, frustrated and aggressive. So you have what we call intermittent reinforcement. You have situations where the other party is very good to you and then very bad to you, then very good to you, then very bad to you. If the other party is malevolent, it's part of a bullying pattern. It's a control mechanism.

But very often the other party is not malevolent. They're just dysregulated.

And then you have intermittent reinforcement that is the outcome of the internal battle, internal conflict in your intimate partner's soul. He just can't cope. He can't cope.

So he freaks out. He freaks out. He becomes aggressive and abusive. Then he regrets it. He feels shame. He goes dystonic, and he becomes very nice to you.

And this up and down, this roller coaster, this good, bad, black, white, and so on, this is called intermittent reinforcement.

And it renders you even more dependent on the intimate part to the point that you vanish, literally vanish. You import all your ego functions and other functions from him.

He will decide in the morning if you're going to be in a good mood or a bad mood. He looks at you a certain way. You're in a bad mood for the rest of the day. He smiles at you. You're floating on clouds. You're walking on clouds.

His ability to regulate your labile moods, his ability to regulate your emotions, tells you I love you. You feel love, tells you I hate you. You feel desperate and suicidal. His ability to regulate your emotions. His ability to regulate your self-esteem. He says, honey, do you know you gained weight? You're done. You're done for a month.

Or he tells you you've never been more radiant and attractive. He, in other words, is in full control of your internal landscape, your internal environment. And because he himself is dysregulated, there's no predictability and no constancy in the input that he provides you.

So consequently, you are not stable and you are not constant. This creates trauma bonding. It traumatizes you, of course. But it also bonds you to it because the next fix of good feeling, the next fix of a good mood, the next fix of wanting to have sex, the next fix comes from him.

You're outsourced. He becomes your sole supplier.

And like every monopoly, he abuses it, of course.

Okay. You seem to be in a constant state of shock. I'm traumatizing you.

No, it's fascinating though. I like this information because it causes my wheels to turn. And then it's going to make me go and watch even more of your videos because I really like knowledge. It helps me. Although it is scary, it is terrifying, it is traumatizing, but it's that fear that makes you do better.

Is that how hard they have to work to get views?

I get it now. I understand.

There's something that you also said that abuse of all kinds interferes with the victim's ability to work. And I had never heard that before, but it makes sense because I talk to survivors of domestic violence every day.

And one of the side effects of abuse, they just can't function in the workplace. They can't find work and they brush up against the societal view that you don't want to work or you just don't want to do it. And it's not that they don't want to, is that they're incapable of doing it because of the trauma that they've experienced.

So why is that? Why do so many victims have such an inability to work?

Abuse is especially narcissistic abuse, not all abuse, but especially narcissistic. It's all pervasive.

First of all, it negates you as a separate entity. It takes away your autonomy, self-autonomy, and self-independence, and self-efficacy. It renders you an object, objectifies you. Logics and dehumanizes you, definitely defeminizes you if you're abusive as a man. It takes away your attributes. It strips away at your core identity. You are left wondering who you are because this information is no longer accessible to you.

And so the abuse is all pervasive in the sense that it is multiple simultaneous effects on your moods, emotions, cognitions, and so on. It's not limited to one realm, one internal realm.

And so at some point, you're unable to contain the abuse. It's a little like a flood. You can't limit the flood to the basement.

You say, flood, flood, you're going to remain in the basement, and we're going to survive wonderfully. You're going to be in the basement. I'm going to be upstairs. You can't do this. Water, be water. Boys, be boys. Abuses, be abusers. And they're going to crawl up to the top of the floor and invade your bed.

So at some point, your internal boundaries break down. Your external boundaries are long gone. Otherwise, you would not have had an abuser in your life.

But then your internal boundaries break down. And everything becomes characterized. All your internal objects are out of whack, and you can't control your internal environment anymore.

At this point, you begin to compensate for the internal mayhem via anxiety, depression, intrusive dreams, intrusive thoughts, obsessive compulsive behaviors, PTSD in extreme cases, flashbacks, and so on. That's an extreme case.

So, of course, you can also not compartmentalize anymore. Jung and much later, even Goofmann suggested that when we go to work, for example, we wear a mask. It's called persona. Jung called it persona. Goofmann called it a mask. We wear a mask. The mask simply means that we separate a part of us that is able to cope with external circumstances and is inaccessible to the other parts of us which are bothered and disrupted by the abuse.

This trick works neatly for a while, but then it's not working anymore. It becomes overwhelming. The abuse becomes overwhelming and all pervasive, ubiquitous, and destroys the compartments, the inner boundaries that you had constructed, and dysregulates you. You're unable to think straight. Your emotions overtake you. You freeze suddenly in the middle of a task. You freeze. You find yourself ruminating, thinking the same thought over and over again, painful, relieving the pain. It's called revealedness.

At some point, abuse overwhelms you and disrupts your functionality as a worker, as a mother, as a daughter, as an inolio function.

Let's see.

You also mentioned that the guidelines to establish a PTSD or complex PTSD are too restrictive. What did you mean by that?

It is. Guidelines for PTSD are too restrictive because diagnostic criteria for PTSD, which has survived for well over 40 years mysteriously, because we know a lot more now than 40 years ago, but the diagnostic criteria are the same, strangely.

So the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, for example, focus on a single event. Let's say it's a single event that has caused this disease, PTSD.

And that's, of course, way too restrictive.

The difference between CPTSD and PTSD is flashbacks, a major difference. We have flashbacks in PTSD.

Contrary to the nonsense online, we do not have flashbacks in CPTSD. And there is no such thing as emotional flashback. It's utter unmitigated nonsense.

So we have flashbacks. The clinical term is reviviveness. We revive, we relieve, relieve an experience.

And when we leave, we leave through an experience again. We mistake, we make a mistake. We think we are in that experience again. It's not that we are aware that we are in some other reality, but we are catapulted, we are thrown back into the original event.

Smells, tastes, noises, everything. That's flashback. There's no flashback in CPTSD.

Complex trauma is much longer. I mean, the abuse is repetitive, takes much longer. Complex trauma has its own set of criteria and so on.

Originally described by Judith Herman, but we've come a long way since then, Van der Kolk, others.

And what I'm, my beef, my carp is that I think PTSD can occur even with multiple exposure.

We need to distinguish PTSD from CPTSD.

The prognosis for PTSD is somewhat less promising than for CPTSD. PTSD is much more destructive, much more destructive. It also contains an element, an element of a threat to existence or threat to the order of the universe, a threat to establish perception of the world.

So it's distinguishable from complex trauma, but we should open up the PTSD diagnosis to allow for PTSD that occurs after multiple exposures or multiple events or multiple circumstances, because it does occur sometimes.

So let me give you an example, just to elucidate.

Imagine two women, both of them are married to a physical abuser. So there's domestic violence, there's family violence, okay?

One of them is beaten up on a regular basis. Let's say once a week, let's say once a week to become a ritual. She's beaten up once a week, but the beating is kind of perfunctory and bruising, but not so serious. It's more symbolic. I'm your master and you're my property. I'll do with you whatever I want. And that's my way of showing my love to you.

The abuser says, I beat you up because I'm jealous and I'm jealous that I love you.

So there is this, and in this kind of abuse, the woman will develop complex PTSD.

First of all, because the messages from the abusers are messages of love, crazy love, distorted love, sick love, but still a message of love.

And second reason is the abuse is not too egregious, not too extreme, okay? She will develop complex trauma, see if it is the other woman who has a neighbor next door. Her husband is beating up once a year, but when he does, she ends up in a hospital on life support. And when he does beat her up, he tells her how much he hates her and how much he wants her dead. That woman will develop PTSD, not complex PTSD, because it's much more extreme and because it's embedded in a message of hate and annihilation. I'm going to kill you. I'm going to destroy you.

So even though in both cases it's a repeatable event, in the second case every year, the reaction would be very different.

So the fact that an event repeats itself should not exclude a diagnosis of PTSD.

That's all I was trying to say.

That's interesting.


Let's see.

Okay. You mentioned something that was really interesting to me.

You said that major traumas lead to two opposing outcomes.

One is regression into an infantile behavior and defenses. And the other is a spurt of personal growth and maturation.

And I'm wondering if this difference, does this difference cause some to become narcissists as a result and the others not become narcissists?


This sentence that you had cited refers to adulthood.

In adulthood, when we hear a trauma, some of us react by regressing to childhood. Some of us react by growing. It induces growth, personal growth, maturation.

Some of us do both.

We first regress for a while, recuperate, recover, and then we grow.

Now, of course, narcissists, people with personality disorders, I would even say people with mental health disorders, generally, more generally, they would tend to regress.

But especially narcissists and borderlines, they would tend to regress to childhood. This would be their safe zone and their tactic, their coping strategy.

And they never, never grow as an outcome of trauma. They just spend time as newly minted children for a while, six months, one year, one month, two weeks, I don't know why. And then they emerge unscathed. There's no nothing that happens. And they do this by deploying a special psychological mechanism known as dissociation.

When they regress to childhood, they become infantilized. They become dependent. They become immature. They become petulant. They refuse to fulfill adult chores or meet adult responsibilities. They don't hold themselves accountable. They act out recklessly, unthinkingly, etc.

So they become children.

And then after a while, they revert to form. They become narcissists again, no borderlines. They don't grow. They don't change.

The trauma induces zero change.


Because they have this dissociation mechanism. They dissociate. They cut off the trauma, store it in cold storage and move on. They have been doing this since early childhood.

Children who are traumatized, and there are many ways to traumatize a child by the way, to spoil a child is to traumatize a child. Children who are traumatized usually dissociate the trauma, cut it off, slice it off. And then they cold storage it. They put it in storage.

And this process is known as dissociation. And this survives into adulthood.

So adults with narcissism, they use the same technique exactly.

Bad thing happened, cut it off, cut it out, store it in cold storage, try to forget about it. Takes a week, takes two weeks, takes a year. Then at some point they forget about it and they revert to being themselves, unmolested, unchanged, forever younger.

That's really common, I'm finding.

Dissociation is becoming more and more common because reality had become unbearable and intolerable. Dissociation is a defense against reality. We now have what I would call environmental trauma.

While previously trauma had been inflicted by one individual or another, today we have structural trauma that means structures and institutions that inflict trauma on groups of people. We'repeople.

We're talking today about racism, for example. So police is inflicting structural trauma on minorities, piece of that kind.

Not of course, not all police, but some policemen.

And I would add environmental trauma. Trauma that is not inflicted by anyone, but the environment itself is dystopian and sick.

So just being in the environment traumatizes you. It's like I would put you tomorrow in a mental asylum. All the mental patients would be very nice to you, but just being there would be so dark and that you would be traumatized. You would emerge traumatized.

And many doctors and nurses, for example, describe being traumatized in COVID words.

None of the patients attacked them. I mean, there was no, the patients did not traumatize.

It's the environment that traumatized. The COVID word or department in the hospital is a very hellish, traumatic place.

So these are types of trauma that are becoming a lot more common than before.

Environments today, I can't think, I can't think of a single environment that is not conducive to trauma. Online or offline, the dating scene, you date, when you date, highly traumatic. When you go online, highly traumatic. I mean, you name it, there's no escape. There's environmental traumatization everywhere.

And so people are dissociating more. They need to forget. They need to forget. If you remember, you're done for. It's too much to remember. It's overload and you will short circuit.


Well, thank goodness I'm not dating. I said, thank goodness I'm not dating. I don't have that drama to worry about.

Ask me, talk to your friends who are dating. This is first becoming one of those traumatic experiences.

Absolutely traumatic.

The consequences that many men and women gave up on, I mean, many women gave up on men and many men gave up on women and they kind of, thank you very much. The prize is not worth the price.

It's not, it depends on the price.

Well, you have a point there. There are more important things in life. I mean, self-care and being happy and taking care of your family.

Of course, you can always sublimate. This is called sublimation. When actually you want something, but you can have it, then you sublimate it. You use, to resolve the cognitive dissonance, you redirect the energy.

So you say, I actually don't want sex. I'm writing a book.

So the problem with dating is that people have become much more narcissistic. These grandiose have centered and titled. I would even say that the large proportion are becoming psychopathic. And even more importantly, the younger people, when I say younger, let's say under age 40, they did not succeed to develop relationship skills because they had been exposed to the hookup culture, casual sex, junk food in essence. They didn't have practice. Relationship is a muscle. Use it or lose it.

And so they don't have the basic skills, compromise, negotiation, adaptation, accommodating. They have communication. They don't have this.

None, zero, nothing.

And so when younger people try to date each other, they are confronted with replicas of themselves. They're dating themselves. There's no other there.

And it ends in acrimony and breakup and mess.

Because when they're faced with their date, the date is self-focused or anxious or depressed or unemployed or narcissistic or psychopathic.

And at any rate, doesn't know the first thing about courting and flirting and relationships.

And you know what? I whisper your secret. Doesn't know the first thing about sex.

We have studies of one-night stands, first date sex, where 80% of women who have had sex on the first date, this sex became one-night stand because there's no relationship after that. But 80% of women reported not having an orgasm. And a whopping two-thirds of men reported the same.

They don't know to do sex. They don't know what to put in what.

I mean, maybe they know this, but not much more.

There's no context. Even in a one-night stand, you need context. You need a fairy tale. You need a fantasy. You need something in the air, however minimal. You need some intimacy, however basic.

They don't have this. They don't know how to do intimacy. And their only fantasy is a dystopian.

Did you see the recent crop of video games? It's a bloody surrealistic horror show. I mean, these video games are about people slaughtering each other and babies killing parents. It's dystopian. It's horrible.

So even when they fantasize, their fantasies are based on video games and movies. I mean, that's where we derive fantasy material from.

They don't know how to fantasize. They don't know how to do intimacy.

And of course, the sex becomes mechanical, robotic, mutual masturbation, which I am telling you again, in the overwhelming vast majority of cases, does not end in orgasm.

Listen, I am 60 years old. My generation invented one-night stands. I've had my share. I've had my share.

I can confide in you. Never happened to me, not to orgasm. Not in a single one-night stand.

Because we knew how to do that. We brought on the magic. We rendered the event. We imbued it with charm. The charm of a man and a woman, the greatest miracle in magic in the world.

This transcendence, even if this transcendence is a five-minute thing, but it's still transcendence.

I don't remember a woman not orgasming, and they were not faking, because we didn't see each other the next day. They didn't have to fake. I don't remember a woman in a one-night stand, and I don't remember myself, not orgasming.

It was unthinkable.

But this is what they are reporting. And close to 90% of them describe the sex as cursory and disappointing.

Lisa Wade, who studied sexuality of young people, has been studying sexuality of young people for decades, Zimbabwe or others.

They describe an absolutely horrible scene destroyed totally by pornography.

For example, young men insist, statistically, on a first date, to have anal sex. I have nothing against anal sex. Let it be clear. It is not for a first date. I mean, it takes a lot of intimacy, knowing each other's bodies, getting to know each other's bodies and so on.

But they insist on anal sex because they saw it in a pornography. And I'm talking about sex, because for me, sex, as I told you, is a seismograph of life. And sex, dating, intimacy, they are amalgams. They are cocktails. They are compendiums of multiple skills to become intimate in any way, physical or emotional or psychological.

You need to deploy. You need to use dozens of skills, starting with communication and ending with compromise. You need, there's a lot of skill. I mean, this is the ultimate test of skills. And they're failing this test, massively. All of them are failing this test.

So, they're avoiding each other. Youth sexlessness is a major problem.

In some countries, people don't have sex, period, end of story, like Japan, United Kingdom.

Let's see. Okay.

If emotion, if emotion is in response to a traumatic event or trauma are not expressed or processed, this can shatter the personality, having permanent psychological effects.

I found that to be a very profound statement that you meant, to shatter the personality.

What does it look like when the personality is shattered? How would that manifest itself?

Personality, as opposed to self. The self is an inner construct. It's internalized. It's bounded.

So, it's constellated, integrated. So, each part of the self interacts seamlessly and perfectly with each other, with every other part, ideally, of course.

But self is not a personality. Personality is how the self, the character, this character is distinct from the self, and the temperament.

So, how these three are manifested, how they're expressed.

Personality, to a large extent, is defined by others, by the other's gaze.

So, your personality would be defined, usually, initiallyby your parents. And the more feedback you get, the more input you get from the environment, the more well-defined your personality will have become.

So, when we say he has a strong personality, that's an observation, not of a fact, but it's an observation of how many people observe him. It's an opinion poll. It's an opinion poll.

It's like we just polled or asked 100 people, what do you think about him? And 100 people said, he's strong.

We say, okay, he has a strong personality.

So, in other words, personality is relational. Self is also relational. Self forms as a result of interactions with other people.

But these interactions are internalized as input, and that's it.

The personality constantly interacts with the environment. It's the outlying face. It's the public face of the self.

Now, when emotion, when anything, not only emotion, but when an emotion is very strong, when an idea, you have an idea that is very strong, when there's a trauma or a loss, anything that's too strong. Shatters can shatter, can affect the way that you present yourself to the world.

Not necessarily yourself, but the way you present yourself, character and temperament to the world.

One of the mediating factors is mood. Your mood can change.

So, if you endured a loss, you'll become depressed. If you become depressed, the way you present yourself to the world and the way you interact with the world will change, of course.

So, mood is a mediating factor.

Similarly, if you've been traumatized, suddenly there's a thought. You cannot get rid of this intrusive thought. It keeps coming back to you. You caught your husband cheating, okay? And it's horrible. You can't get the images out of your mind. I mean, they keep coming and coming and coming. You try to suppress them and try to distract yourself, but you can't.

So, intrusive thoughts are a mediating factor because intrusive thoughts will affect the way you present yourself to the world.

You will become, for example, more distracted. You will be less focused, less attentive.

Emotions. Emotions can be very strong. They can overwhelm you. They can dysregulate you.

Any change in the internal environment is bound to have an effect not on yourself if you have a strong integrated, constellated self, but is bound to have an effect on the way you present yourself to other people via your personality.

Personality is, of course, also about memory. Without memories, we have no identity. And without an identity, we have no predictable and constant personality.

When we present ourselves to other people, we consult our identity. We ask ourselves, who am I? Who am I? Is it in line with my values? Is what I'm about to say or do in line with my beliefs? Do I remember something like this I did before and what was the outcome?

You consult your identity. You consult your bank of memories before you act, before you say, before you present your personality.

By the way, personality is from the word persona, which in ancient Greek means theater mask. So personality is a mask that you present, but a mask that is informed by your identity and memory.

If there is something strong enough to shatter your identity, to alter your beliefs, for example, to change your values, to cast in doubt your faults, your ideas, your ideologies, that would have an effect on your identity and obviously will change your personality dramatically.

The personality is not immune and is amenable to external shocks as opposed to the self. When the self is constantly healthy, it's not amenable to external shocks.

Now here's the thing with the narcissist, by the way, narcissist has only personality, not self. That's why narcissists are amenable to external shocks and that's why they keep soliciting narcissistic supply. They need something from outside. They have no memories. They're dissociative. They have no core identity at all. They have an empty, schizoid core and they have no personality. They have no self, constellated self. They have no ego and they use other people to regulate their ego functions where an ego should have been. They are hive mind. They are a collection of all the minds of people around them. They create a collage, kaleidoscopic collage all the time. So they're shape-shifting. They're like a cloud, a wisp of cloud or smoke from a cigarette. They're shape-shifting all the time. They're aerosol to borrow a COVID term.

Okay, talked about that one already. Emotional numbing can lead to memory problems or amnesia. Emotional numbing or amnesia? Most amnesia is reversible.

The problem is not to reverse the amnesia. The problem is what they call reframing.

When you had experienced a trauma, let's assume you were raped while you were 15 or 16. You experienced a trauma. You have two options.

You can say I've been objectified. I've been mistreated as a human. Other humans are predators, dangerous and horrible and frightening. They've taken advantage of me. They're bad people, evil people. This is one option and then of course you'll be traumatized. You suffer a lot.

The other option is to reframe.

So reframe saying I actually wanted it. I enjoyed it. It was my initiative. I was in control. I'm not a victim. That's reframing.

But reframing usually comes at the later stage.

The initial reaction to being raped at the age 15 or 16, the initial reaction is to deny it, to forget it, to cut it off, to dissociate.

So many, many people who had undergone such experiences, they dissociate the experience.

And we have severe difficulty in therapy trying to bring the experience back into memory.

And this creates a lot of false memories because they try to compensate for the amnesia, for the forgetfulness, for the dissociation and they invent stories to please the therapist.

So it's a serious problem, complex problem.

But ultimately if the trauma, the suppressed trauma ultimately comes to mind via flashbacks, via dreams, via memory, snippets of memories, it comes to mind somehow.

And in order not to disintegrate, these people reframe. They invent a narrative where actually what happened to them was their initiative. They controlled it. They wanted it. It was not rape. It wasn't rape. They raped the guy. The guy didn't rape her.

She raped the guy.

I mean, it's, you know, of course this defense is a problem on multiple levels.

During the traumatic event, there was emotional numbing. Emotional numbing because the emotions overwhelmed the person and dysregulated to the point she could lose her mind. So she shot off the emotions.

So this kind of people feel that they are outside their bodies, depersonalization. Or they feel that what's happening is not real. It's not real. Derealization. Or they consume substances and drugs, alcohol and drugs.

So as to numb themselves because they know what's coming, they feel helpless, they can't escape. So they numb themselves.

But these emotions are there. They're sliced off. They're there. Later on in life when the trauma comes to the fore, comes to the surface, the emotions come back with full force, with a vengeance.

This creates extremely dangerous situations compared to psychosis.

Emotional numbing is band-aid. It's good for the minute. If it continues into adulthood or throughout life, it's a recipe for disaster. It's like pent-up volcano or earthquake or tsunami. It's going to destroy the whole continent.

So we encourage patients in therapy, for example, to express emotions or at least to access emotions.

Now you see many, many traumatized people, especially if they had been traumatized when they were really, really helpless, like children or adolescents.

I mentioned rapes of adolescents. It's more common than you know, more common than you know. And these children and adolescents, they're really, really helpless. They can't escape. They're hostages.

So they go to emotional numbing and it remains with them for life as a strategy.

So when we talk to these people, they have what we call flat affect or reduced affect display. It's like we're talking to animated dolls, to robots. It's a monotonous voice. She can say the most horrible things or he can say the most horrible things. And it's like they're talking about yesterday's shower. Yeah, they raped me. And after that, they dumped me in the ditch and then I had to wash myself and go home. Then she would talk like it's, you know, discussing yesterday's breakfast.

So emotional numbing may continue as a defense because the trauma defended against is too much to contemplate even a decade later or two decades later.

There's a major science of severe trauma. And untangling or bringing these emotions and the trauma to the surface is a very delicate and exceedingly dangerous and risky process because there was good reason that person defended against the trauma. There's a good reason these emotions are numb and repressed. We're playing with fire. They can end very badly.

So trauma therapy is a very, very delicate thing.

And I am furious, furious at online self-styled experts with and without academic degrees, coaches and so on, who play with trauma just like this, as though it were nothing. I'm equally furious of them for perpetuating the trauma status by encouraging victims to remain victims, by not pushing victims to recognize their own contribution to what had happened, by not teaching them the skills of avoiding future trauma, by perpetuating the abuse of the trauma. It's actually a form of narcissistic abuse.

So I am disgusted to my core with the online scene. And that includes people manifesting the title of doctor and utterly revolted by what I see, utterly revolted. It's a money-driven, these are money-driven con artists. And with zero empathy, they are abusers first class. I know only of one, maybe two exceptions. All the others are scammers and scum, simply.

Do you ever come to the US to give talks?

I'm more of a European character, as you can hear by my accent. I lived in the States for two years, but I no longer visit. So I focus on Europe.

Honestly, I intensely dislike American mentality and your culture and what you presume to call civilization. No personal offense, but America is everything that's bad in the world. It's everything that's good in many respects, but it's absolutely everything that's bad. Everything I've just described emanated from this cesspool that you call United States of America. Everything I've just described, including the last comment. These are American phenomena for better or worse.

You had started off with healthy cells and a healthy body and the most amazing humanistic ideology, but you have ended up malignantly as a society, as a country, as a civilization.

You are not doing good in the world a long time ago already. You're not doing good. You're a bad example, and you're exporting toxicity all around.

What did I mention in this interview?

Social media, American, self-styled con artists, online, American, fake it till you make it American, atomization, American.

Is there anything I mentioned in this conversation that's not American? It's all American. We can't ignore this.

Now you infect the world like the virus. You infect the world via vectors of social media, Hollywood, mass media.

You have many tools at your disposal to spread the contagion, but the world would have been much worse off without America in the 1960s. The world would have been definitely much worse off without America in some parts of the 19th century. The world would be today better off without America, considerably better off.

Not the people of America, but America is an ideal, is an ideal, is an organizing principle.

What America had become is what America had become is an abomination, in my view.

Well, I can't altogether disagree with you, given the last four years, but to kind of balance that as far as other countries, what would you say is our healthiest country?

Countries have been infected. I worked in Russia in the late 90s. I lived in Russia in the late 90s, and I had the opportunity to live in Russia 20 years later. Russia had become Americanized. I grew up in Israel in the 60s and 70s, and I'm looking at Israel now. Israel had become Americanized. I look at China in the 1970s, and I look at China now. China is a surrealistic rendition of the American dream, sick rendition of the American dream.

There's no place untouched and unmolested because of the vectors of media, mass media, social media, and so on. And because of the American ideals, the malignant version of the American ideals, caters to the worst in human character, laziness, deceitfulness, expediency, the lack of empathy, it caters to the base, to the base urges and drives of mankind.

Of course, mankind always defaults to its baseline. American ideology, malignant ideology today encourages and incentivizes narcissistic and psychopathic behavior. Worldwide, there are still untouched enclaves, hopefully, presumably.

Perhaps some parts of Switzerland, perhaps some parts of the Netherlands, perhaps some parts of the Middle East, I'm not sure. But these parts are few and far between.

And in the case of the Middle East, for example, they are paying the price by isolating themselves and becoming reactionary.

So the Jordan Peterson message, you know, give up on the modern world, go back to cavemen age.

We were much happier during the Bible time. I don't know how he knows, he's not that old.

But that's his message, essentially. Give up on modernity, go back to traditional values, including his message to women, false monogamy, he calls it, women must marry.

It's a pernicious message, and it's an American growth.

That's the irony. It's also part of America. It could have never risen anywhere, except in America.

So in America, you have these evangelicals and so on, they are the equivalent of militant Islam. They are malignancies.

These are forms of cancer.

But while militant Islam represents a tiny, tiny vanishing fraction of Muslims worldwide, evangelical Christians are a giant group in the United States.

And I'm talking about the Jerry Falwell scam artists, con artists, these types.

So everything that's an outgrowth, a cancerous tumor of this tiny proportion in the world, in America, it's the core, it's the heart. It's the main message.

Fundamentalism in America is rife way more than in Islam. I can't tell you how way more.

So religious fundamentalism. And I don't know if America is such a feminist society, if you measure it by certain materialistic criteria, that perhaps America is better off than let us say Saudi Arabia.

But are these the only criteria? Are women happy? I don't think so. They're not. They're distinctly less happy than they were before. Something had gone awry. Something had gone awry. And whatever it is that had happened to your body politic and body social and body intellectual, you're exporting all over the world. And it's poisoning us in every corner.

So I wouldn't be averse to the idea of the United States disappearing. As I was, I would have been in the 1960s and 70s, 60s at least, then or 50s or 40s or 30s or 20s. Then if America were to disappear, it would have been the end of the world as we know it. It would have been horrible, absolutely horrible. America was indispensable. America was the hope, the big one, the world. Today, it will not be the late lamentable America, just the late.

I think that's all that I have.

Yeah, we are closing on two hours and people were to watch this in entirety. There will be mass casualties and you know, hospitals are clogged with COVID. We shouldn't do this to people. It's abusive.

Well, forgive me, I watched two of your videos.

No, it's a pleasure. Don't worry, I'm kidding. If you have any last question, maybe, and if not, then you did.

It's not a question, but it's a post of yours that I saw on Instagram that I wrote down in entirety and I really liked it. It said, two wrongs never make you right. If you cheat on your cheating narcissist, you are still a cheater. If you abuse your abuser, you are an abuser yourself. If you behave like a psychopath, then you are willing. If you mirror evil, you become evil. Stare into the abyss and it will consume you whole.

Being a victim is not a license to join the ranks of your tormentors. Beware of self-righteousness and moral superiority. They are the paving stones on the path to hell. Thank you.


Beautiful, beautiful.

Thank you for putting it so completely.

Thank you for that.

Thank you for having me, and it's been a true pleasure.

I'm sorry about the anti-American rant, but I think it's an integral part of discussing narcissism. I don't think it's besides the point. It's a narcissistic society. America is a narcissistic society.

It is.

I just did some study about that in another class where you watched a special about violence and how it came to be as a result of Columbus coming over and by the decade and by the decade and how it inspired media and it just became, and it brought to mind narcissism throughout the entire video. I was like narcissism all in my mind. So it makes, what you said is true, then it makes sense.

You know, when the Puritans came to America in the 17th century, everyone regards the Puritans as the antithesis of narcissism, like they're the opposite of narcissism. There was no group more narcissistic than the Puritans because the Puritans said, if I am rich, if I get rich, if I make money, that means I'm chosen by God. That means I'm blessed by God.

They regarded material possessions, material success as an imprimatur, as a sign, a sure sign that they are beloved by God, that they are chosen by God, that they are special and unique in the eyes of God.

I cannot conceive of a more narcissistic message than this. This is grandiose even by my standards.

I mean, it's totally inflated. This was the founding creed of the American dream, the sins of the fathers.

Thank you for having me. Well, thank you.

Hopefully we can do it again.


So with pleasure. Absolutely. Wonderful. I will stop recording, but please don't go away because I want to talk to you about some technicalities.

Oh, okay. Sure. I'm stopping the recording.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Cuckolds, Swingers (Lifestyle), and Psychopathic Narcissists: Death of Intimacy?

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the psychodynamic background of psychopathic narcissism, the compromise of the malignant narcissist with their partner, and the psychology of cuckolds and swingers. He also explores the concept of intimacy and the prevalence of casual sex, swinging, and cuckoldry in modern society, and the impact of these practices on meaningful relationships.

Narcissism: A Talk Across the Generations (with Nicolas Martin)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses his expertise in narcissistic personality disorder, the interconnectedness of personality disorders, the impact of trauma on personality development, the influence of philosophers and psychologists on his thinking, the rise of narcissistic tendencies in modern society, the impact of digitalization on mental health, the relationship between psychology and politics, the future of psychology, and advice for young psychologists. He also shares his views on the possibility of a third world war and the direction of the field of psychology.

How I Experience My Narcissism: Aware, Not Healed

Sam Vaknin discusses his experience with narcissism, how it has affected his life, and how it has become a part of his identity. He explains that narcissism is a personality disorder that defines the narcissist's waking moments and nocturnal dreams. Despite his self-awareness, Vaknin admits that he is powerless to change his narcissism. The narcissist experiences their life as a long, unpredictable, terrifying, and saddening nightmare.

Narcissistic Autoerotic Dating (Talk with Genevieve DiNatale)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various topics in this series of transcripts, including narcissism, psychopathy, gender roles, and online dating. He explains that narcissism has a genetic component and can be caused by any breach of boundaries that denies the child separation from parental figures. He also talks about the sadomasochistic tendencies of narcissists and how they create self-justifying narratives. Additionally, he discusses the decline in sexual activity and childbirth rates in the younger generation, which he attributes to atomization, self-isolation, and technological empowerment. Finally, he talks about the phenomenon of online dating and social media infidelity, stating that men and women have different motivations for being on dating apps, and most interactions are for self-validation, entertainment, and filling time.

Lamenting the New Normal (with Megan Fox, The Fringe)

Sam Vaknin, a professor of psychology and economics, discusses the misuse of psychological disorders in family courts and the rise of narcissism and psychopathy in society. He also addresses the lack of expertise in certain fields, the impact of victimhood on individuals, and the intersectionality of abuse. He emphasizes the need for personal responsibility and accountability.

Narcissist=Insane? You, Envy, Withdrawal, Loner Narcissist

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the "lone wolf narcissist" and its connection to schizoid personality disorder. He delves into the psychological and societal factors contributing to this phenomenon, emphasizing the impact of modern life on individualism and social interactions. Vaknin also explores the relationship between narcissism and schizoid tendencies, shedding light on the complexities of these personality disorders.

Narcissist Needs to Break Your Spirit (Narcabuse TV on IGTV)

Sam Vaknin discusses his personal journey with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), his role in developing the language and understanding of narcissism, and the impact of his work on society. He explains that in 1995, he invented a new language to describe the internal dynamics of narcissism due to a lack of existing literature or terminology. Vaknin's work has been pioneering in the field, and he has coined many terms that are widely used today. He also discusses the difference between narcissistic style, narcissistic personality disorder, and malignant narcissism, as well as the societal trends that have led to an increase in narcissistic behaviors, especially among the young. Vaknin emphasizes the importance of no contact as the only effective strategy for escaping the damaging effects of a relationship with a narcissist or psychopath. He also touches on various topics such as victimhood, boundaries, addiction, triangulation, gaslighting, and self-destruction.

lovebombinggroomingLove Bombing and Grooming: In Crosshairs of Narcissists, Sadists, Psychopaths

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of demon possession and its relation to narcissism. He explores the historical and linguistic context of demon possession, comparing it to the vocabulary used in psychiatry. He delves into the psychological traits and behaviors associated with demon possession, drawing parallels to narcissism, psychopathy, and borderline personality disorder. Additionally, he examines the impact of brain injuries on personality disorders and the role of the false self in the narcissist's psyche.

Psychopathic Narcissist's Fantasy: Mr. Ripley in Truman Show

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the similarities between artificial intelligence and the narcissist, as well as the inner world of the psychopathic narcissist. He also analyzes the movies "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "The Truman Show" in relation to narcissistic behavior and the impact on victims. Vaknin delves into the moral and ethical implications of choices and dilemmas in the context of narcissistic abuse. He also explores the concept of utopia and its relation to choice and information.

Narcissist Invades, Replaces Your Comfort Zone, Boundaries (Lecture SF University)

Professor Sam Vaknin addresses students at Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation, discussing the impact of the pandemic on education and the shift to online lectures. He then delves into the topic of therapy, focusing on comfort zones, personal boundaries, and the evolving role of therapists in today's society. Vaknin emphasizes the challenges therapists face in a society characterized by loneliness, narcissism, and malpractice. He also explores the concept of shared fantasy and its impact on individuals in dysfunctional relationships. Vaknin concludes by discussing the prevalence of narcissism and psychopathy in modern society and the implications for psychotherapists.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy