YOU: Dead Inside or Self-sufficient?

Uploaded 3/9/2021, approx. 19 minute read

So, by now, all of you know that my channel had been rendered invisible by YouTube. It's no longer recommending my videos almost anywhere, and it's making sure that I don't get views.

And this is called, by conspiracy theorist, shadow banning. The correct term is deranking.

At any rate, I was thinking the other day, because I don't have what to do, you know, it's pandemic, idle, and so I was thinking the other day, who else would have been shadow banned on YouTube?

Well, I think first of all, Freud and Jung, because both Freud and Jung were inordinately interested in sex, and both of them were unusually politically incorrect. In this day and age, they would have been immediately suppressed. I even think that YouTube would have deleted the channel of one Sigmund Freud from Vienna, let alone Jung, who was a psychotic for five years, and bedded some of his patients. This is a new age of political correctness. There's no place for midgets and dwarfs of the soul, intellectual nobodies, like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich, and I could give you a whole litany of names. Even Gantryk himself would have been banned, because he had undergone analysis because of severe mental health problems.

OK, enough with the rant. What are we going to discuss today?

Today, we are going to discuss self-sufficiency and how most people mistake self-sufficiency for pathological forms, for pathological behaviors, and for pathological traits.

We confuse self-sufficiency, inner strength, resilience with other forms of behavior which resemble them a lot, but are actually very sick behaviors. This is why we keep falling in the traps that narcissists and psychopaths set for us, not to mention borderlines, because it's mimicry.

Their behaviors, their qualities, their external appearance resemble a lot of very centered, boundaried, healthy people.

I'm going to try to give you tools to distinguish between the healthy manifestations and the pathological ones.

So, stay with me for yet another bumpy ride.

Self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency, first of all, is self-sustaining. In other words, the truly self-sufficient person does not require input from the outside to sustain his self-sufficiency.

Self-sufficiency that evaporates when the person is alone, that's not self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency goes hand in hand with the ability to tolerate loneliness and aloneness, to be perfectly happy in your own company, to regard yourself as a sufficient interlocutor, to enjoy your own company, not to seek it, not to make it effective, but to be able to tolerate and sustain such periods when no one is around you or no one meaningful is around you.

So, loneliness, tolerance and self-sustaining, in a self-sustaining state, that's the first test of true self-sufficiency.

Test number two, firm personal boundaries, not crazy personal boundaries, not hysterically and aggressively imposed personal boundaries, not decompensation and acting out kind of self-personal boundaries, not defiant and contumacious personal boundaries, not just firm, reasonable personal boundaries enforced when needed, there, ambiently.

The existence of firm personal boundaries communicated clearly with sanctions and rewards. This is a sure-fire sign of self-sufficiency because it implies that there is a stable sense of self-worth and a stable sense of self-worth is crucial to healthy functioning.

The narcissist for example has an unstable sense of self-worth, the fluctuating one and he needs narcissistic supply to regulate his sense of self-worth.

And yes, you guessed it right, sense of self-worth includes self-esteem and self-confidence among other shadings, ways of organizing the world combinations of beliefs, emotions, cognitions and information.

So, a stable sense of self-worth.

Self-sufficiency is a hallmark and a sign of maturity, sign of resilience, sign of inner strength which emanates from a stable, well-defined, delineated and demarcated core, identity core.

Identity core goes hand in hand with uninterrupted and uninterrupted stream of memories, real or manufactured, it doesn't matter, most memories are manufactured, but an uninterrupted stream.

What matters is the continuity.

So, where there is dissociation there is no stable core, there is no unitary identity, everything fragments and fractures into self-states, pseudo-identities and then of course there's no inner strength and whereas there's no inner strength, there's no resilience, there's no ability to weather crisis, injuries and to overcome them and to incorporate them and to reframe them within a coherent narrative which is a good definition of resiliency.

And so, the ability to spend time with yourself, productive, content, it's a gift, it is the gift of self-sufficiency and of course self-sufficiency is intimately linked to what is known as a sense of agency and a sense of personal autonomy.

Agency and personal autonomy rely on something called internal locus of control, the belief that you are in charge of your life, the belief that you control your life and direct it, the belief that you can set goals and have a realistic expectation to realize some of them, the belief that most of what happens to you is the outcome of your own decisions and choices and you shouldn't blame others, in other words, not to have alloplastic defenses.

So, it starts with an internal locus of control and then when you have an internal locus of control it's easy to develop an all pervasive, all permeating sense of agency and personal autonomy.

What are agency and personal autonomy?

They include several elements, a distinct demarcated self, so you need to have a self, Freud called it the ego, but it's much more than the ego, it's closer to Jung's perception of self, many says hi.

So, a demarcated distinct self, as I said, clear boundaries, where I stop and you start, where you stop and I start and you have to respect this, this is element number one, element number two, smooth, seamless, assured self-governance, that's the internal locus of control, so now we are talking about agency and personal autonomy, requirement number one, to have a self, fully constellated, fully unitary, fully functional and fully perceived as distinct, so a self, requirement number two, self-assured self-governance, so self-confidence, self-esteem, sense of self-worth, that allow you to govern your life, to govern your life, an internal locus of control, element number three, the capacity to act independently based on free choice and the perception that your choices are free, they're not constrained, you're not under some tyrannical imposition, but whatever you choose to do, whichever decisions you adopt, they're yours, owning, owning your life, owning your actions and of course, owning the consequences of your actions, also known as accountability and responsibility, but there's no accountability and responsibility if there is no continuity of the personality, if there's no core identity and there's no accountability and no responsibility if there is no free choice, if your choices are dictated, you're not responsible for them and you should not be held accountable and if you don't have a core, a unitary core across time, then what you had done yesterday, you can't own today because today you're a different person.

And all these are the hallmarks and the prerequisites to what Bandura called, B-A-N-D-U-R-A, great thinker, Bandura called self-efficacy, here is how Bandura defined self-efficacy at the time, how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations, I would add to that how well one is able to extract beneficial outcomes from one's own environment, human or physical, let's wrap up self-sufficiency, self-sufficiency involves personal boundaries which are firm, reasonable and clearly communicated, it involves a stable sense of self-worth, maturity, resilience, inner strength and tolerance for loneliness.

The ability to spend time with yourself, productive and content, self-sufficiency is connected to sense of agency and personal autonomy and an internal locus of control, a distinct, demarcated self, smooth, seamless, assured self-governance, capacity to act independently based on free choice.

All this leads to self-efficacy, people who are self-sufficient are self-sufficient because they are self-efficacious, they trust themselves to execute courses of action, to use Bandura's words, to deal with prospective situations and to extract the best outcomes possible or shall I say the optimal outcomes.

This is self-sufficiency but overwhelming majority of people and that includes therapists, diagnosticians and even very experienced psychologists, overwhelming majority of people confuse and conflate and confound self-sufficiency with other phenomena, for example self-sufficiency is often confused with insecure fear-based hurt averse attachment styles, avoidance styles and styles of withdrawing.

So when you have someone who is insecure, he's afraid of intimacy, he's afraid of relatedness, he's afraid of object relations, he's afraid of connectedness, he's been hurt in the past maybe in early childhood.

So he's also hurt averse or pain averse. So he avoids all contact, his attachment style is touch and go, approach avoid.

He could be fearful, he could be dismissive, he could withdraw, he could absent himself, from the outside it might look like self-sufficiency.

You could say well this person doesn't need anyone, he is an island unto himself, he is self-sufficient.

But of course self-sufficiency, true self-sufficiency, emanates from strength, not from fear, it's the exact opposite of fear, it's not insecure, it's the ultimate form of being secure, self-sufficient people are not afraid of pain, they don't seek it, of course, they're not masochists but they're not afraid of pain and hurt, they realize that pain and hurt is an integral part of life and their attachment style is very solid and very secure, very healthy and very mature.

When you see someone with an insecure attachment style, especially approach avoidant like for example borderlines or narcissists, something's wrong, this is not a self-sufficient person, on the very contrary it is someone who is heavily dependent on other people and is terrified of his own dependence and resents it.

Okay other mental health problems masquerade as self-sufficiency. For example, the narcissist's grandiosity, the narcissist is so grandiose, so omnipotent, so omniscient, so perfect, so brilliant that he actually goes around broadcasting I don't need anyone, he's a kind of inverted virtual signaling. He's signaling I don't need anyone.

People say wow this guy is really self-sufficient, no he's not self-sufficient, he's simply terrified, he's a terrified child because he's a child, he doesn't have the equipment, the necessary tools to cope with other people, adult people.

So he is shunning the adult world by pretending to be not human, a god, a divinity. It's the narcissist's grandiosity that's the utter opposite, the exact opposite of self-sufficiency, the narcissist is the most dependent person in the universe.

The narcissist depends on other people every second of every minute of every hour or every day of every year of his life. He depends on other people to regulate his internal environment. He doesn't have an ego and all his ego functions are outsourced and externalized. He needs other people to tell him who he is, where he is, where is he going and what he should be doing. He needs other people to regulate his self-esteem, self-confidence, sense of self-worth, his dependence on other people is total.

The narcissist if I had to choose the antonym, the opposite of self-sufficient, I would say narcissist.

Similarly, the psychopaths, the psychopaths defines in your face I'm going to do what I want, I'm my own mane, my way or the highway, f you, you know this kind of psychopathic braggadaccio and swagger, this is not a sign of self-sufficiency, it's a sign of deep insecurities and an extreme terror that people will notice the psychopath's deficiencies and insecurities.

Lastly the psychopath they try to compensate for lacks, for defects, for deformities, for deficiencies with externalizing aggression in a variety of ways, behaving recklessly, daring due etc, this is the opposite of self-sufficiency.

The psychopath actually goes out into the world and tries to impress upon people and imprint them and enslave them and subjugate them and humiliate them and torture them because he needs other people as an integral part of his inner space. He doesn't need people the same way the narcissist does.

The narcissist uses people to regulate his sense of self-worth. The psychopath uses other people as a mask, he uses other people to cover up for the truth, the truth is that he's a miserable pathetic person, that's a psychopath.

And then you have the schizoids, the schizoids withdrawn from the world, schizoid is lonely, he doesn't talk to anyone, he has no friends, he doesn't have sex, he doesn't do sex, he doesn't do intimacy, he's a solitary solipsistic figure pursuing solitary pursuits, he is all alone, he's a lone wolf and a loner, he's not even a wolf, he's just a loner, he's reckless, the schizoids behavior is such that people say wow this guy is total, a girl is totally insufficient. He stays home all the time, he has no friends, he has no family, he doesn't need anyone, he's above it all. He is Nietzsche's superman, not in the moral sense, in the behavioral sense.

So some people even admire schizoids, they just say wow this guy is all powerful, he's almighty.

His lack of need is such that he can survive utterly by himself.

But actually schizoid disguises yawning, howling, void, an essential emptiness. His solipsistic reclusiveness, his withdrawal from the world is because he is not, he is an absence and he absented himself originally because of pain, because of rejection, because of humiliation, because of breach of boundaries, because of parentifying, instrumentalizing, objectifying as a child.

So to avoid a repeat of this situation, the schizoid solution is to not be, if you are not, if you go back to the womb as Gantt Harwood put it, if you're not, no one can do anything to you. So they absent themselves, then they eliminate themselves. It's a program of self eradication, incredible, unprecedented in any other form of mental illness.

And many think that schizoid personality disorder is the worst personality disorder and as close as you get to schizophrenia in a fair.

So the schizoid is not only not self-sufficient, he is not self, there's nobody there to be self-sufficient.

And then there's the borderline, the borderline is dysregulated, her emotions are dysregulated, she has mood lability, consequently she's very aggressive, she switches between a borderline state and a secondary psychopath.

I advise you to watch the videos about the borderline woman as a secondary psychopath, similar videos, I mentioned a woman there, as I believe that borderline men have a different typology, a different etiology and a different symptomatology and I call it covert borderline.

But be the cases made, the borderline is dysregulated and led by and reacts defiantly and reacts with actually psychopathic behavior.

And again people say wow, she is such a free spirit, she doesn't take crap from anyone. She's gung-ho, she's Annie Oakley.

You know, that's nonsense. The borderline disintegrates completely in the face of real perceived or anticipated abandonment, rejection and anxiety, she has extreme separation anxiety, she is a slave, she is a base form in terms of mental health, that's precisely why Otto Kahnberg said that people with borderline personality disorder are almost psychotic, they are on the border between neurosis and psychosis and this is why he called them borderline. They're on the border.

So these are really, really seriously disorganized personality, chaotic, almost touching upon dissociative identity disorder. They have multiple states and pseudo identities, and these identities are equally dysregulated, labile, it's a mess. One word to describe a borderline is a walking, talking based, carbon-based mess. And so that's obviously the exact opposite to a self-sufficient person.

Actually all these are forms of what we call counter dependency, counter dependency is dependency but dependency on being opposite, opposite, sorry, dependency on being contrarian, dependency on being defiant, dependency on humiliating, rejecting, sadistically taunting and tormenting, abusing, dependency on behaviors that distance the mentally ill person from his sources of dependency which inevitably frustrate him or her from time to time. It's a form of saying yeah I'm dependent on you but the hell with you, I can survive on my own, I'm going to show you, I'm going to demonstrate to you that I don't need you, which is of course nonsense.

The dependency is total but this is a form of counter dependency, the exact opposite of self-sufficiency, self-sufficient people don't go around advertising their self-sufficiency, they don't go around saying excuse me do you know that I'm self-sufficient, do you know that I don't need you, I mean that's ridiculous, self-sufficient people just are, it's the most purified, unadulterated form of being, truly being, truly present, I almost tempted to say truly mindful, self-sufficient people, people whose core comfortably co-exists with the world and their reality testing is unimpaired.

So what about the narcissists and psychopaths?

Let me try to throw light upon the inner construct of narcissists and psychopaths and how you perceive them.

You're accustomed to normal, mentally healthy people, as intimate partners, as colleagues, as friends of narcissists and psychopaths, the vast majority of your experiences are with other people and these other people are relatively healthy or normal, whatever that means, I mean they're not narcissists and psychopaths.

So your field of experience, your cumulative knowledge, the skills, the people skills you had acquired, your object relations, don't prepare you for the unprecedented, catastrophic and harrowing experience, calamitous experience with narcissists and psychopaths.

The intimate partners and narcissists and psychopaths keep probing, keep trying, keep attempting, keep begging, keep expecting, keep hoping with growing desperation and disbelief. They try to pry open their mates but their mates are inscrutable, inscrutable because there's nothing there. They're trying to pry open emptiness. They're trying to penetrate deep space. There's nothing there. There are light years between one molecule, one mental molecule and the other.

And so accustomed to normal, healthy, mentally healthy people, the intimate partners of narcissists and psychopaths keep probing, attempting with growing desperation and disbelief to pry open their inscrutable mates.

I have news for you. Move on folks. There's nothing to see here. It's an accident.

The psychopath and the narcissist are shimmering surfaces. They have no depth. Behind the alluring facade, there is only an empty, self-abandoned, schizoid core. No ego and self can ever form without object relations, without meaningful interpersonal interactions.

And because narcissists and psychopaths don't have interactions with objects, with other people, they have interactions only with internal objects, especially the narcissists, there's no ego there. There's no self. There's nobody to talk to. Nobody's home. There's nobody home. Your home alone is intimate partners.

Narcissists and psychopaths are goal-oriented, two-state, impersonal machines, gleaming metal, swamped by primitive defenses, drowning in negative emotionality. The harder you try to get to know the essential core of the narcissist or the psychopath, the more ruinous the descent into the black hole that is their essence of quiddity.

Narcissists and psychopaths are entities made of all-consuming absence. They are forms of carbon-based antimatter. You can't wrap your head. You can't wrap your head around this realization that your narcissist, your psychopath, the man you love with all your heart just isn't there. He's a mere apparition, a projection, a simulacrum, a simulation. He's not human in any possible sense of the word. You got yourself attached. You bonded with an ever-receding mirage of an oasis. This oasis, this mirage, is shape-shifting to mirror you, ideally.

Look at the mirage closely. It's the idealized you.

Ultimately, this deep space emptiness infects and permeates you. And you find yourself tumbling head-over-heels in the dark void of this absent soul, your tethered to nothing but your own impending doom.

So, people ask me, how can I keep my cerebral narcissist sexually active throughout our relationship?

The answer is approach and avoid all the time. Keep him on his toes. Keep him guessing. Keep him anxious, expecting the next blow to fall. Intermitted reinforcement is the name of the game. Imminent abandonment. Hint at triangulation but don't actually misbehave. And this will keep him hypersexed. As long as you remain half-heartedly committed, he will remain fully sexually active, even as a cerebral.

Make sure that you are never taken for granted. Make sure that you are never fully and irrevocably present and there.

Keep your suitcases packed at all times.

But is it true that cerebral narcissists do a lot of casual sex and cheat?

Cerebral narcissists are asexual, so they do not cheat.

Because to cheat, one needs to have sex. They are asexual, not sex. But even when they are in a somatic phase, they are sexually active only during the love bombing stage of the shared fantasy.

More generally, like all narcissists, cerebrals need to feel unique.

Casual sex implies that the cerebral is just one of many men, and also that he is about to be discarded once the sex is over, stripped of the locus of his superiority, his intellect, having been transformed into a mere sex object, an animated dildo. This is narcissistic injury, even bordering on mortification.

So cerebral narcissists avoid casual sex, at all costs.

I would like to read to you, to finish by reading to you two poems, excerpts from poems.

One is a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks. My dreams, my works, must wait till after hell. I bought my honey and I stole my bread in little jars and cabinets of my will. I label clearly and each latch and lead I beat be firm until I return from hell. I'm very hungry. I'm incomplete.

And here's another quote, which is one of my favorites, and I think captures poignantly the dance macabre, or even the very essence of narcissism.

It is by William Wordsworth. The thought of our past years in Madoff breed perpetual benediction, not indeed for that which is most worthy to be blessed, but for those obstinate questionings of sense and outward things, followings from us, vanishings, blank misgivings of a creature moving about in worlds not realized. And this is from his poem Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth.

Said, tragic, the wasted humans, the narcissists and psychopaths.

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