The Narcissistic Lover—a Trump Allegory

When they met, he was a self-proclaimed “enthusiastic suitor.” He found her to be just fabulous. And just like him, in so many ways. How could they not be together? A match made in heaven. They both believed in magic. In love. In the triumph of love over loneliness—isolation itself. Finally, they would have what they both deserved. Each other. And the world as they envisioned it.

But she didn’t get it at first—that all those perfect things he said were calculated to make her want him. At this point in his life, the calculations were so embedded in his very being that he was no longer aware of making them. He was keenly tuned in to “people like her” – women of a certain age who long to be seen, acknowledged, loved for who they are. Women who have kept themselves under the wraps of motherhood, wifehood, the double life of domestication and career, for so long that they just want to break out of the restraints and let their true selves shine forth for all the world to see, without apology. He seemed to give her permission to do that. Why did she feel she needed permission from a man, from anyone? Even she wasn’t sure why. But the world doesn’t always see women through a clear lens. Now maybe the world would see her through his eyes, and accept her, and she’d be empowered.

He knows her, or people “like her,” just well enough to know exactly what to say so she’ll want him. And accept him in spite of any red flags that may poke up. Because, after all, he accepts her fully, so shouldn’t she do the same for him? Doesn’t he see her “greatness” as he calls it? He seems to understand that she has gone too long unrecognized, and her disillusionment in the system of love will be swept away by the fulfillment of all that he promises.

Is she so predictable, she sometimes wonders? Is it so easy for him to see how much she longs to be courted, wanted? Just acknowledged? Her needs have been unmet for so long. And he seems to have lots to offer such a woman. He is like Barry White—he has ALL the words to say to make any woman feel that IT is about to happen at any moment. That union. That revelation of the perfect joining.

She waits for that. She waits for…so much.

Like the call “in ten minutes” that doesn’t come. Or, when it does—two hours later—never seems to feel as good as she hoped it would. Wasn’t she going to tell him about her day, and that awful thing that happened, and wasn’t he going to help her solve the problem, see it in a different light, soothe her with kind and loving words? Instead, she listens to him talk about a woman at work who wants him. A girl at the pharmacy who was way too young for him but really seemed to want to talk. His secretary and how much she loved his jokes this morning. Then it is always too late to say what she had on her mind. They’d have perfunctory phone sex and hang up. She would lie in bed, with the song, Where is the Love? running through her head.

When he does offer his support, or try to help her through tough times, he gets angry. His advice is always, “You should quit that fucking job!” Or: “I’d punch her in the face if she talked to me like that.” These suggestions are not that helpful to her. Still, she finds she is more short-tempered, more likely to succumb to her basest impulses—at work, in life, even with her friends—because she knows he would, too, and that he loves it when she “goes low.” He finds it (weirdly) sexy. When she told him about calling her assistant a moron for printing the wrong labels, he laughed and hugged her. Kissed her darkly, with cruel passion.

I ask her, “Does he actually show up when he says he will? Does he deliver on those promises? Is he really leaving the hamster wheel of online dating behind him or is he still shopping on Bumble and Tinder?”

“Don’t you want a man,” I ask her, “who will always see the best in you and help you be that person? One who won’t egg you on in your worst impulses. Who will remind you of the kickass woman you are and that he fell in love with. The way you are. The way he will always see you: truly.”

“Don’t you want a man,” I go on, “who won’t capitalize on your fears and lie to you to get you to cling to him? A man with the self-confidence to let you make your own decisions and hear the truth? A man who will show you his best self and admit when he errs? Who will help you find the right path and ask for your help in return?”

“Don’t you want a man, who will go into the bathroom with you at night when you’re taking off your makeup? Who will put his hands on your hips as you wash your face and, not only will he not care about that pimple on your nose or the crow’s feet by your eyes, he’ll find you beautiful still. He won’t fan the flames of your hidden insecurities. He will nuzzle your neck and pull you by the hand into the bedroom where he will respectfully and lovingly adore your body, mind, heart, and soul.”

 

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Love Trumps Trump

Healing-Heart

Some things I know and feel no need to explain how I know them:

  1. Complaining is not healthy, even though we really want it to be. It can be addictive. It can even feel good… at first. But it’s bad voodoo. (Although I know I don’t need to provide a citation, this is a good article on the subject.)
  2. Love is the shit. Like, The Thing. Like… the ONLY thing. It heals. It feels good. It fixes the world.
  3. All humans on the planet deserve all their human rights, regardless of skin color, genitalia, who they want to love, be, or become, where they live, what god, goddess, Bodhisattva, tree, or higher or lower being they worship, whether they worship anything at all, or don’t.
  4. Generalizing may be convenient when running statistics but it sucks when you are talking about actual humans. It’s called bias. It’s called “don’t be stupid, just because a black gay Buddhist was mean to you in 6th grade does not mean all black gay Buddhists are mean.”
  5. The U. S. of A. has some very powerful and wonderful things about it but it’s in big trouble. Still and all, I love it. (see # 2)
  6. The Maharishi Effect is legit. (Again, here’s a cool article about small meditation groups affecting an entire city’s crime rate!) When you get enough people focused on one idea or feeling, things change. Shifts happen. People feel different. And it affects the world beyond and outside. When people feel different, they behave in different ways.
  7. Our thoughts do change us. Our thoughts—and the thoughts we surround ourselves with—permeate us until they change the grooves in our brain (to use an image from vinyl records) so that the needle now goes in those grooves and can’t, as easily, find the groovy grooves. The groovy grooves are where you find love and self-love, acceptance of others and acceptance of self, optimism and fortitude, joy and courage and laughter. Change your thinking, change your feelings, actions, and outcomes.

Many Americans are disappointed in the folks who hold political office right now, and also in most all of the candidates vying for their respective nominations. The majority seem to be ruled by money, and/or racist/misogynistic/reactionary agendas, and/or a lust for power. Is a single one of them ruled by love (see #2)? Maybe Bernie. But he’s pretty pissed off, too, so I’m not sure.

I started to write a blog that was veering towards complaint, anger, non-love. I was going down the path of “we’re kinda fucked” that would create a groove in my brain if I’m not careful. I could become that person. The person who lives her life from the “we’re fucked” point of view. Who wants to be that person?

Don’t want to hide my head from the facts either, though.

What I was going to write, was about how shocked I am that our country is a place where a hater like Trump has a groundswell of supporters. I guess I’ve been fooled by the veneer of civility that has (barely) covered the actions and agendas of politicians who have been spewing hate for years…just maybe not as openly as Trump does. Maybe there are a lot of folks grateful to have someone just come out and say it. Say the stuff that they want to say, hate the people they love to hate. I’m thinking they don’t like the groups of non-them people who get in the way of their special privilege—or maybe that’s what they’re scared of.

But I want to STOP complaining about the candidates—it’s not good for me. I want to acknowledge that everyone has the right to speak, even if the ideas being spoken are about taking away everyone else’s rights. I want to be part of a GREAT BIG HAPPY GROUP THINK that is about love and acceptance. Then imagine a world where the tsunami effect of love will be so huge that it will push away all the hate.

So here’s my question. If I don’t want to become the hopeless, angry person coming from a place of reaction to evil, and instead want to be the person who operates from a place of love, how do I love Trump? How do I love Cruz? How do I love all those who love them? People who, consciously or not, disrespect me for being a woman. Long to take away my rights, so painfully fought for over my lifetime by people who would not accept the oh-so absurd status quo. People who want to build walls to keep out immigrants (not unlike their own immigrant parents or grandparents who made this country what it is today). People who mostly just hate. Hate people not like them. Hate progress towards equality. Hate having to give up their privilege so the underprivileged can get a break. Hate thinking about what they don’t want to think about, like climate change, gay marriage, domestic terrorism, to name a few.

So I’m looking for a way in. A way in to love.

When my children were little and behaving badly I’d say, “I love you with all my heart and always will, but I do not like what you are doing right now.” It was easy to make that distinction. The person has my love, his or her actions do not.

I am resolved. I will send love. I’ll put it out there into the universe, directed at Trump and all the rest of the haters. I will say to myself, “I love this human being. I love this person who was born to a mother like me. Someone loves this person, so I can too.” If we can love a sister or uncle or friend who makes mistake after mistake simply because we choose to go on loving them, then I can choose to love Donald Trump. Love will be my trump card and I’ll play it every day.

(lovelovelovelovelovelove….)