Becoming disillusioned with the Church. I want to avoid losing my faith.

Grey

Sparrow
I began going to church in January. Back then, I was not happy but I was also able to refrain from mortal sin (drugs and sexual sin).

As the year has gone on, it has actually gotten more and more difficult for me to refrain from these sins. And I have not found any sort of lasting peace.
There is a phenomena where new converts to any belief, cause, or ideal have a great deal of initial fervor and zeal. It is the same way with a man and a woman in a new relationship. One is fired up for the cause, things go smoothly, and passion alone carries the day.

This honeymoon period does not in any case last. In evangelical circles 'testimonials' are big, where a new convert is celebrated and they talk about how much they've overcome and how easy it is. The evangelical type leaders attribute this to a miracle of grace where coming to God has made everything all right.

Now there are such miracles of grace, but like all miracles they are very special, and not at all usual. This is an evangelical folly of ascribing miracles to an ordinary course of events.

I have brooked much ire of evangelical pastor types for taking aside such new converts and warning them that this time will not last, they must use this time to grow and root themselves for the real battle to come. Yet almost invariably the real battle does come three months, six months, a year, or two years down the line. Usually sooner than later.

Again, it is the same way with newlyweds, good council will tell them to work a great deal out before and during the honeymoon period, so they are ready when the realities of dealing with life together strike.

The the situation of newlyweds is not tainted by evangelical culture. No one complains when I warn newlyweds of that. It does not have an equivalent to the 'Billy Grahamism', which Christianity suffers.

At any rate, I am sorry if no one was around to warn you about this. C.S. Lewis writes about it quite extensively in his Christian works, and I think a few others touch on it here and there. That time of initial ease is supposed to be used by the person discipling you to connect you to a community that can help you once it wears off. It is supposed to be used to give you time to get grounded and prepared.

But that is exactly what I am afraid of, i.e. that my current state is as good as it will ever get.
In my life I have seen the pattern you describe many times over. The doldrums set in and it almost feels like the initial wind that carried you never happened at all.

Some make it through, and in time things do get better. In more time they get better still, and eventually they come to a point where they have a good life they are happy with. Some fall back, and usually for those who fall back into drugs and crime and renounce their faith don't recover.

I do not know if it is helpful to know that this is a normal process or not. But I can tell you that I have seen converts from dire situations and this is almost always how it goes.

Should I be willing to accept a life with no peace and joy if that is what God wants?
Peace and joy are fruit of the spirit. They are the things you break forth into once sanctification really starts to set in.

The flower does not really resemble the fruit, and your spiritual stage is most likely flowering.

The grace and mercy of God is what allows you to grow in the spirit. It is the leading to maturity. The conversion was planting. The grace and mercy of God is the growth stage. It is the weeding and tilling and waiting over rain and sun for the crop to ripen. The fruit will come in due time.

The grace and mercy of God is what nourishes the vine that bears the fruit. You're hungry for the fruit of peace but you can only see blossoms that you cannot eat. The time before harvest can very lean, especially when you had no stores from before planting.

I hope this hasn't been too extended a metaphor.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Just a little note. I theorized ages back that Martin Luther had this problem, and would have assumed that if it was impossible for him to be good, it was impossible for anyone to be good, therefore the Church was wrong.

I just found this in a book by one of the leading Catholic Psych's in the field of Rob's disorder:

luther2 - Copy.jpg

"If it's impossible for me to be good by doing what the church says, then it must be impossible for anyone to be good, therefore the Church itself must be in error."

Poor guy.

Rob, you're making the same erroneous assumption, but putting the blame either on yourself, or what you see as God's Just punishment for your past behaviour.

Note what they're calling a 'Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder' is what most Priests would say you have, but it's not OCD. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has been repeatedly-shown to be of no use in Fear-Based Repressive Disorders.

One of my oldest mates is a top Freudian, through and through. He'd been psychoanalysing me for decades, and took great offense to me starting a new Catholic therapy, as he is an Atheist. Once my rape was revealed - which he had long predicted as some kind of traumatic event from my childhood - but a complexity that he couldn't logically-argue with, he melted down over the fact that therapy with Jesus worked, and has refused to talk to me since May. I'm hoping he'll come around.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
I have a lot of work today, so won't be online, but two important points came to mind whilst praying during my Rosary Walk this morning:

- It's not a false belief in your own strength that attracts God to you, but a realistic knowledge of your own weakness. As such, don't 'try' to be better or heroic under you own power, ask Jesus to be your strength whenever you're weak. He wants you to rely on him. This means making peace with your own weakness and repeated failures and using them as a reason to hope more and more in Him. Each day, 'begin again'.

- I know you're impatient and want to be healed, but you also will resist therapy based upon your own pre-existing legalistic beliefs. This is entirely normal. But what you need to understand is that until you start trusting in Faith the teachings on God's Mercy I am sharing with you - which are what The Church teaches - including the fact that your sins are forgiven and forgotten by God once confessed - 'thrown to the bottom of the sea' - then things won't improve for you. The ideas that will free you will also be the ones you struggle hardest to accept due to your own drive to condemn yourself as unworthy of mercy.

Exorcists know this. One of the predictable behavioural quirks of the Demonic Forces is to stir up guilt over past sins that have already been confessed. As such, the encourage what are known as scruples, an unrealistic obsession over real and imagined sins. An exorcist like Ripperger doesn't entertain this dance for a second, and will tell the demons "That's been confessed - it's off the table." Meaning, God doesn't hold it against the Penitent. The Demons obey, because they're very legalistic, and follow the letter of the law. Note how their thinking resembles that of the Pharisee.

I'm far enough along in the journey now to, when such thoughts arise, not entertain them, and they are dismissed with one worth: misericordia. ('Mercy') which lets me instantly refocus my attention on God, not myself, but I also remember how successful the demons could derail me with these tactics in the Purgative Way. Obviously, this will take some time for you. Baby steps.

I'm not sure if I've shared this before with you, but it's worth a read. I can't say whether you have Scruples or not, but the ideas of how to treat sin and confession are good to know, given your problem.

https://scrupulousanonymous.org/wp-.../Ten_Commandments_for_the_Scrupulous_2013.pdf

May God bless you.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
↑ I do not believe I am unworthy of mercy. I believe I am not being shown mercy (at least not yet), and that means either that I don't deserve mercy, or that God is being unjust. Of course, God can't be unjust, so that only leaves one other possible conclusion.

I suppose another possible conclusion is that I am not being shown mercy yet, because God sees that continuing to suffer might be good for me in the present moment.

I got the Baars book in the mail yesterday, so I am working my way through it.

Thank you and God bless.
 
Even if I were to agree with and accept everything you're saying, that would not actually fix anything or be any easier to accept.
And ^this^ is always what it comes down to.

Rob; to begin any (more) progress in your journey, and for anyone here to be able to assist you (further), please read the following and fill in the bold:

"I, Rob Banks, would accept that God loves me, has forgiven me and is showing me mercy, if [??????] happened in my life, starting right now; [??????] being the irrefutable proof needed to satisfy me."

Your entire self-doubt and inner torment revolves around your answer.

Please respond.
 

Dr. Ron

Pigeon
Gold Member
I don't know about this.

I began going to church in January. Back then, I was not happy but I was also able to refrain from mortal sin (drugs and sexual sin).

As the year has gone on, it has actually gotten more and more difficult for me to refrain from these sins. And I have not found any sort of lasting peace.

For whatever reason, it's not working for me. I don't know if this is because I'm doing something wrong or simply because I've f**ked up my life to the point where it is too late to find peace. But for whatever reason, this is the reality.

I can tell myself "It's a process. Improvement is gradual. etc. etc." but deep down I know that is not true. If it were true, I would have seen gradual improvement. Instead, I have seen gradual backsliding and worsening.

Now, maybe without Christ I would have been even worse, maybe even dead. But that is exactly what I am afraid of, i.e. that my current state is as good as it will ever get.
Hi Rob,

There is a mathematical equivalency to what you are currently experiencing. It's called "The prisoners dilemma". In essence it's irrational to follow God's plan for your life, and the vice that you subject yourself to are rational pursuits. Hence the reason you feel as though "this is as good as it gets". Stay on the hard path, and have patience. You will see - it is worth it. You've barely been at this a year man. It takes a lot longer than that to get to where you want to be.

 

EndlessGravity

Woodpecker
And ^this^ is always what it comes down to.
This is the part that stuck out to me too but I think there's more to it. Think about what's being said here...

"If I accept what you're saying, it wouldn't be easier to accept"

This is essentially narcissistic doublespeak and it's goal is to retreat into irrationality and re-assert a subjective nature to the conversation. This way, there can always be an argument with any questioner but never vice versa. You can also pick up this antagonism in "even if I were to agree" but of course there is little indication in this thread that agreement and resolution are being sought.

Come to think of it, the only time I recall conciliatory language is in placating and encouraging @AnonymousBosch to continue spilling all the ink in the bottle...which I suspect is the real goal here.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
@No-Designation Man, I will respond to you privately.

@EndlessGravity, I already asked you once privately, if you think I have bad and/or manipulative intentions and you're not interested in being helpful, why respond at all? Just ignore the thread. Or encourage the mods to suspend me if you think I'm being antagonistic.

@AnonymousBosch has been nothing but helpful to me because he is a Christian who genuinely wants to bring others to God, and I appreciate everything he's done. I have no need to manipulate him into being helpful or offering advice. That is ridiculous.
 
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EndlessGravity

Woodpecker
@No-Designation Man, I will respond to you privately.

@EndlessGravity, I already asked you once privately, if you think I have bad and/or manipulative intentions and you're not interested in being helpful, why respond at all? Just ignore the thread. Or encourage the mods to suspend me if you think I'm being antagonistic.

@AnonymousBosch has been nothing but helpful to me because he is a Christian who genuinely wants to bring others to God, and I appreciate everything he's done. I have no need to manipulate him into being helpful or offering advice. That is ridiculous.
You're proving my point. Rather than responding to my content, you push more manipulation and try to quickly control and twist the conversation back again.

This is so blatant...
"If you think I'm manipulative, don't point it out please, just go away, so no one else knows! It's not helpful because I need the game to keep going! Why would you do that!?"

"Helpful," to you, is whatever is getting you more attention. Look at this thread, man! Hopefully, others see and learn this is the case. I'd guess you'd even enjoy someone going to the mods about you. What a parade that would be.

I'm positive @AnonymousBosch is being genuine but it's clear you're not. You've probably been doing this game for a long time with everyone you meet and enjoy the victim-hood around it.

Just ask yourself why I would respond now rather than earlier.

--------------------------------------
Listen, there's a super easy solution to your problems: stop talking about yourself, stop wallowing, and stop getting off on your emotions. Just stop talking at all to yourself or anyone for awhile and for the love of God himself, pretend someone else exists other than yourself for a day or two. You might learn something. Heck, you might even resolve something in your life.

Or keep pushing away everyone in your life. Unlike @AnonymousBosch, I couldn't care less.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
You're proving my point. Rather than responding to my content, you push more manipulation and try to quickly control and twist the conversation back again.

This is so blatant...
"If you think I'm manipulative, don't point it out please, just go away, so no one else knows! It's not helpful because I need the game to keep going! Why would you do that!?"

"Helpful," to you, is whatever is getting you more attention. Look at this thread, man! Hopefully, others see and learn this is the case. I'd guess you'd even enjoy someone going to the mods about you. What a parade that would be.

I'm positive @AnonymousBosch is being genuine but it's clear you're not. You've probably been doing this game for a long time with everyone you meet and enjoy the victim-hood around it.

Just ask yourself why I would respond now rather than earlier.

--------------------------------------
Listen, there's a super easy solution to your problems: stop talking about yourself, stop wallowing, and stop getting off on your emotions. Just stop talking at all to yourself or anyone for awhile and for the love of God himself, pretend someone else exists other than yourself for a day or two. You might learn something. Heck, you might even resolve something in your life.

Or keep pushing away everyone in your life. Unlike @AnonymousBosch, I couldn't care less.
Dude, last week you literally PM'ed me asking for personal information about my work history (under the guise of wanting to give me advice), and when I opened up to you and shared my not-so-impressive work history, you responded by telling me you're a successful business owner and then mocking me for my lack of success.

And now you're trying to tell me I'm the immature and manipulative one?

Give me a break.

If you try and deny this, I can post our whole PM conversation here.

Also, I don't mind if this thread gets closed or deleted or whatever. I already admitted several times that it was probably misguided for me to talk about all this publicly, and several people have reached out to me privately since I posted this. I have no need to continue this thread and deal with insults and sh*tty attitudes from people like you.

P.S. You say you "couldn't care less," but yet here you are, taking time out of your day to spew insults and negativity in response to an exchange between me and @AnonymousBosch about a topic you claim you "couldn't care less" about.
 
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If you try and deny this, I can post our whole PM conversation here.
I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you erroneously posted the above in frustration and anger. But beware; if you would actually follow through with such a 'threat' against @EndlessGravity (or anyone else), you would attain an instant forum-wide reputation as being completely untrustworthy - followed by likely being instantly added to multiple RvF "Ignore" lists (including mine). You're better than that, Rob.

Proverbs 25:9-10
 
You're proving my point. Rather than responding to my content, you push more manipulation and try to quickly control and twist the conversation back again.

This is so blatant...
"If you think I'm manipulative, don't point it out please, just go away, so no one else knows! It's not helpful because I need the game to keep going! Why would you do that!?"

"Helpful," to you, is whatever is getting you more attention. Look at this thread, man! Hopefully, others see and learn this is the case. I'd guess you'd even enjoy someone going to the mods about you. What a parade that would be.

I'm positive @AnonymousBosch is being genuine but it's clear you're not. You've probably been doing this game for a long time with everyone you meet and enjoy the victim-hood around it.

Just ask yourself why I would respond now rather than earlier.

--------------------------------------
Listen, there's a super easy solution to your problems: stop talking about yourself, stop wallowing, and stop getting off on your emotions. Just stop talking at all to yourself or anyone for awhile and for the love of God himself, pretend someone else exists other than yourself for a day or two. You might learn something. Heck, you might even resolve something in your life.

Or keep pushing away everyone in your life.
^^ Unfortunately, this needed to be said.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Glad you have the Baars book. It's basically an introduction to Thomistic Psychology but simplified for a casual audience. If you have any questions about what you're reading, leave the question here and I'll get to it when I can, but understand I have 3 more books to proof, and 1 of them needs to be published in about 10 days. I can only grab small moments here and there for a while.

I'm still deep in research, but found these snippets in Anna Terruwe's 'The Priest and the Sick in Mind' from 1972. She was the Psych who first identified this problem in the 1940's. This is the problem with trying to explain the truth of Love and Mercy to you, at this stage:

robtherese1 - Copy.jpg

The object of a lot of what you will be guided to in reading and behavioural changes is to correct this.

As to my instinct that you need to study St Therese of Lisieux:

robtherese2 - Copy.jpg

'Fear Neurotic' is the old term for your disorder. Now it's 'Obsessive-Compulsive Fear-Based Repressive Disorder'. Once, it's not OCD itself, and that therapy won't work on you.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Look everyone, I am happy to give Rob my time, when I have it.

I don't feel like he's 'manipulating' me, though, yes, he has his issues, which are to be expected with someone with his problem.

Yes, sometimes it's tiring and frustrating for me, and that's OK, because it allows me to mortify self. Jesus needed breaks away from those he was helping too.

I don't expect everyone else to put up with his issues. If it's too much for you, there's other threads to hang around in.

Understand that both the Priest in question and I recognise his problem, and it is textbook.

What might be read as narcissism, is the standard self-obsession of repressives. All of his mental energy is being directed inwards to cope with the fear of theoretical negative future events you see evidencing constantly: "But what if?"; "No, but really, what if?" Stopping the inward focus might mean to him that the feared future will come to pass because he wasn't prepared for it, and he isn't capable of taking such a risk. Eventually, he can no longer keep this repression of fear up, and negative behaviour results as a compulsion.

The way forward for Rob is to gently encourage him to become more passive for now, and to understand that the Church doesn't consider compulsed actions sinful because there is no free will involved, such as women being forced into prostitution under threats of violence.

This isn't to give him free permission to sin, for if he wills sin, that absolution is removed. What it means that, he should try his best, but when the repression breaks down - it is, for now, inevitable - and he acts out, without being able to choose to, no sin has been committed. Pope Pius XII described material sin that arose during the treatment of psychological problems as having to 'tolerate what remains inevitable'.

It's only for a time.

Note that this only involves acts done to himself on his own. If his act involves anyone else, a mortal sin has been committed.

Note that this is also what St Thomas Aquinas teaches:

https://www.newadvent.org/summa/2077.htm#article7

...because a passion is sometimes so strong as to take away the use of reason altogether, as in the case of those who are mad through love or anger; and then if such a passion were voluntary from the beginning, the act is reckoned a sin, because it is voluntary in its cause, as we have stated with regard to drunkenness. If, however, the cause be not voluntary but natural, for instance, if anyone through sickness or some such cause fall into such a passion as deprives him of the use of reason, his act is rendered wholly involuntary, and he is entirely excused from sin.

Rob has a psychological illness, ie., sickness from a natural cause. If he starts to sin under compulsion, but reason can engage and the compulsed act stop before it goes further, then great. But this has to be done without using repressive process he has built up during his life to do so. He will be eventually taught to recognise when he is actively-repressing, but until then, it's not a matter of just willing oneself to be good, because what he thinks is 'willing', is actually, 'repressing'.

Heavyweight 20th century Moral Theologian Jordan Aumann also agreed with the lack of moral culpability for people with this specific condition. So that's him, a Pope and a Doctor of the Church all saying the same thing: Rob is shown mercy by the Church and God for his illness, but, unfortunately, due to His problem not being easily-recognised by Secular Psychology or lower level Priests he lives in fear of being damned for acts he cannot yet have any control over. What he will have to experientially learn is that God will remain with him despite these compulsed, solitary acts, and that will take time, trust and faith, and a lot of therapy.

One thing I would suggest to Rob: once this situation with our Priest resolves itself one way or another, assuming you can still work with him, you then take your issues to him and ONLY him. Baars describes people with this problem needing a solid moral theologian to reassure them, and our Priest has a Ph.D in this, and 30+ years of working with people with this condition, with great success. There is no point asking everyone for advice when they will only confuse you with differing opinions. He will be the man to help you, and even I will back away, because what you two talk about is, as I've said before, none of my business.

If the worst case scenario happens, there are still other options for therapy for you by people in this field. We'll cross that bridge should that happen. But Rob just has to try his hardest to go easy on himself and be passive during this frustrating period. Reading the Baars book will be a good start.
 
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AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
There's a concept by St Thomas Aquinas called the Golden Mean, that I've mentioned many times before. Modern Theologians call the concept 'Freedom For Excellence', not being in Excess (Legalism) or Defect (Liberalism). As with Moral Truth, once you understand the concept, you'll note it again and again during your reading and experience. For example:

Knowledge of God without that of our misery equals Pride.
Knowledge of our misery without that of God equals despair.
Knowledge of Jesus strikes the balance, since in Him we find both God and our misery." - Pascal


Rob's goal is to learn a healthy balance of behaviour, to not fall into pride or despair, so the excess doesn't break down into defect.

A good book on this topic is a famous theological work called 'The Sources of Christian Ethics' by Servais Pinckaers, where he takes on the nominalist view of theology he calls 'Freedom for Indifference.' It's possible that's where the discussion of Nominalism as heresy arose, and I was lead to the condemnation either through it or via discussions with a Dominican Priest. It was last year sometime, so I'm a little vague.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you erroneously posted the above in frustration and anger. But beware; if you would actually follow through with such a 'threat' against @EndlessGravity (or anyone else), you would attain an instant forum-wide reputation as being completely untrustworthy - followed by likely being instantly added to multiple RvF "Ignore" lists (including mine). You're better than that, Rob.

Proverbs 25:9-10
Ok, what played out here is exactly what I'm talking about.

EG posts something based upon his interpretation of events, which, obviously, is his right to do so.

Rob reads it and feels attacked, so, under what Aquinas describes:

Rob detects an 'attack' a present evil.

The concupiscible emotions (pleasure emotions) kick in.

The response to a present evil would be the emotions of hate, aversion and sadness.

So they're all flaring up.

Which naturally kicks in the irascible emotions (the assertive / useful emotions).

He then detects the arduous future evil this attack might suggest - 'everyone will listen to him and give up on me when I need help'.

The irascible emotion initially triggered by a present evil suggesting an arduous future evil is Fear.

Rob, having a Fear-Based Obsessive-Compulsive Repressive Disorder is right in his danger zone.

"That present evil detected by the Concupiscible Emotions must be eradicated so I don't feel fear."

The Irascible Emotions are the useful emotions, so the emotion he will be looking for is Triumph in Vindication over a present evil: so, Anger kicks in.

It would be a normal human reaction of the Concupisible emotions to feel hate, aversion and sadness when one believes one has been unjustly-attacked.

It is also a normal human reaction of the Irascible emotions to seek triumph in vindication through anger when one believes on is unjustly-attacked.

So both of these emotions are trying to achieve their goal, or natural end.

However, they're obviously in conflict. All conflicts between the Concupiscible and Irasicible emotions are resolved via the Cogitative Power (estimative sense). This is your particular moral reason - "What is the right thing to do in this particular situation?"

The Cogitative Power makes the final ruling, and puts one or the other instinct to rest. Say, "I can bear his attack in silence and forgive him" (anger resolved), or "If they listen to what I believe is his poor judgement in this case and I have to seek help elsewhere, then that's OK" (fear resolved).

Because of Rob's Repression, this resolution can't happen, because either one trigger event or years or forced repression - perhaps a fear of what happens when his anger is unleashed - has damaged his cogitation.

So, when the Concupiscible and Irascible emotions (known collectively as the Sensible Appetites) turn to the Cogitative Power, it responds the only way it knows how:



In these situations, the Irascible Emotion always will dominate, so all it can do is rise up, and smother the Concupiscible Emotion in an attempt to block it from conscious thought: to 'wish it away'.

So, anger dominates, and, trying to figure out the right thing to do in this particular situation, Rob threatens to post a private message publicly, seeking triumph in vindication, because he believes he has been unjustly-accused. All moral questions of whether it is 'moral right' to release a private message in a public sphere aren't in play for him, because the Cogitative Power can't mediate these moral questions as it should.

There's been examples on here of me doing this in the past.

Meaning:

- his behaviour is entirely-predictable based upon his disorder, and the Priest in question and myself take this into account when dealing with him, because we understand via mercy just how painful it is for someone to exist in such a state, and that, under charity, he needs help to repair this damage. You can best encourage him patiently.

If, however, you don't understand Aquinas' model, you are free to decide that he's just... well, you can insert your own pejorative.

But this goes back to what I said before: a lot of what people believe is 'helpful advice' that has 'worked for them', won't be applicable in Rob's case until, via therapy, he ends up in the default moral position most people begin in.
--------

We also don't know what trigger event started the repression, so try and show charity. Jesus will reveal it to him in time. I had no conscious memory for 45 years of being regularly taken out of my bed at night and sodomized beginning from 3 or 4 until Jesus showed it to me, but it took eight months of therapy to get there. Ever since May, I am still being shown bits and pieces by Him. Something that just came back to me yesterday during the Rosary: I remembered being in Kindergarten, so 4 years old (I started a year early due to my intelligence). My parents were called in because I'd often fall asleep during class due to tiredness, and the teachers wanted to know why 'they were keeping me up all night', and were ready to call child services. Obviously, my parents were confused, because, to their eyes, I was put to bed early in the evening, just like any other child.

About three days ago, whilst mentioning my Sister's similar issues with a Priest as we were praying together, more was filled in. I just understood (ie,. Jesus giving me a direct infusion of knowledge into the Spiritual Soul, which comes complete, not 'figured out') that she and I were abused together, and this is why I've never been able to hug her since we were little, and even now, I can't bring myself to hug her. The infusion was like being physically-gutted, but - and this is the key to why Rob's therapy takes time - I trust Jesus enough to cling to him when this happens. Through Him, I have strength to integrate such painful knowledge very quickly, beyond the initial howls of pain as the wound is ripped open. But, as Jesus exposes these wounds, they are healed by him and closed off, and the Demons can no longer pick at them to drive my behaviour.
 

EndlessGravity

Woodpecker
We also don't know what trigger event started the repression, so try and show charity.
AB, I'm hesitant to reply further to this and encourage you or others to interact with the toxic personality traits on display here. However, you seem intent in these unhealthy interactions. Personally, I'm glad it hasn't drawn in too many others.

You'll also have to excuse me for saying "no thanks" to "showing charity." That's not what you're doing. Although it's fun to pick these things apart, what you're writing is mostly basic analysis and sussed up pop psychology. It's making Rob's problem worse. You'll have to forgive me for being so blunt.

It's not a coincidence that Rob has an overthinking problem and you have a verbose writing style. At some point though, the talking has to come to an end, even with narcissists. If you've ever worked with someone who's been a victim of one, you'd know that (and maybe some of the strategies for dealing with narcissists so your own therapy isn't hijacked). You can try to complicate what these interactions are and we somewhat agree on what's going on here but you're missing the forest for the trees.

I will note, for the benefit of other readers, Rob flat out lied about my interactions with him. He mistakenly believed from the start, based on me previously mentioning in another thread that he not share forum members' info publicly, that I cared if anyone shared my info. He obviously fishes for people's vulnerabilities and I wasn't surprised he pulled out this card. However, he was wrong, and I don't care if mine are shared. I've included my private message here where I "mocked him for his life's failures."

Many of you who I've interacted with via DM know I usually like to ask what you do and what state you're in to get the conversation going.

I'm in my 40s and own businesses. Were you taking a break from the forum and being online? How'd that shape up?
Hopefully, Rob's reading this so he can take joy in the fact that I had to explain that convoluted interaction. Narcissists love that sort of thing and I don't mind being charitable tonight. :p
 
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