Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Archive for the month “December, 2014”

Out With The Old, In With The New


Not too long ago, I wrote about my lack of enthusiasm for the Christmas holiday season.  And in spite of that track record, I always look forward to the beginning of a new year.

2014 was probably the most difficult year of my life, and I have been through a lot up until this year without needing to break any records.  I lost a dear friend to the same cancer that I have survived all these years.  My dad passed away from lung cancer.  Of course, there is a divorce that I am dealing with, that is nowhere near final, and showing no signs of letting up as far as tension.

But in spite of how shitty 2014 has been, and to be honest, 2015 is going to be a bit rough out of the gate, I do have hopes that 2015 is going to be a better year.  It has to be.  I will probably skip right through January if you do not mind because I want to start the year off without giving any attention to the negative aspects of my life, which I hope to have under control entering February.

So with that, here is a step-by-step plan on how I plan to make 2015 better.

1.  getting my divorce issues straightened out, and finally moving forward

2.  hold my daughters, and spend more time with them

3.  spend more time with my friends, whether it is long-distance, or in my back yard.  With as dark as 2014 has been, each and everyone who has stood by me, has done nothing but offer me support and encouragement.  And that will never be forgotten.

4.  Josephine, what can be said about the year 2014 between the two of us.  I know the heart that you have, and I cannot wait to see what a year without loss and turmoil will bring us.

So with that, my plan for 2015 is simple.  Nothing tricky at all what I would like, or how to get there.


My wish is for everyone reading and supporting “Paul’s Heart” is to have a healthy and Happy New Year!

The “Bait And Switch”

The term “bait and switch” is most often used when it comes to material goods being purchased.  For instance, quality merchandise might be offered at a real bargain price, only to be switched out for something inferior.  Think about it this way, you use bait to draw a fish towards your line, of course the fish is attracted to it, unaware that it is about to be snared by a barb, and of course, you know the fish’s fate from that moment.  This kind of activity was also quite popular in the real estate market as well in order to get people mortgages who probably should not have had them.

bait and switch 1

Instead, I want to discuss about a different kind of “bait and switch”, and that of course involving relationships.  And just to be clear, this can be committed by man against woman, woman against man, or same gender against each other.

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The first thing that draws a person in of course is usually going to be the physical attraction.  For the “fish” it is just natural.  But for the one who has begun the act of the “bait and switch”, the act of drawing someone’s attention is intentional, pretending to be someone they are not, motives being mostly superficial.  Conversations ensue, with the “fish” being the focus of the topics, which helps to keep the “fish” at ease, unsuspecting of the motives of the pursuer.  The bait has been cast.  Dates are likely to follow, and a relationship develops.

But there is still going to be more to this set up.  Timing is critical.  Yes, if you have not figured this out, this type of behavior is very narcissistic, because as you are about to see, the behavior is going to come at the expense of someone else, and the perpetrator cares nothing for the feelings of the person about to be hurt.

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As the relationship grows, intimacy increases, and most likely cohabitation.  Depending on the needs of the person with the “rod and reel”, the ultimate goal, marriage will be the motive.  But care needs to be taken to make sure that the “fish” feels completely secure, safe, cared for, and loved.  While the whole time, the one driving the relationship knows the prize is soon at hand.  All that needs to happen is to continue build up the other, make sure their needs are the number one priority and met, and get to that big day, the wedding day.  Conversations will almost always be mutually agreed upon, so as not to chase the “fish” away.  The “fish” will be supported in all of its bad and stressful moments.  Of course, the narcissist will be full of affection for the “fish”, and will probably fulfill many dreams of passion and intimacy.

bait and switch 2

And just like that, with the flick of a toggle switch, the “fish bites into the bait and is caught by the barb of the hook, and reeled in, gutted, cooked, and eaten.”  But by then, it is too late for the “fish”.  The commitment was made.  The lure was too much to endure and was completely irresistible.  This was going to be a dream, but instead has turned into a nightmare.  The “fish” never saw the end coming, even as it was caught on the line.  But the fisherman does not care about how the fish feels.  The fisherman only care about catching that fish.  Conversations now become one sided, the “fish” will nearly always be wrong.  In times of need, the “fish” ends up abandoned in the most critical of times especially.  And of course, the passion and intimacy disappears.  Now I want to stress, this is not just simply the fire fizzing out of a relationship that with some help might be rekindled, I am talking about the intentional act of withdrawing and withholding passion and intimacy.

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This is not to say that all relationships are narcissistic in nature.  I do not believe that for one bit.  I have had only one relationship that turned out this way.  But all it takes is one “bait and switch” relationship to destroy someone physically, and emotionally.  Two people make a commitment to carry on a relationship, built on a seemingly strong foundation, unfortunately both having different motives, one genuine and the other a plot, but when the commitment is finalized, the narcissist strikes, and the “fish” is trapped.  And even when it is realized by the “fish” what has happened, it is too late.  And in spite of the behavior being pointed out by the “fish”, the pleas will fall on deaf ears, because as I have previously stated, a narcissist cares nothing for anyone else, or especially their feelings, only for their own.

The act of “bait and switch” in a relationship is flat out emotional abuse, and rarely talked about.  And if the commitment of marriage is the goal of the perpetrator, the price paid by the victim will be even higher when the victim realizes that they were basically conned into the situation they now find themselves in.  But again, the narcissist does not care.  They got what they wanted.  Everything will become the “fish’s” fault.  The one with the “rod and reel” will bear no responsibility.  And even as the relationship fails, and it will fail, the narcissist will continue to attack and take all that can be had, until the “fish” is left with nothing.

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The “fish” will be painted as a loser, emotionally a wreck, a failure.  And it is up to the “fish” to realize what has happened, learn how to deal with the tactics used by a person who has no concern other than for themselves.  As bad as a situation like this may feel, a person going through this will not be the first to do so, nor the last.  But what is important is recognizing the behavior, preferably sooner than later.  But if the behavior is not recognized until it is basically too late, seek professional help.  This behavior is abusive.  There are medical and legal professionals to help deal with this situation.

The problem becomes, when following your heart, how to prevent that opportunity from happening to you.

I would like to share the following link from the web site,, titled  “Red Flags – Chapter 5”.  I have read the web page quite informative.


Psychology 101 – Two Definitions To Know

I want to state right up front, I only have psychology studies, not a certificate, so as I discuss this post, I am doing so as a lay person, and this post is not to be taken as a diagnostic tool.

The internet web site “Psychology Today” defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as:

“involves arrogant behavior, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration-all of which must be consistently evident at work and in relationships. People who are narcissistic are frequently described as cocky, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. Narcissists may concentrate on unlikely personal outcomes (e.g., fame) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment.”

Narcissm 1

A narcissist does not recognize the feelings of others.  A narcissist believes they are entitled.  A narcissist takes advantage of others or exploits them.  Narcissists do not care who they hurt, as long as they are the ones not being hurt.  Narcissists are very good at fooling people into thinking that they care, because ultimately the narcissist believes they will get something in return.

But that does not mean that a narcissist cannot be loved, or love someone.  Quite the contrary.  But there is a fine line, and at some point, the negative behaviors of narcissism will eventually reveal themselves, or perhaps, the signs were there all along.

narcissm 2

Once you have recognized that you are dealing with a narcissist, you can then determine how to live with them.  Chances are you are dealing with someone who has low self-esteem, or in some case, high self-esteem.  Their behavior can be antagonistic, sneaky, and back-stabbing.  They do not care about who they hurt, as long as it is not themselves being hurt.

There is a reason that narcissists are the way that they are.  It could be a learned behavior, like mimicking a parent.  This trait is easy to pick out.  My psych professor once said, if you want to see the future of a person you are studying, look at their same gender parent.  It could be a particular event in their life which has caused the person to draw all of the attention onto themselves, especially if it is a reinforcement of a “victim” status.  As long as any or every situation revolves around them, they are getting the reaction that is needed for their survival.  It does not matter how severe an issue a person may be dealing with, a narcissist will always have it better for a good situation, or worse for a bad situation.  Bottom line, it is always going to be about them.

sociopath 2

Sociopaths, or rather those with what is referred to as antisocial personality disorder, has absolutely no respect for anyone else, almost taking a “taking no prisoner” approach in life, no matter who the bystander may be, whether the sociopath is right or wrong, in spite of objections or feelings by those affected.  This type of thinking is often dysfunctional and destructive.  It is very much an “entitlement” belief, not necessarily what is right, or common sense.  The person believes that no matter the costs, he/she wants what they are entitled to, and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it mean alienation of loved ones and friends, through any means possible.  It is impossible to reason with a sociopath.

sociopath 1

Like narcissists, sociopaths show no guilt or remorse, and sociopaths are more likely going to find it hard to keep employment because of their backstabbing tendencies to get what they want.  A sociopath lacks empathy, constantly lie especially if it is for their own gain, regularly irresponsible when it comes to working and finances.

The bad thing is, neither the narcissist or sociopath will ever recognize their problems without being properly diagnosed and treated professionally.  It is not good enough just to point out to the person that they have a personality quirk, as they will not only not see your concern, they will also deny it.  And then that person will either avoid you or lash out at you.

Narcissism and sociopathy make it very difficult on relationships, employment, and friendships.  These types of mental illnesses can also complicate situations that require the ability to rationalize and empathize, but because of the conditions, common sense is often perceived as threatening, instead of being helpful.  But without professional help, your concerns and outreach will be futile.

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